Wilderness Basecamp

Ultimate Tanzania: Serengeti, Mahale, & Zanzibar

Arusha, Serengeti, Tanzania

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Prices From: $15,678 per person

This sample itinerary offers the perfect blend of wildlife, culture, and relaxation. Your journey begins with an exciting wildlife safari through Tanzania's famous northern circuit.

The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire are spectacular and understandably popular safari destinations and of course you visit these National Parks. But this trip includes cultural discovery days where you can find out about the way of life of the people living here. So many people pass through these areas leaving only trails of dust, but visiting some of the communities here enriches your experience of this part of Africa and ensures more of the benefits of tourism reach the locals directly.

After your Northern Circuit safari, continue to the majestic Mahale Mountains, where you can observe chimps in their natural environment as well as lounge on the unspoiled and pristine beaches of Lake Tanganyika.

Finally, continue to Zanzibar to end your journey with some well deserved rest and relaxation!

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 - Tanzania Arrival - West Kilimanjaro

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you'll be met by your guide and transferred to Kambi ya Tembo Tented Camp.

Facing the snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro and the endless African savannah, Kambi ya Tembo offers fantastic views. The camp consists of 20 tents each with private en suite bathroom facilities. You can sit and watch the natural world pass by from the ample sun decks. The semi-arid land of Sinya and Elerai has an abundance of natural riches and is home to some of the largest elephants in East Africa.

Overnight: Kambi Ya Tembo Tented Camp (Dinner included)

Day 2 - West Kilimanjaro

Sinya, a private concession of about 600 square km, bordering Kenya at Amboseli National Park, offers spectacular landscapes with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Ol Doinyo Longido and Ol Doinyo Orok. A unique nature and cultural experience.

One of the few areas in Africa where huge Elephant Bulls, more than 50 years old, carrying tusks of considerable size, are regularly seen. These bulls, some of them living permanently in the zone, together with herds of mothers and calves use to migrate between the swamps of Amboseli National Park and the Acacia woodlands of the other side of the border in search of water and food. Most of them have been monitored by Cynthia Moss in Amboseli for more than 25 years and form one of the healthiest and most balanced Elephant populations of the whole African Continent.

Maasai "bomas" are sparsely scattered in Sinya, with a total population of no more than 2,000 people living in a huge area.

These Maasai are still living the traditional way and are not used to the commercial relationship with tourists that is common in more visited areas. They are spectacularly dressed and follow all the traditional ceremonies. They are very friendly and the camp has been able to develop a privileged relationship with them. This is a Community Conservation Project benefiting the Maasai of Sinya.

Activities include game drives, walking safaris escorted by Maasai warriors, interaction with the local maasai including participation in ceremonies if available.

Overnight: Kambi Ya Tembo Tented Camp (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 3 - West Kilimanjaro - Tarangire

This morning you'll transfer to Tarangire National Park and enter for game driving and exploration.

Tarangire National Park is best known for its massive herds of elephant. During the dry season herds of up to three hundred elephant of all ages and sizes converge on Tarangire's permanent water source and can be seen digging in the once full riverbed in search of underground springs.

After an exciting game drive you'll continue on to Lemala Manyara Camp for overnight. Deep inside the park and far from the crowds, Lemala Manyara has an incredibly beautiful location on the edge of an Acacia woodland overlooking the lake. Guests are treated to beautiful sunrises, while in the evening they may enjoy sundowners on the lakeshore as the sun sets over the escarpment behind the camp. The area is frequented by elephants, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and even lions which are sometimes attracted by the seasonal waterhole in front of the campfire.

Lemala Includes: House alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

Overnight: Lemala Manyara Camp (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 4 - Tarangire

Today you will embark on a full day of game driving in Tarangire National Park.

Tarangire is one of the most diverse parks in Tanzania and situated in the north-western corner of Tanzania’s Masai Steppe, east of The Great Rift Valley. Covering an area of 1,360 sq km comprising scattered acacia woodland, baobab and palm trees, plains, swamps and rivers. There is an abundance of big game including lion, elephant and buffalo, as well as a vast bird and lesser game population.

