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Tanzania 16-day Wildlife Safari

Leopard in a tree in the Serengeti Tanzania is not only home to the ‘cradle of mankind’ it is also here that the word ‘safari’ originated, coming from the Swahili word for journey. Game viewing experiences are widely regarded as among the best in Africa.

Our glorious safari visits world-renowned national parks and reserves beginning in Kenya at Amboseli with Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. From here we cross the border into Tanzania to explore Arusha, Tarangire, Manyara, the Serengeti plains, along with one of the great wonders of the world ‘Africa’s Garden of Eden’ the Ngorongoro Crater, where the largest concentration of predatory mammals exists.

The Serengeti is the place to see seemingly endless herds of migrating wildebeest, zebra and gazelles trekking across the plains – followed by the predatory lions, leopards, cheetah and hyena. This is also elephant country, boasting some of the world’s largest populations. Giraffes may peer into our open roofed vehicles while Buffalos are quite content to stare us down. Rhinoceros round out the Big 5 and “the crater” is one of its last strongholds. Comical Warthogs always seem to be on the move with their tails raised and troops of baboons with newborn babies hitching a ride on their mothers backs forage through the savanna. A night game drive should produce porcupine, civet, genet and galagos. An extraordinary number of mammals will be experienced, some very close!

We’ll encounter myriads of birds, including colorful bee-eaters, kingfishers, sunbirds and rollers, noisy hornbills, Secretary Birds, Grey-crowned Cranes, ostriches, a wide assortment of bustards, raptors and vultures as well as Tanzanian endemics such as Yellow-collared Lovebird, Ashy Starling, Rufous-tailed Weaver and Beesley’s Lark. A visit to Olduvai Gorge the site of our earliest known ancestors and a Maasai Village will round out our wonderful experience.

As with all safaris, the itinerary can be altered and customized to suit your needs and goals, whether it would be more birding or mammals or length of trip.

This trip can be combined with an extension to the Kenyan Coast, or, to see the Gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda.

Focus: Birds, Mammals, Photography, Reptiles, Butterflies, Culture, Landscapes

What can I say? It was a trip of a lifetime. Even now, three weeks later, I have scenes of Africa in my night dreams and day dreams.”
– Edie P., Tanzania, March 2009

Elephants-BINNS-D64A0464-copy

  • Tour Cost
  • Tour Length: 16 days / 15 nights

     

    Date and Cost:

    Feb 1-16, 2018 - approx $8,800.00 per person from Nairobi based upon double occupancy and a minimum of 5 participants per vehicle.

     

    Single supplement: $1100.00. Please note that if you do not request a single room, and we are unable to find you a roommate, you will be charged the single supplement.

     

    What is included: All ground transportation, accommodations, meals; night game drive in Manyara NP; visit to Maasai Village and services of your guide from Nairobi; all entrance fees to National Parks and Reserves; temporary flying doctor medical insurance; mineral water while on safari.

    Note: There may be an additional surcharge should Park and or Conservation fees increase, which often happens with very little notice.

     

    What is not included: International flight to Nairobi; visa fees for both Kenya ($50) and Tanzania ($100); travel insurance; tips to porters, drivers and guides; items of a personal nature and beverages; any other services not mentioned or indicated as optional.

     

    Deposit
    $500.00, check, paypal or credit card, along with your completed Registration Form

     

    How to Book
    In order to hold your space, you must complete the Registration Form found on-line, and submit it to us on-line, or download a copy and mail it to us, along with a $500.00 deposit per participant.

     

    Final Payment
    Full payment, by check, is due 120 days prior to the departure date

     

     

  • Itinerary
  • Brief Itinerary:

    Day 1 : Arrive in Nairobi

    Day 2 & 3  :  Amboseli NP

    Day 4 & 5  :  Arusha NP

    Day 6 & 7 :  Tarangire NP

    Day 8 & 9 :  Ngorongoro CA

    Day 10, 11, 12 & 13 : Serengeti NP

    Day 14 & 15  :  Lake Manyara NP

    Day 16  : Return to Nairobi or continue onto Tsavo West for Coastal Kenya extension

     

    Note: The itinerary can change depending upon  availablity of accomodations.

