Our unique “Lion Safari” will take you on an adventure of a lifetime, into the heart of Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. Nowhere else in Africa do we find the sheer numbers and varieties of game or the ease with which they can be viewed, as in Tanzania. Not only have we included 4 out of the 5 National Parks of the northern safari circuit, but we have also attempted to identify and incorporate areas well known for its frequent lion sightings to make this a truly unique “Lion Safari” adventure.
This is a suggested or sample itinerary – it can be adapted to suite your own personal needs and preferences, as well as for any seasonal changes or migratory animal movements. We have also offered you a wide variety of accommodation options – directly impacting on the total safari costs – in order to offer you the widest possible budget options.
ARUSHA – LAKE MANYARA
Distance: 130 km
Non game-viewing driving time: 21/2 hours
After breakfast you are met by our professional guide/driver, who will deliver a short safari briefing, after which we head east to the Great Rift Valley and the Lake Manyara National. We will drive through the agricultural and fresh produce market town of Mto WA Mbu, which is situated next to the entrance of the Lake Manyara National. The town is a souvenir hunters paradise, harbouring thousands souvenir salesmen – ready to pounce at your slightest invitation Lake Manyara National is on of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park) at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos, attracted by the algae in the lake. We will enjoy a picnic lunch inside the park and an exciting late morning and afternoon game drive, in search of the tree-climbing lions. Dinner and overnight in the Lake Manyara area, depending on the accommodation option requested.
LAKE MANYARA – SERENGETI
Distance: 205 km
Driving time: 6.00 hours
After an early breakfast we head toward the Serengeti National Park, via the beautiful high lying farmland of Karatu and the Ngorongoro Crater. Leaving the highlands behind, we descend into the heart of wild Africa – the Serengeti National Park – with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. We spend 3 days in this incredible untamed wilderness, where literally millions of animals roam. We head to the central park area, known as the Seronera Area, one of the richest wildlife habitats in the park, providing a valuable water source to this area and therefore attracting wildlife, well representative of most of the Serengeti’s species. After a late picnic lunch we do an afternoon drive along the Seronera River Circuit, which starts at the Seronera Hippo Pool and follows the river. This rewarding circuit offers sightings of hippo, lion, leopard, crocodiles, giraffe, waterbuck, vervet monkeys and various other animals, including many birds. Dinner and overnight in the Seronera area, depending on the accommodation option requested.
We do an after breakfast game viewing drive along the Songore River Circuit, which loops into the plains south of the Seronera River, and which is good for Thomson gazelle, topi, ostrich and cheetah sightings. The Visitor Centre close to the Seronera Wildlife Lodge and public campsites is well worth a visit after the morning game drive. This nicely designed centre offers some interesting wildlife displays, and gift shop selling information leaflets and maps of the area. The centre also has a shop where cold drinks and snacks can be purchased as well as a picnic area and information trail up and around a nearby kopje. We will enjoy a relaxed picnic lunch at the centre in the shade of giant acacia trees.
In the afternoon we will follow the Kopjes Circuit, which goes anti-clockwise around the Maasai Kopjes, which usually attract a number of lion and some formidably large cobras. Kopjes are weathered granite outcrops, scattered around the plains, most of which are miniature ecosystems, providing shade and drinking water in pools left in the rock after the rains. This makes the kopjes particularly good for spotting wildlife in the dry seasons – including lions, which like to lie in wait for animals coming to drink! Dinner and overnight in the Seronera area, depending on the accommodation option requested.
Day 4 will offer you an ideal opportunity to do an optional but unforgettable Hot Air Balloon flight, followed by a delightful champagne breakfast. After breakfast we head to the southeastern side of the park, visiting the Barafu Kopjes and the Ngare Nanyuki River area, for our morning and afternoon game drives. Apart from the lion prides you find in the area, the Barafu Kopjes is the place to visit for cheetah sightings. The Ngare Nanyuki River area is also well known for being packed with game. Dinner and overnight in the Seronera area, depending on the accommodation option requested.
SERENGETI – NDUTU
Distance: 80 km
Driving time: 1.45 hours
Today is our last day in the Serengeti National Park. We will once again visit some kopjes on our way out of the park and will do a morning game drive in the Simba Kopjes area. The kopjes are named after the lions, which frequently use these kopjes to just lie and bath in the sun. You may also see baboon, giraffe and some interesting birds in this area. From here we will head to Lake Ndutu, which is alkaline, like most of the other Rift lakes – however still drinkable and used by a wide array of local wildlife. We will do an afternoon game drive in the lake area, which offers quite a change from the vast open plains of the Serengeti. The area is usually heavy populated with elephant and birds as well as resident plains game. The Ndutu Lodge is a charming small safari lodge, which is used as a base by many wildlife film units. Dinner and overnight in the Ndutu area, depending on the accommodation option requested.
NDUTU – NGORONGORO CRATER
Distance: 175 km
Driving time: 4.30 hours
We depart after breakfast from Lake Ndutu with a morning game drive in the Naabi Hill area before we head for the Ngorongoro Crater via the famed Ngorongoro Crater, also known as “the cradle of mankind”. The gorge lies on the site of an ancient lake, covered by thick layers of volcanic ash, which carefully preserved the world’s earliest records of mankind and which was unearthed by the dedicated Leakey family. The museum displays some of these fascinating discoveries and remarkable finds. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the Gorge. From here we head for the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, one of the most densely crowded game areas in the world, which is home to an estimated 30,000 animals
Dinner and overnight on the Ngorongoro Crater Rim, depending on the accommodation option requested.
After an early breakfast we descend 600m into this magnificent crater to view wildlife for a full day’s tour. You will witness an unforgettable spectacle of African wildlife – a world teeming with animals. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the park supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, giant elephants and a small population of black rhino. Another big draw to this picturesque park is it dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. We will enjoy a picnic lunch at the hippo pool near the Mandusi Swamp, after which we will visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow lake in the southwestern corner of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here.
Dinner and overnight on the Ngorongoro Crater Rim, depending on the accommodation option requested
NGORONGORO CRATER – ARUSHA
Distance: 190 km
Driving time: 4.00 hours
After breakfast we depart for Arusha and end our safari adventure with a farewell lunch at the stunning Novotel Mount Meru hotel. Your guide should be tipped around $20 a day between the group. You will be taken to your hotel, which ends our safari services.