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  • Tanzania: Beyond the Serengeti Safari
Overview

Discover the Natural Wonders of Tanzania with Boundless Journeys

Imagine the landscapes of East Africa—the Great Rift Valley, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti—and you are imagining the same iconic landscapes that inspired the writings of such literary greats as Isak Dinesen. Here, everything that is Africa converges in a beautiful display, from the remarkable variety and sheer numbers of wild animals, to the sweeping plains and shallow lakes dotted with countless pink flamingos, to the rich culture of the Maasai who live a predominantly traditional lifestyle to this day.

This Tanzania safari takes you beyond the Serengeti to discover private community-based game reserves where epic wildlife exists amid remote Maasai villages. The months of June through October are ideal for seeing the great elephant herds of Tarangire National Park. Of course, we also enjoy the rich wildlife of the Serengeti and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ngorongoro Crater.

No matter whether you come for the wildlife, the scenery, or the culture, it is the things that are impossible to predict—a pride of lionesses on the hunt, a rainbow breaking over a herd of elephants, or the thrilled grin of a child for the simple gift of a pencil—that will stay with you long after you leave Tanzania.

What Our Guests Have To Say About This Tour

Boundless Journeys is the first company I look to for trips because I’m confident that their trips are high quality and good value for the money.

Margaret T
El Paso, Texas

Itinerary &
Accommodations

Itinerary & Accommodations

Day 1

Arrival to Arusha

Upon arrival of your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport, you are met by a Boundless Journeys representative who will transfer you to our lodge, set quietly amid coffee plantations on the shores of Lake Duluti.

At the lodge, you are greeted by a friendly staff offering refreshments before turning in to rest after your travels.

Accommodations
Lake Duluti Serena Hotel

Lake Duluti Serena Hotel
Tanzania

Nestled at the foot of the wooded slopes of Mount Meru, 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, Lake Duluti Serena Hotel offers tastefully presented cottage-style rooms set amid extensive landscaped grounds.

Day 2

Maasai Steppe and Tarangire National Park

  • Activity Overview: Afternoon game drive
  • Activity Level: Easy

After a pre-safari briefing, we depart Arusha, driving across the Maasai Steppe. This expansive area of grassland dotted with trees is populated with various tribal peoples - predominantly Maasai - whose historically pastoral lifestyle is in some cases evolving into subsistence farming.

Within just an hour or two, we find ourselves beginning our exploration of the vast wilderness of Tarangire, making our way to our camp for the next two nights, strategically situated astride the migratory corridor connecting Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park. Following lunch and time to settle in at our camp, we'll head out on an afternoon game drive in search of Tarangire's renowned elephant herds.

Accommodations
Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp
between Lake Manyara and Tarangire, Tanzania

Located stratigically between the Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks, this permanent tented lodge features 40 spacious thatch-and-canvas tented rooms raised off the ground. Walkways connect the private tents with the main areas of camp and swimming pool, and each tent offers a private veranda overlooking the Great Rift Valley escarpment and Lake Manyara.

Day 3

Tarangire National Park

  • Activity Overview: Full day game drive; optional hot air balloon safari (at additional expense)
  • Activity Level: Easy

Today we enjoy a full day's game drive through Tarangire National Park. While this scenic park is best known for its large herds of elephants and the unique baobab trees that dot the landscape, we will also see a wide range of other animals, from the diminutive dik dik and rock hyrax to the majestic giraffe, not to mention a healthy population of lion.

For those looking for a different kind of adventure, an optional (at additional expense) hot air balloon safari can be booked for the early morning hours. Floating silently over this lovely landscape and its herds of animals is an unforgettable experience.

The approximately one hour flight is followed by a champagne bush brunch, after which our guide will pick you up to enjoy the remainder of the day's activities - before dinner back at our camp.

Accommodations
Maramboi Tented Camp

Maramboi Tented Camp
between Lake Manyara and Tarangire, Tanzania

Located stratigically between the Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks, this permanent tented lodge features 40 spacious thatch-and-canvas tented rooms raised off the ground. Walkways connect the private tents with the main areas of camp and swimming pool, and each tent offers a private veranda overlooking the Great Rift Valley escarpment and Lake Manyara.

Day 4

Lake Manyara

  • Activity Overview: Game drive through Lake Manyara National Park
  • Activity Level: Easy

Even though Lake Manyara is one of Tanzania’s smaller national parks, its jungle-like forest and immense “soda lake” support a great variety of wildlife. As we slowly make our way along a dirt track through the park, we may encounter pools of water full of hippos, and see countless pink flamingos, dainty gazelles, and graceful giraffes meandering through the tall grass. We enjoy lunch at a viewpoint overlooking the lake, spying on animals through binoculars and scanning the trees for elusive tree-climbing lions.

