This is one of the best itineraries ever created for any safari season, because you have the chance to combine cultural activities (including visits with the Maasai people) with spectacles like the Great Migration in the Serengeti. You’ll go hunting with local bushmen, hike waterfalls, go biking, and even visit Mount Kilimanjaro on a day trip.
Today’s hike starts at approximately 9:00am. You will follow the tropical trails under the banana canopy while listening to some of the legendary stories about Meru people from your guide. Later you’ll pass through some beautiful villages, where you will receive a very warm and friendly welcome from the villagers. While walking up the mountain, you will explore the beauty of the forest’s flora and fauna—rich birdlife, beautiful butterflies, monkeys, forest antelopes, and a number of medicinal plants. At the same time, you’ll take in spectacular views of the lower areas of Arusha. After about three hours, you will stop for lunch in a relaxing environment full of mountainous flowers before you continue for almost another hour to your final destination: the magnificent Meru Falls (which are 2200 meters in altitude). After taking a few moments of relaxation at the falls, you will start heading back to the city center.
Pick up at Karibu Heritage and drive to Mto wa Mbu Farm Tour (one hour) See the innovative farming practices of Mto Wa Mbu villagers and learn about the irrigation system that sustains local crops, including the 32 banana varieties that grow here. Biking to Lake Manyara (two hours) Bike to the coast of one of the Africa’s most majestic lakes for the opportunity to view wildlife like zebras, giraffes, hippos, and water buffaloes at close range. This area is a migration corridor between national parks. Lunch at Moma’s (one hour) Enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal in a local Moma’s home. Over lunch, the guide will provide a history of the region and many local communities.
Today you have the option to go on a variety of different tours. Village Walk (two hours) Get an inside look at the homes and exquisite crafts of many communities. You will get a chance to meet with locals and learn about banana beer, Makonde woodcarvings, and traditional painting techniques. The village provides a great introduction to everyday life in Africa. Farm Tour (one hour) See the innovative farming practices of Mto Wa Mbu villagers and learn about the irrigation system that sustains local crops, including the 32 banana varieties that grow here. Biking to Lake Manyara (two hours) Bike to the coast of one of the Africa’s most majestic lakes for the opportunity to view wildlife like zebras, giraffes, hippos, and water buffaloes at close range. This area is a migration corridor between national parks. Lunch at Moma’s (one hour) Enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal in a local Moma’s home. Over lunch, the guide will provide a history of the region and many local communities.
Today you will be picked up at your hotel early in the morning. After a brief introduction, your tour to Lake Eyasi will begin. We’ll arrive in time for lunch at the Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge. You may take some time to relax in your room before exploring the lake with some of the locals. During the dry season, you’ll walk across the dry lakebed and the bush. Later you’ll return to the lodge for dinner and your overnight stay. Village Walk (two hours) Get an inside look at the homes and exquisite crafts of many communities. You will get a chance to meet with locals and learn about banana beer, Makonde woodcarvings, and traditional painting techniques. The village provides a great introduction to everyday life in Africa.
After breakfast at 7:45am, we’ll drive to the world-famous Serengeti. Along the way we can pay an optional visit to Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakey family made illustrious discoveries (including the fossils of Homo habilis, who lived 1.75 million years ago). In the Serengeti, we’ll find ourselves deep in the heart of the savannah on the famous Great Migration corridor. With some afternoon game viewing planned, we’ll have ample opportunities to discover why this land is indeed legendary. Your overnight stay will be at the (luxury) camp.
We will go on one final game drive in the Serengeti before we make our way to the Ngorongoro Crater. After an exciting day full of animal sightings and a picnic lunch, we will begin our onward journey. Tonight, we will stay at the Rhino Lodge overlooking the unbroken caldera of Ngorongoro Crater. The views of the sunset over the savannah are breathtaking. After a long day of adventuring, guests will also enjoy a tasty dinner prepared by our friendly cook.
After an early morning breakfast, we will hurry to the Ngorongoro Crater, as this is the best time of day to spot animals. We will enjoy a game drive around the crater and stop for a picnic lunch at a small lake within the park. The lake is home to many hippos and migratory birds, so guests will be sure to enjoy the visit! Due to the animal “oasis” created within the crater, there is a high possibility of spotting every member of the Big Five. The group comprises some of the strongest animals in Africa. Later you will drive back to Arusha for your overnight at the hotel.
Today we will pay a visit to a local Maasai village. After a welcome dance and greeting ceremony with the villagers (including elders and warriors), you will be bestowed with gifts presented by the village chief. One of these will be a shukas —the traditional dress of the Maasai people. You will then be invited to visit a Maasai hut, where you’ll be introduced to the work of Maasai women and the lives of the children. Following this visit, you will be met by large herds of cattle returning home from grazing. Join the Maasai women and try your hand at milking cows and goats. Later you’ll enjoy a delicious meal prepared by your professional chef. Following dinner, you will sit around a bonfire under the stars while you learn about the Maasai way of life and culture from your Maasai guide. You’ll then continue your evening with singing and dancing with the Maasai, who will welcome you to participate. Proceed from here to your comfortable tented accommodations.
After a very early breakfast, and following a sunrise over Maasailand, you will have a spear throwing lesson with some Maasai warriors. Your guide will then take you on a nature walk and teach you the essentials of survival in the bush. You will be introduced to the sounds, sights, and smells of the bush—each plant, bird, insect, and footprint has a story to tell. You will feel a closeness to the land that no tourist in a vehicle will ever understand. Following your nature walk, you will be surprised with a lunch arranged under the acacia trees, after which you will return to the boma. Here you will be invited by the women of the village to join them in making the famous Maasai beaded jewelry—necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. After your visit with the Maasai mamas, you will say your farewells at the boma and proceed to the next leg of your safari. Your overnight stay will be at the lodge.
After breakfast we will transfer you from Arusha (or Moshi) to the village of Marangu. Our Mount Kilimanjaro hike starts at the Marangu Gate after signing in at the park office. We will walk through the rainforest to the Mandara Hut. A side trip to Maundi Crater is a good way to take in your northern Tanzanian and Kenyan surroundings. In the rainforest, look for towering Eucalyptus trees, bird life, and Colobus monkeys. After lunch, you’ll hike back to park gate and drive back to Moshi or Arusha.