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This 8 night/9 day experience in Tanzania, takes you through some of the best wilderness areas the country has to offer and ends off hopefully experiencing the Great Migration trying to cross the Mara River into Kenya.
Day 1: Flights into Tanzania and Urusha will usually land in the evening. This is where you will begin your East African adventure. After clearing customs you will be greeted by your transfer and taken to Arusha Coffee Lodge.
Lying on the gently rolling foothills that cascade down from the ever-present Mount Meru is the bustling and vibrant town of Arusha. It is here on the outskirts of this town, hidden amongst one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations, that you will find Arusha Coffee Lodge, a perfect haven for relaxation either before or after any East African safari.
Day 2 – 4: After breakfast you will be met by one of our representatives and driven the 2 hours 30 minutes trip to Tarangire National Park. This is a fully private vehicle that comes with AC, large windows, charging points, free WiFi access and an iPad to help you stay connected through out the trip.
Mpingo Ridge sits on top of an escarpment with sweeping views across the perennial Tarangire River and valley below and matches the same outstanding standards of comfort and service as the other properties in Lemala’s collection. Each of the 15 spacious tented suites have been carefully positioned to maximize not only the sensational views over the Tarangire valley, each with a en-suite bathrooms, private decks, sunken outside lounges that convert to afternoon siesta beds.
Being the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, Tarangire remains slightly off the main safari circuit but is a terrifically scenic park featuring classic African savannah, green hills, woodlands and rivers and is especially famous for its large herds of elephants, superb birdlife and giant baobab trees. You will enjoy a real sense of wilderness and excellent game viewing.
Day 4: After breakfast and one last view out into the magnificent Tarangire National Park, you’ll hop into your vehicle and head towards the Ngorongoro Crater via arguably my favorite piece of Africa wilderness, Lake Manyara National Park. Here you will be greeted with a forest woodland like I have never experienced before, teaming with birds, tree climbing lions and elephants, and once you emerge out of the forest you will catch a glimpse of Lake Manyara itself and the sight of thousand of flamingoes as they feed in the lake. Exceptional experience.
After an exciting day of adventuring and safari you will begin your climb up towards the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Eventually you’ll get your first glimpse of the crater floor … this is something you will never forget, an image that will live long in your memory.
The crater floor is teaming with wildlife but they are dwarfed by this view, but once you stop and focus you’ll see a herd of zebra, a black rhino walking through the plains of a lone elephant bulls feeding. Lucky for you, the lodge you will be staying at has this view, you will be staying at andBeyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Day 5: We would suggest waking up before sunrise so that you can watch the sun rise of the crater. After enjoying coffee and a light breakfast start heading down onto the crater floor to experience a wilderness experience that is truly unique. Home to 25,000 large animals within a 100-square mile area. After a full day and lunch in the crater, you’ll spend the early evening relaxing at the lodge and enjoying some of the finest dining in Tanzania.
Day 6 – 9: After breakfast you’ll check out and head towards the Manyara airstrip about 90 minutes away, you take off straight over the Africa Rift Valley, it’s pretty awesome. Shortly after take off you’ll start heading north towards the Mara River, the flight will take about 90 minutes, once you land at Kogatende Airstrip, you will be surrounded by the Serengeti and with that, a million migrating wildebeest.
You’ll be met by your guide from Nimali Mara and transfered back to the camp, where you’ll have lunch and prepare yourself for your first afternoon drive in the Serengeti. You will spend 3 nights here where most of the safaris will be based along the Mara River in hope that you will see wildebeest crossing the river in search of greener pastures.
Why we love Nimali Mara is that it is only 30 mins away from the Mara River but in a quiet, excluded part of the northern Serengeti, which offers you an oasis away from the ‘craziness’ of the migration. Each suite is purposefully placed to capture the best views of the plains.
Day 9: After a relaxing morning spent around the lodge and taking in the last views of this famous slice of wilderness, you will make your way back to the airstrip and take a small plane back towards Kilimanjaro Airport, this is a wonderful flight as you will fly over the Serengeti, giving you your last glimpses of the wide open spaces and the animals that fill them. Once back in Arusha, you’ll begin your trip back.
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This experience into the wilds of Tanzania gives you the best opportunity to see exactly what makes this part of East Africa arguably the best safari destination on earth. From time with giants in Tarangire National Park to seeing a million wildebeest crossing the crocodile infested Mara River.
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