Ellie Goldsmith and Ben Pinington recently got engaged on our Rift Valley Safari trip with...
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Rift Valley Safari
Transport - Transport 4WD, on foot
Accommodation - Lodge (5nts), tented lodge (1nt), mobile safari camp (2nts)
Meals - 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners
All park fees are included in the price
We often have multiple itineraries so please check to see which itinerary is suitable for you, by selecting the relevant tab.
Lake Manyara; game drive
You will be met at Arusha Airport and transfer to Lake Manyara. This morning you head off in purpose-built four wheel drive safari vehicles, accompanied by a Tanzanian driver/guide to cross the Great Rift Valley, one of the earth’s most dramatic natural features. Stretching from the Dead Sea in Jordan to Mozambique in the south, this huge depression is up to 100km wide in places and hosts an enormous diversity of animal and plant life. Today’s route leads through the ancestral lands of the Masai, probably the best known tribe in Africa, to the village of Mto wa Mbu. Here there may be an opportunity to browse in the bustling market before the final short drive to your tented lodge - to arrive in time for lunch (driving time 2 hours/130km).
During your afternoon game drive in Lake Manyara National Park you may be lucky enough to see the park’s major attraction - the tree-climbing lions - though there’s obviously no guarantee of this! There are plenty of other things to see: elephant, hippo and plains game as well as a huge variety of bird life, both resident and migratory.Tented Lodge - 1 night (BLD)
Kirurumu Tented Lodge - built sympathetically and unobtrusively using local materials in an idyllic location on the escarpment with views across Lake Manyara. Twenty roomy and secluded tents on individual wooden decks with a shady thatched roof and an open verandah offer simple comfort in an eco-friendly style. Tents have en suite bathrooms with hot water shower and flush toilets.
N.B. outside Arusha most roads are unpaved and may be very bumpy. Dust may also make travelling uncomfortable (especially in the dry season). Although we use appropriate vehicles, some acceptance of the rigours of travel in this region is required.
Serengeti National Park; Olduvai Gorge & safari
This morning you’ll continue past Ngorongoro Crater to Olduvai Gorge. This famous archaeological site is where some of the oldest humanoid skeletons have been discovered and you’ll have an opportunity to visit the small museum that exhibits many of the fossils and relics from the area. You continue your journey to the Serengeti. Established in 1951, the Serengeti is renowned for the annual migration that takes place across the savannah – thousand upon thousand of animals as far as the eye can see (driving time 3-4 hours/205km).
The next two days are spent exploring the sweeping grassy plains, rocky outcrops (kopjes) and sparsely wooded river valleys of this incomparable park where lion, cheetah, leopard, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, gazelle and perhaps even wild dog can be seen. You’ll usually drive out in search of game in the early morning and return by mid or late afternoon.Tented camp- 2 nights (Bx2, Lx2, Dx2)
Kongoni Mobile Camp - This semi-mobile camp offers a real "Out of Africa" style camping experience. The comfortable safari tents are furnished with beds and carpets, and each tent has an en-suite bathroom tent, offering you the thrill of taking a warm shower under the African sky. The mosquito netting protected dining tent means you can enjoy dinner with incomparable views of the Serengeti. The camp is moved around the Serengeti in the course of the season, following the migration patterns of the animals, so that you will stay in the area with the best wildlife concentration.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
After an early morning game drive, you’ll leave the Serengeti, and retrace your route back to the Ngorongoro Crater, a vast volcanic caldera that offers tremendous game-viewing opportunities. (driving time 4 hours/150km). Tonight you’ll sleep on the rim of the world’s largest crater - designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site - from where there’s a fabulous unimpeded view down into the crater.
Lodge - 1 night (BLD)
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge - stands on the eastern side of the rim with breathtaking views of the crater floor below. Due to its elevated position, it can be surprisingly cool so all rooms have central heating. Queen size beds, lounge with minibar (and complimentary mineral water), full en suite bathroom and private solarium with a view of either the crater or the setting sun completes the facilities. There’s a swimming pool with great views.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area; crater tour
Today you embark on a an unforgettable safari into the crater. Ngorongoro is one of the most picturesque settings for observing wildlife. With around 30,000 resident animals, the game viewing is excellent all year round and the photographic opportunities are unrivalled! Encounters with animals are frequent in this Garden of Eden, and there is a wide variety to see. Lake Magadi, the soda lake on the floor of the crater, is home to thousands of flamingos. This is also one of the best places to see the endangered black rhino. Lodge - 1 night (BLD)
Ngorongoro Farm House - A small lodge situated outside the Ngorongoro gate built in the style of an old colonial farm and rustically decorated with local materials.
Tarangire National Park
Today you’ll move on to one of Tanzania's less visited places, Tarangire National Park. Established in 1970, it takes its name from the Tarangire River, a permanent watercourse that cuts a swathe through the middle of the park, allowing fantastic views along the valley (driving time 4 hours/160km). On approaching the park however, the most eye-catching aspect is the view of baobab trees rising from the plain. These trees are instantly recognisable by the leafless branches that protrude from their crown – almost as if they were the roots of a tree that was planted upside down. The scars on their trunks bear witness to the presence of large herds of elephant that Tarangire attracts. The largely forested areas and high grasses most of the year make game viewing harder than on the short grass plains of the Serengeti, but during the dry months (Jul-Sep) large numbers of animals congregate along the banks of the river. As well as elephant it’s possible to see wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, Thompson's gazelle, eland and hartebeest, as well as leopard - if you’re exceptionally lucky. Lodge - 1 night (BLD)
Tarangire Sopa Lodge – is located on the eastern side of the Tarangire River opposite Tarangire Hill and has scenic views and good game viewing possibilities. Each of the rooms is fully equipped giving you a comfortable experience in the middle of the wilderness.
Today you cross the open plains back to Arusha (driving time 3-4 hours/160 km). There may be an opportunity en route to visit one of the worthwhile projects run by the Arusha Children’s Trust, subject to local constraints. Please make your guide aware if you are interested in doing this. In Arusha you can visit the bustling market and craft shops where you can find superb examples of makonde carving or colourful Masai blankets. Alternatively, if you are keen to see even more wildlife, why not visit Arusha National Park? Karama Lodge - 1 night (BD)
The trip ends after breakfast. (B)
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Available when booking on selected Guaranteed trips departing in the next 8 weeks. Discount off the 'without flights' price. When booking online the discount will be applied post booking. One of our travel consultants will call you back to confirm your discount amount. *Prices in price panel are before discount.
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