Day 1: Arusha – Tarangire National Park
On arrival at the airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the Tarangire National Park, Tanzania’s third largest national park and 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. Late in the afternoon you will drive to your lodge or tented camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Tarangire – Lake Natron Game Controlled Area
After breakfast, you will leave the area around Tarangire and head in the direction of Mto wa Mbu. Via exciting tracks along the Rift Valley Escarpment, you will travel to the Lake Natron Game Controlled Area. This route is an ‘insider’s tip’ and has only recently been opened up to tourists. After passing Maasai villages, you will then travel on to the famous mountains of the Rift Valley, Mount Gelai or the Ol Doinyo Lengai, ‘the holy mountain of the Maasai’. Today’s destination is a beautiful small Maasai village. With its trees offering shade and a nearby waterfall, it is just what an oasis should be in the hot, dry and dusty Rift Valley. In the distance, a pink glow shimmers from thousands of flamingos breeding on the alkaline Lake Natron. You will stay overnight at one of the tented camps near to the lake itself.
Day 3: Lake Natron – Serengeti Lobo Area
After an early start, you will travel along exciting dirt tracks with wondrous views as your vehicle climbs out of the Rift Valley to reach the wide-open plains of the Serengeti by midday. The Serengeti National Park is the most famous park in Tanzania as it is home to the largest animal migration on the planet. The migrating animals are free to roam where they please and are not confined solely to the park boundaries. However, it has been witnessed that they are straying further afield and to this date, the wildlife watching can only be described of as spectacular. You will stay overnight in a lodge or tented camp in the Lobo Area.
Day 4: Serengeti Lobo Area – Serengeti Seronera
After an early start, you will participate in an early morning wildlife tour. Back at your accommodation, a hearty breakfast will be waiting for you, which will be followed by further wildlife watching in the Seronera Valley, where you will find wildebeest and zebras and often lions and other big cats such as leopards and cheetahs. Dinner and overnight in a lodge or tented camp.
Day 5: Serengeti – Olduvai Gorge – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The morning is set aside for further wildlife watching in the Serengeti. You continue game driving on your way to Naabi Hill Gate and towards Ngorongoro Conservation Area. On the way you will stop at the Olduvai Gorge where anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey made many significant discoveries, contributing to the theory that human life originated in Africa. After midday, you will leave the plains and travel to the Ngorongoro Crater. Dinner and overnight near the crater rim in a lodge or tented camp.
Day 6: Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Crater Highlands
As soon as you have reached the edge of the crater the caldera opens up before you and is a sight to behold. You’ll descend onto the crater floor to emerge into this fishbowl of wildlife. On the grass steppe and in the acacia tree woods, you will find almost all species that are found in the East African savannah; with the exception of topis, Masai giraffes and impalas. Quite often you can observe the “Big Five” (lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinoceros and leopards) within a couple of hours. After an extensive wildlife tour you leave the Conservation Area for dinner and overnight in a lodge in the Crater Highlands.
Day 7: Crater Highlands – Arusha
Today you will visit the last national park on the Northern Circuit. The Lake Manyara National Park is known for its rare ‘tree climbing lions’. A large area of the park covers the alkaline Manyara Lake which seasonally is visited by large colonies of flamingo and other water birds. On the lakeshore you can see elephants, hippopotami, guenon, buffalo, banded mongoose, various antelopes and gazelles. After plenty of wildlife watching you will be driven back to Arusha for your flight home or further destination.