As With All Grand Explorations, It May Be Necessary To Slightly Modify This Itinerary On The Fly… But For Now, This Is What We Have Planned For Your Safari!
Day 1 – Arrivals
Your safari begins the moment you exit the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and are greeted by your guide(s). They will help you with your luggage, and will take you to your first night’s accommodation at a beautifully appointed safari lodge in Arusha.
Day 2 – Arusha Town & The Small Things Orphanage Visit
Before you leave Arusha for your safari adventure, Wanderful Tanzania will offer an opportunity for a short visit to the Usa River area where The Small Things Orphanage is located.
Wanderful Tanzania believes that “intentional travel” takes vacations to the next level! We encourage guests to not just consume tourism, but to seek out ways to make a positive difference in the countries we choose to visit.
This small but mighty orphanage near Arusha is the perfect place to make an impact with your tourism. These kids need our help, so we encourage our guests on this safari to plan ahead, either raising funds, or gathering supplies to bring to the orphanage for their resident kids or their school children. Things like clothing, school items, STEM kits, backpacks, soccer balls and pumps, and so forth can go a long way to improving the lives of these orphans and the other children that benefit from the work done by this orphanage.
The orphanage is careful to protect the children at all times. You will likely not be bouncing the kids on your knees, as they are too vulnerable and the the founders of the orphanage don’t want the kids on an emotional rollercoaster. But, you will see them from a distance… may interact with a few of them if the opportunity presents itself, and can leave the orphanage knowing that your presence and your kindness will positively impact so many lives.
The orphanage also sells Tanzanian coffee (delicious) and handcrafted jewelry, should you wish to purchase any during your visit. All of the funds raised go back into the operation of the orphanage.
Days 3-4 – Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is a must-see destination for any safari-goer. The park covers an area of roughly 2,850 square kilometers, making it roughly a quarter of the size of the famous Serengeti. Despite its smaller size, Tarangire is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including large herds of elephants that are a highlight of any visit. The park is also known for its unique and distinctive baobab trees, which dot the landscape and provide a beautiful backdrop for your safari experience.
In addition to its wildlife and vegetation, Tarangire is also known for its diverse ecological regions. The park features river valleys, forests, marshes, and grasslands, each offering a different experience for visitors. Your guide will do their best to explore as much of the park as possible, ensuring that you get the most out of your visit.
Tarangire is also home to more than 550 bird species, making it a paradise for bird-watchers.
Day 5 – Tarangire to Ngorongoro Highlands Transition
As you transition from the Tarangire region to the Karatu region, your guide(s) will stop at the incredible African Galleria to let you have a look around before taking you on to one of the beautiful lodges that Karatu is known for.
Once checked in, you should have ample time to explore the beautiful grounds and other amenities you’ll find at your disposal. Crater Day involves a very early start to the day, so use this bit of downtime to rest and reflect, and get ready to hit it hard again tomorrow.
Day 6 – Crater Day
You will be up EXTRA EARLY this morning in order to be amongst the first on the floor of the crater. Today’s mission will be to FIND THE RHINOS! If you are successful at finding this beautiful, elusive, and endangered creature, you will very likely be able to claim that you’ve seen the BIG FIVE!
Tanzania has many wilderness and wildlife showpieces, but this one is particularly difficult to put into words. From the remarkable views from the ridge above, to the real action on the crater floor below, NGORONGORO CRATER embodies a constant stir of wildlife and unspoiled scenes to keep you engrossed.
The Ngorongoro Crater and Conservation Area was added as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and boasts the highest density of African animals in the world, as more than 30,000 creatures make their home in this amazing caldera!
Past guests have described it as “Where Heaven Meets Earth,” and “Narnia, mixed with a little bit of Seuss and a dash of Jurassic Park!” However YOU describe it, it is a MUST-SEE on any Tanzanian safari!
Day 7 – Tribal Interactions – Great Rift Valley
Your guide(s) will take you over the river and through the woods and on into the Great Rift Valley in order to facilitate your interactions with three different tribal families tribes that live in this rural and agricultural region of Tanzania.
You will get the chance to meet the incredible “blacksmith family” of the Datoga tribe. These folks adeptly turn scrap metal into useful weapons and really beautiful and fun jewelry!
The Datoga tribe’s greeting is, “Say you” (hello, essentially).
The blacksmith family is delightful, and they will astonish you with what they can make from a what looks like a pile of junk! You can participate in a good bit of the process, or just sit back and watch the magic!
While in this area, you’ll also pay a visit to the “farming family” of the Datoga tribe. This is a family comprised of a 93+ year old patriarch (pictured below), his 10 wives, 50+ kids, and 100+ grandkids. This man is absolutely brilliant to interact with… very funny, genuine, and still sharp as a tack!
The women of the farming family do almost everything in the tribe… farming, ranching, harvesting, grinding, cooking, bearing and raising the kids, beadwork, and dealing with the very few tourists who are lucky enough to get to meet them in person.
As a matter of course, it is always polite to ask if you can take photos of them and their children. They will say YES! They love to have their pictures taken, and will then swarm around you to see the pictures on your phone screen or the back of your camera!
Feel free to ask them questions about the plural marriage situation, what a day in their life is like, what happens when one of them has a new baby, etc. The interpreter will help you communicate with one another… and they may even start asking you about your lives too!
