Where wildlife and culture meet, this trip combines adventure-filled safaris through famous natural parks with quiet, personal visits to local tribes. Start with a search for the "Big 5" animals in the quiet corners of Serengeti National Park and watch the annual Great Migration cross the white rapids of the Mara River. Then slow things down with a Massai medicine walk and a traditional sunrise hunt with the Hadzabe Tribe.

Highlights

  • Spot the "Big 5" in Serengeti National Park
  • Go hunting with the Hadzabe Tribe
  • Experience a traditional Maasai medicine walk
  • Visit the world's largest intact caldera
  • Watch the Great Migration cross the Mara River

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tanzania Usa River
Day 2 Safari in Tarangire National Park Tarangire National Park
Day 3 Find the "Big 5" in Tarangire National Park Tarangire National Park
Day 4 Experience an authentic Maasai medicine walk Serengeti National Park
Day 5 Daily safaris in Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 6 Watch the Great Migration at the Mara River Serengeti National Park
Day 7 Watch the sun setting across the Serengeti Ngorongoro
Day 8 Explore the incredible views at Ngorongoro Conservation Area Ngorongoro
Day 9 Safari in Ngorongoro Crater Ngorongoro
Day 10 Visit the Datoga tribe in Lake Eyasi Mangola
Day 11 Join a traditional hunt with the Hadzabe Tribe Mangola
Day 12 Departure from Kilimanjaro Airport  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania

Rivertrees
Rivertrees Country Inn

Welcome to beautiful Tanzania! When you arrive to Kilimanjaro International Airport, your driver will take you to the Rivertrees Country Inn. Rivertrees is a historical coffee farm in the foothills of Mt. Meru, with cottages and gardens spanning over 10 acres. Bright and airy rooms welcome a sense of relaxation, as does the stream running through the property. The Inn is a perfect place for spotting birds and small mammals.

In the evening, enjoy one of the following relaxing activities to help combat jet lag:

  • Soak in your own private tub
  • Relax by the pool
  • Stroll through the gardens
  • Enjoy a drink or meal in the on-site traditional restaurant

Day 2: Safari in Tarangire National Park

Elephant Viewings on Safari

Today is a day for amazing wildlife sightings! In the morning, you'll leave your accommodation and head to Tarangire National Park. Tarangire attracts a wide array of wild animals, including some of the "Big 5". This is because it's a major source of water for the animals that call the area home. With a large river flowing through the park, several waterholes provide drinking water throughout the year.

After the game drive, you'll make your way to Kichuguu Camp for the night. With eleven boutique-styled tents, Kichuguu Camp is an ideal place to relax. The tents themselves are a thematic representation of the termite mounds that decorate the Tarangire landscape. Their color tones and mud textures appear in the furnishings and decor throughout the camp. Enjoy your dinner and stroll the grounds before bedtime.

Day 3: Find the "Big 5" in Tarangire National Park

Photo taken by Jonathan G
Big 5 in Tarangire

After a glimpse of wildlife the day before, get ready for a full day of safaris and game drives in Tarangire National Park. Because Tarangire National Park is located in Tanzania's Manyara Region, you'll see many giant baobab trees framing thousands of elephants and giraffes feeding along the banks of the Tarangire River. This park is home to large lion prides, various primates, and more than 500 bird species. Tarangire also has the largest termite mounds in Tanzania, some of which reach up to fifteen feet. 

Spend your free time in the evening back at Kichuguu Camp, where you can enjoy a leisurely dinner, sip a glass of wine in the lounge, or relax by the fire as you gaze across the savanna. Each room has its own private porch and a set of binoculars. Thanks to the muted tones of the tents, you will blend into your surroundings for better chances of seeing wildlife.

Day 4: Experience an authentic Maasai medicine walk

Driving Through the Savanna

No morning in Tarangire is complete without one last game drive. Catch final glimpses of elephants before heading to Isoitok Camp for a Maasai medicine walk and boma visit. During the medicine walk, learn about different roots and plant extracts that are used by the Maasai on a daily basis. ‘Boma’ is the Maasai word for homestead. You will learn about the traditional lifestyle of the Maasai during this visit.

After lunch at Isoitok Camp, depart for the famous Serengeti National Park. You'll arrive in the Serengeti by the afternoon and enjoy your first game drive.

Perched on a hilltop, your accommodation at Kiota Camp offers a birds-eye view of the Seronera River Valley's abundance. Airy rooms are housed in tents that match the muted tones of the savanna. Enjoy dinner in the open-air dining area or watch the sunset as you warm yourself by the fire.

Day 5: Daily safaris in Serengeti National Park

Hippos in Serengeti

The word Serengeti (or Siringitu) means "the place where the land moves on forever". Serengeti National Park—a vast and beautiful expanse of nearly 6,000 square miles—is perhaps the world’s most famous wildlife sanctuary. A World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve, the Serengeti supports the largest concentration of plains-based game in the world. The Serengeti ecosystem is famous for its large cats and the wildebeest migration.

