This tour forms part of our Scheduled & Overland tour collection.
Begin this 14-day Tanzanian tour on the edge of serene Lake Manyara, which is inhabited by thousands of pink-hued flamingos and a host of other intriguing water birds.
On 4×4 game drives explore Lake Manyara National Park, which is renowned for its tree-climbing predators and, while relaxing at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, take refreshing dips in the lodge’s infinity pool and enjoy its commanding views of the lake’s sapphire waters.
Then spend two nights on the doorstep of the Great Migration in Tanzania’s signature Serengeti National Park, and do not be surprised if wildebeest and zebra run right past the window of your suite during migration season. Make your way to Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge – set right on the edge of the crater with incredible views of the extinct volcano and its extensive floor, which is home to more wildlife than anywhere else in the world. Your next stop is Tarangire Sopa Lodge nestled in a wooded valley within the Tarangire National Park, which is inhabited by endangered black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants found in Africa.
Selous Game Reserve is named after Englishman Sir Frederick Selous – a big-game hunter turned early conservationist – and no permanent structures are allowed to be erected in this faunal wonderland. Your accommodation will be in Selous Serena Camp, a glamorous tented lodge on the Zema River.
You then make yourself at home on the spice island of Zanzibar, where you spend a night at Kisiwa House – a palatial building in historical Stone Town dating back to the 19th century. From urban bustle to island getaway, your last stop is Sultan Sands Island Resort in the east-coast village of Kiwengwa where you have the best choice of watersports action and toes-in-sand relaxation you could ever wish for.
- Witness the Great Migration in season
- Explore Ngorongoro Crater’s incredible wildlife
- Visit Tarangire for black rhino & massive elephants
- Stay in a historical hotel in Stone Town
- Indian Ocean water sports at Kiwengwa
Type of Accommodation
Tanzania Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Zanzibar, Selous, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater
- 1 night at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
- 2 nights at Serengeti Sopa Lodge
- 2 nights at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
- 1 night at Tarangire Sopa Lodge
- 3 nights at Selous Serena Camp
Day to day itinerary
Welcome to Manyara
You are met at Arusha Airport and transferred by vehicle to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge in the northern Tanzanian village of Mto wa Mbu, where several tribes converge to form one of the richest cultural mixes in Africa.
Occupying a superb position right on the edge on the Manyara escarpment, this magical lodge offers awe-inspiring views over the Great Rift Valley and serene Lake Manyara National Park. Birds of prey soar above you while below a dazzle of pink flamingos wade in the water. With more than 400 species recorded, the lake and its national park are a fantastic introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife and the lodge itself – with its grand curves and intricate patterns adorning the walls – takes its design inspiration from the area’s avian abundance.
The lodge’s massive pool is a sanctuary of relaxation. Its infinity edge blends into the lake below to create the pleasant illusion that you are swimming with the birds. During your afternoon game drive in the national park, look out for the climbing leopards and lions that are known to roam the woodlands between the lake and the Great Rift Valley. Apart from the big cats, you might also spot elephant, buffalo, wildebeest and giraffe inhabiting this lush terrain. In the forested areas, blue monkeys swing nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees while bushbuck tread silently through the shadows and hornbills honk high in the dense canopy.
Embrace the Serengeti
This morning, depart Lake Manyara for the Serengeti National Park and arrive at Serengeti Sopa Lodge in time for lunch overlooking the game-rich plains. Tanzania’s flagship park is synonymous with the Great Migration when thousands of ungulates – mainly zebra and wildebeest – travel hundreds of kilometres in search of water and fresh grazing lands.
At the front of the hotel, large floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the lodge’s spectacular views over the plains below which are conducive to excellent armchair game viewing. Not only is this Big 5 national park famous for its migrating animals, but also for its dense predator population and numerous Nile crocodile.
On game drives, you come across strong herds of buffalo, only slightly smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of migrating zebra and wildebeest with opportunistic predators in tow. Having focused on big game earlier, your guide introduces you to some of the park’s birdlife during your afternoon drive and soon you are using your binoculars to spot one species after another and ticking them off a Serengeti identification list.
Gasp at Ngorongoro Crater
You leave the lodge after breakfast and drive through the scenic Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and arrive in time for a marvellous lunch overlooking the crater.
Spend the rest of the afternoon enjoying your privileged position above this volcanic beauty while relaxing in a comfortable sofa over a cup of delicious coffee grown in the Tanzanian highlands. The furniture and columns in the lounge are adorned with engraved characters inspired by Tanzania’s rich wildlife and tribal culture.
The African-themed suites are designed in a circular fashion with conical roofs, detailed woodcarvings and sculptures. The west-facing lodge is ideally positioned to pay homage to every glorious sunset and the daily ritual of gathering on the deck for the grand occasion is not one you will ever want to miss.
