Northern Tanzania’s wilderness goes on forever, an untamed eternity on an enormous scale. It’s home to the continent’s highest mountain, the planet’s largest intact caldera, unfathomable numbers of animals, vast golden plains, truly enormous skies. This is bowl-you-over country: big, bewitching, and breathtaking at every turn.
Tanzania’s finest safari spots are clustered here, and our Sky Safari will fly you effortlessly between them, to reveal the regions full diversity, depth and drama. We’ll take you to the treetops of Tarangire, where bedrooms balance amid the baobabs and the country’s biggest concentration of elephants roams. We’ll drop you down into Ngorongoro Crater, the UNESCO-listed volcanic caldera brim-full of wildlife. And we’ll sweep you straight onto the boundless Serengeti, so you’ve got front-row seats for the wildest show on earth.
We’ve planned our Sky Safari Tanzania trip meticulously to maximize your immersion in the African bush (with plenty of lovely surprises along the way). You’ll receive VIP treatment from start to finish: we’ll fast-track you through airports, drive you directly onto runways, whisk you away in our private plane, serve you champagne and nibbles – and deliver you into the heart of the wilderness to be pampered at the finest camps and have your eyes opened by the very best guides.
Welcome to Africa!
Touching down in the shadow of the continent's highest mountain is quite the arrival: welcome to Africa. Our local team will fast-track you through Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer you to Arusha Coffee Lodge, voted one of the Top 5 Hotels in Africa by Travel + Leisure, where the stresses of travel will lift as soon as you're shown your elegant suite, tucked into this leafy and aromatic working plantation.
Arusha Coffee LodgeArusha, Tanzania
On the edge of Arusha, in the foothills of Mount Meru, Arusha Coffee Lodge’s handsome suites are scattered amid a working coffee plantation – a leafy sanctuary of serenity. Relax on your private veranda overlooking the aromatic Arabica bushes orunwind by the pool or in the spa. You can linger over lunch in the garden, dine on fine fusion cuisine or join an open-air Swahili-style feast.
Arusha to Tarangire
After breakfast, you are whisked off on your charter flight to Tarangire, one of Tanzania's lesser-known, but no less awesome parks. Tarangire bursts with great game - especially in the dry season, when animals flock to its perennial river - but sees few other tourists. That means safaris full of wildlife, and blissfully crowd free.
The action starts immediately on our full-day drive through the park: you'll be scouting for game on the drive from airstrip to Tarangire Treetops, with a picnice lunch in the bush en route. Elephants are a particular speciality - more than 3,000 (one of the largest populations in East Africa) roam here.
The lodge itself, tucked on a private conservancy bordering the park, is like something from a fairytale: its scatter of suites perches amongst the branches of the baobab and marula trees; each has a huge balcony, looking either to the sunrise, the sunset or over the camp's waterhole. Tear yourself away for dinner, though - a candle-lit feast served in a Masai boma, surrounded by acacia trees.
Tarangire Treetops LodgeTarangire National Park, Tanzania
Tarangire Treetops sits serenely in a baobab and marula grove on the border of Tarangire National Park. The main lodge and 20 elevated rooms are built to incorporate the impressive bulk of a thousand year-old baobab tree. Each spacious, ensuite room features warm furnishings and an expansive private balcony. Lantern-lit dinners in the traditional boma are accompanied by the sounds of Maasai chants, while poolside dinners allow observation of the wildlife that comes to the waterhole.
Start the day traditionally, with a glorious game drive in custom-designed jeeps, looking for a whole host of species - from zebra, buffalo, eland and kudu to lion, leopard and hyena. Then, after lunch back at camp, walk out with a Masai guide. There's nothing more electrifying than exploring the bush on foot, getting up-close to the flowers, insects and animal tracks you might miss from a vehicle. You can also visit a Masai village to find out more about the custodians of this land.
As the afternoon cools, there's only one thing to be done: relax on Sunset Hill, sundowner in hand, the classic way to toast a day on safari. A delicious dinner will follow, though you might want to squeeze in another adventure: night drives (permitted within our private conservancy) are a chance to see the after-dark shift, from prickly porcupines to elusive leopards.
Tarangire to Ngorongoro
Enjoy breakfast among the baobabs before game driving en route to the airstrip. With our keen-eyed guides you might glimpse the park's wild dogs (this is a great place for sightings), a tiny pancake tortoise, or even Tarangire's tree-climbing lions.
