Day 1 - Arusha - Rivertrees Country Inn / BB
Day 2 - Car delivery, drive to Tarangire (2.5h), lunch at camp, afternoon game drive - Maramboi / HB
Day 3 - Morning game drive. Breakfast at camp, Drive to Mto wa Mbo (1h) - Manyara Green Camp / FB incl drinks
Day 4 - Self drive safari Lake Manyara National Park - Manyara Green Camp / FB, incl drinks
Day 5 - Optional morning activities (e.g. village walk, mountain biking). Drive to Karatu (1h) - Ngorongoro Farm House / FB
Day 6 - Self-drive safari Ngorongoro Crater - Ngorongoro Farm House / FB
Day 7 - Drive to lake Eyasi (3h), explore lake - Ksima Ngeda / HB
Day 8 - Hunt with the Hadzabe tribe (5:30AM), breakfast at camp - drive to USA River (4.5h) - Rivertrees Country Inn / 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’ll 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 stay at the Rivertrees Country Inn nestled in the foothills of Mt Meru and commanding a great view of Kilimanjaro. The luxurious country estate combines old-world ambience, rustic African elegance, and excellent farm cooking. The lodge has a beautiful peaceful garden of no less than ten acres, with the most amazing trees, attracting many birds. You will sleep in one of the tastefully furnished cottages. The lodge has a lovely country style restaurant, a great swimming pool, a luxurious spa and offers several fun activities. Your stay at Rivertrees Country Inn will be on basis of Bed & Breakfast.
The lodge is conveniently located just off the main road, 40 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport, halfway to Arusha, and only 15 minutes from the Arusha National Park gate.
Day 2: Start of your road trip: Drive to Tarangire National Park.
Today you’ll start your roadtrip 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 next stay will be at Maramboi Tented Camp, just outside the park boundaries between Tarangire and Manyara National Park, in a conservation area surrounded by palm trees and rattling with wildlife. Your accommodation is in a tastefully decorated, spacious safari tent, with kingsize bed, private veranda and en suite bathroom. Your stay at Maramboi will be on the basis of full board.
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 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 Wayo Green Camp. Set up at the river bank, you are sure to see plenty of elephants in search for water during the dry season. As with all Wayo Green Camps, the quality of the food & service is of the highest standard. Proof that sustainability and luxury can be combined in the bush. Your stay at Tarangire Green Camp will be on basis of full board including all drinks.
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 Ngorongoro Farm House, situated on a large coffee farm about halfway between Karatu and the Ngorongoro Crater.
This stylish lodge evokes the ambience of an old English farmhouse. You’ll sleep in a spacious, luxurious cottage. Make sure you arrive early, so you can enjoy their beautiful garden and other facilities of the estate. Your stay at Ngorongoro Farm House will be on the basis of full board.
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 of seeing 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 careful and slow. 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 today and reserve tomorrow for cultural activities as these start early in the morning.
You will stay at Kisima Ngeda, a high-end lodge at a location that will wow you. It is set up on sprawling grounds at the shores of Lake Eyasi, a dry and hostile environment, but there is a natural hot spring at the heart of the property creating an lush oasis of doum palms. Your accomodation is in a luxury and tastefully decorated tented safari room, with ensuite bathroom and lounge area. It is a very tranquil place where you would certainly love to spend some days relaxing at the pool and enjoying the views over the shore from the tree house. Your stay at Kisima Ngeda 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 on 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.
Just like your first night, you will stay at the Rivertrees Country Inn nestled in the foothills of Mt Meru and commanding a great view of Kilimanjaro. The luxurious country estate combines old-world ambience, rustic African elegance, and excellent farm cooking. The lodge has a beautiful peaceful garden of no less than ten acres with the most amazing trees, attracting many birds. You will sleep in one of the tastefully furnished cottages. The lodge has a lovely country style restaurant, a great swimming pool, a luxurious spa and offers several fun activities. Your stay at Rivertrees Country Inn will be on the basis of Bed & Breakfast.
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.
Get inspired and read more about Highlights of the North