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SAFARI-GIRL

AFRICAN SAFARIS

 

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"Tanzania Wildlife Safari"

January 28 - February 11, 2015

Personally escorted by Denise Bonnell

“The first time I visited Tanzania was in 1996, after a two-week safari in Kenya. Half of my safari group signed up for the Tanzania extension which included Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara, and Ngorongoro Crater. Like everyone else, I was completely overwhelmed with the wild beauty of Tanzania and the abundance of wildlife. It was during this time that I had one of my most memorable “safari” experiences in the Ngorongoro Crater floor. We had stopped to observe two female lions walking down a hillside to the left of our vehicle. There was a waterhole in front of us so we assumed they were headed there. We sat quietly in our vehicle waiting for the lions to pass by. The windows of our 4X4 safari vehicle were rolled down all the way. The first lioness walked by us and headed straight to the waterhole. We were so excited! Then the second lioness appeared, only this time she diverted from the path and headed directly towards our vehicle!

 

As we waited for her, she suddenly walked straight to my window. She was so close I could smell her breath. I trembled with excitement as she looked up at me. Neither of us moved. We stared at each other for about a minute or so. Everyone in the vehicle froze. I remember her piercing yellow eyes. They were beautiful! She was majestic, huge, and had scars on her face from her past kills (and attempted kills). She was one of the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen. She then slowly turned away and continued on to the waterhole. As the two lions drank together, I sat staring at them thankful for what I had just experienced. This is Africa and anything can happen.  I had just witnessed something that I will never forget.

Visiting Tanzania on this exclusive safari offers a “Once in a Lifetime” experience for the safari traveler. Tanzania has some of the largest wildlife herds on the African continent, a superb collection of national parks and reserves, and a fascinating array of over 100 tribal groups. Waking up to the sounds of the Serengeti, hearing the distant echoes of hooves across its vast plains, descending down the access road into the ethereal blue-green vistas of the Ngorongoro Crater, and spending the day surrounded by more wildlife than you ever imagined are memories that will stay with you forever.

This safari is Tanzania at its very best!

(Click here for pdf brochure of itinerary)

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ITINERARY

Day 1                                                    Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will be picked up by a vehicle and transferred to Arusha Coffee Lodge.  Freshen up, relax and enjoy the rest of the day at the lodge.  Arusha Coffee Lodge lies cradled in the endless acres of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantation.  This exclusive lodge has been designed around the farm’s original plantation, radiating the warmth and invitation of the old colonial plantation homes historically distinctive to the coffee plantation.

Accommodations consist of beautifully furnished bungalows with large four poster beds, split level lounge areas, and your very own private deck overlooking the berry laden coffee bushes.  It is the place to relax and rejuvenate before or after your  Tanzania  safari.   Laze  around the  swimming pool  and garden terrace, enjoy a sundowner at the Safari Bar, unwind after a delectable meal in the lounge with a good liqueur and a fireside chat.

ARUSHA COFFEE LODGE                                (L,D)

 

Arusha Coffee Lodge, Tanzania

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge, Tanzania

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge, Tanzania

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Arusha Coffee Lodge, Tanzania

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Day 2

Arusha/Tarangire National Park

Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops

After breakfast you board your long wheelbase Land Rovers and head to Tarangire National Park where you will spend the next two nights.  The suites of Tarangire Treetops are perched high up in age old Baobab and Marula trees.  Along side the path of the Elephant Migration, Tarangire Treetops sits alone in a private game reserve bordering Tarangire National Park and the Maasai Steppe amid rolling, baobab hills with views to Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley.  Tarangire Treetops has a magical, adventurous and exotic feel, appealing to the childlike senses of fun and awe.

The large suites, each with a full bathroom, have private verandas, each  with  breathtaking  views of the  African bush.    Encasing  a   vast  Baobab  tree,  the  spacious  and tranquil dining room, reception and lounge area overlooks the swimming pool and a waterhole that sees a constant flow of wild animal visitors.

Activities include game drives; night game drives; bush walks; evening sundowners; and a visit to a Maasai boma.

TARANGIRE TREETOPS                                   (B,L,D)

Tarangire Treetops

Day 3

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is literally teeming with wildlife throughout the year.  It is home to some of the largest elephant herds in all of Africa.  The Tarangire River is the centerpiece of this park which is famous for some of the largest herds of wildlife in Africa.  In the dry season, large numbers of animals congregate along the river.  Here you may see lion, leopard, cheetah, lesser kudu, buffalo, oryx, eland, giraffe, impala and zebra.  In addition to the animal species, the most striking feature of the park is its century-old baobab trees and over 300 species of birds. 