It's a short scenic flight to Manyara, and a lovely drive through the highlands to reach the our home for the next two nights: The Manor. This handful of Cape Dutch-styled cottages sits within the lush gardens of a working coffee farm, near the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. You'll arrive in time for lunch, taken with views over the vibrant forest, while your butler sorts the luggage. Optional activities for the afternoon include a coffee plantation tour or horseback riding.
This evening, soak in your Victorian bathtub, cosy up by your suite's open fire, enjoy a delicious dinner, maybe have a game of billiards before retiring for the night.
The Manor at NgorongoroKaratu, Tanzania
The Manor at Ngorongoro combines a dash of opulence with easy access to the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Set amid glorious gardens and lush coffee fields in the Tanzanian highlands, it oozes Old World glamour: think polished-wood floors and antique furnishings, fine dining, billiards and cigars. Each of its elegant Cape Dutch-styled cottages has a private deck, sitting room, open fire and enormous Victorian bath, which will be ready-filled with bubbles, awaiting your return from the day’s adventure.
We awake very early today, but it's well worth it when you're about to head into the 'eighth wonder of the world'. Measuring over 20km wide and 600m deep, Ngorongoro Crater is a natural volcanic amphitheatre, a geological marvel, and a festival of wildlife. Its acacia thickets, riverine forest and glittering lakes throng with mroe than 30,000 animals: one of the highest densities of wildlife in Africa. Safaris here can be overwhelming, in the very best way.
Spend a full day in Ngorongoro - our expert guides will introduce you to its vast cast of characters: lions, elephants and buffalo, cheetah and serval cats, hyena, jackal and black rhino. Plus, The Manor has special permission to host beautiful bush lunches in a private part of the crater; here you can picnic in exclusive style without missing a wildlife-packed minute.
Sundowners and dinner will be back at The Manor, as you exchange stories with your fellow travelers about what you've seen on this once-in-a-lifetime day.
Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti National Park
Enjoy a last lavish Manor breakfast before your charter flight to another Tanzanian icon: Serengeti National Park.
Simply put, the Serengeti is huge. An endless-seeming swathe of short-grass plains, braided with life-giving streams, speckled with rocky kopjes, riffled by occasional hills, fringed with Masai culture, absolutely teeming with life. And while you can revel in the bigger picture, it's also the place to embrace the individual moments: the will-they-won't-they tension of a lion pack on the hunt; the shock of a crocodile bursting from the river; the white-knuckle charge of an angry bull elephant; the dazzle of the sun subsiding into plains with no end.
We'll deliver you to your lodge in time for lunch, though the exact lodge depends in part on the season. We might introduce you the bygone-luxe tents of Serengeti Pioneer Camp, perched on a kopje in the south of the park. As well as being renowned for its immense wildebeest herds, the area is rich in prehistoric paintings while nearby Lake Magadi is popular with flamingos.
Alternatively, we'll take you to the sophisticated stilted tents of Serengeti Migration Camp, further north. This peaceful part of the park sees few other visitors; you'll feel you've arrived in your own private wilderness. The variety of wildlife here is remarkable, the drama intense - especially when the Great Migration passes through: the camp is perfectly placed for watching the herds run the gauntlet of the Mara River.
Either way, your first afternoon's game drive will be a wildlife revelation.
Migration CampNorthern Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Hidden among the rocky outcrops of the northern Serengeti, Serengeti Migration Camp overlooks the riverine forest of the famed Grumeti River. 20 deluxe permanent tents, each with richly furnished bedrooms, full ensuite bathroom, and private deck. The main tent has a split-level lounge, a swimming pool, restaurant and viewing platforms that offer vistas across the river and the rugged landscape beyond.
Serengeti Pioneer CampSerengeti National Park, Tanzania
Low-impact, high style – that’s Serengeti Pioneer Camp. Sitting atop a rocky outcrop, gazing across the infinite plains of the south-central Serengeti, this classy retreat blends seamlessly into its surroundings. Tents, tucked into the bush, have a romantic 1930s vibe but with modern comforts, from steaming-hot solar-heated showers to personal attendants. Better, they have unfettered access to the wilderness on the doorstep: to Moru Kopjes, a site sacred to the Maasai and home to ancient rock art; to Lake Magadi, a soda lake that attracts a blushing flamboyance of flamingos; and the sweeping grasslands where, come January-March, some 400,000 wildebeest calves are born, attracting huge numbers of predators. The wildlife-watching here is spectacular, and the camp’s specially permitted hill-top picnic site is the icing on the cake.