Today you will embark on game drives in the park, catching glimpses of some of the continent's most famous wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, lions, and buffalo. In the evening, you'll retire back to Kiota Camp for dinner and relaxation.

Day 6: Watch the Great Migration at the Mara River

The Great Migration

Enjoy another full day of safaris in the Serengeti and make your way to the northern region of the park. Your afternoon game drive will include the Mara River—famous for its large population of crocodiles—in the Northern Serengeti.

Each year, nearly two million wildebeest, zebra, and other antelope gather their young and trek north from Tanzania's Serengeti National Park to Kenya's Maasai Mara National Park in search of greener pastures and rainfall. The Great Migration is a unique event; no other migration features such a high number of wildlife, except perhaps butterflies and smaller birds.

Tonight you will sleep at Chaka Camp, which is set near various river crossing sites on the Mara River. If you are visiting from July through October, you may even see the wildebeest migration crossing back and forth over the river.

Inspired by the sense of timelessness found in the bush ('chaka' in Swahili), Chaka Camp was designed to blend into its serene surroundings. The camp moves seasonally to stay near the Great Migration, and therefore remains surrounded by abundant wildlife.

Day 7: Watch the sun setting across the Serengeti

Sunsets on Safari

Today is the final full day of game drives in Northern Serengeti. You'll enjoy a morning and afternoon safari, both in search of vast wildlife. The northern region of the park remains less visited by tourists, so you can escape the crowds and relax in the serenity. You'll find dense woodlands dotting the savanna, as well as granite outcrops and vibrant green hillsides. You can find the highest concentration of elephants in this region, as well as crocodiles in the Mara River.

When you return to Chaka Camp, you can relax in the comfort of your room or sip a glass of wine in the open-air lounge. After dinner, you can sit by the fire as the sky turns colors and night falls.

Day 8: Explore the incredible views at Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Zebra Sightings on Safari

Spend the morning on one last safari in the Serengeti before driving to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ngorongoro Conservation Area marks the largest unbroken caldera in the world. Its open grasslands are home to a diverse array of animals, including elephants, rhinos, zebras, and warthogs. It also has one of the densest lion populations in the world.

You'll spend the night at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, which is a perched on the crater's rim and offers stunning views of the crater below. Each room is decorated in various styles representing traditional Tanzanian culture. Your own private balcony overlooks the Ngorongoro Crater, so you will have ample time to relax and take in the views. The property also has an outdoor infinity pool and fire pits.

Day 9: Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater

Awake early to catch a morning game drive in Ngorongoro Crater. Animals are most active in the morning and afternoon/evenings, so rising with the sun can lead to a greter chance of wildlife sightings. Keep an eye out for lions, hippos, flamingos, and a variety of antelope species. All are particularly active in this area of the reserve.

In the evening, return to Ngorongoro Serena Lodge for dinner in the cozy lodge. Relax in your room and enjoy vast views of the crater in the distance. Take a dip in the pool or meander the property's grounds.

Day 10: Visit the Datoga tribe in Lake Eyasi

Driving Across the Savanna

After breakfast, you'll drive to Lake Eyasi and receive a cultural tour from your local guide. Your guide will take you to visit the well-known Datoga Tribe. The Datoga people are thought to have migrated from Ethiopia to Kenya and Tanzania approximately 3,000 years ago. Their language and culture is similar to Highland Nilotes, isolating them from other tribes in the area.

Originally pastoralists—and similar in culture to the Maasai—the Datoga have started to adapt to a farming lifestyle in recent years. Their unique clothing blends in with their environment and employs intricate beadwork. A signature look for the Datoga people is the use of tattoos as decoration around the eyes. 

In the evening, settle into your accommodation at Kisima Ngeda. Located in a forest, Kisima Ngeda is a small tented camp that is part of a 200-acre family farm. A natural spring feeds into a swimming pool on the property, where you can relax after dinner.

Day 11: Join a traditional hunt with the Hadzabe Tribe

Photo taken by Jonathan G
Early Morning Hunt with Hadzabe

Today you'll wake early to visit the Hadzabe Tribe in Tanzania, one of two remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the country. The tribe still maintains its unique click language. Here you will have the opportunity to join the tribe in a traditional hunt through rural terrain. Learn all about their life, their language, and how they hunt and gather their food, tools, and other goods. This is one of the favorite cultural experiences of the trip.

After your visit, you'll return to Kisima Ngeda for a late brunch and a rest. In the afternoon, tour the property and its farmland. You can also enjoy views of the savanna and relax by the fire pits.

Day 12: Departure from Kilimanjaro Airport

Goodbye Tanzania! 

It's time to say goodbye to beautiful Tanzania. You'll leave your accommodation and make the 4-hour drive to Kilimanjaro Airport. Here you can catch your flight home or continue on to your next adventure.