Luxury Serengeti & Crater Safari
This safari is not about watching the pennies, it’s about some of the best quality game-viewing and a few of our absolute favourite places to stay in northern Tanzania.
Luxury Serengeti & Crater Safari
9 days from £7,195 pp excluding international flights.
If we were saving up for a really special safari, this is one option we’d choose for ourselves – a great trip focussing on the Serengeti’s wildebeest migration and the Ngorongoro Crater. Stylish, personal camps in just the right places for the highlights you’ve come to see, and your own private guide.
Sometimes you just want to do things right and forget the cost. This safari caters for those times. Perhaps it’s an anniversary or a honeymoon, perhaps you just know you or a loved one deserve a truly memorable safari.
Your first two lodges, in Arusha and near the Ngorongoro Crater, set the scene with attentive service, top quality furnishings, pretty gardens and a swimming pool; you feel pampered. From here you move to a classic safari camp in central Serengeti, with tented suites looking out across the plains, a welcoming mess tent with cushion-strewn couches, wooden cabinets and chandeliers. Your next destination is more remote still, a mobile camp sited for the migration, yet even here you have the benefit of a spacious en-suite tent, enjoy meals eaten as a group with your friendly hosts. This safari is at once exciting and relaxed, and definitely has the personal touch.
Experience the spirit of safari, waking early to watch the sunrise as another day dawns, ready for adventure! You climb aboard the 4×4 for a morning of wildlife watching, never sure what you may see but certain that every encounter will be unique. Shelter in camp during the heat of the day, once again heading out in the afternoon for a drive that includes sundowner drinks. After dinner by candlelight retire to your tent to fall asleep to the sounds of the bush. It’s immersive and addictive.
- Annual Serengeti wildebeest migration
- The unique Ngorongoro Crater
- Small, authentic places to stay with personal service
- Your own private driver-guides
- Understated luxury with high quality experiences
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DAY 1: ARRIVE IN KILIMANJARO AND DRIVE TO ARUSHA
You meet your driver guide at Kilimanjaro Airport for the 45 minute or so ride to Onsea House in Arusha. This colonial-style inn is a cosy place to relax after your flight. Have a swim in the outdoor pool, listen to birds in the gardens, relax on the terrace, sip a chilled drink in the bar and enjoy a tasty dinner: your holiday has begun. Dinner.
DAY 2: ON SAFARI IN TARANGIRE OR LAKE MANYARA
After breakfast you set off with your driver into either Tarangire or Lake Manyara national park (your choice), as both are easily accessible. Your first game drive should prove exciting as you experience that initial sighting and feel the thrill of being in close proximity to wildlife. We’ll give you a picnic lunch today so you can make the most of the wildlife viewing. Your final destination is Plantation Lodge, set in the grounds of a former farmhouse on the outer foothills of Ngorongoro Crater, where you stay for 2 nights. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
DAY 3: ON SAFARI IN NGORONGORO CRATER
An exciting day is in prospect, a safari in the famous Ngorongoro Crater including a picnic lunch. As you descend into the vast caldera, you start to spot animals. The crater holds an abundance of wildlife including the Big 5, herds of wildebeest, zebra and buffalo and innumerable birds. With so much to see you are glad of the help of your private guide helping you correctly to identify different species. Head back up and back to the rim for the drive back to your comfortable lodge. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
DAY 4: DRIVE TO SERENGETI VIA OLDUVAI GORGE
It’s time to head for the Serengeti, but first you visit the World Heritage Site of Olduvai Gorge where there’s a museum exhibiting fossils of the earliest known human remains. You continue with a game viewing drive as you as you near the central Serengeti, pausing for a picnic en route. The drive ends at Lemala Ewanjan Camp in the Seronera Valley, your home for 2 nights. Relax with a cocktail by the campfire as you get to know fellow guests before dinner. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 5: ON SAFARI IN CENTRAL SERENGETI
A full day in central Serengeti. The name means ‘endless plains’, and today’s safari will bear that out as you drive across sweeping grasslands, stopping to witness herds of wildebeest and zebra. Even outside the migration there is plenty to see with abundant resident wildlife such as buffalo, hippo, eland, impala and, of course, predators including lion, leopard and cheetah. Whether you return to camp for lunch, heading back out in the late afternoon, or stay out all day, your safari concludes with sundowner drinks at one of the guide’s favourite locations. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 6: FLY TO YOUR SECOND SERENGETI CAMP (North or south depending on date)
Today you leave your first guide and fly to the second camp we’ve arranged for you. Alex Walker’s Serian Serengeti camps are some of the very best. They’re not about gold taps and butlers, but simple high quality accommodation and hosting, and expert guiding.
