Featuring the Southern & Northern Safari Routes


Southern safari route & Selous National Park - Africa's largest; The best of the Northern Circuits parks and reserves; Comfortable lodge and hotel accommodation


Dates & Prices

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Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Tue 13 Jun 2017Mon 26 Jun 2017 $6950 USD
Wed 04 Oct 2017Tue 17 Oct 2017 $6950 USD

Optional Single Supplement: $1200 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $600, if twin-sharing accommodation is unavailable.

Tour Overview

This truly is the ultimate itinerary for Tanzania -- in addition to the well-known safari parks and reserves in the north of the country, we are pleased to also offer the beautiful and remote safari destinations to the south of the country. These protected areas are some of the largest in the world, but also some of the least developed. Accommodation, however, is surprisingly luxurious, with permanent tented camps, comfortable spring beds, electricity, and world-class service. In the north our program features the well-travelled safari route, through the Serengeti and to the Ngorongoro Crater -- spectacular must-sees with superb lodges and all the comforts. This itinerary is offered during the best time on the calendar for all locales.

Regions visited: East Africa
Countries visited: Tanzania

Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival in Dar Es Salaam
Welcome to Tanzania!

Dar es Salaam ("The harbour of peace"), Tanzania's largest and richest city, is a regionally important economic centre. Though Dar es Salaam lost its status as capital city to Dodoma in 1974 (not completed until 1996), it remains the locus of the permanent central government bureaucracy, and as the capital of the region.

Overnight in Dar Es Salaam.

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2 Dar Es Salaam - Selous Game Reserve
Today we travel by road to Selous Game Reserve with packed lunches.

Our tented lodge features comfortable beds, walled en-suite facilities, mosquito netting and all of the comfortable equipment of a lodge. Each tent has a private veranda under a roof of local straw, that creates the perfect place for reading, writing or just resting in the shade. A structure in the central part of the camp hosts the restaurant, bar and library, all with a view of the river and the sunset. Electricity and hot water are powered by solar panels, while UHV-filtered drinking water is available throughout camp (including tents).

Overnight in Selous Game Reserve. Rufiji River Camp or similar.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Selous Game Reserve
Today we have morning and afternoon game drives in Selous.

Few other safaris in Tanzania evoke the romance, mystique and spiritual delight of the African bush as one in the Selous Game Reserve. Embracing 54,000 square kilometres of southwestern Tanzania, it is the largest protected wilderness reserve on the continent, three times larger than the Serengeti and twice the size of Belgium. Named after the legendary 19th century explorer and hunter Frederick Courtney Selous, the reserve was founded by the German colonial administration in 1905. It was later expanded to include traditional elephant migration routes and accommodate the vast herds of buffalo that roam this remote, untouched corner of Africa.

Overnight in Selous Game Reserve. Rufiji River Camp or similar.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Selous - Mikumi National Park
Early morning walk, breakfast and proceed to Mikumi National Park with packed lunch.

Vuma Hill Tented Camp is set in the spacious hillside of Mikumi National Park, overlooking the Mkata plains and surrounding mountains. Each tent is designed to give you privacy and the comfort you desire with private bathrooms and hot water showers inside each tent along with custom made furniture. The park entrance is just a 15 minute drive through forest and plains often encountering animals on the way.

Mikumi National Park. Vuma Hill Tented Camp or similar.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Mikumi National Park
Morning and afternoon game drives in explore Mikumi National Park.

Mikumi National Park abuts the northern border of Africa's biggest game reserve -- the Selous -- and is transected by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the most accessible part of a 75000 square km (47,000 square mile) tract of wilderness that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean. The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centre piece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains.

Lions survey their grassy kingdom -- and the zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it -- from the flattened tops of termite mounds, or sometimes, during the rains, from perches high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favored also by Mikumi's elephants. Criss-crossed by a good circuit of game-viewing roads, the Mkata Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world's largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park's borders. More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of waterbirds.

Mikumi National Park. Vuma Hill Tented Camp or similar.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Mikumi - Dar Es Salaam - Arusha
We enjoy a final game drive in Mikumi and then travel by road back to to the airport in Dar to connect with our flight northward to Arusha's Kilimanjaro airport.

Arusha is the capital of the Arusha Region, with a projected population of 1,288,088. The city of Arusha is surrounded by some of Africa's most famous landscapes and national parks. Situated below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the eastern branch of the Great Rift Valley, Arusha has a temperate climate. The town was founded by German colonialists when the territory was part of German East Africa in 1900. A garrison town, it was named after the local tribe Wa-Arusha, who are known as Larusa by the Maasai.

Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

Overnight in Arusha.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 Arusha - Arusha National Park - Tarangire National Park
This morning we have a game drive in Arusha National Park. One of Tanzania's smallest parks, Arusha National Park is also one of its most beautiful and least-visited. Dominated by Mount Meru (4566 m), an extinct volcano that is the fifth highest mountain in Africa, the park offers dramatically distinct zones. Easily reached from Arusha, the park offers an exceptional diversity of wildlife and 400 species of bird. We then continue by road to Tarangire National Park.

Tarangire National Park is the most Southern of the accessible parks of northern Tanzania. Named after River Tarangire, the park covers an area of 2,600 km². Much of the park is open grassy savannah, dotted with splendid specimens of Baobab trees, but there are also areas of swamp in the south. Is known for its river valley, wetlands, gently rolling hills, rocky out crops, acacia woodlands, and numerous baobab trees.

This afternoon we have a game drive through the park. This is the only park in Tanzania's northern circuit where one can easily view a large concentration of elephant all year round.

Overnight in Tarangire National Park.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 Tarangire National Park
Morning and afternoon game drives in the park.

The park is located south of the large, open grass plains that make up southern Maasailand and contains large stretches of acacia woodland, and grassy savannah, accompanied by large baobab trees that shelter the wildlife and characterize the park. Animals that can be spotted in the park include the eland, lesser kudu, Kongoni, impala, zebra, gazelle, buffalo, wildebeest, leopard, elephant, rhino, fringe eared oryx and the lion. The park is an ornithologist's paradise at the best time of year--over 300 recorded species.

Overnight in Tarangire National Park.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 Tarangire - Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Today we enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a beautiful rolling landscape with periodic views over the Ngorongoro Crater.

Called the 'eighth wonder of the world' and stretching across some 8300 sq km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles and its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors.

Balance of the day at leisure to enjoy our lodge overlooking the crater.

vernight in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Today we enjoy a half-day tour in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.* After an early breakfast we descend into the crater far below for a game drive in this incredible setting, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We explore the Ngorongoro Crater, 20 km (13 miles) wide and 700 m (2,300 feet) high where we may see the "Big Five" as well as many herbivores like wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and hippopotamus, as well as thousands of flamingos on Lake Magadi.

* In order to reduce congestion and stress on wildlife, the Tanzanian government limits visitors to half-day visits of the crater. Depending on what time "window" we are assigned, our excursion may take place first thing in the morning, or later in the afternoon (both of which are equally advantageous for game viewing, given the relatively mild climate at this altitude).

Overnight in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 Ngorongoro - Serengeti National Park
Today we depart by road for the Serengeti; before descending onto the Serengeti Plain, we'll stop at a viewpoint overlooking the crater. The name "Serengeti" derives from a Maasai word meaning "Land-without-end." This is a land of superlatives, both in the vast landscape that surrounds you and the incredible biodiversity it supports. It is here that you have a chance to
witness one of the most compelling natural dramas on earth -- the annual migration, a sight unparalleled anywhere in the natural world. Our afternoon game drive provides an excellent introduction to this fantastic landscape and the biodiversity it supports.

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 Serengeti National Park
Today we have a full day of game viewing on the Serengeti. We will visit the "kopjes," a series of low, incongruous hills dotting the open landscape that often provide a vantage point for hungry predators contemplating the endless stream of hoofed animals parading past them. Depending on the season and the timing of the rains, up to 1.5 million wildebeest and a half a million zebra embark on a single-minded and perilous quest for water and grazing land. Following this spectacle, of course, are the meat-eating opportunists, hoping to capitalize on the physical toll this journey exacts on the desperate grazers. Even outside of "migration" time, large herds are still seen as they bear their young and feed, gaining strength for their annual return to the park's northern reaches. Resident species that do not migrate make for rewarding animal viewing in any season.

It may be possible to take an optional hot-air balloon safari over the plains at daybreak. Speak to your booking agent at the time of reservation.

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13 Serengeti - Olduvai Gorge - Lake Manyara
Retracing our steps back to Arusha via Olduvai Gorge, site of the Leakey excavations in the 1960s and 70s that established this region as the prehistoric habitat of some of the earliest species of hominids with some finds dating back 1.8 million years. Experts in the life sciences have argued that the Olduvai contribution to the story of human origins remains unsurpasse by any other prehistoric site in the world. A small museum on site outlines the
unique geological and human history of the area.

Our lunch stop at Gibb's Farm, founded during German colonial times and still privately owned. Gibb's Farm is now a small hotel perched on the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Highlands, surrounded by coffee plantations with long views over lush and beautiful agricultural country.

