Note: exact itinerary varies each departure depending on lodging availability and group preference. Depart Arusha and drive about 2 hours to Mto wa Mbu, a colorful village. Here you will find the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park, where you will enjoy your first game drive at the edge of the great Rift Valley. After your game drive, continue further to overnight at Rhino Lodge in Ngorongoro area. This is a simple but very comfortable lodge located on the Ngorongoro Crater Rim, just across the main road so views of forest and meadow but not into the crater itself. Note: Rhino has very limited availability in peak season; in the same price range, if Rhino is full we will choose Country or Bougainvillea Lodges in Karatu village just outside the park borders. Or, on private safaris you might upgrade (extra cost) to one of these: Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Anga'ata Ngorongoro camp, and others. All meals included starting with lunch today.
Option to visit a Maasai village today
or another day of the trip - entrance fee is extra. Note: Tarangire National Park can be substituted today instead of Lake Manyara if desired but lodging and price may vary.
Today you'll experience an amazing game drive in Ngorongoro Crater. Then, either overnight at Rhino Lodge or continue on through the Ngorongoro Highlands and down onto the Serengeti plains en route to overnight at a classic tented safari camp in central Serengeti. Typically we would use our own camp, Kisura
tented safari camp (other lodging options include Seronera or Lobo Wildlife Lodges, Ndutu Lodge, or at higher cost upgrade to Sopa Serengeti Lodge, Ang'ata Serengeti or Migration Camp, Chaka Camp) . Certain times of year, we may have our camp set up in Serengeti North or South. If desired, option to stop at Olduvai Gorge to visit the museum - entrance fee is extra. Note: Another option is to spend tonight again at Rhino Lodge. This gives time for a ranger led nature walk or or day hike on Ngorongoro Crater rim, nearby mountains, or even into a nearby, smaller crater such as Olmoti or Empakai craters. Great for those who want to include some physical activity and learning within a wildlife safari itinerary.
Transfer to Serengeti you didn't arrive there on Day 2. Today
you have the full day to explore the Serengeti. Options include a full day game drive with packed lunches to explore further reaches, or if the game viewing is best nearby then an early morning game drive, hot lunch back at the camp or lodge, and an optional afternoon/early evening game drive. Overnight at the same Serengeti camp or lodge.
At certain times of year, you may transition to a different area of Serengeti for one of your nights. Game drive en route, wherever you go!
Drive to Lake Eyasi overnight at Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge. The first part of your journey will have a game drive en route. Then, as you exit the Serengeti, you'll have amazing scenery as you get farther from the game areas. Arrive to this beautiful lake region in time for supper, after meeting your local guide Banga Meruss at the area entrance gate. If time permits, you may have a walk or drive toward the Lake Eyasi shore.
Visit the Hadzabe tribe (traditional hunter/gatherers), perhaps with an early morning hunt if desired. You'll also visit the Datoga tribe. The Blacksmith clan will show you how they make jewelry, arrowheads, etc from melting small padlocks, nails, etc over a small charcoal fire. In the afternoon, ascend to the cooler temperatures of Karatu village/Ngorongoro Highlands to overnight at Country Lodge or Bougainvillea Lodge in Karatu village.
Drive three hours back to Arusha area. Safari ends this afternoon with drop off at Arusha or Kilimanjaro airports or anywhere in Arusha city area (lodging not included tonight). If time allows before anyone has flights out, you may stop for final souvenir/gift shopping, sightseeing, etc as you make your way back to and through Arusha. Last meal included is a lunch box today. Optional – add a beach extension to the mainland coast or to the islands.