Overnight: Lemala Manyara Camp (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 5 - Tarangire - Esilalei - Ngorongoro

This morning we'll venture into the Maasai Heartlands to a village called Esilalei (Toothbrush Tree) located in the wildlife corridor in between Tarangire and Lake Manyara. As we enter the village we will be met by the village elders and morani (warriors) singing and dancing to welcome our arrrival. Your visit supports the building of their school here.

After your visit you'll continue to transfer to Ngorongoro Crater rim for a guided walk with an armed ranger.

You'll spend the night at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 6 - Ngorongoro

This morning you'll descend into the crater floor for game driving and exploration. Ngorongoro was a huge active volcano, probably larger than Kilimanjaro when the volcano erupted some 8 million years ago. Its cone collapsed leaving a crater or more appropriately a “caldera” 600m deep, 16km across and 265 sq km in area.

Many of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino can be seen grazing on the open grassland of the crater floor surrounded by some of the 20,000 large animals that occupy the crater, including lion, cheetah, eland, zebra and gazelle. Flamingo, among other bird species can often be seen feeding at Makat soda lake. This afternoon you'll return to the lodge for overnight.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 7 - Ngorongoro: Olmoti Crater Hike

This morning you'll be driven to the village of Nainokanoka, where you’ll begin your Olmoti hike. Here you will meet a guide (armed ranger) who will take you on the approximately one hour hike up Olmoti Crater. Then if you want, you can go down into the crater as well - here you'll find the spring that feeds the swamp in Ngorongoro! The walk back is steep but enjoyable.

After your hike you'll return to your lodge for dinner and overnight.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 8 - Ngorongoro - Serengeti

Serengeti is calling today! Game drive in the rolling grasslands of the western corridor. Criss-crossed with forested riverine valleys, the Serengeti plays home to millions of Africa’s large mammals, making this one of the world’s most famous wildlife destinations.

The Serengeti National Park is probably the best place on the planet to spot large game. Your days here will be spent on several different game drives searching for prides of lions, cheetah, leopard and much more. In the evening return to the beautiful Mbalageti Serengeti for stories and dinner.

Mbalageti is situated in the vast Serengeti National Park, the largest and most famous national park in Tanzania, covering 14.763 sq km and adjoining the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. The lodge comprises tented chalets and a central building built from natural materials, all positioned to take advantage of the great views as well as the immediate surroundings.

Overnight: Mbalageti Serengeti (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Days 10 - 11 - Serengeti

Your days will be spent on several game drives following the great wildebeest migration.

Lions, zebras, cheetahs, giraffes, various gazelles, elands, impalas and warthogs among other animals dwell in high populations within the Serengeti. This is what makes the Serengeti one of the most amazing wildlife observation destinations in the world!

Overnight: Mbalageti Serengeti (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 11 - Serengeti - Mahale

This morning you'll be driven to the Grumeti airstrip for your departure flight to Mahale Mountains National Park in Western Tanzania.

Upon arrival in the magical Mahale, you will be met and taken to board a dhow, which will take you down the lake to the isolated beauties of Greystroke Mahale.

Greystoke Mahale sits on pristine, white sandy beaches overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8,000-foot Mahale Mountains rising in the background. All the rooms and structures are built using sustainable materials sourced from the lake. All the wood was reclaimed from wrecked or retired dhows bought from villages along the lake shore.

During your stay, enjoy one chimp trek per full day at the lodge, as well as walking and boat tours.

Overnight: Greystoke Mahale (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 12 - Mahale

Spend your time at Greystroke Mahale interacting with the chimps, as well as enjoying the beautiful lake and surrounding lush wilderness. You can enjoy one chimp trek per full day at the lodge.

As you observe the chimps, you will become aware of the subtle relationships and differences between the members of the chimp families.

Overnight: Greystoke Mahale (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Days 14 - 15 - Mahale

Enjoy two additional days in Mahale. In addition to chimp treks, other activities include hiking into the forest to look for birds and butterflies, as well as the other shy mammals that live there.

