On this 'safari of a lifetime' holiday, especially if you are travelling between April and June, you’ll drive across the Serengeti which will be alive with the migrating herds of zebra and wildebeest, explore the vast volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, traverse through Tarangire National Park in search of wandering herds and predators on the prowl in the twilight, and explore the shorelines of Lake Manyara. You’ll balance out the energetic start to your holiday by heading to sultry Zanzibar, where castaway beaches are blended with swaying palms and sparkling seas.
You begin your trip with just one night in Arusha - definitely recommended to recover from any lost sleep from long international flights. Mount Meru Game Lodge is conveniently located 25 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport, making this is an ideal place to start your holiday to Tanzania.
After hopefully waking up fully refreshed, you head off with your English-speaking driver-guide in your very own 4x4 Land Cruiser to the Tarangire National Park, the 6th largest Park in Tanzania and possibly the Northern Circuit's best well kept secret. Because of the permanent, life-giving water flowing through the Park by way of the Tarangire River, it has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife between the long rains in April and May and the short rains in November.
Then you experience the wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater - a large, unbroken, un-flooded caldera, formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed some 3 million years ago. Its magnificent savannah plains, highlands and forest canopies harbour the Big 5, including a dense population of lions, wildebeests, zebras and gazelles. Return to your lodge this evening which clings to the crater rim, offering outstanding views of the crater floor that you have just explored.
The Serengeti Plains are your next stop. The Serengeti is now one of the world’s best known National Parks, and with good reason. Its vast, endlessly rolling, Acacia-studded grassland savannahs, riverine forests, swamps, and hills and valleys are home to countless species of numerous wild animals and birds, as well as the 1.5 million wildebeest which annually migrate northwards - together with tens of thousands of zebras - into Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. Serengeti Serena Lodge allows guests to experience magnificent sights and enjoy interaction with the land and animals difficult to find elsewhere, whilst at the same time enjoying the highest level of cuisine and hospitality.
Your final safari destination is Lake Manyara. Standing high on the edge of a towering terracotta escarpment with panoramic views over the glittering alkaline waters of Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of safari opportunities coupled with peace and tranquillity.
After an exciting 5 nights on safari, it is time for some relaxation on a beach. Experience the magic of Zanzibar at Breezes Beach Club and Spa which lies on Bwejuu beach - voted as one of the 30 top island beaches in the world.
Go through Immigration, collect your luggage and clear Customs, then make your way to the Arrivals Hall where you will be met by your transfer driver who will be holding a sign board with your name on it. You will then be transferred to just outside of Arusha. Depending on the time your flight lands, this first night is either a necessity as you will be arriving late at night OR included so that you can relax and rest after an overnight flight, ready to start your safari adventure fresh the next morning.
Set in beautiful and tranquil surroundings, the Mount Meru Game Lodge is nestled between the Usa river and a wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is home to zebra, ostrich, water buffalo, mongoose, duiker and a wide array of birds and monkeys, including the elusive Colobus monkey.
This morning you will be met by your driver-guide and driven in your private 4x4 safari vehicle to the Tarangire National Park. The drive is about 3 hours on a tarred road and you will arrive in time to enjoy lunch at the lodge.
Built to blend in with the vastness of its surroundings, Tarangire Sopa Lodge lies hidden among the kopjes, ancient baobab and grasses of the Tarangire National Park - home to the greatest concentration of elephants in Africa. Many can be seen around the lodge, allowing visitors a close encounter.
After lunch, you will depart on a game drive in the Park. The Tarangire National Park is especially renowned for its large herds of elephants and oryx, tree climbing lions and huge pythons, as well as rock paintings which were done by early man tens of thousands of years ago.
Set off early this morning for the 3 to 3.5 hour drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Main Gate. Your driver will need to fill in some paperwork, so while you wait for him you can visit the small information centre. You then drive up the narrow, winding road through magnificent trees and foliage to the Crater rim itself, stopping at the view point to take in the most amazing view across the entire Crater. The road continues around the Crater rim to the descent road down into the Crater and within 90 minutes you will be on the Crater floor itself. The Ngorongoro Crater is on many peoples bucket list of places to see and visit. This natural wonder is the largest unflooded, intact volcanic caldera in the world. The actual crater is about 20 km across, 600 meters deep and covers 300 sq km. Within the rim there are an estimated 30,000 animals, making this one of the densest concentration of wildlife within Africa. Explore the caldera floor before departing late afternoon for the drive to your accommodation, which clings to the rim of the crater.