Morning and afternoon game drives are scheduled but since there is no limit on the driving, you may elect to take a picnic lunch and stay out all day.

TARANGIRE TREETOPS                                (B,L,D)

Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops

Tarangire Treetops

Day 4

 

Tarangire/Lake Manyara/Ngorongoro Crater

Depart after breakfast, game viewing along the way, and head towards Lake Manyara National Park for a morning game drive.  From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.

Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppe. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.

Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favored haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forage in the shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.

Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks. 

After our game drive and a picnic lunch, we make our way to Ngorongoro Farm House where we will spend the remainder of the afternoon.   A small and exclusive lodge facing the Oldeani Volcano, only 5 kilometers from the Ngorongoro Lolduare gate, Ngorongoro Farm House was built to offer guests an original experience reminiscent of the atmosphere of the old days.  The Farm House was inaugurated on February 20th, 2003.  The spacious cottages were built in the style of an old colonial farm and are beautifully decorated with local materials.

NGORONGORO FARM HOUSE                  (B,L,D)

 

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Farm House, Tanzania

Day 5

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Leave early in the morning for a tour of Ngorongoro Crater with a picnic lunch.  Game drives in the crater, the heart of the 3,200-square mile Ngorongoro Conservation Area, provide an excellent opportunity to view black rhino, elephant, cheetah, antelope, lion, zebra, flamingos, wildebeest, zebra and many other species at close quarters, including birds.  The enormous crater functions as an ecosystem unto itself.  The 2,000 foot high perimeter of the crater and plentiful water liberate the over 25,000 wildebeest and zebra from the migration that their cousins from the Serengeti endure.

Enjoy a picnic next to one of the hippo pools on the crater floor.  Afterwards, continue with the game drive throughout the various ecosystems of the crater, including woodlands filled with zebra and baboon, plains that support scavenging hyena, and a lake that is sometimes tinted pink with greater and lesser flamingos.  In the evening, before dinner, warm up by the fireplace and share stories with your fellow travelers about your day’s adventures.

NGORONGORO FARM HOUSE                      (B,L,D)

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Ngorongoro Crater

Day 6

Ngorongoro/Lake Masek

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

 

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

After breakfast, we make our way to Lake Masek Tented Camp which is located by the shores of Lake Masek in Ndutu, situated between the vast plains of the Serengeti National Park and the northwest side of Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The camp consists of 20 permanent tents which are built on raised platforms.  The interiors are comfortable with large beds, traditional wooden furniture, and attractive furnishings.  Each tent has an ensuite bathroom with flush toilet, shower, and a freestanding bath.  At the front of each tent is a covered verandah which is open-sided so you can relax and enjoy the lake views.

The cozy main house has a magnificent lounge and dining area as well as a well-stocked library. From here you can enjoy fantastic 180 degree views over Lake Masek.  Meals are often served on the wooden balcony as well as inside.

Lake Masek is a great game viewing area and has been a favorite for wildlife photographers and film makers for years.

LAKE MASEK TENTED CAMP                       (B,L,D)

 

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Day 7

Lake Masek

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

After breakfast, we will take a bush walk along the banks of Lake Masek with a ranger.  No telling what we might see for there is abundant game around camp and Lake Masek, including the Big Five.  Later on, after lunch, we will then take an afternoon game drive which will end right before dark.  We will then head back to camp, relax around the fire to talk about our day, and then head to our tents to get cleaned up for dinner.

 

LAKE MASEK TENTED CAMP                  (B,L,D)

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Lake Masek Tented Camp, Tanzania

Day 8

Lake Masek/Olduvai Gorge/Serengeti

Olduvai Gorge, TanzaniaOlduvai Gorge, Tanzania

Louis Leakey, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

 

This morning we say our goodbyes and board our safari vehicles for yet another adventure – the “World-famous Serengeti”, Tanzania’s most famous game park.  The Serengeti encompasses nearly 15,000 sq. kms. and is unrivaled anywhere for its seasonally shifting concentrations of herbivores. Nearly 1.5 million wildebeest, 500,000 gazelle, and 250,000 zebra complete a cyclical annual migration within the ecosystem between November and June.  On our way, we will stop at Olduvai Gorge, which some call “The Cradle of Mankind.”  This steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley stretches all along East Africa.  It is one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world and has been instrumental in furthering the understanding of human evolution.  Excavation work there was pioneered by Louis and Mary Leakey.  After a short stop at the museum, we will continue our drive west across the Serengeti plains, until we reach our mobile tented camp, Kati Kati.