The crater floor is home to the highest density of wildlife found anywhere on the planet. In a 4×4, descend the 600-metre high wall down and enjoy uninterrupted views across Lake Natron all the way to Mount Kilimanjaro. On the mineral-rich volcanic floor endangered black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants in Africa are just some of the mammals you may come across.
Tarangire National Park
Depart the crater this morning for Tarangire Sopa Lodge – a serene sanctuary nestled in a wooded valley on the eastern side of the eponymous river within the Tarangire National Park.
The park is inhabited by the highest concentration of elephants in all of Africa and the well-maintained lodge grounds are a playground for these animals, which are often observed up-close feeding on the acacia trees. Twitchers will not be disappointed with the reliable sightings in the park, which include the endemic rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling.
Watch as herds of elephants 300-strong scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory ungulates – such as wildebeest and zebra – as well as buffalo, hartebeest and eland, congregate around the lagoons for a drink. This termite mound-dotted terrain is also the only place in Tanzania where antelope such as fringe-eared oryx and long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed. Tarangire’s pythons – like its lions and leopards – lounge in the branches of sausage trees, the fruit doing a good job of disguising their tails.
Surrender to Selous
After breakfast you are transferred back to Arusha Airport with a picnic lunch, just a short flight away from Selous Serena Camp within the Selous Game Reserve. Set amidst dense indigenous forest overlooking Africa’s largest protected wilderness area, this tented safari camp offers prime Big 5 game viewing combined with the utmost privacy in lavishly-appointed explorer-style tents.
Between extravagant deck dining above a waterhole and first-class lounging in plush interiors, traverse this magnificent terrain of acacia savannah plains, riverine forests and extensive woodlands in search of wildlife under the guidance of expertly trained rangers.
While tracking the Big 5 on twice-daily 4×4 game drives, you are likely to see plenty of plains game, huge herds of elephant, sunbathing crocodiles on the riverbanks and the leery eyes of hippo peering out of the water. Guided walking safaris introduce you to the plants and small animals of this phenomenal landscape while boating safaris are a great way for birders to make the most of this phenomenal park’s diversity of wildlife.
Set on a deck with a thatch roof, the centrepiece of your tent is the 4-poster bed, while crystal chandeliers, Persian rugs and rosewood furniture suitably complement your suite’s refined elegance and old-world charm. Enjoy a sundowner on your private viewing deck before readying yourself in your exquisitely appointed Victorian-styled bathroom for dinner, starting with a long soak, bubbles-to-chin in the claw-foot tub.
Enjoy a candlelit 5-course dinner while hippos cavort in the creek below and the occasional roar of a lion pierces the still night air.
You are transferred back to Stiegler’s Airstrip for your scheduled flight to Zanzibar, where you are met upon arrival and transferred to Kisiwa House. Conveniently located in the centre of historic Stone Town, this palatial abode has been around since the reign of the most infamous 19th-century sultan of Oman.
Between its walls you will find a remarkable collection of antique furniture, brass ornaments and Persian rugs which give this boutique hotel its distinctive character and provides a glimpse into Zanzibari history.
After breakfast on Kisiwa House’s roof terrace, which has stunning views of Stone Town’s busy harbour and the Indian Ocean, you are chauffeured to the Sultan Sands Island Resort in the east-coast village of Kiwengwa. Set in 10 hectares of landscaped palm tree gardens, this seaside resort comprises African-style thatched-roof bungalows and spacious, open-plan areas ideal for daytime relaxation.
Colourful cocktails and leisurely sea-view dining provide a feet-up conclusion to your holiday where it is all about taking it easy and pampering yourself at the spa.
Spend two days balancing the excitement of an array of watersports with care-free relaxation. Sunbathe on a lounger around the pool between dips in the shimmering water. Get kitted out for a diving expedition on the nearby reef or enjoy the thrill of water skiing across the strip of cerulean Indian Ocean that fronts the lodge.
Enjoy a game of tennis on the floodlit court or take a romantic stroll along the pristine beach. Savour a 4-course dinner in the seaside restaurant and fall asleep with the soothing sound of the waves lapping the shoreline just metres from your comfortable suite.
After breakfast this morning you are transferred to Zanzibar International Airport for your departure home.
- 9 nights accommodation on full board basis
- 1 nights accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
- 3 nights accommodation on dinner, bed and breakfast basis
- Game drives in Lake Manyara National Park
- Serengeti National Park and Tarangire National Park
- Crater tour
- Scheduled flight from Arusha to Selous via Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam
- Scheduled flight from Selous to Zanzibar
- Government taxes and levies
- Park entrance fees
- Medical evacuation cover
- International flights
- Airport taxes
- All meals and drinks not specified
- Tips and gratuities
- Items of a personal nature