Chimps, Serengeti and Spice

This fantastic trip combines the magical, ‘bucket list’ experience of two days of chimp trekking in remote Gombe National Park with the full, magnificent Serengeti safari experience and four wonderfully relaxing nights on the spice island of Zanzibar.

Chimps, Serengeti and Spice

11 days from £6,550 pp excluding international flights.

This fantastic trip combines the magical, ‘bucket list’ experience of two days of chimp trekking in remote Gombe National Park with the full, magnificent Serengeti safari experience and four wonderfully relaxing nights on the spice island of Zanzibar.

This 12-day holiday combines three iconic Tanzanian experiences; chimp trekking in Gombe National Park, game drives and unrivalled wildlife viewing in the spectacular Serengeti and relaxation and watersports on the beautiful spice island of Zanzibar.

You’ll go on two chimp treks in consecutive days in the park perhaps most synonymous with chimpanzees, thanks to the pioneering work in the 1960s of the British primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. Spending time observing these charismatic primates, with their close family groups and social structures, is an emotional and fascinating experience. You may even witness a piece of behaviour specific to Gombe chimps; they squat over a termite mound and, using tools (usually twigs or stems), ‘fish’ for termites, a skill they pass on to their offspring.

After 3 nights in Mbali Mbali Gombe tented camp – the only private lodge in the tiny park (it’s just 56km2) – you then travel to the magnificent Serengeti National Park, home to the Big Five and renowned for the annual wildebeest migration and the high concentrations of lions and cheetahs.  You’ll spend three nights in a charming thatched tented lodge in a glorious elevated position in central Serengeti, enjoying two days of game drives in one of the world’s greatest wildlife destinations.

Your holiday ends with four nights on Zanzibar, where you’ll stay in a stunningly-located family-owned hotel on a pristine beach. Whether you choose to spend the time winding down, enjoying the tropical gardens, swimming pool and peaceful beach, or opt to explore the historic island, make use of the on-site PADI dive centre, indulge in spa treatment or two or go windsurfing, snorkelling or sailing, you’re sure to finish your trip in style.

Highlights

  • Fantastic combination of chimp trekking, safari & beach
  • Two unforgettable chimp treks in Gombe National Park
  • Game drives in Serengeti
  • Stay in a small, classic tented camp in Gombe
  • Three nights in a thatched tented eco-lodge in Serengeti
  • Four nights in a beach-side hotel on Zanzibar
  • Enjoy watersports & spa treatments on the ‘spice island’

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DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ARUSHA

You will be met upon arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport and transferred to the Four Points by Sheraton, The Arusha Hotel, in time for dinner. Set in a charming garden, this is one of the oldest hotels in East Africa but has a contemporary feel inside and boasts a gym and an outdoor swimming pool. It is located by Arusha’s famous clock tower, which marks the half-way point between the north and south of Africa.

Breakfast

DAY 2: ARUSHA – GOMBE NATIONAL PARK

After an early breakfast at the hotel you’ll be collected and transferred to Arusha Airport to check in for your roughly five-hour flight to Kigoma - the real adventure has begun! On arrival at Kigoma you will be met by your hosts from Mbali Mbali Gombe and transferred by boat (approximately two hours) on Lake Tanganyika to the tented camp, which will be your home for the next three nights.

Mbali Mbali Gombe is the only private lodge in remote Gombe National Park. Set just off the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in the shade of the lush forest, it comprises an intimate, seven-room tented camp, the perfect base for chimp trekking expeditions. You’ll arrive in time to explore your surroundings, take the short walk to the beach and perhaps snorkel in the lake before watching the sunset.

 

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAYS 3 - 4: CHIMP TREKKING IN GOMBE

Prepare yourself for a moving and remarkable experience on each of these two days... After breakfast, accompanied by a guide from the lodge and a park guide, you will trek through the forest to find a group from the Kasakela chimp community. En-route you will be able to enjoy wildlife viewing in the forest, keeping an eye open and your camera at the ready for any sightings of olive baboons and red colobus monkeys.

The time the trek will take will depend, of course, on where the chimps are located when you are there. The Kasakela chimps cover five valleys and, if it’s in the dry season (about July to October), when the communities tend to move down the slopes your trek could be as short as 20 minutes before you encounter your first group. In the wet season it could take three hours of uphill trekking before you do so, but the encounter, when it comes, will absolutely be worth it!