This afternoon we drive to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, a volcanic caldera that is home to a huge concentration of wildlife – including the “big five” –  elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros. One of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites designated in Tanzania, Ngorongoro is the world’s largest unflooded caldera.

While only 100 square miles in area, the crater is home to six distinct habitats: acacia forest, swamp, short grass plains, long grass plains, rivers, and woodland, with each habitat attracting a variety of animals. The rim of the crater reaches 7,800 feet in altitude and the crater floor rests at 5,000 feet. Home to almost 30,000 animals in an area naturally enclosed by the slopes of the volcano, this is the best location in Tanzania for viewing black rhinoceros and huge, old bull elephants. There is not enough vegetation to support the large cow and calf herds, but the old male elephants “retire” to the crater for the lush swamp grass and acacia forest. The only Tanzanian game not seen in the crater are impala and giraffe. It is not known why impala do not inhabit the crater, but giraffe are unable to descend the steep grade without lowering their heads, which raises their blood pressure to dangerous levels.

By late afternoon, we arrive at our home for the night, a comfortable stone lodge on the western rim with fantastic views into the Crater. This evening after sun sets and we are sitting comfortably by a crackling fire, our thoughts will be on the crater and the unseen drama unfolding in the darkness below, on the hunters and the hunted, completing life’s circle, as they have been for thousands of years.

Accommodations
Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
Tanzania

Hugging the jagged Ngorongoro Crater rim, each of the rooms of this deluxe safari lodge has its own private balcony, offering uninterrupted views of the volcanic amphitheatre far below. The stone lodge features a grand hearth, where a fire is kept constantly lit to ward off the chill of evenings on the rim. Arched stone passages lit by torches, timbered decks, and walls decorated with stylized prehistoric cave paintings evoke the essence of African history.

Day 5

Ngorongoro Crater and into the Serengeti

  • Activity Overview: Game drive on the crater floor and into the Serengeti
  • Activity Level: Easy

This morning we rise early to be among the first on the crater floor. This is a magical time with the sun rising above the rim of the crater and the animals still active. We enjoy an extended game drive, with plenty of time for photography and to simply observe the interactions of the lions, cheetah, hyena, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, buffalo and black rhinoceros. The sheer number of wild animals living in such close proximity is amazing.

Making our way slowly across the caldera floor, which contains sweeping grasslands, lerai forest, a soda lake, and marshy wetlands, one has the sense of being in another time. The landscape is so primitive, the ecosystems so intact, that it is like taking a trip to prehistory. Coming upon a lone elephant'a beautiful giant with gracefully curving tusks quietly munching on the soft grasses 'is something one won't soon forget.

This afternoon we ascend out of the crater and and make our way into the great plains of the Serengeti. Known as 'Siringitu' to the Maasai, a word meaning "'where the land goes on forever'," the Serengeti covers 5,700 square miles of open grassland, acacia-dotted rolling hills, and rocky outcrops known as 'kopjes'. It is home to millions of Earth's most impressive land animals, and one of the last great migratory ecosystems on the planet.

Throughout the year, huge herds of wildebeest and zebra make their way from the southern plains, through the grassy woodlands, and into Kenya's Masai Mara, before returning to the south to begin the cycle again. Even during moments when we are not in the midst of the migrating wildebeest and zebra, we will be getting to know the Serengeti's other resident wildlife, including giraffe, buffalo, topi, hartebeest, waterbuck, impala, hippopotamus, elephant, crocodile, warthog, hyena, lion, cheetah, and leopard - 'just to name a few.

Accommodations
Serena Serengeti Lodge

Serena Serengeti Lodge
Central Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

This grand African lodge, set high on a ridge and commanding panoramic views across the Serengeti, offers a fusion of traditional African architecture and modern comfort. Centrally located adjacent to the famous Western Corridor and Grumeti River, the lodge has been designed to blend into the living landscape. A series of traditional domed rondavel-style rooms and swimming pool are scattered throughout the grounds, cooled by groves of acacia trees and sparkling streams.

Day 6

The Serengeti

  • Activity Overview: Morning and afternoon game drives through the Serengeti plains; optional hot air balloon safari (at additional expense)
  • Activity Level: Easy

Today we'll enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the area surrounding our lodge. The central area of the Serengeti is renowned for its abundance of game, especially big cats, including a substantial leopard population.

For those looking for a different kind of adventure, an optional (at additional expense) hot air balloon safari can be booked for the early morning hours. Floating silently over the great plains and herds of animals is an unforgettable experience.

The approximately one-hour flight is followed by a champagne bush brunch, after which our guide will pick you up to enjoy the remainder of the day''s activities' 'before dinner back at the lodge.