You can also simply enjoy the ice cold pools fed by natural mountain waterfalls, dawn kayaking trips on the lake, and sunsets on the old wooden dhow lazily following the shoreline.

Overnight: Greystoke Mahale (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 15 - Mahale - Zanzibar - Kiwengwa

Today you will be transferred to the airstrip to board your flight to Zanzibar. Upon arrival, you will be met in Stone Town's airport and transferred across the island to your beach accommodations, the Sultan Sands Island Resort.

The Sultan Sands Zanzibar is a uniquely constructed magical Africa resort, with a choice of 76 rooms built in single storey African style rondavels - each with two tastefully decorated rooms with a separate changing room leading into the superbly appointed en-suite bathroom. It nestles on the beachfront of a 25 acre stretch of subtly landscaped gardens decked with over 1000 palm trees.

Overnight: Sultan Sands Zanzibar (Breakfast, Dinner included)

Days 17 - 18 - Zanzibar: Kiwengwa

Enjoy two full days of rest and relaxation along the pristine beaches of Zanzibar.

Overnight: Sultan Sands Zanzibar (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Day 18 - Zanzibar: Kiwengwa - Stone Town

After breakfast you'll be met and driven to your Stone Town accommodation, Jafferji House and Spa.

Located in the heart of Stone Town, Jafferji House and Spa has quickly become one of Stone Town's most sought-after properties. It is a luxury boutique hotel that captures the romantic history of the spice island of Zanzibar with the best the modern world has to offer.

Enjoy the remainder of the day to explore city on your own. Stone Town is the old city and cultural heart of Zanzibar, little changed in the last 200 years. It is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses whose original owners vied with each other over the extravagance of their dwellings. This one-upmanship is particularly reflected in the brass-studded, carved, wooden doors - there are more than 500 different examples of this handiwork. You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways.

Overnight: Jafferji House and Spa (Breakfast included)

Day 19 - Zanzibar Departure

Sadly this is your last day in Tanzania. You will be picked up and transferred to the airport for your departure flight (flight not included).

Accommodation Information

Kambi Ya Tembo Tented Camp

An exclusive luxury tented lodge situated on the border of Kenya's Amboseli Natioanl Park & Tanzania. You'll experience the wildness and solitude of East Africa on a private 45,000-acre preserve. Travel this exotic area in luxury, open-air vehicles as you participate in game drives and view resident elephant herds, zebras, gazelles, impalas, and possibly lions. When you return to camp in the evening, you'll relax under the starry skies of Africa with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro waiting to greet you at first light. Nearby is a Maasai Village that you will visit to see up close, the culture of a great people. Without another tourist group in sight, you'll feel as though the open plains of Africa belong to you.

Sinya, a private concession of about 600 square km, bordering Kenya at Amboseli National Park, offers spectacular landscapes with magnificent views of Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Ol Doinyo Longido and Ol Doinyo Orok. A unique nature and cultural experience.

Lemala Manyara Camp

The traditional seasonal safari camp is supremely comfortable and blends into the surroundings. Each spacious tent is fitted with large single or king-size beds with warm duvets, wooden flooring with rugs, 24-hour solar lighting, and en-suite bathrooms with a dressing area, flush toilet and a great safari shower. The mess tent is beautifully furnished with grand sofas, lamps, book shelves and corner cabinets in old wood, chests and rugs.

All the tents face the lake and are constantly cooled by the breeze from the lake. Guests are treated to beautiful sunrises, while in the evening they may enjoy sundowners on the lakeshore as the sun sets over the escarpment behind the camp. The area is frequented by elephants, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and even lions which are sometimes attracted by the seasonal waterhole in front of the campfire.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Guests can be forgiven for losing track of which era, or even continent, they are experiencing at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

Divided into three camps, 30 stilted suites with banana leaf ceilings and grass roofs provide an intimate and exclusive Crater experience. Each camp has its own sitting and dining areas, with private butlers who provide warm, personal service. Brocade sofas and Persian rugs invite you to re-live the day’s experiences around a roaring fire. The domed dining room, where sparkling silver and crystal vie for attention with the huge windows and awe-inspiring views.

