Tanzania - Cradle of Life

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Day 1: Arrive in Arusha (Kilimanjaro Airport)

You are met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel near the airport. On a clear day, enjoy views of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro.

Overnight in Arusha.

 

Day 2: Arusha National Park

Following breakfast there will be a program orientation session. Then we drive to Arusha National Park for the first game drive, which will give you an opportunity to see flamingos, blue monkeys, giraffes, zebras, buffalo, antelopes and it is the only place to see black and white colobus monkeys. After lunch accompany an armed park ranger on a nature walk in the foothills of Mt. Meru. Explorations will take you through open grasslands where you may see warthogs, buffalo, giraffes, antelopes and a variety of birds. In wooded areas of the park, be on the lookout for blue monkeys and black and white colobus monkeys. The walk will end at the beautiful waterfalls. Late this afternoon we return to our lodge near Arusha for dinner and overnight.

Overnight near Arusha.

 

Day 3: To Tarangire National Park

This morning enjoy a pre-breakfast walk around the lodge grounds before heading to a local market to experience life in Arusha. We then visit Shanga Beads, a local project made up of over 70 people with wide ranging disabilities who have created a variety of projects including weaving, glass blowing, beading, paper-making and metal work, often with recycled materials.

Next we drive to the Tarangire National Park where we will can enjoy stunning views over the park from our eco friendly lodge.

The Tarangire National Park is idolized in Hollywood movies, romanticized by early settlers and has been sought after ever since by the modern traveler.

The park boasts open savannah, looming primeval baobab trees and stretched groves of acacia, compete with roaming herds of elephants and an impressive array of predators to provide the very definition of the African bush.

Overnight in Tarangire National Park.

 

Day 4: Tarangire National Park

This morning will start with a game drive in Tarangire National Park. The Tarangire River flows through the park and wildlife travel long distances, drawn to the area's only permanent river. The 1,096 square miles of protected lands are home to a large variety of game such as wildebeests, elephants, zebras, gazelles, elands, gerenuks, lions and leopards. Extensive grasslands, dusted with the occasional acacia or baobab tree, provide the optimum conditions for viewing wild animals. Bird lovers will have the opportunity to see more than 500 avian species including yellow-collared lovebirds, rufous-tailed weavers, ashy starlings, stocking-thighed ostriches, and kori bustards. We will have lunch in the park and after lunch drive back to the lodge where we will have time to relax or take a guided nature walk.

Overnight in Tarangire National Park.

 

Day 5: Maasai and Mto Wa Mbu Villages, to Lake Eyasi

Before breakfast, transfer to a local Maasai village to observe as members of the community go about their morning rituals. Transfer back to the lodge for breakfast. Next, transfer to Lake Eyasi with an enroute stop at Mto wa Mbu. During your walk through the village you will be able to observe the way of life in this rural community and enjoy lunch prepared by a local family with an explanation of the different culinary delights and how they are made. After lunch continue transferring to Lake Eyasi, arriving by midday. The remainder of the afternoon will be free to relax and enjoy the views offered at the lodge.

Overnight at Lake Eyasi.

 

Day 6: Bushmen (Hadzabe) Tribe Experience, To Serengeti National Park

We'll transfer from the lodge early this morning to visit with local Hadzabe Bushmen. A local expert will serve as an interpreter while we interact with members of the community to learn about their culture and witness their daily rituals, including building a fire and preparing arrows for hunting game. The Hadzabe Bushmen live in the area around Lake Eyasi in Tanzania’s eastern Rift Valley. Their unique language is composed of clicks, similar to the languages of the Khoisan peoples of South Africa. Despite constant pressures from the outside world, they have managed to keep to the simple, yet challenging, way of life of their ancestors. They are one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer societies left in Africa, living off what berries, roots, honey, and tubers they can forage, and any game they are able to kill. Men hunt with bows and poisoned arrows and the meat is shared with the whole community. With so little material possessions to worry about, the Hadzabe easily pick up and move their homes, depending on the seasons and where the food is more plentiful. During the dry season they dwell in simple huts, but once the heavy rains arrive they move into the shelter of local caves. After our early morning activities we will return to the lodge for a nice meal then pack to head off for our early afternoon departure for Serengeti National Park.

The Serengeti National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location of the famous annual migration of over a million wildebeest. Other wild game include zebra, gazelle, buffalo, elephant, and giraffe, along with predators like lions, cheetahs and leopards.

Overnight in Serengeti National Park.

 

Day 7: Southern Serengeti National Park - Safaris

Today we will enjoy morning and afternoon game drives to explore Serengeti National Park in search of large game. This is also the best place for spotting cheetahs!

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park.

 

Days 8 - 9: Central Serengeti National Park - Safaris

Today we move to Central Serengeti National Park, near the Seronera River, which provides an important water source, and therefore attracts a lot of wildlife! This area of the park is the best for viewing hippos, crocs, elephants, giraffes and other animals.

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park.

 

Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge

After breakfast, we continue our game drive out of the Serengeti National Park heading towards Ngorongoro Crater. Enroute we stop at the viewpoint overlooking the Olduvai Gorge. A river canyon cuts 300 feet into the volcanic Serengeti Plains, which was once the home of our earliest ancestors. The Gorge was made famous by the discoveries of fossil fragments of Homo sapiens by the Leakey family in 1959 and we will visit the small, but excellent museum. While we have our picnic lunch, we can enjoy a talk from museum staff about the discoveries made in the valley below us. Not everyone can visit the valley below but we can experience this, as we have special permission as one of the only groups allowed to visit the actual site of discovery.

Overnight on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.

 

Day 11: Ngorongoro Crater

Early this morning we descend into the Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site and often called the 8th Wonder of the World. Animals are found throughout the year, due to the permanent availability of grass and water. Ngorongoro is one of the most spectacular game viewing sites in Africa, and contains an impressive variety of wildlife including the black mane lion, the highly endangered black rhino, herds of wildebeest, zebra, elephant, and hippo. We’ll enjoy the morning game drive with a picnic breakfast, then an afternoon drive to a farm lodge for a late lunch. This afternoon you will enjoy a guided walk around the lodge or enjoy a swim, a massage or just relax.

Overnight at a farm lodge.

 

Day 12: Depart Arusha (Kilimanjaro Airport)

After breakfast we transfer to Arusha where we will have lunch at a local home. Most local and international flights will depart in the afternoon and we will transfer to the Kilimanjaro International airport in time to connect to our flights home.

 
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