Welcome to my blog about an unforgettable safari trip to Tanzania! During my journey, I had the opportunity to explore some of the most breathtaking national parks in Africa. These included Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Grumeti. Each of these parks offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Starting from the vast savannahs of the Serengeti to the lush forests of Tarangire.
Tanzania is a country that is renowned for its incredible wildlife and stunning natural beauty. This makes it an ideal destination for safari enthusiasts. With diverse national parks and game reserves, Tanzania allows visitors to witness some of the most iconic animals in their natural habitat. Our group got up close to dozens of animals, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and zebras. The country is also home to the world-famous Serengeti National Park, known for its annual wildebeest migration. Witnessing one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet is a life-changing experience. While you can plan this safari six months out it is better to plan a year in advance.
In addition to its wildlife, Tanzania is also home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Africa. My favorite was the iconic Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts stunning views and a unique ecosystem. With its incredible wildlife, stunning landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Tanzania is a must-visit destination for any safari enthusiast.
Before you start planning your next safari, take a look at our article about the 10 Important Things To Consider When Planning An African Safari.
Day 1: Doha Qatar
Many flights from the US to Tanzania have a stop-over in Doha, Qatar. As the flight from Los Angeles was over 15 hours, staying a night in this fascinating city is a perfect way to break up the long journey.
A layover in Qatar offers a unique opportunity to explore and discover the captivating city of Doha. With its seamless blend of rich heritage and modern innovation, Doha showcases a vibrant cultural tapestry that is truly captivating. From the moment you step foot in this dynamic city, you will be greeted by architectural marvels, including the iconic skyline featuring the stunning Doha Corniche and the awe-inspiring Museum of Islamic Art. Indulge in a culinary journey through the bustling Souq Waqif, where aromatic spices and delectable local delicacies await.
If you have a few days to explore the city, immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene with visits to the renowned Katara Cultural Village and the National Museum of Qatar. For those seeking retail therapy, explore the luxury boutiques and designer stores at The Pearl-Qatar. As the sun sets, embrace the beauty of Doha’s desert landscape with a thrilling dune-bashing adventure or a serene sunset cruise along the picturesque coastline. With its warm hospitality, vibrant cultural scene, and unmatched architectural wonders, a layover in Qatar is an experience that will leave you longing to return for a longer stay in this captivating city.
Day 2: Arrival in Arusha
This morning I took an early flight to Arusha, the gateway to the safari destinations of Tanzania, where the warm hospitality of Arumeru River Lodge greeted us. Nestled in a serene location halfway between Arusha and Moshi, this exclusive lodge offers a remarkable retreat for travelers seeking an inviting and peaceful retreat with enchanting surroundings of lush gardens, picturesque views of Mount Meru, and the gentle murmur of the Usa River flowing nearby. Arumeru River Lodge sets the stage for an unforgettable safari experience with its charming blend of African elegance and modern comforts.
After two long days of travel, spending a few hours relaxing by the sparkling pool perfectly set the stage for an extraordinary safari adventure in Tanzania. In the afternoon, we took a hike in the nearby rainforest, where we saw a variety of monkeys and birds before sitting down for a delicious local dinner. What a perfect start to a Tanzania safari adventure.
Day 3: Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, we embarked on an exciting journey from Arusha to explore the wonders of Tanzania’s wildlife. Our first stop was a visit to a charming coffee plantation, where we learned about this important trade and indulged in a delightful lunch surrounded by the aroma of freshly roasted coffee beans. Fueled with energy, we continued our adventure toward Tarangire National Park.
Nestled in the heart of Tanzania, Tarangire National Park stands as a mesmerizing haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Its iconic landscapes, characterized by expansive savannahs, ancient baobab trees, and the meandering Tarangire River, create a breathtaking backdrop for an unforgettable safari experience. Renowned for its impressive elephant population, Tarangire invites you to witness herds of these magnificent creatures up close, along with an array of other wildlife, including lions, giraffes, zebras, and an abundance of bird species.
As we entered the park, the thrill of spotting magnificent elephants, graceful giraffes, and a myriad of other wildlife intensified. The game drive gave us incredible close encounters with nature’s most extraordinary creatures. As the day drew to a close, we reached the serene Maweninga Camp, nestled amidst the wilderness. Welcomed with refreshing drinks, we embraced the tranquility of our surroundings. A delectable dinner awaited us, accompanied by the soothing sounds of nature. The night at Maweninga Camp was a perfect blend of luxury and immersion in the untamed beauty of the African wilderness, ensuring a restful night’s sleep before our next thrilling day of exploration.
