Day 1 – Arusha (D)
On arrival at Kilimanjaro, you will be transferred to our hotel in Arusha. At night enjoy a welcome dinner at which time we will discuss the tour and wildlife photography in preparation for the coming days.
Day 2 – Arusha => Northern Serengeti (B, L, D)
This morning we fly to Kogatende in the northern part of Serengeti and then transfer to our wilderness camp, a short distance from the world-renown Mara River.
Our accommodation comprises of just 12 semi-luxurious and spacious tents with comfortable beds, quality linen and en-suite with flushing toilet and ‘bush shower’. Just imagine lying in bed at night listening to the wildlife around you.
With wildlife in every direction, we head out after lunch to commence the first of many game drives.
Day 3 to 5 – Northern Serengeti (B, L, D)
Over the next three days, we’ll enjoy game drives in private vehicles, seeking out amazing wildlife opportunities and the somewhat more elusive crossing of the Mara River.
At this time of the year the Great Wildebeest Migration will be coming into the northern region of the Serengeti and beginning to make its way across the Mara River to the greener pastures of Masai Mara. There’s an excellent chance of getting the big 5, that being lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. But there will also be an abundance of other animals to see and photograph as well.
The Mara River has large resident crocodiles patiently waiting for a crossing and potential meal. In deeper pools, you will find hippopotamus. Back on land, you’ll see wildebeest, zebra, Thomson’s Gazelle and giraffes. There is also excellent chances of photographing cheetah and Spotted Hyena, and if we’re lucky, even a rare Black Rhine.
Day 6 – Northern Serengeti => Central Serengeti (B, L, D)
Today we depart by road, heading south to our next destination, Serengeti Wilderness Camp in the heart of the Serengeti. Our drive will be against the natural flow of the wildebeest migration, so plenty of wildlife opportunities can be expected.
Our facilities over the next couple of nights will be much the same as previous. This is a great area for large cats, elephant and buffalo.
Day 7 – Central Serengeti (B, L, D)
Today will be another day of multiple game drives around the central region of Serengeti. Compared to the north, wildlife will be a little scarcer and more scattered, however, this presents an opportunity to seek out more elusive animals.
Day 8 – Central Serengeti => Ngorongoro Conservation Area (B, L, D)
Today we head south-east through the Serengeti Plaines to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, stopping briefly to visit Olduvai Gorge. Olduvai Gorge is where remains of early man were discovered by Louis Leakey. The museum is fascinating, and a resident specialist gives an interesting talk on this topic.
Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The crater (610 metres deep and 260 km squared) is a microcosm of East African scenery and game.
Ngorongoro is possibly the only place to see black rhino in Tanzania as well as prides of lion that include the magnificent black-maned males. There are lots of colourful flamingos and a variety of other water birds around Sopa Lake on the crater floor. More than a 100 species of bird not found in the Serengeti have been found in the crater. Other game includes: leopard, cheetah, hyena, elephants, warthog, impala, buffalo, hartebeest, eland and lots of other members of the antelope family.
Our stay at the crater will be at the Sopa Lodge, which is perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater at 2,375 metres. The lodge is spacious, offering luxury appointed rooms that command a majestic view of the crater.
Day 9 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area (B, L, D)
This morning we descend into the Ngorongoro Crater. To avoid congestion in the crater, a six-hour permit is issued to all vehicles – during that time we will experience the vast array of wildlife concentrated into this wonderland. We will have lunch next to a freshwater lake where hippos watch our every move.
After leaving the crater we return to our lodge’s viewpoint of the crater highlands.
Day 10 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area => Tarangire National Park (B, L, D)
This morning we depart Sopa Lodge, initially heading North of the crater to visit the Empakai Crater, a stunningly beautiful and smaller volcanic crater. After visiting Empakai we head South from Ngorongoro to Tarangire National Park.
Tarangire lies to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasailand and is the best-kept secret on the northern safari circuit of Tanzania. It offers wonderful panoramas of wide savannah grasslands dotted with open acacia woodland studded with large Baobab trees. The density of game is second only to the crowded Ngorongoro Crater and it also has its own annual migration which includes an estimated 5,000 elephants.
The difference with Serengeti is that in the animals migrate away from the park during the dry season. The opposite happens in Tarangire where animals migrate from Maasai Steppe to the park during the dry season.
They come in search of water, which is provided by Tarangire River, and predators migrate in search of prey. During this period the park has the largest concentration of animals in any park in northern Tanzania.
Day 11 to 12 – Tarangire National Park (B, L, D)
For the next 2 days, we will undertake multiple game drives in Tarangire National Park. In addition to being a great opportunity to photograph elephants, Tarangire is also a good place to get photos of leopards. After some 10 days of amazing wildlife, don’t be surprised if you are drawn to the smaller wildlife, as the birdlife in Tarangire is also amazing.
Day 13 – End of Tour (B, L, D)
It’s time to set about preparing for the conclusion of our amazing photographic safari and our journey home. We say goodbye to Tarangire National Park and proceed to Kiliminjaro Airport, stopping for lunch en route.
Upon arrival at the airport, it’ll be time to say farewell to your fellow travellers and commence your journey home.