3 days 2 nights
Tanzania is a big country and the main safari destinations can be split into the north (The Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater) or the south (The Selous and Ruaha). Most tourists flock to the north as it is comprised of the famed highlights of Tanzania – and rightly so as the wildlife and game viewing is phenomenal. However, the fame of the north can often overshadow the south, which in our view is one of East Africa’s best-kept secrets.
The Ngorongoro Crater has a huge amount of the big 5 in a unique and dramatic setting. Surrounding the crater, the Ngorongoro Highlands is home to colorful Masai culture and rolling coffee farms. We usually only recommend one big game drive into the crater, as it is small so one day is enough. You can either stay on the crater rim or in the Ngorongoro Highlands a night on either side of your game drive.
Tarangire National Park is another option for amazing game viewing. Night drives, fantastic views, and a colossal number of elephants all add up to an amazing safari experience. However, it is more of an “add-on” park to the main northern circuit of the crater and Serengeti. It can be visited for a few nights en route to the crater if you have ample time and money.
We will pick you from your hotel in Arusha and following a 2-3 hour drive, you will arrive at the Tarangire National Park. In this region, Hemmingway often went on big game hunting safaris. After the formation of the national parks in 1970, they turned the seasonal marshes and the endless savannah that one sees today into, once again, profitable hunting grounds. Today, however, cameras thankfully have replaced the elephant guns. The Tarangire National Park has the highest density of elephants in North Tanzania and you can view these animals all year round in which the herds often can reach an impressive number of 300 animals. The Tarangire River has water all year round and during the dry season, between July and October, many animals from the surrounding areas come to the river for drinking. If you visit the park during the dry season, you will witness an unforgettable natural wonder as you can observe wonderful creatures such as lions, giraffes, buffaloes, wildebeest, and zebras as well as various types of antelopes and gazelles and with a little luck, you can also spot a python! This area is during the dry season also a haven for bird watchers with over 550 different species including the Masai Ostrich -the world's largest bird. Around lunchtime, you will stop at a suitable picnic place before the afternoon is dedicated to more wildlife watching.
In the morning, you will drive in direction of the Ngorongoro Crater and soon as you have reached the edge of the crater, the caldera opens up before you. This is an approximate 20 km wide crater. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to over 25,000 animals. We will descend to the Ngorongoro Crater. This is a highly visited African attraction and is the world’s largest inactive, unbroken and unfilled volcanic caldera. At this point, we will get a chance to see a large number of mammals such as the endangered rhinos, mountain reedbuck, jackals, and numerous bird species including white pelicans and flamingos on Lake Ndutu and Lake Magadi.
At the heart of the South Serengeti lies the world-famous Ndutu. Offering consistently the best wildlife viewing during the green season, Ndutu is strategically situated at the center of the southern plains although the immediate area is blanketed with a forest of acacia trees. Since the 1960s, Ndutu had been a favorite destination for many distinguished authors, filmmakers, and wildlife biologists.
Here, we shall have a full-day game drive in the Ndutu area with picnic lunch boxes, the short rains begin around early November. A little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. These are south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu, and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Dispersed across these plains, wildebeest, and zebra are everywhere – feeding on the fresh, nutritious grasses. The herds are stationary, increasing your chances of witnessing wildebeest births and predator interaction