You will be greeted and met upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred to your hotel for the evening to Mountain Village Lodge in Arusha. This unique hotel stands amid coffee plantations on the shores of tranquil Lake Duluti. Designed to echo the traditional style of the colonial coffee farm, which originally stood on this site, Mountain Village offers a range of tastefully presented cottage-styled rooms set amid extensive landscaped grounds.
After breakfast, pick up from hotel and drive to Manyara National Park with packed lunch. This small park (123 sq mi/319 sq km) in the Great Rift Valley which is famous for its tree climbing lions (they go up in the acacia trees during the heat of the day) and thousands of pink flamingos. Thanks to the varied terrain (woodland, lakes, open grassland and groundwater forests of breadfruit and fig trees), there's a wide variety of animal life, including some 350 different species of birds. It's worth at least an overnight. Not far from the park is Mto Wa Mbu (pronounced OOM-tow-wa-OOM-boo), a village that's now home to people from many different tribes. Irrigation has turned it into an oasis; it used to be just grazing land for the cattle of the nomadic Masai people. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day.
Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks. You will end the tour with dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge which has a dramatic setting overlooking the Great Rift Valley and the beautiful Soda Lake of Manyara and the park.
After breakfast, drive to Serengeti National Park. Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and scientific value. With more than two million wildebeest, half a million Thomson's gazelle, and a quarter of a million zebra, it has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa. The wildebeest and zebra moreover form the star cast of a unique spectacular - the annual Serengeti migration. A million wildebeest... each one driven by the same ancient rhythm, fulfilling its instinctive role in the inescapable cycle of life: a frenzied three-week bout of territorial conquests and mating; survival of the fittest as 40km (25 mile) long columns plunge through crocodile infested waters on the annual exodus north; replenishing the species in a brief population explosion that produces more than 8,000 calves daily before the 1,000 km (600 mile) pilgrimage begins again. Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle. Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Serena Lodge.
Serengeti Serena affords endless views over the Serengeti plains, the design and construction merging into the surrounding landscape. The lodge design is simple but stunning. Inspired by a traditional African village, separate rondavel "huts" house the luxury guest rooms.
After breakfast drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area to begin your journey into the crater. Descend down to the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the wonders of the natural world. An extinct volcano that collapsed some 25 million years ago thus forms a vast super bowl where the largest permanent concentration of African game is on display. The views from the top of the crater wall are absolutely breathtaking which are forested but four wheel drive vehicles will take you down into this primeval paradise of woodland, lake, river, swamp and plain that shelters around 20,000 animals. Large grazing animals such as Wildebeests, Buffalo, Gazelles and Zebras that depend on the open grasslands in the crater. Attracting predators, the black-manned lion, the leopard and hyena. The Fever Tree forests shelter monkeys, bushbuck and waterbuck and the few black rhino that have taken refuge here. A soda lake attracts water birds, including flamingos and is a favourite place for predators to make their kill. Wildly beautiful as it is, it is not surprising that Ngorongoro Crater has been called the Garden of Eden. The game drives are done with packed lunch. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge.
The lodge is constructed of local stone and is exquisitely moulded into the contours of its site. From the lodge one can experience breathtaking view of the 260 sq. km crater beneath and of the wealth of the surrounding animal and bird life.
After breakfast, you will drive back to Arusha in time for lunch at one of the local restaurants. You will have the afternoon at leisure in the gardens of the lodge and transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport in the evening for your flight back.