Day 1, Friday
Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater
After lunch in Arusha, drive to the famous Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area (NCCA), which features rolling plains, lakes, craters, mountains and dormant volcanoes. Journey up the side of the vast Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site, which is one of the largest volcanic craters in the world (almost 20 kilometers wide, 610-760 metres deep and covering a total area of 264 sq km) and arrive at the Ngorongoro Serena (or Sopa) Lodge in time for ‘sundowner’ cocktails and one of the finest views in the world.
Day 2, Saturday
Inside ‘the land that time forgot’
After breakfast, descend into the ‘8th Wonder of the World’, a unique biosphere that has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. Enclosed within its towering walls are grasslands, swamps, forests, saltpans, a fresh water lake and a glorious variety of birdlife. Here too are all the members of the ‘Big Five’ (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo) as well as a large cast of plains game and one of Africa’s densest populations of predators. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the crater floor before climbing back up to the lodge in time for relaxation before dinner.
To the Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge
After breakfast, leave the NCCA and cross into neighbouring Serengeti National Park, stopping en route at Ol Duvai Gorge. Known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’, this is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world. Pioneered by famous paleontologists Louis and Mary Leakey in the 1950s it offers a glimpse into life two million years ago. Arrive at either the Serengeti Serena or the Sopa Lodge in time to relax and enjoy a classic safari supper.
Day 4, Monday
On safari in the Serengeti
After breakfast, enjoy a full day’s game driving (meals taken in true safari style ‘in the bush’) in the vast and sensational Serengeti, which covers 14,763 sq km of endlessly rolling savannah. Venue for ‘the greatest wildlife show on Earth’, the annual migration of over one million wildebeest, the park is also renowned for its lions, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes and plains game. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 5, Tuesday
To Lake Manyara and the Great Rift
After breakfast, drive to beautiful Lake Manyara, a shallow alkaline lake that shimmers in a cleft in the Great Rift Valley. Arrive in time for lunch at the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, which stands on the edge of the escarpment, overlooking the lake. A small but uniquely diverse national
park, Manyara is home to the world-famous tree-climbing lions, thousands of flamingoes and nearly 500 species of birds. Return to the lodge in time for a swim in the stunning horizon pool and dinner in the elegant central dining room.
Day 6, Wednesday
Back to Arusha and Nairobi
After breakfast, drive back to Arusha, Tanzania’s ‘Safari Town’, in time for lunch, then board your afternoon shuttle back to Nairobi