Day 1 - Arusha - Karama Lodge / BB
Day 2 - Drive to Tarangire (2.5h), lunch at camp, afternoon game drive - Whistling Thorn / HB
Day 3 - Morning game drive. Breakfast at camp, Drive to Mto wa Mbo (1h) - Migunga Forest Camp / HB
Day 4 - Self drive safari Lake Manyara National Park - Migunga Forest Camp /HB
Day 5 - Optional morning activities (e.g. village walk, mountain biking). Drive to Karatu (1h) - Octagon Logde / BB
Day 6 - Self-drive safari Ngorongoro Crater - Octagon Logde / BB
Day 7 - Drive to lake Eyasi (3h), explore lake - Tindiga Tented Camp / HB
Day 8 - Hunt with the Hadzabe tribe (5:30AM), breakfast at camp - drive to USA River ( 4.5h) - Meru View Lodge / BB
Day 9 - End of road trip. Relax at the pool at lodge. Depart.
Day 1: Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania!
Today you’ll arrive in Arusha. Whether you come by bus, plane, bike or train, we’ll make sure you get a transfer to your lodge in Arusha. For first time visitors to Africa, Arusha is an agreeable introduction to urban Africa. It is an organized green town, with a skyline dominated by the imposing Mount Meru. Depending on the hour of your arrival, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Arusha.
You will be welcome at Karama Lodge & Spa, a lovely eco-friendly lodge located just southeast of Arusha town. Your accommodation is in a wooden bungalow, on poles, on a mountain slope surrounded by peaceful forest. Your room has a private balcony with a great view on Kilimanjaro and Meru on the clearer days. The restaurant serves tasty food and is open all day. The lodge has a lovely garden and a small salt water swimming pool. Your stay at Karama Lodge will on the basis of Bed & Breakfast.
Day 2: Start of your road trip: Arusha - Tarangire National Park.
Today you’ll start your road trip through Tanzania. You receive the car and a brief explanation in the morning, and after breakfast you’ll be ready to hit the road towards Tarangire National Park. The road is tarred and in perfect condition, and the journey takes around 2 hours. After arrival at Whistling Thorn you can have lunch at camp. After lunch, it’s time to bite the dust for your first self-drive safari in Tarangire National Park!
Your accommodation will be in a spacious safari tent with ensuite bathroom at Whistling Thorn. The camp is set in a typical African bush landscape, named after the swollen thorns of the acacia scrub, which is hollow, producing a whistling sound when the wind blows through. It is located at the Kwakuchinja Wildlife Corridor that is used by the animals to go from Tarangire to Lake Manyara in search for water and grasses. From the camp, it is a 30 minute drive to the Tarangire park entrance. Whistling Thorn is an intimate camp, with only six tents run by friendly local staff from the nearby Maasai villages. Your stay at Whistling Thorn will be on the basis of half board (Breakfast & Dinner).
Day 3: Drive to Mto wa Mbu
Today you travel to Mto wa Mbu. The drive to this inviting, tropical traveller’s town is only one hour, so you can choose your own program today. In the morning you can either do a game drive in Tarangire or you continue your trip to explore the next region on route. Mto wa Mbu, the gateway to Lake Manyara National Park, is a lively village that sees a large volume of tourist traffic. It’s well stocked with various tourist paraphernalia and offers various tourist activities. It is said to be the only place in Tanzania where representatives of 120 Tanzanian tribes are resident and is well worth spending some time! The main entrance gate to Lake Manyara National Park is at the outskirts of the village.
The next two nights your accommodation will be at Migunga Forest Camp underneath the canopy of an acacia forest, just off the Mto wa Mbu – Karatu main road, and a five minute drive from the park entrance. You’ll sleep in a safari tent on a raised platform with private veranda and bathroom. Your stay at Miginga Forest Camp will be on the basis of half board (Breakfast & Dinner).
Day 4: Lake Manyara National Park
Today you have plenty of time to do game drives at Lake Manyara National Park. The shallow soda lake is set at the base of the Western Rift Valley Escarpment. The northwestern lakeshore and its hinterland are protected in a scenic national park. Manyara is one of Tanzania’s smallest parks, yet boosting a very diverse flora & fauna - savannah, acacia woodland, rocks, grassy floodplains and tropical rainforest. An exciting aspect of the Lake Manyara area is the opportunity to stretch your legs. The park offers suburb birding and guided walking safaris along the shore to the hot springs and flamingo lookout point. Best to go early in the morning.
