Serengeti Safari to Zanzibar
Day 1 Nairobi
Arrive at any time.
Day 2 Arusha (1B,1D)
Approximate distance: 286 km Estimated travel time: 10 hrs (depending on border crossing) Today we will journey to low altitudes through African savannah into Tanzania via a shared shuttle transfer with a CEO. Spend some time exploring the town and its bustling markets, before settling down at our campsite for the night, located outside of Arusha. Arusha, also known as Tanzania’s “safari capital”, is undoubtedly the most important center in northern Tanzania. With many protected national parks, reserves, and mountains nearby (on a clear day, you can see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance), Arusha is a modern town, with markets, services, and fine location. Please note that this is a combination tour. Some of your fellow travellers might be finishing their tour in Nairobi and you may be joined by new travellers who will be beginning their journey in either Nairobi or Arusha.
Day 3 Mto wa Mbu Village (1B,1L,1D)
Visit a Masai village to learn about the Masai people and the Planeterra-supported Clean Cookstove project. Meet the local women engineers who have installed clean cookstoves throughout these communities. Continue on to Mto wa Mbu village to enjoy a local lunch and cultural experience with the city's villagers. Opt for a cycling tour around the village before continuing on to the night's camp.
Day 4-5 Serengeti (2B,2L,2D)
Approximate Distance: 320 km Estimated Travel Time: 8 hrs (including game drive into Serengeti) After breakfast, we begin our 3-night/4-day excursion to the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, two of Africa’s premier wildlife areas. The Serengeti is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The area where you will be staying and game viewing is in the central Serengeti 'Seronera' area, which lies in the southeast of the national park. Because of the sheer size of the national park, other areas will not be accessible during your stay. As we drive to the Serengeti National Park, en route you will begin to experience the sheer vastness of this territory, and you will marvel at the multitude of animal and bird life while cruising through this acacia-spotted savannah. The next day, we continue your search for the Big Five - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino - while taking in the vastness of the Serengeti plains with a game drives through out the day. There is no bad time to visit the Serengeti as every season has its own special highlight – even the rainy season has the daily thunder and lightening to look forward to. Changing seasons and light patterns form the most beautiful backdrop to view Africa’s majestic and incredible wildlife. It has more than 1.6 million herbivores and thousands of predators. Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffaloes are the animals most commonly found in the region.
Day 6 Ngorongoro Crater (1B,1L,1D)
Approximate Distance: 160 km Estimated Travel Time: 5 hrs (including game drive out of Serengeti) Before leaving the Serengeti, enjoy one last morning game drive to see the animal kingdom come to life in this incredible expanse of grassland savannah. You will return and break camp, and journey to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, famous for Africa's best game viewing. The views from the Ngorongoro Crater rim are stunning, and there is an ever-present abundance of wildlife, due to the permanent water supply on the crater floor. You will arrive at your campsite at the crater rim in the late afternoon. Changing to specialized 4WD 7-seater safari vehicles, we are met by experienced safari driver/guides, who will ensure us wonderful wildlife encounters. Our safari vehicles each have sliding windows and a large pop-up roof, perfect for game viewing. They are smaller than our overland truck, and will allow us to maneuver easily through the wildlife areas. As the vehicles are smaller than our overland truck, our group will split up amongst several vehicles. The 8,300 km² Ngorongoro Conservation Area is named after its central feature, the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, and arguably its most spectacular natural arena. Ngorongoro Crater has often been described as one of the wonders of the world, not only because of its inherent geological significance, but also because it serves a quite extraordinary natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s most dense population of large mammals. The Ngorongoro was part of the original Serengeti National Park proclaimed in 1951, but it was made a separate conservation area in 1956 so that the Masai could graze their cattle there. The Ngorongoro Crater became a World Heritage Site in 1978. Land in the conservation area is unique to Tanzania as it provides protection for the wildlife whilst allowing human habitation. The landscape is made up of a blend of volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests, where the wildlife is extensive. The southern and eastern boundaries are approximately defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley, which also prevents animal migration in these directions. The annual ungulate migration passes through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with wildebeest and zebra moving south into the area in December and moving north in June. The area has healthy resident populations of most species of wildlife.
Day 7 Arusha (1B,1L,1D)
After breakfast we embark on a half-day crater tour. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of more than 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable. Since most of the crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate: zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland, and warthogs. The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania's last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons and vervet monkeys. All these animals in turn support large predators such as lion and leopard, and scavengers such as hyena and jackals. After this fabulous experience within the crater, we have to leave the wildlife behind us and start heading back to Arusha, where we will set up camp for the night.
Day 8 Stone Town (1B)
Skip a long day in the overland truck down to Dar es Salaam and arrive in style to Zanzibar. Fly to the beautiful island and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy free time for exploration. After arriving on Zanzibar, spend the remainder of the day exploring Stone Town, the heart of the island. It has an intriguing maze of narrow, cobbled lanes hemmed in by Arabic buildings. The best way to see the Stone Town is, literally, to get lost. You can spend hours just wandering the alleys and squares, drinking potent coffee from pavement vendors, or buying sweetmeats from scores of tiny cafes. At this point you may be joined by other G Adventures travellers who are starting their tour here on Zanzibar. Zanzibar Island, 'the spice island,' has an extremely interesting history and culture as it was the centre of the slave and spice trade in the 1800s. Zanzibar is one of the most fascinating places in East Africa, despite a heavy increase in tourism since the early 1990s. Thanks to an ambitious and far-reaching preservation programme funded by UNESCO and the Aga Khan, many famous old buildings have been restored, or are in the process of being renovated. Remember that Zanzibar is a Muslim society, and immodestly dressed women, or men in shorts, will get harassed and cause great offence in Stone Town.
Day 9-10 Nungwi Beach (2B)
Enjoy an included orientation walk around Stone Town with your CEO. Learn a bit about the major highlights, history and culture of this fascinating town. Afterwards, head north to Nungwi for two days and two nights at one of Zanzibar's major highlights. Here you can either relax on the idyllic white-sandy beaches, take an optional diving/snorkeling excursion, or take a wander through the village of Nungwi. In Nungwi, customs are a little more relaxed, but travellers are encouraged to be respectful of the island's culture and still cover up when walking around. Never try to take a photograph without asking permission.
Day 11 Stone Town (1B)
Morning transfer to Stone Town. Depart any time after 11am.