     

    Itinerary:

    Day 1  : Arrive in Nairobi.

    Morning flight from London (or other European city) to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta international Airport. Evening arrival and transfer to our hotel in Nairobi.

     

    Day 2 & 3  : Amboseli National Park

    After breakfast we depart Nairobi driving through the Athi-Kapiti plains to Amboseli National Park arriving in time for a late lunch. The grounds of our lodge can be excellent for birds and well have 3 game drives to explore the plains and Amboseli swamps in search of dry country and waterbirds. Overnight: Ol Tukai Lodge, Amboseli

     

    Amboseli is the second most popular park in Kenya after Maasai Mara, mainly because of the spectacular backdrop of Africa’s highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, which broods over the southern boundary of the park. Amboseli is under Kenya gazette a biosphere park with research on African Elephants being carried out in the park by a British Biologist Cynthia Moss. Due to salinity and damage by elephants leading to terrible erosion, the landscape provides limited vegetation cover for wildlife, so we have a good chance of seeing some of the larger predators. Buffaloes, lions, cheetahs, Wildebeests, Hyenas, Jackals, Warthogs, Zebras, Maasai Giraffes and Baboons are among a wealth of animals to be seen here. Birdlife is prolific with over 350 species recorded and we’ll look for Taveta Golden Weaver, Ashy Cisticola, Two-banded Courser, Rosy-patched Bush-shrike, Taita Shrike, Thrush Nightingale, Pale Prinia, Athi Short-toed Lark, White-headed Mousebird, Kittlitz’s Plover, Chestnut-banded Plover Long-toed Lapwing (Plover) and Malachite Kingfisher. There are two permanent swamps Ekongo Narok and Ol-Kenya that host big herds of grazing and wallowing animals and numerous waders; needless to say that it’s probably the best place for the classic Kenya wildlife photo, “elephants in front of Mt. Kilimanjaro” .

     

    Day 4 & 5  : Tanzania -  Arusha National Park

    This morning after breakfast we will transfer to the Namanga border. Following immigration procedures we proceed to “Lark Plains”. The Common larks found here are Red-capped, Short-tailed and Athi Short-toed Larks as well as Fischer’s Sparrow-larks, but the prize is the rare endemic Beesley’s Lark. In addition to the larks, we have good chances of Chestnut-bellied and Yellow-throated Sandgrouse. Our lodge for the next 2 night is the Serena Mountain Village in Arusha. The grounds can be good for weavers, barbets, sunbirds and with luck we’ll find the resident African Wood Owls.  Arusha National Park is a short drive away on the outskirts of town.

     

    Arusha National Park lying between the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru is an outstandingly beautiful area. The park has a wide range of habitats, from the string of crater lakes where many water birds can be watched, through the highland montane forest. The forests contain a wealth of birds and animals such as the bushbuck easily glimpsed in the glades between the ancient cedar trees, or the Black-and-white Colobus monkeys climbing along the branches. The interesting geology of the area is reflected in the impressive view of the ash cone and cliff face to the summit of Mt. Meru. Key species here include: Narina Trogon, Maccoa Duck, Brown-hooded Kingfisher, Lesser and Greater Flamingoes, African Crowned Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Mountain Buzzard, White-fronted Bee-eater, African Grey Hornbill, Crowned Hornbill, Silvery-cheeked Hornbill and Hartlaub’s Turaco.

     

     

    Day 6 & 7  : Tarangire National Park

    After breakfast we shall drive to Tarangire National Park, arriving at Tarangire Safari Lodge in time for lunch. Though called a lodge, it is a Tented Camp, with a wonderful panoramic view of the baobab dominated landscape and river. Early afternoon will be spent at leisure (sometimes it gets reasonably hot here) and new birds around the grounds and raptors circling overhead will keep us busy, as will our game drives!

