Transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Willy’s Cottages
Willy’s Cottages comprises 10 cottages and 9 standard rooms, all situated in a tranquil setting in a quiet residential area off the Arusha – Nairobi highway. The dining area and bar offer lovely views of Mt. Meru. There is also a double storey building which has 9 rooms, all self contained, which consists of 4 rooms on the ground floor and five rooms on the first floor. Guest amenities include a small gift shop with telephone and postal service, an internet café with high-speed connection, and a swimming pool for a refreshing morning or afternoon dip. The cottages provide a safe and comfortable option for guests to overnight either before or after their safari offering very personalized service, home-cooked meals and lovely landscaped gardens in which to relax.
Travel overland from Arusha to Tarangire accompanied by your naturalist safari guide
Tarangire is Tanzania's third largest national park and a sanctuary for an unusually large elephant population. Majestic baobab trees are an interesting feature of the park, dwarfing the animals that feed beneath them. Animals concentrate along the Tarangire River, which provides the only permanent water supply in the area. There is a great diversity of wildlife including lion, leopard, cheetah, and up to six thousand elephant. Tribe visits and walking in the areas neighbouring the park is offered to those who want cultural interaction. Some Maasai also live in the area. Maramboi Tented Camp is situated in a beautiful and exotic location on the shores of Manyara Lake. Just 140 km from Arusha and 18 km from Tarangire National Park, the camp offers spectacular views, endless vistas of rolling golden grasslands and palm lined desert between Tarangire and Manyara Lake. Accommodations are in 16 spacious tents, each with an en suite bathroom and private verandah. The camp offers stunning views of the Manyara National Park, the Rift Valley, Ngorongoro highlands and on clear days even Oldonyo Lengai, a sacred mountain to the Maasai and Kilimanjaro Mountain. In the wet season, the Manyara and Tarangire Pans fill with water, attracting huge flocks of flamingos and other wading birds. The exposed nature of the grassland surrounding Maramboi Tented Camp provides a stage for the magnificent migration spectacle and offers visitors unrivalled views of this natural wonder. Activities include game drives, guided walking safaris, birding on the shores of nearby Lake Manyara and cultural interaction with the Datoga and Masai people, whose boma populate the adjacent land.
Continue by road from Tarangire National Park to Karatu
Tour of Mto Wa Mbu or Karatu markets and proceed to Lake Eyasi
Visit to Lake Eyasi for a pre-dawn walk with the Bushmen
Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp is situated directly on the shore of Lake Eyasi. Across this huge, seasonal soda lake that stretches away in front of camp, the Alipi escarpment wall rises two thousand feet up into the Endulen area of the Nogorongoro Conservation providing a stunning view. To the north are the Ngorongoro Highlands with Lemagrut and Ol Deani mountains (both extinct volcanoes and close to 10,000 ft) in the foreground. Scenically, this area is stunning. The camp lies amidst a beautiful natural palm and acacia forest with a colossal rock as a backdrop and a natural spring nearby. The camp itself consists of six tents built on permanent platforms, an open dining room and bar, as well as a platform hidden in the reeds next to the spring where one can have a romantic dinner under the stars or chill out in the heat of the day and bird watch. Each tent has an en suite bathroom and plenty of hot and cold running water. Toilets are flush type and have a proper septic system in place. Furniture and bedding is comfortable and in keeping with the rustic and understated look of the Camp. Lighting is supplied by a generator in the evening hours. All tents have a beautiful view of the lake. This small, tented camp is a great example of a well-run, owner-operated camp. The camp belongs to Chris and Nani Schmelling, who have been farming in the area for many years, and is supplied at least in part with superb food that they themselves produce on the farm - including smoked tilapia fillet and black forest smoked ham. There are no pretensions here; only excellent service combined with a simple elegance.