In order not to risk bringing communicable diseases to the chimp community, all trekkers wear face masks and must keep a minimum of 10m away from these wonderful primates. And if you’re unwell - even with a common cold - you cannot make the trek.

Trekkers have up to one hour with the chimps. Spending time with these extraordinary creatures, seeing them in their family groups as they play, groom and quarrel is a truly unforgettable experience. They may stay in one spot while you’re with them or they might be on the move and you follow them if it’s possible. Nothing is certain with such a wild encounter but the guide and park ranger will try to give you the best possible experience for your hour with them.

You’ll return to the camp for a late lunch and then you can relax on the beach or swim in the lake.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 5: GOMBE TO THE SERENGETI

After breakfast at the lodge you will travel back by boat to Kigoma where you will be met and taken to the airport for your three-and-a-quarter hour flight to Serengeti, arriving about 5pm. On arrival you are met by your hosts and transferred to Mbali Mbali Soroi Serengeti, enjoying a short game drive en-route. The newest property in the Mbali Mbali collection, this thatched, tented lodge is set high on a plateau, with incredible views of the Musabi Plains in Serengeti’s Western Corridor.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAYS 6 - 7: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

You now have two full days exploring central Serengeti and its surroundings on shared game drives. The migration passes through this region from April to June, and in November and December, but whenever you are here you will have fabulous game viewing.

When not on game drives you can relax in the modern decor of your thatched chalet, take a dip in the swimming pool on the tiered decking area, or swap safari tales by the fireside.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 8: SERENGETI – ARUSHA - ZANZIBAR

This morning it’s time to bid goodbye to Serengeti; after breakfast you will be collected and driven back to Seronera airstrip where you will board a flight back to Arusha (about 1 hour 20 mins with possible pickup/drop off stops on the way) in time to connect with a lunchtime flight to Zanzibar (via Dar, about 1½ hours).

You will be met at the airport and taken on the hour-long drive to your home for the next 4 nights, the family-owned Breezes Beach Club & Spa, set on a lovely beach on the east coast of Zanzibar on Bwejuu beach. Take time to admire the beautiful location, kick off your shoes and feel that soft sand between your toes, or swim in the pool before your first night’s dinner.

Breakfast, dinner

DAYS 9-11: ZANZIBAR

For the next three days Zanzibar is your island paradise. Explore Breezes’ gorgeous tropical gardens, dive into the large swimming pool, taste milk from a coconut straight from the tree, dive in the coral reef (there is a PADI dive centre on site), visit the Frangipani Spa for a massage or other treatment, learn palm weaving or take a Swahili cultural cooking class. Or perhaps play tennis, learn to kitesurf, kayak or windsurf, or take an excursion to one of the areas of cultural interest on this historic island. Or just... chill out...

Breakfast, dinner

DAY 12: RETURN HOME

We suspect you’ll be reluctant to head for home after such a magnificent adventure, but today you will depart after breakfast, and be transferred to the airport in time for your flight home or onward journey.

Breakfast

2019 guide prices based on two people sharing excl international flights
01 Aug – 31 Oct 2019 from £7,495
01 Nov – 20 Dec 2019 from £6,550
21 Dec 2019 – 07 Jan 2020 from £8,060

2020 guide prices based on two people sharing excl international flights
08 Jan – 15 Mar 2020 from £6,875
16 Jun – 31 Oct 2020 from £7,495
01 Nov – 20 Dec 2020 from £6,550

Includes: Domestic flights as shown, AMREF flying doctors insurance while on safari, Accommodation and meals as shown (based on twin share),National park and conservation fees on safari, Trained English-speaking guide on safari, Transfers as mentioned. At Gombe: local drinks, laundry, 2 chimpanzee treks (shared), kayaking, use of snorkelling masks/flippers, return boat trip from Kigoma to Gombe, return airport transfer from Kigoma airport to Kigoma Hilltop Hotel (from where the boat is taken). At Soroi: local drinks, laundry, two shared daily game drives or a full day shared game drive, transfer to and from Seronera Airstrip. At Breezes: use of gym and tennis courts, free wifi throughout (based on half board but full board is available at extra cost)

Excludes: International flights (please request), Visa, Airport departure taxes, Tips, Laundry at breezes, Drinks not stated, Boat safari and cultural tour to Gombe’s neighboring fishing village ($25pp)

Please note: this trip does not operate from 16 Mar to 15 June due to the seasonal closure of Gombe Forest Lodge.

Tanzania Specialists

Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Tanzania.
Tell us what you want, and we will tailor make your perfect trip.

Call: 01473 599084