Walk on the wild side in Tanzania! This gay safari hits all the best spots, from Lake Manyara, often appearing pink from a distance due to flocks of flamingos, to the expansive savannahs of the Serengeti. See the roots of man in Olduvai Gorge, and the unique eco-system of Ngorongoro Crater.
- Arusha +1 Our hotel is near Arusha, about 30 miles from Kilimanjaro Airport, located on a coffee plantation on the shores of Lake Duluti. Magnificent views of the mighty snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Duluti and the rugged peaks of Mount Meru on the other.
- Lake Manyara National Park +2-3 Visit Lake Manyara National Park, an ornithological paradise with over 350 species of birds, magnificent giant fig, baobab, and mahogany trees; blue and vervet monkeys and an abundance of baboons, bushbuck, waterbuck, and elephants. To the south thrive buffalo, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, zebra, and the elusive tree-climbing lions – the signature of this park. All hotel rooms have private balconies overlooking the escarpment and the lake beyond. We will enjoy our welcome dinner on our first evening at Lake Manyara.
- Traditional and Modern Life +4 For lunch today we venture off to Gibb’s Farm, an oasis of green, calm and beauty, in a landscape that can often be parched, dry and dusty. This privately owned farm is renowned for its fresh local cuisine. We will also visit a traditional Iraqw home (the local tribe that has inhabited the Ngorongoro highlands for over two centuries). Also visit a more modern Tanzanian farm and observe a bio-gas plant used for producing gas for cooking and lighting. Continue on to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a land before time. Our lodge has many rooms with private terraces for viewing the crater floor where countless animals make their home. The goal of our lodge is for visitors to exist in harmony with the natural environment and the wildlife that inhabits it.
- Exploring the Ngorongoro Crater +5 Board a Land Rover for an amazing 6-hour journey to the floor of the Ngongoro crater, an extinct volcano and the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The crater is a microcosm of East African scenery with abundant wildlife including more than 25,000 larger animals, mostly zebra and wildebeest and also black-maned lions and black rhinos, flamingos, ostriches, and storks. Patience may also reward you with glimpses of leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, elephant, warthog, buffalo, impala, buffalo, hartebeest, eland and many other types of antelopes. In the afternoon, visit a Maasai village and learn about this fascinating culture that has existed through the millennia in harmony with nature.
- Olduvai Gorge – The Origins of Man +6 Take a breathtaking drive through savannah grassland and volcanic hills to the legendary Olduvai Gorge (one of the world’s most important paleoanthropological locations), where 1.7-million-year-old fossils Australopithecus Boisei and Homo Habilis were found. Thousands of stone tools, some of which were used by Homo Habilis, were also discovered at Olduvai. The gorge itself is a very steep-sided ravine resembling a small Grand Canyon. Later, drive to Serengeti National Park, which symbolizes paradise to all, including the local Maasai, who have grazed their cattle on the vast grassy plains for generations. Today, conservations areas here and across the border in Kenya protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact. Your home for the next two nights will be in a lodge with small bungalows built in the local African style, and spread out enough for each to have a view of the surrounding terrain and animals.
- Searching the Serengeti +7 Twice-daily wildlife drives will allow ample viewing of the famous Serengeti seasonal migrations, incredible any time of the year. In the Seronera Valley towering yellow fever trees and palm thickets line the Seronera River and its hippo pools. This is a superb area for seeing predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah, and their prey – giraffe, topi, Bohor reedbuck, Defassa waterbuck, buffalo and impala. The kopjes (prehistoric rock outcroppings) host hyraxes, dwarf mongooses, and red-headed agamas, while patience might reward you with a sleepy black-maned male lion or leopard. The open grassland is home to large groups of Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, spotted hyena, jackal, and such birds as the Double-banded Courser, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Red-capped Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow-lark, and Capped Wheatear. Optional dawn balloon safari offers an exhilarating view across the savannah as the early sun rises and the animals are more active.
- Serengeti Western Corridor’s Grumeti River Basin +8-9 Traverse the pristine Serengeti through the famed Grumeti River area in the Western Corridor, famous for huge crocodiles and for hippo pools. Accommodation for the next two nights will be at a very comfortable tented camp, reminiscent of an elegant Victorian era outpost. With commanding views of the endless savannah, you are likely to see lions, buffalo, cheetahs, wildebeests, giraffes, baboons and gazelles. Our 2015 guests will celebrate an American Thanksgiving with an international group of friends at the lodge!