If you’re travelling from June to October you’ll be heading to the camp in the north, if you it’s January to March you’ll be heading south. Either way your destination is the best place to observe the wildebeest migration, surely one of the most exhilarating of natural phenomena. Each of the camps is small with just a handful of 6 tents, where you sit down to group meals and can relax between game viewing excursions as you make yourself at home. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 7: ON SAFARI IN SERENGETI NORTH OR SOUTH
The drama of the migration takes different forms. If you’re in the north (June – October) you hope to see the spectacle of the river crossings, with thousands of wildebeest and zebra compelled by instinct to take to the water braving the teeth and claws of waiting crocodiles and big cats. The south between January and March is a time of new life, as calves are born and nurtured, a wonderful sight in itself, but with predators nearby there is also a sense of menace: the never ending struggle that is part of nature. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 8: ON SAFARI IN SERENGETI NORTH OR SOUTH
A second full day to appreciate the complexities of the migration in all its raw might. It’s emotional, you can’t help but be awed by the scale of what you see, yet there’s time to witness individual scenes as well as the macrocosm. Your guide knows the area intimately and takes great pride and pleasure in making sure you get the very best out of your time in this special place. Tonight enjoy your final dinner of the safari as you recall its many highlights. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 9: DEPART TO AIRSTRIP, FLY TO ARUSHA, TOUR ENDS
Enjoy breakfast in camp before packing your bags for the drive to the airstrip and the flight to Arusha and your onward travel arrangements. (We’d highly recommend a stay on Zanzibar at somewhere such as Matemwe Lodge). Breakfast
2019 guide prices based on two people sharing excl international flights
01 Jun- 31 Oct 2019 from £7495
2020 guide prices based on two people sharing excl international flights
01 Jan – 31 Mar 2020 (with central and southern Serengeti) from £7935
01 Jun – 31 Oct 2020 (with central and northern Serengeti) from £7495
Includes: 1 night at Onsea House, 2 nights at Plantation Lodge, 2 nights at Lemala Ewanjan Camp, 3 nights at Serian Serengeti North (15 Jun-Oct) or Serian Serengeti South (Jan-end Mar) all on a twin share basis, meals listed as included, in-house drinks at Serian Serengeti Camp, private transfers as per itinerary, domestic flights Seronera-Kogatende (North) and Kogatende-Arusha, or Seronera-Mwiba (South) and Mwiba-Arusha, private game drives in Tarangire/Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater, central Serengeti and in Serengeti North/South, English-speaking driver-guide, bottled water on safari, park, conservation and reserve fees, AMREF flying doctors insurance, laundry at Serian Serengeti Camp
Excludes: International flights and taxes, domestic departure tax, visas, travel insurance, meals not listed as included, drinks other than in house drinks at Serian Serengeti Camp, personal expenditure, tips
Follow the rains! You’ll see from the day-by-day itinerary that we are advising a slight change in where you stay in the Serengeti depending on the time you travel. This is all about the rains and the continuous movement of the migratory herds. The long rains fall from about mid-March to the end of May. Most people avoid these months as it’s wet, travel can be tricky, and gameviewing is harder in the rain.
Before the long rains come though (December-March), the migration is in the southern Serengeti, it’s calving time around February, and it’s dry – a great time to visit. If you come in mid-June to October, the rains have drawn the wildlife up to northern Serengeti, so this is where we take you. This is also an excellent gameviewing time – it’s dry, grasses have died down, and animals converge more on water sources.
Also, in this northern area, you stand a good chance of seeing river crossings. In essence, all the months we offer this trip (January to March, and mid-June to end of October) are excellent times to come.
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Call: 01473 599084