Serengeti National Park
Another early breakfast before another action-packed day, with lunch in the bush, so you don't waste a minute.
Depending on the time of year, exploring the Serengeti might mean witnessing the replenishing of the Serengeti's mighty herds: each year, 400,000 wildebeest calves are born in the park's south between January and March, a staggering number, which draws many predators. Or, from June-October, seek out the great migrating herds wherever they may be, and perhaps be lucky to witness an always dramatic river crossing. At any time of year, resident wildlife and unforgettable vistas will leave indelible memories.
After a full, fabulous day, it's time to raise a final Sundowner to the Serengeti, as the light softens, the earth cools, the horizon glows. Enjoy dinner back at camp, then sit out and listen one last time: to the eerie call of the nightjar and the whoop of a hyena, to the hippos' belly guffaw and the lion's nerve-trembling roar...
Serengeti National Park & return to Arusha
Our drive to the airstrip gives you a final chance to soak up the sights, smells, sounds and sensations of the Serengeti. Just one more elegant giraffe, one more roaming elephant. Once airborne, keep your eyes out the window, to see the Serengeti slide out of view and, perhaps, Kilimanjaro peeping through the clouds.
Upon arrival in Arusha, we'll return to Arusha Coffee Lodge. As well as producing coffee, the lodge is home to Shanga, a social enterprise that employs people with disabilities to create quality handmade products - watch the artisans at work, sewing, painting, weaving and glass-blowing, and perhaps pick up a souvenir or two. You have the afternoon to relax with a day room before we transfer you to the airprot for your flight home - head, heart and soul full of African magic.
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.
Departures every other day, year round. June-October (dry season and migration) or January-March (green season and calving) are highly recommended.
From $8,900 Per Person
See single supplement policy below.
Park Fees (child & low season discounts available) $714
Optional Hot Air Balloon Safari $650
Pricing shown is for High and Festive Season (July 1-Oct 31 and Dec 20-Jan 4); Mid and Green Season pricing is lower. Call for details: 1-800-941-8010.
Up to two children (under age 12) sharing with 2 adults: $4,200 per child
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 may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for active individuals who have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Sky Safari is rated 1, easy, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). Our primary activity is game-viewing drives by 4WD vehicle. Depending on current conditions, there may be opportunities for optional guided bush walks, which can be enjoyed by anyone who is in reasonably good health.
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 in time to check in for your departing flight. To accommodate our return from the Serengeti, please schedule your departing flight after 6 p.m.
Unforgettable full and half-day game drives are the primary activity of Boundless Journeys' Tanzania Sky Safari. 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 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 wildlife. We keep a respectful distance - although the same cannot always be said about the animals; it is not unusual to come nose-to-car with baboons, zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, and elephants!
The weather in northern Tanzania 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.
Our Sky Safari starts every other day, year-round. That said, you may wish to plan a date to coincide with important times in the annual migrations, as well as take advantage of other significant animal activities and weather patterns.
December-March: The herds have typically arrived in the southern short grass plains of the Serengeti by December, and tens of thousands of wildebeest have their babies over the course of just a few weeks. A safari at this time of year will certainly offer sightings of enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra (often with babies in tow), along with all of the other African wildlife one would expect.
June-July: Large herds are on their way north, migrating through the Western Corridor and across the Grumeti River. If you are lucky, we may witness herds crossing the Grumeti - while this can't be guaranteed, a safari at this time increases your chances.
August-October: The large herds are generally in the north and have scattered around the northern Serengeti, as well as crossing back and forth over the Mara River into Kenya's Masai Mara. If you are lucky, we may witness herds crossing one of the large northern rivers - truly a sight to behold. Even when large herds have migrated into the Mara, there are always many left in the Northern Serengeti, and far fewer people than on the Kenya side of the border.
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. If you are interested in organizing a private safari for your own group of family or friends on the dates that work for you, please contact our office at 800-941-8010 to discuss our private safari options.
In the permanent camps and lodges, continental-style cuisine is served, although there is often an Indian or traditional African influence (curries, for example, are popular, or chicken stewed in tomatoes and coconut milk). Breakfast and lunch in the lodges are often served buffet style, while dinner is á la carte. Meals in safari camps may be served family-style, and Tanzania's talented bush chefs blend traditional African dishes with more familiar fare. Specific dietary requirements can generally be accommodated with advance notice, though choices tend to be more limited.
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.
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