Mobile tented camps are unique in that the safari company hauls all of the camping gear, including large tents, to the “best” game viewing areas in the parks.  By the time the group arrives, everything is set up and the camp looks like it has been there forever!  The tents, each with enough space between them to be private, are spread around a large mess tent and a fire pit for evening campfires.  The staff and cooking tents are in the back of the campsite. 

The big difference between mobile tents and permanent tents is the shower setup.  The showers in permanent tents have hot and cold running water and are usually surrounded by tile.  The showers in mobile tents (bucket showers) have canvas walls, a wooden slat floor, and a large overhead bucket or bag on top.  A camp staff member heats the water outside, pours it in the container above your shower, and then lets you know when to pull the chord.  There is plenty of time to take a nice hot shower.  Also standard in most mobile tents are portable flush toilets, which look just like regular toilets.  There is also a sink with a large mirror in the bathroom area; real beds with linen sheets and warm blankets; colorful rugs; and a desk with a mirror and a chair.  It really is quite cozy and just wonderful after a long day of game drives to fall asleep in comfortable beds with the sounds of Africa all around you.      

Afternoon Game Drive.

KATI KATI TENTED CAMP                               (B,L,D)

Day 9

Serengeti

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s oldest and most popular game reserve and a “World Heritage” site, is famous for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound upon its open plains. The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates this world-famous park.  Golden-maned lion prides feast on an abundance of plain grazers.  Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while high densities of cheetahs prowl the southeastern plains.  Very unusual too is that all three African jackal species live here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardvark to the beautiful serval cat.  Even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers more scintillating game viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala, and Grant’s gazelle.

But there is more to the Serengeti than large mammals. Colorful agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite kopjes. A full 100 varieties of dung beetles have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland, to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above Lobo Hills.  As enduring as the game-viewing is, the liberating sense of space that characterizes the Serengeti Plains, stretches as far as the eye can see. 

A typical day on safari begins when the sun rises. As you are getting ready, steaming hot coffee is brought to your tent. By the time it's light outside, you are already in your safari vehicle. Game viewing is best in the early morning and late afternoon. After the morning game drive, the drivers take you back to camp. Of course, it all depends on what you see and how long you want to observe. Maybe you will want to spend more time watching a mother cheetah care for her cubs, or see if the lion is successful in taking down the zebra it has been watching all morning. Sometimes picnic lunches are packed so you can spend the entire day out in the bush. There is always something magnificent to see.

Morning and Afternoon Game Drives.

 

KATI KATI TENTED CAMP                             (B,L,D)

 

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp, Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Serengeti - Tanzania

Day 10

Serengeti/Arusha

After breakfast, we drive east to the Seronera Airstrip, bid farewell to our drivers, and fly to Arusha where we will be met and transferred to the Arusha Coffee Lodge for lunch and an afternoon of shopping or relaxing by the pool or on the deck of your cottage.  Our "Farewell Dinner" is scheduled for that evening.

Arusha Coffee Lodge

(B,L,D)

Day 11

 

After breakfast, we will transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for our flights back to the U.S.  

En Route

(B)

Day 12

Europe/Gateway City in U.S.

Arrive back to gateway city in the U.S.

 

Cost:  $6,960.00 per person sharing

The Cost Includes:

  • All transfers between airport and lodges in Tanzania

  • Safari transportation in private four-wheel drive long base Land Rover safari vehicles

  • Full board accommodations based on two persons sharing with private facilities while on safari

  • Experienced driver/guides while on safari

  • "Welcome Dinner and Safari Briefing" on the first night of the safari

  • Table d'hote meals as listed in itinerary - B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner

  • Bottled water during game drives

  • All park fees and special Ngorongoro Crater permit

  • Olduvai Gorge fees

  • Scheduled flight from Seronera (Serengeti) to Arusha

  • Special "Departure Dinner" in Arusha

Cost Does Not Include: 

  • Air transportation to and from Tanzania

  • All items of personal nature (i.e. telephone calls, internet, beverages, and laundry)

  • Fees for passport, visas and travel insurance

  • Alcoholic and other beverages except where stated in  "Cost Includes"

  • Gratuities to porter and driver/guides

 

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