By now we each have favorite animals. For some it is the unflappable giraffe, standing with noble grace at up to 18 feet tall. For others it will be the herds of elephants, always protective of their young. Of course, for many it is the lions, confidently gazing from their sun-warmed kopjes, quietly planning what will be on the menu tonight.

Accommodations
Serena Serengeti Lodge

Serena Serengeti Lodge
Central Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

This grand African lodge, set high on a ridge and commanding panoramic views across the Serengeti, offers a fusion of traditional African architecture and modern comfort. Centrally located adjacent to the famous Western Corridor and Grumeti River, the lodge has been designed to blend into the living landscape. A series of traditional domed rondavel-style rooms and swimming pool are scattered throughout the grounds, cooled by groves of acacia trees and sparkling streams.

Days 7 - 9

Northern Serengeti and Klien's Concession

  • Activity Overview: Full day game drives, night drives, and walking safaris
  • Activity Level: Easy

Our final days are filled with wildlife and authentic cultural interactions, from our luxury permanent tented camp located on a private concession sharing an unfenced border with the park. Our stay here allows us to enjoy activities that are not allowed within the park boundaries, such as night drives, nature walks with a local Maasai guide, and off-road driving. In the evenings, enjoy a cocktail by the campfire while the sun sets, before a delicious meal served either al fresco or in the camp dining area.

Using our camp as our base, we spend this morning on a game drive, waking early to find the animals at their most active, and to take advantage of the optimal morning light for photography. As the bush is always changing, we make our plans the night before based on information gained as to where the best wildlife viewing will be.

Depending on the day's plans, we may take a picnic breakfast, lunch, or both. Even during moments when we are not in the midst of the migrating wildebeest and zebra, we will be getting to know the Serengeti''s other inhabitants, including giraffe, buffalo, topi, hartebeest, waterbuck, impala, hippopotamus, elephant, crocodile, warthog, hyena, lion, cheetah, and leopard (to name a few).

One afternoon we will likely find ourselves at a local Maasai village near our camp, where we are greeted warmly and shown around the village to get a glimpse inside the traditions of these people living close to the land, and perhaps join one of the Maasai youths on a walking safari across the open savannah.

On our last night, we enjoy a final celebratory dinner, toasting the wonders of Tanzania.

Accommodations
Buffalo Luxury Camp

Buffalo Luxury Camp
Loliondo Reserve, Tanzania

Buffalo Luxury Camp is a permanent tented camp consisting of 15 spacious tents with ensuite facilities, designed to embrace the beauty of the Serengeti and its wildife. The captivating Klien’s Concession location allows for a unique safari and wildlife experience in a private reserve bordering Serengeti National Park, where game viewing activities may be combined with night drives, guided nature walks, and cultural interactions with resident Maasai tribes.

Day 10

Departure from Arusha

  • Activity Overview: Flight over the Serengeti and depart from Arusha
  • Activity Level: Easy

After breakfast we drive to a nearby airstrip, where we say goodbye to our naturalist guide and board our flight to Arusha. Seeing the Serengeti from above is an experience few others will ever have, and it is unforgettable. We arrive at Arusha's domestic airport in time for your flight to Zanzibar, if you have reserved Boundless Journeys'' Zanzibar: The Spice Island trip extension.

If you have not reserved the trip extension, a Boundless Journeys driver will take you to a lodge where you will have a day-use room to rest and prepare for your evening international flight.

A transfer to the airport, in time for your flight, will be provided.

Accommodations
Kia Lodge

Kia Lodge
Arusha, Tanzania

Beautifully situated with views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Kia Lodge offers accommodation near the airport, ideal for day use prior to an evening departure, or for overnights if your flight arrives in the middle of the night.

Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.

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Dates &
Prices

Dates And Prices

2016
Trip Length

10 Days

Trip Dates

Sep 4-13, 2016

2016 Land Cost

$5,495 Per Person


Internal Airfare

$330 Per Person

Serengeti-Arusha; subject to change

Single Supplement

First two reserved:$1,195

Additional:$1,695


See single supplement policy below.

What's Included

  • Expert leadership and services of safari camp staff
  • All accommodations
  • All meals
  • Local wine and beer with included dinners
  • All transportation during the tour, including guaranteed window seating in safari vehicles and internal flight
  • Membership in Flying Doctor Society (providing emergency services in remote areas of Africa)
  • All activities as noted in the itinerary
  • National Park entry fees
  • Mountainsmith duffle bag for each participant; the perfect size to pack for a safari!
Single Supplement Policy

Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.

If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!

* This does not apply to cruises in the Galapagos Islands. Please see these trip pages for more details.

What To
Expect

What To Expect

Physical Activity

Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Beyond the Serengeti Safari is rated 1, easy, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). We combine luxury camping and lodges as the base for our primary activity - game-viewing drives by 4WD vehicle. Optional guided bush walks may be possible, which can be enjoyed by anyone who is in reasonably good health.

