Deeper Africa - vacations and travel

Tanzania Explorer

Tanzania

from $5,749* per person 11 Days May-March
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Deeper Africa 8 people max
  • Kilimanjaro, tanzania
  • Culture & Nature trips
This is an ideal journey for the active traveler who prefers an in-depth and off-track journey. Your private Land Cruiser and private naturalist allow you to set your daily safari activities as you choose. While all of our safaris have up close Land Cruiser wildlife viewing, this safari also offers walking safaris to explore the African bush on foot.  After enjoying elephants and much more in Tarangire, visit the famous Ngorongoro Crater. Lions, elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, and cheetah: the Crater has it all.

Your walking guide is experienced on foot in the bush so you explore in safety.  You can schedule in as many active adventures as you want, knowing that you'll be able to go back to your luxury camp and relax. Plus, all of the amazing wildlife Tanzania offers!

This safari is an excellent combination of wilderness and luxury. Your days are spent in the African bush, but your nights are in small, luxurious tented camps that allow a unique safari experience. Surrounded by the open space of the East African savannah, with the sights and sounds of wildlife nearby, you'll be well fed and well cared for in our luxury camps.

Locations visited/nearby

Tanzania

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.

Itinerary

Day 1 Travel Day International Flight

Day 2
Mount Meru Lodge
Arusha
Pickup at Kilimanjaro Airport by Deeper Africa guide after clearing customs.
He will have a sign with your name on it. Your guide will transport you to
Mount Meru Lodge for an evening dinner and overnight.
Dinner and overnight at Mount Meru Lodge.

Day 3
Oliver’s Camp
Tarangire National Park
Breakfast at Mount Meru House. Explorer safaris are for curious, energetic
safari travelers open to discovery. They are an adventure in contrast: one
night you are dining by candlelight in an exquisite lodge; another evening
dinner is served by the campfire of a well-staffed camp. One day you explore
by Land Cruiser for thrilling, whisker-close encounters with the “Big Five.”
Another day finds you strolling in the honey sweet air, with an attentive band
of tribesmen who explain the subtle meanings of tracks, bird songs, and
infinite other discoveries only an explorer can find.
You’ll begin your safari with a drive from Arusha to Tarangire National Park
with wildlife viewing as soon as you enter the park traveling south into the
remote wilderness. You have exclusive access to this area of the park as there
are no other lodges or camps in the area. Off-road game driving and walking
safaris are allowed in this wilderness zone within the park boundaries.
Tarangire contains a range of ecosystem: from grassland and woodlands in the
north, to scrub and wetlands further south. The Tarangire River cuts through
the park and empties into Lake Burunge in the west. As water sources dry up
in the park after the end of the rainy season, animals migrate to the only
permanent water available - the Tarangire River and the Silale Swamp system.
Huge numbers of zebras make up the majority of the herds in Tarangire.
Wildebeests, buffalos, and antelope are found as well. From the camp, Land
Cruiser wildlife viewing will bring you close to Tarangire’s trademark elephants
and baobab trees as well as the cats, snakes, and other animals.
Now you choose whether to view from the Land Cruiser for up-close “Big
Five” viewing or move onto the land for walking safaris. Our walking guide is
resident at Oliver’s Camp so he is familiar with the area and the best places to
explore on foot. You can schedule walking time in the bush for several hours
or the whole day, if you prefer. We’ll pack a picnic lunch if you choose to be
away from camp for lunch. An armed ranger also accompanies the walks.
Animals are usually spotted on walking safaris, however the goal is not to get
as close as possible to the wildlife, but rather to observe their undisturbed
behavior. This is the only area in Tarangire where tracking and spotting skills
can be learned on foot.
Sundowners (“drinks at sundown”), dinner, and overnight at Oliver’s Camp.

