- See exotic animals on game drives in Serengeti and Ngorongoro
- Visit the tribespeople of Mto Wa Mbu and take part in a cultural exchange
- Tour the historic center of Zanzibar and laze on its white-sand beaches
- Swim in the crystalline waters of Pemba, a gem of the Indian Ocean
|Arrive in Arusha, Optional Activities
|Arusha to Tarangire National Park, Game Drive
|Tarangire National Park
|Cultural Exchange in Mto Wa Mbu, Transfer to Ngorongoro
|Ngorongoro Game Drive
|Transfer to Serengeti National Park, Stop at Olduvai Gorge
|Serengeti National Park
|Explore Northern Serengeti National Park
|Serengeti National Park
|Transfer to Zanzibar, Optional Activities
|Transfer to Pemba Island, Optional Activities
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha, Optional ActivitiesWelcome to Tanzania! This gem of a country is a wildlife lover's paradise, home to some of Africa's most famous safari destinations and unspoiled national parks. Located in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, Tanzania is known for its vast wilderness areas. This country is home to the Serengeti ecosystem, where millions of plains animals migrate around its fertile savannas. Also, here is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the only place you can see all Big Five animals—lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes, and black rhinos—on a single game drive.
Upon arrival in the northern city of Arusha, your driver will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to your hotel. After unpacking and unwinding, take some time to head out and admire the views. Not only does this city sit at the foot of the 14,980-foot (4,566-m) Meru Volcano, but at certain places, you can also spot the snow-capped table of Kilimanjaro. Coffee lovers will want to hit a café and sample this country's famous robusta and arabica roasts. After all, Tanzania is the third-largest coffee producer in Africa, and this bean is its largest export crop.
Day 2: Arusha to Tarangire National Park, Game DriveAfter breakfast, your driver will pick you up from your hotel to drive southwest to one of Tanzania's many natural treasures: Tarangire National Park. This 1,000-sq-mile (2,600-sq-km) protected area may only be the sixth largest national park in the country, but there's no shortage of incredible wildlife here. It's one of Tanzania's finest birding destinations, as there are almost 500 avian species in the park. Plus, during the migratory season of July to October, there are incredible numbers of plains game like wildebeests, antelope, and zebras.
Day 3: Cultural Exchange in Mto Wa Mbu, Transfer to NgorongoroWake up early for one last exploration of Tarangire. Around midday, enjoy a picnic lunch and then head north to the village of Mto Wa Mbu. This farming community of around 18,000 people is unique in that it's one of the only places where all of Tanzania's some 120 tribes live side by side.
Afterward, you'll continue to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and another luxury lodge. This one sits on a lush mountain escarpment with views of the area's famous Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest volcanic caldera. This UNESCO World Heritage Site measures 1,968 feet (600 m) in depth and covers 100 sq miles (260 sq km). It's also unique in that over 40,000 Masaai tribespeople live here, and their cattle, goats, and sheep graze right alongside the abundant wildlife. This offers rare insight into a way of living in harmony with nature that has hardly changed since ancient times.
Day 4: Ngorongoro Game DriveAfter breakfast, head down to the crater's base for a full-day, 4WD tour around Ngorongoro. There will be ample opportunities to spot exotic wildlife throughout the day. This area, which is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, is home to over 20,000 large animals. Here you can spot 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.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Transfer to Serengeti National Park, Stop at Olduvai GorgeIn the morning, you'll leave Ngorongoro and head north on a 3-hour drive toward Serengeti National Park, but you'll have the option to stop on the way at Olduvai Gorge. This vast canyon (about 30 miles long and 300 feet deep) is home to paleoanthropological sites that have been crucial in furthering our understanding of human evolution. Hundreds of fossilized bones and stone tools have been found in the area dating back millions of years, concluding that humans evolved in Africa.
After Olduvai Gorge, you'll continue on into 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 6-7: Explore Northern Serengeti National Park
Days 8-10: Transfer to Zanzibar, Optional Activities
Transfer back to the airport in Arusha this morning, where you'll board a 1.5-hour flight east to Zanzibar. This island is one of the gems of the continent, featuring world-class beaches and rich history. Upon arrival at the airport in Zanzibar City, you'll transfer to your hotel. Then, you can spend the next couple of days enjoying the island's best stretches of sand, like Michamvi Kae, the "secret beach." If you're feeling social, head to the raucous beach clubs in the coastal village of Nungwi.
Days 11-13: Transfer to Pemba Island, Optional ActivitiesEnjoy a leisurely breakfast, you'll transfer to the airport and catch the 30-minute flight north to Pemba Island. If you thought Zanzibar was a tropical paradise, wait until you see Pemba—it's regarded as the most beautiful of all the islands in this archipelago. This jewel was dubbed El Huthera or "The Green" by early Omani sailors. Ever since, Pemba has managed to retain its laid-back charm and even today remains unspoiled by modern civilization. There are very few modes of transport and limited accommodations here, so expect the very definition of a rustic, barefoot beach holiday.
Day 14: Depart Tanzania
After breakfast, enjoy one last stroll along the powdery white beaches of Zanzibar. You'll transfer to the airport and fly to Arusha to catch your connecting flight home at the appropriate time. Safe travels!