- Embark on a multi-day hike up Mount Kilimanjaro
- See exotic animals in Serengeti National Park
- Go on game drives across the Ngorongoro Crater
- Laze on the powdery white-sand beaches of Zanzibar
|Day 1||Arrive in Arusha, Transfer to Moshi||Moshi|
|Day 2||Day Hike in Mount Kilimanjaro||Moshi|
|Day 3||Moshi to Serengeti National Park, Serengeti National Park||Serengeti National Park|
|Days 4-5||Serengeti National Park Game Drives||Serengeti National Park|
|Day 6||Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive, Transfer to Arusha||Arusha|
|Days 7-9||Arusha to Zanzibar, Optional Activities||Zanzibar Beach|
|Day 10||Zanzibar to Arusha, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha, Transfer to Moshi
Welcome to Tanzania! Located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, this country is known for its vast wilderness areas. It's also home to the Serengeti ecosystem, where millions of plains animals migrate around its fertile savannas. You'll arrive in the northern city of Arusha, and even from here, you can catch glimpses of Mount Kilimanjaro, which is tomorrow's destination.
Upon arrival at the airport, a personal driver will be waiting to transfer you a little way east to the town of Moshi. Located at the base of mighty Kilimanjaro at an altitude of around 3,120 feet (950 m), this will be your base for your day trip up the mountain. It's where you'll prepare, meet your guide, and ultimately embark. After checking in to your hotel, you should take a stroll around town, as Moshi is a lovely place in the heart of Tanzania's coffee country.
Day 2: Day Hike in Mount KilimanjaroAt 19,341 feet (5,895 m), Kilimanjaro is Africa's tallest mountain and the largest free-standing mountain in the world. It's a dormant volcano that last erupted around 360,000 years ago. In more recent times, it's been celebrated in lore and literature to the point it has taken on almost mythic status—everyone recognizes the iconic snow-capped table of Kilimanjaro. And in the time since it was first summited in 1889, it has become a bucket-list destination for both pro and amateur hikers around the world. Now it's your turn to experience the majesty of this mountain on a day hike.
You'll leave early for the drive from Moshi into Kilimanjaro National Park. The guided trek begins at the Marangu Gate, located on the southeast side of Kilimanjaro, and sits at 6,135 feet (1,870 m). Commence hiking on a route that will take you up through the lower rainforests of the mountain. You'll have ample opportunity to admire the local wildlife, including exotic birds and the black-and-white colobus monkey.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Distance: 5 miles (8 km)
Ascent: 2,723 feet (830 m)
High point: 8,858 feet (2,700 m)
Day 3: Moshi to Serengeti National Park, Serengeti National ParkAfter breakfast, a driver will take you to the airport to catch a 30-minute flight to the Seronera Airstrip in Serengeti National Park. This legendary wildlife reserve is the archetypal safari destination. In the Maasai language, the name Serengeti means "endless plains," and this protected area's 5,700 sq miles (14,763 sq km) deliver on that promise. The park is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biosphere reserve that supports the world's largest concentration of plains game. This includes famous Big Five animals like lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and black rhinos.
Days 4-5: Serengeti National Park Game DrivesSpend the next couple of days living the dream of every wildlife enthusiast as you embark on safaris across the wondrous Serengeti. You'll enjoy both morning and afternoon game drives to witness the wildlife in one of the oldest ecosystems on earth. Besides being a great place to spot Big Five animals, the Serengeti hosts the annual Great Migration. From June to November, this "greatest wildlife show on earth" sees more than a million wildebeest, plus hundreds of thousands of zebras and Thomson's gazelles, undertake the long trek to new grazing grounds.
You'll start early, as mornings are the best time to see the animals at their most active. You'll likely see grazing giraffes and zebras, and perhaps even lions as they hunt wildebeests and gazelles during this time. Other animals you're likely to spot include elephants and buffalo, with leopards and rhinos being a less common sight. You can choose to have lunch on the road or back at camp, after which you'll continue the game drive into the afternoon.
One optional activity is a sunrise safari in a hot-air balloon. That's right—you'll hop in a balloon basket for a 1-hour ride over the savanna. Capping the experience will be a sumptuous champagne breakfast on the plains. Spend the remainder of the morning in camp, have lunch, and embark on an afternoon game drive. Afterward, enjoy another outdoor meal before returning to camp.
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive, Transfer to Arusha
Once in Ngorongoro, there will be ample opportunities for wildlife viewing. This area, which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, is home to over 20,000 large animals. This includes buffaloes, elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, hyenas, jackals, ostriches, warthogs, and vast herds of gazelles. Also, thanks to anti-poaching patrols, the crater is one of the few places in East Africa where visitors are sure to see black rhinos.
After a game drive in Ngorongoro and a picnic lunch, you'll transfer to Arusha, where you'll overnight.
Days 7-9: Arusha to Zanzibar, Optional Activities
After breakfast, you'll be driven to the airport to catch your flight to Zanzibar. This archipelago is one of East Africa's most beautiful island destinations. Upon arrival at the airport, a personal driver will be waiting to transfer you to your beach hotel. En route, you'll tour a countryside spice farm. This is a fun (and delicious) way to learn about Zanzibar's historical legacy as one of the world's leading producers of spices like clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. You'll sample these aromatic treasures, plus learn about farming techniques and the various uses for the types of spices, tropical fruits, and root crops grown on the property. Afterward, you'll sit down for a farm-fresh lunch.
After arriving at your beach hotel and settling in, you can choose to spend your time here however you see fit. There is a diverse array of optional activities to keep you busy. Of course, some of Zanzibar's main attractions are its inviting beaches. If you prefer, you can spend the next couple of days sunbathing on one of these prized stretches of sand. If you're feeling social, there's no shortage of beach clubs and party vibes in the coastal village of Nungwi. If calm and relaxation are your goals, head to Michamvi Kae for some isolation.
Nature lovers and aquatic adventurers might prefer snorkeling and diving tours. Matemwe is the best place to engage in either activity, as it provides access to the Mnemba Atoll and the coral reefs that surround it. Another option is to spend a day at Jozani Forest, home to exotic animals like the red colobus monkey. Explore the Kuumbi Caves in Jambiani for even more nature on the southeastern coast. For options beyond swimming and hiking, try kayaking in mangrove forests, surfing on the southeast coast, biking around the island, or kite surfing. You could also head out to sea for a sport-fishing adventure and reel in some marlin and sailfish.
Besides beaches and nature, Zanzibar boasts a rich history. The medieval center of the capital, Stone Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This warren of alleyways, shops, bazaars, and mosques is home to some of Zanzibar's oldest and most historic buildings. One standout is the Arab Fort, a defensive fortification built in the 17th century. A great activity is to stroll Stone Town and admire its unique mix of Arabic architecture and Indian influences. You can also visit the solemn site of a former slave market and learn about this tragic part of the island's history.