This four-day itinerary will give you the best chance to see many animals in Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro. The probability that you will see the “Big Five” (leopard, rhino, lion, buffalo and cheetah) is very high. You will also experience great views of the landscape and the uniqueness of each park. If you have a short time frame or a small budget for a safari, this is the best tour for you.
Trip plan: Day 1: Arusha or nearby places to Tarangire National Park
You will be picked up from your hotel in Arusha or nearby places early in the morning and drive for 120 km to Tarangire National Park (2,850 sq. km) for game drives. The park has the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem. The swamps are tinged green all year round and are home to 550 bird species, the most found in one habitat anywhere in the world. After lunch, continue with afternoon game viewing in the park which is home to lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, python, zebra, oryx, impala, and more. On drier ground, you will find the kori bustard (the heaviest flying bird), the stocking-thighed ostrich (the world’s largest bird), and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys. More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colorful yellow-collared lovebirds, the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling.
Dinner and your overnight stay will be at the Panorama Campsite.
Day 2: Serengeti National Park
After breakfast, you check out and drive through the cooler highland region towards Serengeti National Park. This world-renowned park with its diverse landscape, ranging from grass plains, dry savannah to marshy woodlands, is the stomping ground of many carnivorous predators and their prey. The park is home to the largest animal migration in the world and depending on the season, you will be able to witness this spectacular event unfold. Herds of wildebeest and zebra journey during the short rainy season in November and December from the hills in the north to the southern plains. They return to the north during the longer rainy season from April to June. The location of the migrating herds is dependent on the yearly rainfall, but your guide will know the best vantage points for wildlife viewing.
Dinner and overnight at a campsite in Central Serengeti.
Day 3: Serengeti National Park
You'll wake up at 06:00 am for an early morning game drive in the Serengeti. At 10:00 am, we'll head back to the campsite for breakfast. In this Serengeti region, you can often watch wildebeest and zebras next to lions and other big cats such as leopards and cheetahs. Later in the day, you will pass by Olduvai Gorge, where the English duo Louis and Mary Leaky, pioneered excavation work in the 1960s. Some of the earliest archaeological deposits of human evolution were found here, and a small museum documents these discoveries. After this visit, you will eat lunch and enjoy game viewing en route to the Ngorongoro Crater rim.
Dinner and your overnight stay will be at the Ngorongoro Simba "A" Campsite.
Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater and return to Arusha
You'll wake up early for breakfast and then drive to Ngorongoro Crater at 07:00 am. Here, you will descend onto the crater floor (19.2 km in diameter, 610 m deep, 304 sq. km) for game drives. All of the “Big Five” (rhino, lion, leopard, buffalo, and elephant), along with many more mammals, live in this wonderful caldera. Birds found here include flamingos on the soda lake, geese, storks, vultures, and more. We will take a break for lunch at the Ngoitoktok Spring picnic site. Ngorongoro Crater is often called “Africa's Eden” or the “8th Natural Wonder of the World.” It is a massive extinct volcano, with its towering tree-lined walls dropping thousands of feet to a "Noah's Ark" of animals on the verdant floor below. This breathtaking oasis provides a haven for both predator and prey to live among grasslands, fresh springs, and a large soda lake. After lunch, enjoy some additional game viewing while ascending the crater.
Later, you will return to Arusha around 7pm.
Inclusions: All transportation, all national park fees and taxes, jeeps, professional drivers and guides, breakfast 4x, lunch 4x, dinner 3x, accommodation at campsites 3 nights, bottled water in vehicles
Exclusions: Individual expenses
Duration: 4 days