The THIRD group you will meet is perhaps the most special of all. This is beyond your typical Bucket List-level stuff! They are known as the Hadzabe Tribe (or Hadza for short). They are the last hunter/gatherer tribe in all of Africa.
Experts say there are only about 1000 of them left at this point, and that they will likely die out completely in the next couple of decades, as the women are being persuaded to leave the tribe and marry into the Massai tribe for a better lifestyle.
“Say you” will NOT work with these folks. They speak the language that has a lot of clicks and pops in it… so ask your interpreter to help you learn to say “”Hello” and “Thank you” in Hadza!
The Hadza hunt nearly every day, just to keep their families fed. They will hunt almost anything from mice and birds to huge antelope… and everything in between… and they waste NOTHING! Honey is about 15% of their diet, so be sure to ask your interpreter to explain how they find and collect honey, as it is a fascinating story.
Members of the tribe (via your interpreter) will tell you all about their weapons, hunting techniques and traditional ways. They may let you shoot their bows and arrows, or perhaps you’ll be invited to help them make fire! You never know what you’ll get to see or do when you visit these fascinating people!
Days 8-11 – Olduvai Gorge & Central Serengeti National Park
Along the route that takes you from the Ngorongoro Highlands to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, sits the intriguing and important OLDUVAI GORGE. Time permitting, your guide(s) will stop here for an hour or two so that you can have a “lunch-and-learn” session and visit their small and well-curated museum. This gorge is known around the world as “The Cradle of Mankind,” as the oldest human footprints were famously discovered there by Mary Leakey in 1959.
NEXT STOP… Serengeti National Park!!
The majestic and famous Serengeti is the thing that dreams are made of! Giant granite kopjes (pr. co-pees) seemingly pop up out of nowhere, dotting the landscape like islands in a sea of breeze-blown grasses.
The park has a well-earned reputation for reliable and unforgettable wildlife encounters which, at times, seem to be around every bend in the road! You should have no problem spotting elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelopes of every variety, hippos, and more! Your guide(s) will help you spot the big cats, as those are usually much harder to locate. And the birds in the parks of Tanzania are nothing short of mind blowing in terms of volume, variety, and beauty!
Day 12 – Bush Flight to Arusha / Lunch / Day Use / Departures
There’s time for just one last mini-game drive on the way to the airstrip.
Saying goodbye to your safari guide(s) at the end of an incredible journey is bittersweet. They have shared their knowledge, expertise and passion for Africa’s wilderness with you, making your safari experience safe, comfortable, and unforgettable.
These guys were complete strangers just 10 short days ago, but now they are your forever friends.
Be sure to look out the windows as your plane lifts off from the tiny dirt runway, and silently say your thanks and goodbyes to the mighty Serengeti too!
Upon landing back in Arusha, new guide(s) will meet you and escort you through your final day in Tanzania. Time permitting, they may offer a lunch and shopping opportunity, and/or a few hours in day-use rooms so that you can repack, refresh, and prepare for your long flights home again.
Either way, the goal of this day is to ensure you get to the airport in plenty of time to negotiate the check in and security process, and then relax onto your homeward flight… with your heart and mind full of the wonderful memories from your time in Tanzania!
Once home, we truly hope that you’ll tell your friends about the epic adventure and fun you had with Wanderful Tanzania!
Referrals are the biggest compliment we could hope for!
If you think that being on a safari means you’ll be roughing it… THINK AGAIN!!
Our small size really works to our advantage (and YOURS)! Because we are not beholden to one brand or chain of camps and lodges, we take great care in selecting the accommodations that are just right for each of our safaris. Your safety and comfort are always our top priority!
Day 1 – Arusha – Planet Lodge
The Planet Lodge in Arusha is where you’ll spend your first night in Tanzania. This sweet little lodge is quietly tucked away from the bustling main streets of Arusha. The casita-style accommodations are spread out amongst the beautifully manicured lawns and gardens, and guests can enjoy a meal or drink at their onsite restaurant and bar in the man building.
After your long flights, you can rest assured that a nice hot shower and comfortable bed await.
Days 2-4 – Maramboi Tented Lodge
During your time in the Tarangire area, you’ll be staying at an amazing Tented Lodge. Each night you can enjoy happy hour poolside, as you watch he animals grazing on the grasslands all around you. The sunset views from the pool deck are breathtaking, as you’ll gaze out over Lake Manyara and watch the sun set behind the Great Rift Valley range in the distance.
Days 5-7 – Ngorongoro Highlands – Safari Lodge
Following today’s game drive you’ll check into one of the spectacular lodges that the Karatu region is known for. Delicious meals, comfortable beds, and vibrant lounges will have you make you feel at home while in the lush surroundings of the Ngorongoro highlands.
Feel free to get out and stretch your legs on the paths and walkways that meander around these properties.
Days 8-11 – Serengeti – Tented Camp
Another beautiful tented camp will be home base for your final two nights on safari. This time, you’ll be smack dab in the heart of the mighty Serengeti! The sunsets in Tanzania are incredible, as is the beauty of this wild and precious place. You can’t help but feel the tensions of the first world melt away, so be sure to stay present and soak in every detail of your safari.