Visit to Lake Eyasi for a pre-dawn walk with the Bushmen - Departing early this morning at 5.00am with a picnic lunch, you’ll take a rough road across the Rift Valley and up the escarpment to Lake Eyasi, another soda lake in the Rift Valley. Here you may join a pre-dawn walk with Bushmen hunters or spend time participating in the morning routine of the settlement. Your local guide will interpret for you and discuss hunting techniques still used by the tribes. Bushmen who live in nomadic groups hunting with bow and arrow and gathering roots, tubers and wild fruits inhabit this dry and rugged landscape. Be prepared for an extraordinary cross-cultural experience as you join these nomadic Bushmen in their daily life. It is also possible to visit the Datoga, a tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists who migrated into this area looking for good grazing land many decades ago. They have so far resisted neighbouring tribes' cultural infiltrations. The women, still wearing locally fat treated goatskin gowns, carve their faces and bodies to look prettier. Learning about their history is as fascinating as these women look. After your day’s exploration you return to Kisema Ngeda tented camp where you can relax for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.
Continue by road from Kisima Ngeda to Ngorongoro Crater
Optional half-day hike at the Empakai Crater, Olmoti Crater or the surrounding highlands
Full Day (maximum 6 hour) Game Drive at the Ngorongoro Crater
Today you depart to the world famous Ngorongoro Crater with a picnic lunch. You descend into the 100 square mile Crater floor where animals are found throughout the year due to the permanent availability of grass and water. Ngorongoro is one of the most spectacular game haunts in Africa and has been designated a World Heritage site. It contains an impressive variety of wildlife including lions with black manes; the highly endangered black rhino, herds of gnu, zebra, elephants, hippo, and hyena. The bird life is also prolific, with flocks of flamingos on the soda lake, plus other species of water and plains birds. You may also see the Maasai herdsmen, grazing their cattle around the Crater rim or bringing their animals to drink at the lake in the crater. Depending on the road conditions, and weather permitting, on Day 7 you have the option of taking a half-day hike at the Empakai Crater, Olmoti Crater or the surrounding highlands. Impressive views of the landscape abound. Walking is not strenuous, but do expect some sloping terrain and at times, muddy paths. In the afternoon you visit to a Maasai village where herdsmen are often grazing their cattle around the crater rim. During the months of Jan - May and October - December, you overnight at a private mobile camp on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater for two nights. Please bring warm clothing as you are camping at 7000 feet above sea level.Note: During the winter months from June – September, accommodation will be at Ngorongoro Farm House an exclusive lodge facing the Oldeani Volcano, in Ololdukan. The Farm House is situated ona 500 acre coffee farm located only 4 kms from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Lolduare gate. The Farm House provides an original experience reminiscent of the original pioneering days. Three separate and intimate camps of 30 comfortable bungalows have been attractively built in the style of an old colonial farm and rustically decorated with local materials, with the purpose of offering guests an imaginary journey to the Tanzania days of old. The huge main building, covered with an elegant thatched roof, contains the reception, bar, dining area, library and lounge with a fireplace where guests can enjoy a rest during the cool evenings in the highlands. Guest areas are complimented by a swimming pool with superb views of Oldeani Volcano and a craft shop. There is also an organic vegetable and flower garden over several acres.
Proceed by road from Ngorongoro to Serengeti National Park
Visit to Oldupai Gorge
Your journey to the Serengeti National Park includes a visit to Oldupai Gorge, the famous archaeological site where Mary Leakey discovered the remains of Australopithecus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus. Serengeti is perhaps the most impressive wildlife sanctuary in the world. These vast, seemingly unending plains are inhabited during the migration by enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra. The herds attract the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and hyena. Another interesting feature of the Serengeti is the massive granite kopjes, islands of rock standing in a sea of grass. The kopjes provide shelter to a great variety of plants and animals, from the elusive leopard to the tiny dik dik. Exploration of the legendary park is mostly by vehicle. During the months from June – November you may depart with a picnic lunch to enjoy a full day game viewing in the Serengeti en route to
the Ikoma Area within the Serengeti National Park. At Fort Ikoma you have the opportunity to walk around and explore the fort. During the months from December to May you spend time in the southern sector of the park where there is likely to be the heaviest concentration of wildlife. You spend four nights at this private camp, set in wilderness areas, depending on the season and movement of the animals.
Return by road from Serengeti to Arusha (approximately 5-6 hours)
Transfer from Arusha to Kilimanjaro International Airport
Enjoy one last game drive in the Serengeti before departing back to Arusha by road, stopping for a picnic lunch en route. You arrive in Arusha in the late afternoon where you have a day room at Willy’s Cottages to prepare for your onward flight.