- Tarangire National Park
- Lake Mayara National Park
- Serengeti National Park
- Ngorongoro Crater
Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro & Serengeti
Imagine finding yourself under the vast African sky in the middle of one of the last expanses of true wilderness left on our planet, possibly listening to the haunting and mysterious sounds of night predators and their prey as the drama of their interactions unfold. Is this your kind of safari?
On our Explorer Mobile Safaris we offer a style of travel which is extremely comfortable, whilst still mobile camping, allowing our guests to get off the beaten track and away from the main safari thoroughfares. On this style of safari we book private wilderness campsites to keep you away from the crowds and as close as possible to the wildlife action.
Inside your spacious vehicle you will find a selection of reference books on Tanzania’s parks, history, its flora and fauna, and a cool box or fridge for drinks. In our specially customised extended landcruisers the windows are enlarged and the roof height extended to allow ease of photography and game viewing, with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Our standard Land Cruisers are also very comfortably customised for safari and have game viewing hatches that allow 360-degree views. We have bean bags for photographers’ use – ie to rest long lenses on.
Your guide and their assistants are experienced professionals who will prioritise your comfort and safety as well as ensuring optimal game-viewing opportunities
throughout your safari with us.
Meals usually consist of a cooked breakfast, light lunch and a three-course dinner. We supply drinking water throughout the safari.
Our support vehicle and camp crew travel ahead of the group and set up the camp.
We provide 3.5 x 6.5m dome tents (including the en-suite section), which are extremely spacious with comfortable camp beds, foam mattresses and warm bedding (duvet & linens) and pillow. The shower and eco-friendly toilet are en-suite, so you don’t have to leave the safety of your tent at night. Sumptuous meals are prepared by our friendly safari chef, and are either served in the mess tent, or if you prefer, “under the stars”. Outside your tent and at the meal table you will have the use of large, comfortable, foldaway chairs and we provide washstands and towel for each client. During the safari you may wish to take advantage of the support vehicle for carrying your larger items of luggage and take only a daypack in the safari vehicle, allowing extra space and comfort
inside the vehicle.
Explorer Mobile safaris are a relaxed alternative to a lodge safari – for those who prefer to sleep under canvas and get away from the crowds.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and conduct a pre-departure briefing at 08h00 for a 09h00 departure. He can assist you should you wish to exchange money or purchase beverages or snacks. The rest of the safari crew will have gone ahead to set up your camp.
The drive to Tarangire is just over two hours and so we will either be able to enjoy lunch at the campsite or a picnic lunch en route so that you will be able to spend the rest of the day game viewing.
The Tarangire ecosystem is the third largest in Tanzania (20 000 square kilometres), of which the park occupies a mere 13%. During the dry season, the
park has the second largest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania. The unique acacia and baobab vegetation provides a home for over 550 bird species, as well as lion, leopard, buffalo and large herds of elephant; also species such as gerenuk, oryx and eland, rarely seen in the other parks in the north.
Lunch and dinner included. Overnight at a private campsite in Tarangire National Park, or in a private concession nearby.
Today you will spend time further exploring Tarangire. Overnight Explorer Mobile tented camp, private site, all meals included.
Today we leave early and drive to Lake Manyara National Park, and enjoy the day game viewing in this beautiful little park.
Lake Manyara is a shallow, alkaline lake. The north-western area of this lake is protected in a 330 sq km national park, which contains a remarkable diversity of habitats: the grassy floodplain of the lakeshore, the rocky base of the escarpment, a belt of thick acacia woodland and a lush patch of groundwater forest just inside the northern entrance gate. A variety of large mammal species including elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe and lion may be observed. Perhaps, however, the most immediately visible residents are the troupes of olive baboon, sometimes found in the company of the smaller and rather beautiful blue monkey. This is also a wonderful location for viewing groups of elephants and for keen birders. Manyara has recorded almost 400 species due to the wide habitat diversity.