Day 4
Oliver’s Camp
Tarangire National Park
Breakfast at Oliver’s Camp. Tarangire boasts one of the largest and most
conspicuous elephant populations in East Africa. There are large family groups
with many calves being born each year. The population continues to recover
from the devastating effects of poaching in the eighties. You will see herds of
elephants, and gain up-close encounters with the matriarchs, babies, teenagers,
and bulls. Your close contact will help expand your understanding of these
incredible animals. Spend several hours surrounded by the herds, and you
cannot help but feel their wisdom. Tarangire is also known for its abundant
baobab trees, most of which are over 600 years old.
Land Cruiser wildlife viewing or walking safaris available as you schedule for
the day. Your naturalist guide and private Land Cruiser are available for
wildlife viewing from 6 am to 6 pm. Walking safaris can be as short as two or
three hours or as long as the whole day.
Sundowners, dinner, and overnight at Oliver’s Camp.

Day 5
Plantation Lodge
Ngorongoro Conservation
Area
Breakfast at Oliver’s Camp. Morning wildlife viewing as you travel north to
the park gate. Short drive from Tarangire across the highlands into the
Ngorongoro Crater. Note the changes in vegetation as you begin the climb up
the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater. The savannahs disappear into lush,
more tropical vegetation, including vast coffee plantations. Ngorongoro
National Park begins on the Crater Rim and the vast exploded caldera is at the
bottom of the Crater. Even though it is park land, the Maasai are still allowed
to graze their cattle in the Crater because of ancestral claims on the land and
because the Tanzanian government recognizes the importance of the Maasai
to wildlife conservation. You will often see young herders and their cattle
moving in the morning and evening hours.
The Ngorongoro Crater is an expansive environment inside an extinct
volcano. Between 20,000 and 30,000 animals wander the floor. The Crater
ecosystem showcases an astonishing microcosm of East African wildlife
environments: grasslands, wetlands, acacia forest, and soda lake environments
- with beautiful flocks of flamingos at the right time of day. Wildlife visibility
is excellent, and there are wonderful opportunities for photography. Zebra,
wildebeest, and gazelle mingle together; while herds of buffalo graze the long
grass areas. Bull elephants and rhino are often seen feeding in green marshes,
and there are plenty of hyenas. The lakes and marshes are home to exotic
water fowl. Hippos lounge in the water holes and it is not uncommon to see
lions. Picnic lunch in the Crater with the full afternoon for wildlife viewing.
You’ll need to make the park gate on the rim by 6:00 pm.
Dinner and overnight at Plantation Lodge.

Day 6 Plantation Lodge
Ngorongoro Conservation
Area
Breakfast at Plantation Lodge. Full day for wildlife viewing in the Crater. We
recommend being at the park gate for the 6:00 am entrance. Morning is a
magical time on the savannah as the predators hunt, the birds arise, and the
herds begin to move after nightfall. Take a picnic lunch into the Crater with
you and wildlife view for the full day.
Dinner and overnight at Plantation Lodge.

Day 7
Dunia Camp
Serengeti National Park
Breakfast at Plantation Lodge. This morning you will begin the drive from the
Conservation Area toward the Serengeti ecosystem.
The word ‘Serengeti’ is derived from the Maasai language, meaning endless
plain. This vast savannah grassland extends northward into the Maasai Mara
in Kenya for over five thousand square miles of land, forming one of the
world’s largest wildlife refuges. This is land as it was in the beginning; no
fences, no settlements, just a perennial migration of wildlife. In a journey that
reaches back through time, these herds of animals (currently estimated at 1.25
million) follow the seasonal rains - traveling from the Serengeti into the Mara
instinctually moving with the seasonal rainfalls, sometimes migrating as much
as 300 miles a year. Wildlife is allowed to roam freely across the Kenyan and
Tanzanian borders, uniting the two parks into a single ecological unit that
supports the largest concentration of large mammals on the planet.
The annual migration is what makes the Serengeti famous. The herds gather
on the Tanzanian side of the ecosystem from sometime in November or
December through early July. The migration includes vast herds of wildebeest,
but also zebra and Thomson’s gazelle. The herds steadily move southward
through April or May when the seasonal rains cause them to turn and begin
the journey back northward toward the Maasai Mara. Wildebeest are well
suited to harvest the short grasses that cover the semiarid plains of the
Serengeti. The soils of this region have an underlying hard pan covered by a
fertile layer of volcanic soil. Grass growing in this soil is highly nutritious
taking up nutrients trapped by the hard pan.
Sundowners (“drinks at sundown”), dinner and overnight at Dunia Camp.