We continue to our lodge on a ridge overlooking Lake Manyara, the smallest of the northern parks in Tanzania (330 sq km, of which two thirds is the actual lake). The park hosts a wide variety of vegetation, ranging from savannah to ground water forest to riparian habitats. The park is host to thousands of pelicans, ibis and flamingo that can be heard from afar. Other common visitors to this beautiful lake are hippos and the majestic African fish eagle, which can be seen swooping down from its perch to snatch a fish from the still waters of the lake.

Overnight at Lake Manyara.

Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14 Lake Manyara - Arusha - Departure
This morning we will have a game drive in the park, located at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment and comprising of forest, woodland, grasslands, and swamps. Wildlife interest at Lake Manyara is not confined to bird life only; animals such as buffalo, elephant, giraffe, impala, hippo and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.

We pass again through the town of Mto Wa Mbu ('Mosquito Creek'), famous for its lively cosmopolitan atmosphere and red bananas, which taste the same as regular bananas but their skins are a startling bright red. We continue to Arusha to connect with homeward evening flights.

LAND ONLY PASSENGERS need to take into account our morning journey when booking their flights out of Arusha (JRO). Your departure should occur no earlier than 6:00 pm.


Meal plan: Breakfast and Lunch

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Country: Tanzania

Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers,
... Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Lit by flaming wall-lanterns, clad in gigantic volcanic boulders and decorated by the iron spears, bright-beaded robes and intricately carved artifacts of the Maasai, the Lodge is a unique blend of world-class luxury, timeless volcanic splendour and ethnic style.

Read More.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Serengeti National Park
Country: Tanzania

Nestled in the acacia woodland on the edge of the escarpment overlooking the plains of the south-western Serengeti. 69 standard
... all with 2 queen size beds, carpeted, and tastefully furnished with local fabrics and pictures. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms and hairdryers.

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Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Lake Manyara
Country: Tanzania

Standing high on the bluff above Lake Manyara's gleaming alkaline waters, the Lodge commands panoramic views across the volcano-studded floor
... the Great Rift Valley. The circular, closely-thatched rooms echo the traditional Maasai 'Boma' style of construction. Each room has a private veranda and breathtaking views of the shimmering lake.

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Rufiji River Camp

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Selous Game Reserve
Country: Tanzania

Rufiji River Camp enjoys an enviable location high up on the banks of the Great Rufiji River. Spectacular sunsets
... chorused by hippos grunting and a plethora of bird song.
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Vuma Hill Tented Camp

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Mikumi National Park
Country: Tanzania

Vuma Hills Tented camp is perched above the trees stretching over the seemingly endless wilderness south west of Mikumi National
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Tarangire Treetops

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Tarangire National Park
Country: Tanzania

Tarangire Treetops sits alone in a private conservation area that covers an area of 260 sq km, and the Masai
... amid rolling baobab studded hills with views to Lake Manyara and the Rift Valley wall. Tarangire Treetops offers 20 luxury tents, built atop tree-attached platforms, overlooking the Tarangire Sand River. Each en-suite unit has a private veranda and lounge area, with sweeping views over the conservation area.

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Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►


All meals but one lunch are included (local restaurants and hotels). All transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for driver-guides (multi-vehicle groups), restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Tour Leader gratuities, some lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping and visas and an optional hot-air balloon safari in the Serengeti.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered during the best "window" for visiting all areas covered. The best time to avoid in most locations is the March-May "long rains" which can make travel difficult and animals to disperse. Outside of this time-frame one can expect comfortable and very good wildlife viewing in all locations, with the following provisos:

JUNE: Cool and dry, and downright chilly at higher altitudes first thing in the morning and at night. Some places are green following the rains, and many animals are having young. Herds may be seen in Serengeti as hoofed animals gear up for the annual migration.

OCTOBER: Hotter than June and still dry. Places like Tarangire, whose animal populations rely heavily on seasonal water sources, experience excellent game viewing as animal converge on lakes, ponds, rivers etc. Elsewhere temperatures are climbing in the run-up to the "short rains" which fall in November.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Some road journeys are long and rough, possibly dusty. Our primary means of land transport is sturdy 4x4 Land Rovers / Land Cruisers with seating for 4-6. The same vehicles, with roofs that pop up, will be used for our game drives in parks and reserves. Please note that air-conditioned safari vehicles are non-existent in East Africa.


Hotels and lodges used are 4-5 star properties with hot water, electricity, mosquito netting, dining areas, bar, swimming pools. Remote lodges are not air-conditioned though many are at higher elevations where heat is not a factor.
Hotel porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins. Many lodges are quite spread out and you will need to be able to walk up to 10 minutes from public areas to your room.

Staff and Support

Groups of six or fewer participants (one vehicle), will be led / guided by one of our local driver-guides. Only multi-vehicle groups will be assigned an Adventures Abroad Tour Leader.

Group Size

6-18 (plus Tour Leader)