Late afternoon, we depart and head up to the Ngorongoro highlands via the rich soils and farming area of Karatu. We enter Ngorongoro Conservation area, and continue climbing up to the crater rim – pausing to admire the splendid view of the crater floor 600 m below at Heroes Point. At 8 300 sq km Ngorongoro Conservation Area is named after its central feature, the Ngorongoro Crater, which is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and within which has evolved an extraordinary natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s densest populations of large mammals.
The crater rim can be very cold at night and cloaked in mist in the early mornings. It can also be quite bleak and windy (July and August). You will need a heavy jumper, several layers or a warm jacket here.
All meals included. Overnight Bouganvillea or similar.
This morning we head down into the caldera below and enjoy game viewing in one of the most spectacular places on earth! Photographic opportunities are abundant, and one often sees four out of the Big Five in a short time! We will have a picnic lunch at the floor of the crater at a pleasant lakeside location where we can stretch our legs and soak up the magnificent scenery.
The crater floor itself is 260 sq km’s and from the viewing points at the rim the vast herds of wildebeest, buffalo and zebra look like mere ant formations winding their way across the grasslands below! The crater is also home to a great diversity of environments and you may encounter all of the large herbivores mentioned above, as well as lions, hyenas, jackals, male elephant (females and family groups tend to stay up on the higher slopes) and, in the forest around the rim, occasional leopard and bushbuck. There is an active black rhino breeding project inside the crater and you may be lucky enough to spot some of these magnificent, shy beasts during your tour, but sightings are limited as breeding areas are strictly protected and usually closed to public access.
We will head to the Serengeti after a picnic lunch, and enjoy game viewing en route, there is time for an optional visit to Olduvai Gorge, or a Masai Village – these can be organised once there.
Olduvai Gorge offers a short talk on the archaeological importance of Olduvai and the work of Mary and Louis Leakey in excavating the area and discovering some of Africa’s most important hominid fossils.
A Masai village boma – where you can spend some time learning about the culture, traditions and beliefs of this ancient, noble warrior tribe.
The Serengeti is unequalled for its beauty and contains more than three million large mammals spread over the vast endless plains. It is here, at certain times of the year, that we may encounter the breathtaking spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration, where one and a quarter million wildebeest trek in columns of up to forty kilometres long in search of grazing, drawing with them their predators and numerous other species of game. Animal migration is linked to the annual rainfall patterns and its effect on their feeding habits, and the name Serengeti is derived from the Maasai word serengit, meaning ‘endless plain’.
Huge herds of wildebeest and zebra can be found here along with smaller concentrations of gazelles and buck. There are also significant numbers of buffalo, giraffe and warthog. Elephants are relatively scarce on the open plains, more common in the northern areas and the western corridor. The few remaining black rhinos are restricted to an inaccessible part of the park.
But the most popular animals to be found here in greater abundance than elsewhere on the northern circuit are the cats. Lions, cheetahs and leopard may all be seen here along with other predators, such as the spotted hyena, golden and black-backed jackals, wild cats and servals.
All meals included. Overnight Serengeti National Park.
Day 5 & 6
Morning and afternoon game drives in Serengeti National Park.
If you would like to go on an early morning balloon safari over the Serengeti, this MAY be possible but is largely dependent on the position of your prebooked campsites and the season that you travel. Please note that balloon safaris can only be organised by PRE-ARRANGEMENT and there is an additional cost for this, detailed below. It can only be booked for Day 6 or 7 of your safari.
All meals included. Overnight Serengeti National Park.
We strongly recommend that you consider the option of flying back from the Serengeti to Arusha or Kilimanjaro today. It is an exceptionally scenic flight over the highlands of Ngorongoro, across the vast expanse of the Rift Valley escarpments, and through the green coffee plantations surrounding Arusha
airport. On a clear day you will see amazing views of Mount Meru’s dark profile rising up above the town, cloaked in wisps of cloud, and sometimes Kilimanjaro in the distance. The flight is an additional cost. If flying back, breakfast only will be included.