Day 8 Dunia Camp
Serengeti National Park
Breakfast at Dunia Camp. At Dunia you’ll have the opportunity to learn about
and observe human wildlife conflicts and to study some of the greatest
challenges facing the stability of the Serengeti migratory herds. In most other
areas of Africa, major wildebeest herds have died out due to ever-expanding
human populations which demand water resources as well as land for
agriculture and domestic livestock. Humans’ need for land at the edges of the
Serengeti and their need for water resources threaten to reduce both the
migration range and access to water resources. It is land available for grazing
and access to water that determine the size of the Serengeti wildebeest
population. The herd’s population varies yearly depending on rainfall and
availability of grassland. When there is not enough food or water, the weakest
members of the population starve. In the absence of severe drought, most of
the culling will occur late in the dry season, just before the “short rains” begin.
Sundowners, dinner, and overnight at Dunia Camp.

Day 9
Dunia Camp
Serengeti National Park
Breakfast at Dunia Camp. The Serengeti savannahs, with their open country
and grasslands, support a healthy cheetah population. Cheetahs face
increasing pressure from humans and land encroachment - with between 9,000
to 12,000 left in the world. You’ll be scouting for cheetah in one of the two
remaining cheetah strongholds in the world: the Mara/Serengeti ecosystem.
(The other significant cheetah population is in Namibia and Botswana.)
The Serengeti cheetah population is threatened by a lack of genetic variation,
making them susceptible to disease and decreasing reproduction. Still, there
have been a number of cub births in the Serengeti cheetah population over the
past five years. Cheetahs live in small groups or singly, not in prides. Look
carefully around the termite mounds as they are popular hiding places for the
Serengeti cheetahs.
Lion prides in the Serengeti are territorial. Females within a lion pride are
related to each other. Daughters, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and nieces
live together for up to 15 years - the typical lifespan of a lioness. Males are
forced to leave the pride at between two to three years of age. When not
attached to a pride, lions are nomadic, occasionally banding together with
other male cousins or brothers. The majority of prides in the Serengeti have
two or three adult males, but the males in power can form larger alliances.
Nomadic males are a constant territorial threat to the pride males. Each of the
Serengeti pride territories vary in size. The controlling factors tend to be
habitat and the availability of food. Some Serengeti prides can do quite well
with small amounts of territory, while other prides require substantially larger
amounts of ground. While pride members defend their territories they can
never keep an exclusive lock on all of their territory. Overlaps at the edges of
the territories find young nomadic males creating confrontations whenever
possible.
You will cross through a number of pride territories during your stay at Dunia
Camp. During migration season, the lions prosper with sufficient food to feed
all of the pride members. But once the herds migrate north into Kenya, the
resident wildlife becomes the prime target; and territory and hunting skills
become the means of survival. Wildlife populations double during the
migration season, but that still means that resident wildlife populations are
some of the most dense on the African continent and include substantial
populations of plains game, including buffalo, giraffe, and warthog, as well as a
wide range of antelope species, including dik dik, bushbuck, waterbuck, eland,
impala, and topi.
Sundowners, dinner, and overnight at Dunia Camp.

Day 10
Kia Lodge
(Day Room)
Breakfast at Dunia Camp. Morning game drive as you travel to a Serengeti
bush strip for your late morning bush flight to Arusha. Say goodbye to your
Deeper Africa guide at the airstrip, as he needs to drive the Land Cruiser to
Arusha. Your guide will have your plane ticket for you. The pilot will assist
you in getting checked in and getting your luggage boarded on the plane.
Bush Flight
Depart Serengeti bush strip @ 11:20 am
Arrive Arusha airport @ 13:30 pm
Pickup at Arusha airport by Deeper Africa guide. Lunch at Shanga River House. Learn more about the great work begin done by Shanga Project at www.shanga.org. Check in for day room at Kia Lodge. Time for packing, showering, and dinner. Evening transport to Kilimanjaro Airport for your international flight.

Day 11 Travel day
International Travel

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