Meeting Point

Arusha, Tanzania

Departure Point

Arusha, Tanzania

Traveling To and From

Most Convenient Airport:
Kilimanjaro International Airport, Arusha, Tanzania (airport code JRO)

Meeting Time and Place:
Upon arrival of your international flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha on Day 1 of the trip.

Departure Time and Place:
Kilimanjaro International Airport by 4 p.m. To accommodate our return from the Serengeti and afternoon activities in Arusha, please schedule your departing flight after 6 p.m.

Preparing for This Trip

If you would like to take advantage of the optional walks, you may wish to engage in easy to moderate aerobic activities (walking, jogging, cycling) for 30-45 minutes a few times a week for several weeks before the trip. Consult your doctor before undertaking any new fitness program.

Tented Safari Camps

Our permanent camps allow us to be close to the action in privacy and exceptional comfort. Hotel quality linens, full-sized beds (not cots), ensuite bathroom facilities attached to each tent (including hot showers!), a professional camp staff and indulgent touches make our luxury camps an experience not to be missed.

Game Drives

Unforgettable full and half-day game drives make game-driving the primary activity of Boundless Journeys' Tanzania trip. On most days, we will depart our lodge or camp early and spend the morning tracking various animals in our custom-built, 4WD safari vehicles. Each day is unique and unpredictable -- which is why our guides say to never put away your camera, even on the way to the airstrip!

Drives may last from a few morning hours to a full day. Sometimes we will take a picnic lunch, and other days we will return to the lodge or camp for lunch. As we come upon groups of animals, we allow plenty of time to simply observe and also take photographs. Our guides are experienced naturalists and will add greatly to your understanding of the animals. We keep a respectful distance - although the same cannot always be said about the animals and it is not unusual to come nose-to-car with baboons, zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, and elephants.

Weather

The weather in Arusha and the national parks is generally pleasant though the equatorial sun is strong. It can also rain at any time, but chances are higher during the months of April, May, June, November, and December. In the Ngorongoro area, evenings and early mornings can be chilly, and dressing in layers is a good strategy, so that you can shed or add layers as the day heats and cools.

You may obtain more detailed weather information on www.weatherbase.com.

Arusha

June/July

High: 69
Low: 49

Aug/Sept

High: 76
Low: 47

When to Go

Our safaris coincide with important times in the annual migrations, as well as take advantage of other significant animal activities and weather patterns.

January-March: The herds have typically arrived in the southern short grass plains of the Serengeti by now, and tens of thousands of wildebeest have their babies over the course of just a few weeks, typically around the end of February/early March. A safari at this time of year will certainly offer sightings of enormous herds of wildebeest, along with all of the other African wildlife one would expect. Please request our Great Migration Safari or Ultimate Tanzania Safari itinerary if you'd like to plan at safari at this time of year.

Late May-October: The large herds are heading north and have scattered a bit around the northern Serengeti. If we are lucky, we may witness herds crossing one of the large northern rivers - truly a sight to behold. We also include a few nights in Tarangire National Park, known for its large elephant herds and wonderful baobob trees. Beyond the Serengeti Safari or Ultimate Tanzania Safari are perfect itineraries for this time of year.

December: During the month of December, the migration is heading south again to the short grass plains, and many zebras give birth around this time. Predators trail behind the herds. Being with your family in Tanzania is a memorable way to spend the holidays, and a great reason to consider a December departure. (Plan ahead, however, as airfare can sell out well in advance!). Please contact us if you'd like to plan at safari at this time of year.

Other times: We suggest avoiding November and April through the first half of May, as those months comprise the rainy seasons in Tanzania. Outside of those months, there are great reasons to visit Tanzania at any time, and no matter when you choose to go, you will see more elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, buffalos, hippos, ostriches, baboons, and lions than you can keep track of.

Guides

Featured Guides

About Our Guides

With a Boundless Journeys guide, your experience is that of friend and local adventurer. We believe strongly in working with local guides, experts in the areas to which we travel, and they hold the keys to unlocking the hidden delights of your chosen destination. Although you will never know they are at work—the mark of a truly great leader—our guides make magical things happen and add a dimension to your trip that you could not experience on your own. Over the years we have forged bonds with some of the best guides in the world, and we typically work with a small team of guides in each region. You will be informed of the guide for your trip one month prior to your departure.

$5,495 / person* *airfare not included
10 Days
Reserve This Tour
  • Departure Dates: Sep 4-13, 2016
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Activity Level 1 Easiest

Optional easy walks on a few days; game drives on bumpy terrain.

  • Group Size: 4-12 Guests

Make it Your Own!

This trip can be your own adventure by taking over one of our scheduled dates, or we can request a fresh one.

Prefer a Custom Tour?

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