     

    Tarangire National Park, known for its tree-climbing pythons, though don’t count on them, is about a 2 hour drive south west of Arusha. It covers approximately 2600 square kilometers and lies at the southern edge of a large open grassland plain, interspersed by huge baobab and acacia trees. Tarangire National Park gets its name from the river Tarangire that threads its way through the length of the reserve. However, legend says that it gets its name from the local name of Warthogs-(Ngiri); the park has a considerably huge number of warthogs.  Tarangire is home to a number of dry country birds including Tanzanian endemics such as the Ashy Starling, Yellow-collared Lovebird  and Rufous-tailed Weaver. Other specialties include Coqui Francolin, White-headed Vulture, Brown and Black-chested Snake Eagle, African Harrier-hawk, Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Violet-tipped Courser. The River at Tarangire will also reward us with Hamerkop, Water Thick-knee a number of waders including snipe, Marsh, Common and Green Sandpipers among others. It is its huge concentration of Elephants, Impalas, Grants Gazelles, Giraffes, Reedbucks, Wildebeest, Hyenas and Buffalo that make this place one of the best wildlife areas of East Africa.

     

    Day 8 & 9  : Ngorongoro Crater

    After our breakfast we depart for Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) stopping at Gibbs Farm for lunch and to bird the grounds for Grosbeak Weaver, Western Citril and African Paradise Flycatcher. It is only a short drive to Ngorongoro Crater rim where the panoramic view across the crater is simply stunning.  The montane grasslands and woodland edges around the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge hold Tacazze, Golden-winged and Malachite Sunbird, Hunter’s Cisticola, Schalow’s Turaco and Dusky Turtle Dove. We will have a full day to explore the crater floor.

     

    Ngorongoro Crater is surely one of the great “natural wonders of the world”.  The Crater rises up through lichen-bearded forests to an altitude of 7000 feet above sea level. Nearly three million years old the ancient caldera of the once – volcanic Ngorongoro shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens in the world. Here some of Africa’s last Black Rhinos are still well protected and it holds the largest concentration of predators, lead by Spotted Hyenas and black-maned Lions that stalk the grasslands for zebras, wildebeest and gazelles. Flamingos crowd the Magadi Lake and the giant-tusked Elephants are mostly seen along the permanent swamps. Towering euphorbias cling to the crater walls and on the floor, fever and fig tree forests provide shade for an awe-inspiring array of wildlife as Maasai, resplendent in blends and furled in scarlet kanga robes, can be seen tending to their herds. Birdlife is prolific here, mostly with waterbirds and grasslands species such as pipits, longclaws, wheatears, and it is probably one of the best places to see Kori Bustard and Abdim’s Stork.

     

    Day 10, 11, 12 & 13  : Olduvai Gorge - Serengeti National Park

    After an early breakfast, we head to the Serengeti National Park with boxed lunches. We make an enroute visit to Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakey’s unearthed thousands of fossil bones and stone tools, unraveling much of mankind’s past. By the afternoon we will be driving through the savanna in the Serengeti on a game drive, sure to spot Topi and Coke’s Hartebeest surveying the grasslands from termite mounds, maybe even a Cheetah. We spend two nights at the Serengeti Serena in the heart of the park followed by two nights in a tented camp in the Ndutu area, at the southern end of the park, and hopefully somewhere in this vast area we’ll witness the wildebeest migration.

     

    We have three full days to explore this expansive and game studded park with its mosaic of hills, valleys, forests, rivers and plains. We’ll visit Lake Masek for flamingo’s, ducks and shorebirds; rock outcroppings known as kopjes that make favorite resting places and lookouts for cats; a wonderful hippo pool; the riverine haunts of Elephants, Bohor Reedbuck and Defassa Waterbuck in search of Leopard. We also include a visit to the southern area around Ndutu which is absolutely wonderful for birds and is well located in a wildlife rich area.