- Farewell or join the Optional Extension to see Zanzibar +10 Breakfast one last time in the bush, then return eastward in a light aircraft, giving aerial views of the ground we have traversed. Relax at your dayroom back at our lodge where you can freshen up before evening flights. A transfer will be provided to Kilimanjaro Airport in time for flights back home. If you have a few extra days to see a completely different side of Tanzania, please join our optional extension to the nearby Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar
- Extension: Exploring Zanzibar +10-13 Fly to Zanzibar, then spend three nights in a restored Swahili merchants home (now a B&B) in Stone Town. Being an off-shore island in the middle of the most important sea lanes on the African coast of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is home to descendants from several of the cultures surrounding this region, including black Africans, Omani Arabs, Jewish traders from the Red Sea, Indians, and Europeans. Tour the natural parts of the island, and also hear the tales of the people who have lived here over the centuries. We will also make a short trip out to sea on a dhow – a traditional wooden vessel.
- Important Notes
2014 based on double occupancy
limited availability - for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom
|Serengeti Ballooning||$575 pp|
“This trip achieved the reality of a place that had existed only in my imagination. I cried at the first sight of the Serengeti and its animals. Oldupai Gorge was a meditation on the dawn of man. The magnificent Serena chain of lodges were woven seamlessly into the landscape. Paths of a million migrations took shape viewed from a balloon.Tony R., Santa Cruz, CA
“We just returned from the crater. The whole ecosystem is amazing and it was an incredible drive. We did get to see lions several times. The first time one of the lionesses walked over and laid down next to/under our vehicle. It was amazing, we could have reached down and petted her.”R.A., Redondo Beach, CA
“A trip of a lifetime, everyone should see the Serengeti once in their lifetime.”D. Lotufo, Centerville, MA
If you’ve always wanted to take an amazing safari, here’s your chance. Our Tanzania Safari shows you much of this country’s unique variety. To fully enjoy the trip you should be comfortable sleeping in remote lodges and luxury tents, and be able to walk on uneven surfaces.
Arrival and departure transfers between Kilimanjaro Airport and our Arusha lodge; Deluxe Serena Lodges inns and tented camps throughout the journey; American breakfast in Arusha, then all meals while on safari in Tanzania; Transportation between lodges in comfortable vehicles; Light aircraft flight from the Serengeti to Arusha at end of tour; Numerous game drives in private 4×4 vehicles driven by naturalist driver-guides; Complimentary bottled water in vehicles and during meals; Professional naturalist accompanying the group (with a minimum of six travelers); Professional Hanns Ebensten Travel tour director (with minimum participation); All applicable lodging taxes and gratuities for baggage handling; All park entry fees; Complimentary baggage tags. All HE Travel tours include complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance.
What’s NOT Included
Airfare from home to Kilimanjaro Airport; International departure ;taxes; Visa for Tanzania;Vaccination for malaria and routine vaccinations as recommended by your physician; Meals not included in tour package; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, and telephone calls; Gratuities for guides and HE Travel tour director.
* Experience the true Africa – Tanzania has more land devoted to wildlife than anywhere else in the world. * Spend each night at unique Serena (or similar) bush lodges and tented camps. * Visit Lake Manyara, home to vast flocks of flamingos and other colorful birds. * Gaze out on the Ngorongoro Crater from our lodge on the rim of this extinct volcano from the floor-to-ceiling windows for amazing views of this Garden of Eden. * Descend 2,000 feet to the crater’s floor and look for the rare black rhino. * Breathe the pristine air that our most distant human ancestors breathed at the Olduvai Gorge where the Leakey’s made their great archeological discoveries. * Spend four days gazing out on the vast Serengeti Plain from a remote lodge and a tented camp. * See wildebeests, zebras and elephants gathering around watering holes, and learn what what elands and oryx’s are. * View lions stalking their prey along rivers and hippo pools. * Return to our starting place by light aircraft for a final view of this unique landscape. * Join our optional extension to the mysterious Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar (the “Zan” of Tanzania, along with the former country of Tanganyika).
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