Alternatively, you may prefer to drive back to Arusha (not recommended as it’s a long way in one day) – arriving very late afternoon (picnic lunch included). There may be a little time to shop for curios along the way or just outside the town centre.
Overnight at a hotel or lodge, Arusha – optional extra.
End of services.
Explorer 7-day Safari Includes:
If you would like to go on an early morning balloon safari over the Serengeti, this will be possible if you are at our central camp in the Serengeti.
Your Serengeti Nights
If you would like to stay in one of intimate Serengeti Wilderness camps instead – this is easily organised. Please note that this itinerary is totally flexible and merely an idea of our suggested favourite places, for optimum game viewing.
Serengeti Wilderness Camps – optional upgrade
Our camps – Serengeti Wilderness Camp (permanent camp), Serengeti North Wilderness Camp and/or Ndutu Wilderness Camp (seasonal camps) are located inside the national park and conservation areas respectively. These camps are designed in the safari style of olde – simple, but
comfortable with every need being taken care of. Each camp comprises of maximum 12 tents, each comfortably furnished with great attention to detail and include quality linens, solar lighting, eco-friendly flush toilet and shower en suite.
Depending on the time of year and the anticipated movement of game you may stay at either one of our camps during your time in the Serengeti. Serengeti Wilderness Camp is located centrally, and is a great place to base up just about all year round. There is exceptional resident game in the area, including the big cats, herds of elephant, resident wildebeest and zebra, buffalo and plenty of antelope. At certain times of the year the migration is a stone’s throw from the camp.
The seasonal camp moves from Ndutu (in the south) during the calving season), to the North for the migration and river crossings. Whichever camp you stay at, our guides will take you to the best game viewing possible, sometimes that may entail a long day in the vehicle, others the game may be
Style of Safari
On this style of trip our clients are not expected to participate in any of the camp preparations or chores. Our camp crew will take care of all aspects of camp life behind the scenes, allowing our guests to have a real holiday in some of the most beautiful game areas in Africa.
Whilst we have no restrictions of group size, we do guarantee window seats – so maximum 6, or 7, guests per vehicle. Our ‘stretch’ vehicles are very spacious with game viewing open hatches and large windows for photography, Our safari chef prepares all meals and vegetarians can be easily catered for but please do advise us well in advance so that we can shop accordingly.
Charging facilities – There are charging facilities in our Wild Frontiers’ safari vehicles for camera batteries, mobile phones etc. Two-pin plugs as well as the round three-square pin plug points.
Health Requirements – Yellow Fever inoculations are necessary. This must be done no later than 10 days prior to departure. Anti-malaria tablets are also necessary. Please enquire for details of travel clinics operating in your area.
Visas – Are required by most citizens for entry into Tanzania. South Africans however do not require visas. Please enquire for further details.
Travel insurance – We strongly recommend that you take out Travel Insurance for the duration of your holiday.
The Migration Explained
The following should be used as a guideline when planning your safari to East Africa – movement of wildlife depends on a great many aspects – but this helps to explain the seasonality of game viewing. Remember there is resident game throughout the year in the Serengeti/Ngorongoro eco-systems.
JAN / FEB / MARCH
The big herds of wildebeest are generally in the southern plains of the Serengeti eco-system, calving takes place over approximately two weeks. Lots of predators, good visibility of game, mix of open plains and some woodland.
APRIL / MAY
The herds start moving toward central Serengeti. This is typically the rainy season, however, game viewing is still excellent and there are some great discounts available at lodges and camps. It generally doesn’t rain all day. Photography is generally superb with moody skies and good depth of colour.
JUNE / JULY / AUGUST
The wildebeest move from the central area and split to the west and north, continuing their trek toward the Mara River. River crossings may be seen in both the western corridor (Grumeti area) and north (Mara River) within the Serengeti.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER
Whilst some of the wildebeest successfully reach the Masai Mara, there are still hundreds of thousands remaining in the northern region of Serengeti, offering those with patience the chance to see river crossings (the Mara River runs through the Serengeti).
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER
The big herds start to return from the north, to the southern plains, to start the whole process again!