Day 5: Drive to Karatu, Crater Highlands and Ngorongoro
Your next destination is Karatu, a convenient base for visiting Ngorongoro and the Crater Highlands (Lodware gate is 14 km ahead). Karatu town lies about 30 km from Mto wa Mbu on a smooth asphalt road.
The next two days you will stay at Octagon Lodge. This cozy lodge is located in leafy suburban area of Karatu town, the gateway to the Ngorongoro Crater & Highlands. Octagon Lodge is set in a beautiful garden with swimming pool, a cozy restaurant and an Irish pub. You’ll sleep in a spacious and stylish bungalow with en suite bathroom. Your stay at Octagon Lodge will be on the basis of half board (Breakfast & Dinner).
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater self drive safari
Today you will visit the Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the flagship of Tanzania's tourism industry and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The crater is the world's largest intact volcanic caldera and is the only place in the world where you have a very high chance to see the 'Big 5' in one day. Read more about the Ngorongoro Crater and how to organize and pay for your crater permits.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the main focal point of tourist attraction in the NCA, but the highlands boast other, less visited extinct volcanoes and calderas, such as Empakaai crater and Oldupai Gorge. Trekking in the crater highlands is an adventurous, off the beaten track activity. Read more here.
Day 7: Drive to Lake Eyasi
Today you drive to Lake Eyasi, a shallow soda lake at the remote southern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It’s a 2 hour drive from Karatu, mostly on rough, rocky roads, so drive carefully and slowly. The Lake Eyasi Cultural Tourism Programme regulates tourism in the area. You can find the office at the main road, when entering Mang’ola coming from Karatu. You need to stop here to pay the mandatory entrance fee of $ 20 / vehicle and it is also where you arrange a guide for your Hunting experience with the Hadza tribe tomorrow. If you want to do some exploration of the area we recommend doing it it today and reserving tomorrow for cultural activities, as these start early in the morning.
You will stay in Tindiga Tented Camp, a small-scale yet comfortable and welcoming tented camp, set up amidst a bushy shrubland of the Eyasi Ecosystem and some 1.5 kilometers from Lake Eyasi. Your accommodation will be in tented rooms with en suite bathrooms. The camp has a basic restaurant built by local Datoga women, and a nice open fireplace and lounge area. Your stay at Tindiga Tented Camp will be on the basis of half board (Breakfast & Dinner).
Day 8: Visit Hadzabe and return to Arusha
Joining the Hadza on a hunt means getting up at 5:00 AM and is quite a unique experience. The Hadza are Tanzania’s only remaining tribe of true hunter-gatherers. Their language is characterized by clicks, reminiscent of Southern Africa’s San. The Hadza live in nomadic family bands and they live from what nature provides. Hunting with poisoned arrows and honey gathering are generally male activities, while women and children collect roots, seeds and fruit. The hunting men are fast and will not wait for you, so some level of fitness is required. That this can still exist in the 21st century is unbelievable...
You return to your lodge around 10:30 AM for your breakfast. After breakfast it’s time to return to Arusha. Allow 5 hours for the drive to your accommodation near Arusha.
You’ll spend the night in a cozy bungalow at Meru View Lodge. The comfortable bungalows are dotted around the flowering gardens and there is an inviting swimming pool. As the owners are German, a small beer garden can’t be missed, and the restaurant has the feel of a cozy modern mountain cabin, with the Bavarian decor replaced by Masaai blankets. Your stay at Meru View Lodge will be on basis of Bed & Breakfast.
Meru View Lodge is located higher up the hills, off the main road, 40 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport, halfway to Arusha at 1 km from the entrance to Arusha National Park.
Day 9: Arusha
Today will be the last day of your tour. Depending on the hour of your departure, you may be able to explore the sites in and around Arusha. There are plenty of trendy cafes, restaurants and gift shops catering to expatriates, tourists and wealthier locals, which can be a welcome relief after spending a few days in the bush. Check our Arusha & Surroundings page for recommendations on what to do and where to eat here. If necessary we will transfer you to the airport.
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