The Ngorongoro Serena Lodge is built from local river stone and camouflaged with indigenous vines. Designed to blend completely into the landscape, it is entirely invisible from the floor of the Crater 600 metres below. Your room has a panoramic private balcony from which to soak in the marvellous views over the crater itself.
After an early breakfast, you will depart for the long drive to the Serengeti National Park. As well as long, be prepared for the drive to also be both dusty and bumpy, as the roads are not paved - they are more 'corrugated' which means the ride sometimes is not very smooth. You will need to stop at the Serengeti Gate while your driver completes the paperwork, so you may have time to take the walking trail up the hill to view the surrounding plains. You will then continue with the drive to your lodge, arriving in time for a late lunch. If you see anything of interest along the way your guide will stop so that you can take a photo.
Set high on the saddle of a tree-clad ridge, commanding panoramic views across the Serengeti, Serengeti Serena Lodge is the ultimate fusion of traditional African architecture and world-class style. On the very edge of the ridge is a 'vanishing horizon' pool, which looks out over the endless plains after which the Serengeti is named.
After lunch you can go out with your driver-guide on a short afternoon game drive to see what wildlife you can spot near the lodge. Keep your eyes peeled for the ever elusive leopard or you may spot a Secretary bird strutting across the short, shimmering grasslands.
Depart after breakfast with a packed lunch, which allows you to stay out for the entire day and return late afternoon to the lodge. The Serengeti is probably one of the most famous safari destinations in the world and offers what many people consider to be some of the best game viewing in Africa. Large herds of wildebeest and buffalo, thousands of antelope such as eland, impala, gazelles and topi, and family groups of zebra and giraffe are closely watched by eager predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena, who are always on the lookout for a quick and easy meal. Rhino, elephant, jackal, aardwolf, porcupine, warthogs, baboons, vervet monkeys, serval cats and hippo are just some of the other 70 mammal species that can be found here.
You will depart after an early breakfast for the drive back down through the Serengeti and across the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the Main Gate - the drive is on 'corrugated' roads again most of the way - so another bumpy, dusty and long drive. Once through the gate the road is tarred and it will take a further hour from here to reach Lake Manyara. You will arrive at your lodge in time for a late lunch. Standing high on the edge of a towering terracotta escarpment with panoramic views over the glittering alkaline waters of Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of safari opportunities, peace and tranquillity, and wildlife discovery.
After lunch depart on a game drive in the Park. The Lake Manyara National Park is renowned for its excellent bird-watching opportunities, as more than 400 different bird species have been recorded. Other wildlife includes elephant, buffalo, cheetah, hippo, Masai giraffe, wildebeest, impala, zebra, warthogs, large troops of baboons and the legendary but rarely seen tree-climbing lions.
After breakfast you will be transferred back to Arusha - about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive on tarred roads - and taken to Arusha Airport, where you will check in for your afternoon flight across to Zanzibar. There is a small cafe at the airport where you can buy a light snack for lunch if required.
Tropical Air (Light Aircraft): Fly from Arusha (ARK) to Zanzibar (ZNZ) - arrival and departure times to be confirmed
Upon arrival into Zanzibar Airport and having collected your luggage, make your way through the Arrivals Hall and exit the terminal building. You will be met outside by your driver holding a sign with your name - there is normally a mass of drivers waiting so be prepared to search for the right sign board. You will then be transferred to your beach hotel.
For centuries the island of Zanzibar has evoked a mystical and magical dream. There is no better place to experience and enjoy a fantastic setting on a pristine and untouched beach than at Breezes Beach Club. Immerse yourself in the crystal-clear water of the Indian Ocean, sip a freshy cut coconut from the waving palm trees, indulge in a massage, dive the coral reef and experience warm, genuine Swahili hospitality during your stay here.
You will need to check out of your room this morning but you can remain at the hotel and use all the facilities until you are collected for your transfer back to the airport. Alternatively, if you have an evening flight, the hotel may be able to arrange a late check out for you (additional cost and payable directly to the hotel) subject to the availability of the room.
Holiday Destination: Holiday to Tanzania for 12 nights
Passengers: 2 Adults
Example Cost for 2 Adults: * per person sharing.
*Excludes international flights from your home country - please ask us if you would like us to include these for you.
All monies paid by UK customers for the air package holiday shown are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10245.
When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.
All the flights and flight inclusive holidays on this websiteare financially protected either by ABTOT or the ATOL scheme.
When you pay for something protected by the ATOL scheme you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it.