Nowhere else on earth can you wake up among all the trappings of an elegant baroque chateau - brocade sofas, gilt mirrors, beaded chandeliers and panelled walls - and be instantly transported into one of the most famous African landscapes with just one glance out the window of the lodge.

In this place of dramatic contrasts, where Versailles meets Maasai, anything is possible and the natural beauty of the setting ensures the dramatic interior of your suite blends perfectly with its stilted thatch architecture.

Mbalageti Serengeti

Mbalageti is situated in the vast Serengeti National Park, the largest and most famous national park in Tanzania, covering 14.763 sq km and adjoining the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. The lodge comprises tented chalets and a central building built from natural materials, all positioned to take advantage of the great views as well as the immediate surroundings.

The central building consists of an elegant bar which is the natural meeting point and heart of the lodge, serving a wide range of local and imported beverages; a cozy lounge loft on the 2nd floor with board games, puzzles, magazines and a selection of books, and a well-stocked curio shop. Outside, a wooden deck features a swimming pool made of local rocks and set on the edge of the hill with 360 degree views of the Serengeti. A newly built Massage Boma offers massage services and the Tranquillity Pool is a great place to unwind after an activity-packed day.

Greystoke Mahale

On a far-flung beach along the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, below a huge story-book tropical forest, is the tiny sanctuary of Greystoke Mahale. The water is as clear as gin, the air scented and the living is very easy indeed.

The forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains rise behind camp, home to the world's largest known population pf chimpanzees, with approximately 1000 individuals inhabiting the national park. Each day you can venture out into the forest, to observe and commune with these, our closest relatives, as they groom, wrestle and forage across the leafy floor.

Sultan Sands Zanzibar

The Sultan Sands Zanzibar is a uniquely constructed magical Africa resort, with a choice of 76 rooms built in single storey African style rondavels - each with two tastefully decorated rooms with a separate changing room leading into the superbly appointed en-suite bathroom. It nestles on the beachfront of a 25 acre stretch of subtly landscaped gardens decked with over 1000 palm trees.

Jafferji House and Spa

Located in the heart of Stone Town, Jafferji House and Spa has quickly become one of Stone Town's most sought-after properties. It is a luxury boutique hotel that captures the romantic history of the spice island of Zanzibar with the best the modern world has to offer.

The hotel’s opulent interior instantly whisks you away to a far away time and place. Each piece of furniture, each door, and even the hotel’s carved windows are genuine antiques collected from all over the world. From Morocco to Afghanistan, India to Mozambique, each item evokes a blissful sense of the life of the Sultans who ran a trading empire which encompassed the entire Indian Ocean and often called to port in Zanzibar.

Location

Region: Africa - Eastern and Southern

Address:
Arusha
Serengeti, Tanzania

Amenities/Activities

All Meals All Meals

Day Tours Day Tours

Ecologically Responsible Ecologically Responsible

Wildlife Wildlife

GBC Staffpick GBC Staffpick

General Information

Price Includes

  • Domestic Flights:
  • Grumeti Mahale
  • Mahale Zanzibar
  • For Safari:
  • All accommodations as indicated
  • Meals as indicated (please advise if you have any dietary needs)
  • Airport pickups/dropoffs
  • All transport as mentioned between destinations during trip
  • All transport in 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with popup roof for game viewing
  • Private Englishspeaking professionallytrained guide/driver
  • Two (2) 1.0liter bottles of drinking water per person per day in the game driving vehicle
  • National Park entrance and transit fees
  • A portion of all trips will benefit local community projects
  • For Mahale:
  • Full board
  • Local drinks
  • Airstrip transfers
  • 1 chimp trek per full day of stay
  • Boating/guided walks
  • For Zanzibar:
  • All accommodations as indicated
  • Meals as indicated
  • Airport pickups/dropoffs
  • All transport as mentioned between destinations during trip

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Zanzibar departure flight (available on request)
  • Travel and personal accident insurance
  • Visa, passport, vaccinations, medicines
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Expenditure on alcoholic drinks, laundry, personal items at camps/lodges