     

    Serengeti National Park shares the same ecosystem with Kenya’s Maasai Mara. The ecosystem boasts the greatest wildlife concentrations of ungulates; more than one million wildebeest and nearly half a million zebra annually follow the rains from the plains to savannah to woodlands. It has been described, as the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth. Just like in the Mara, Lions, Cheetahs, Jackals, Hyenas, and probably Leopards are reasonably common. Antelopes include Topi, Hartebeest, Dik-dik, Eland, Steinbok, and Grants and Thompson’s Gazelles among other small creatures.

     

    The Serengeti is not only famous for the big game roaming over the plains, but also with its great ornithological spectacle. The highlight includes; the endemic Grey-breasted Spurfowl and Fischer’s Lovebirds,  Silverbird, Magpie Shrike, Winding, Desert and Rattling Cisticolas, Ashy Starlings, Rufous-tailed Weaver and possibly Tanzanian Red-billed Hornbill.

     

    Day 14 & 15  :  Lake Manyara National Park

    This morning we have a final look around the Lake Ndutu area before leaving the Serengeti and heading back the same way we came in, through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This is the only road! A visit to a Maasai village, set in the heart of a pastoral area, will give us insight to the local customs of these tribal communities of Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania.   After checking into the Lake Manyara Serena we’ll have a chance to bird the grounds before departing for an exciting night game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, followed by game drives the next day.

     

    Lake Manyara National Park is yet another Rift Valley lake park, renowned for its unique rainforest microclimate, woodland, and marshy swamps. The swampy Forest is incorporated within the park and it is a heaven for forest birds and primates. The diverse habitats are the home of a great variety of mammals and birds, making this park one of the world-best-small-parks. The ground waters from the west of the lake flow through the forest into a permanent swamp. This carpet of wetlands are well known as the breeding and feeding sites for thousands of Pink-backed Pelicans, Yellow-billed Storks, Marabou Storks, Cattle and Little Egrets, Black-headed, Black and Grey Herons. It is an incredible place for snipes, plovers, sand pipers, jacanas, swamp warblers, stilts and ibises as well as other migratory waterbirds. Notable species of mammals here are Buffalos, Elephants, Impalas, Spotted Hyena, Olive Baboon; Giraffe; Hippopotamus, as well as its famous tree climbing Lions, though these are not often seen in trees!.

     

    Day 16 : Cross the border into Kenya - Tsavo West National Park

    After breakfast we begin our journey back to Kenya, driving eastwards through Arusha, along the south side of Mount Kilimanjaro and beyond Moshi to the Taveta border post, with a stop for our boxed lunch along the way.  A short distance across the border is Tsavo West National Park, and we will arrive in time to do an en-route game drive towards  the Kilaguni Serena, our lodge for 2 nights. Those not on the extension will return to Nairobi.

  • Accommodations
  • Most of our lodges are good to very good with en-suite facilities. 2 nights in Tarangire NP will be in a tented camp (even though it is called a lodge); and 2 nights at Ndutu Serengeti will be in a tented camp.

  • Additional Info
  • birds-of-east-africa-book-coverRecommended Field Guide:

    Birds of East Africa

    (Princeton Field Guides, 2002)

    by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe

     

     

     

    This trip is for non-smokers only. Smoking is not permitted at any time during our safari.

     

    Trip Insurance is required for all safaris

     

    You will need to get a Visa to enter Kenya & Tanzania. For Kenya, the current cost is $50 and this can be applied for / purchased upon arrival at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya. For Tanzania, the current cost is $100, and we can apply /purchase our Tanzanian Visa at the border crossing.

     

    Flight:

    Fly from US to Europe. Overnight flight from the US to London.

     

    Transportation: 

    Transportation: 4x4 mini buses, land rovers or land cruisers with pop-top roof excellent for wildlife viewing. Everyone will have a window seat. Maximum of 6 participants per vehicle.

     

    This trip can be combined with Coastal Kenya

     

    Note: The itinerary is subject to change based upon flight times, lodging availability and where the leaders feel the best wildlife and birding opportunities might be during our visit.