Day 4: Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, we visited Maweninga’s sister camp, Ormatai Rock, where we enjoyed a short site inspection. The panoramic views atop the rock were breathtaking, offering a captivating glimpse of the surrounding landscapes. Ormatai is a smaller lodge with only nine tents, and the camps offer fantastic value for moderately priced luxury camps.
Excited for the day ahead, we continued our adventure to Tarangire National Park for an exhilarating game drive. The park’s diverse wildlife unfolded before us, with elephants, antelopes, and lions gracing our path.
Our next stop was a short visit to Tarangire Safari Lodge, where we indulged in a delectable lunch with a spectacular view and had the opportunity to explore the lodge’s facilities. The camp is very basic but offers a stunning location for a quick meal. Energized and eager for more, we embarked on a scenic safari through the Karatu region, soaking in the mesmerizing beauty of the African savannah.
Along the way, we made a special stop at Bashay’s vegetable garden, where we gained insight into the local agricultural practices and enjoyed a brief visit. As the day drew to a close, we were warmly welcomed at Bashay Rift Lodge, where a refreshing drink awaited us. A delectable dinner awaited us, accompanied by the tranquil sounds of nature. The night at Bashay Rift Lodge was a true delight, offering a peaceful retreat amidst the natural wonders of Tanzania’s wilderness.
Day 5: Ngorongoro Crater
Our day began with anticipation as we embarked on a thrilling full-day game drive in the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater. As we ventured into this natural wonder, we were greeted by abundant wildlife, including majestic lions, graceful zebras, endangered rhinos and towering elephants.
Ngorongoro Crater is a unique and extraordinary destination with a special place in safari experiences. As one of Earth’s most remarkable natural wonders, it is often called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. The massive caldera was formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano millions of years ago. Its floor spans over 260 square kilometers and is home to an incredible array of wildlife species, including the iconic Big Five – lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinos.
Eighth Wonder of the World
What makes Ngorongoro Crater genuinely remarkable is the high density of wildlife, as the animals are confined within the crater walls, creating a natural sanctuary teeming with life. The lush grasslands, forests, and lakes within the crater provide abundant food and water, attracting an array of herbivores, which attract predators. This makes for exceptional game-viewing opportunities.
In addition to its rich wildlife, Ngorongoro Crater is also known for its stunning scenery. The dramatic landscapes, with steep crater walls enveloping the vast floor, create a mesmerizing backdrop for a safari adventure. The contrasting environments, from open grasslands to acacia woodlands and dense forests, offer a diverse habitat for various species.
Another unique aspect of Ngorongoro Crater is its coexistence of wildlife and Maasai communities. The Maasai people have been living in harmony with wildlife in this area for centuries and have a deep cultural connection to the land. Visitors can engage with Maasai communities and learn about their traditions and way of life, adding a cultural dimension to the safari experience.
A sumptuous picnic buffet lunch amidst the stunning scenery provided the perfect opportunity to refuel and soak in the awe-inspiring surroundings. Our game drive continued in the afternoon, revealing even more captivating sights and encounters with Tanzania’s diverse wildlife. As the day progressed, we made our way to the Rift Valley and Olduvai area, where we had the privilege of visiting the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge. Its elegant charm and breathtaking views offer a perfect spot for visitors who wish to spend a few nights on the crater.
After an incredible day of sightseeing, we arrived at Olduvai Camp in time for a memorable sunset walk to the kopje accompanied by Maasais. The serene atmosphere and captivating views painted a picture-perfect evening. To conclude this eventful day, a delightful dinner awaited us, showcasing the region’s flavors and a dance performance by local Maasai. With the sounds of nature as our lullaby, we enjoyed a restful overnight stay at Olduvai Camp, immersed in the enchantment of the African wilderness.
Day 6: Serengeti National Park
Breakfast at Olduvai camp was a delightful and refreshing start to the day in the heart of the Tanzanian wilderness. After breakfast, an exciting adventure awaited as guests embarked on an early morning walk alongside Maasai guides and their donkeys to Olduvai Ndogo camp. This short walk offered a chance to stretch our legs and a unique opportunity to explore the camp. It’s rustic charm won us over.
With the site inspection complete, it was time to set off for a full day of exploration in the renowned Serengeti National Park. The game drive promised incredible wildlife encounters and the chance to witness the remarkable natural wonders of the savannah ecosystem. As the safari vehicle traversed the vast plains, we began to spot the animals. From brightly colored birds to giant elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and countless others, it was a feast for the senses. The knowledgeable guides shared their expertise, revealing fascinating facts about the wildlife and their behaviors, enhancing the safari experience.
Serengeti National Park is an awe-inspiring destination that captivates the hearts and imaginations of safari enthusiasts worldwide. This iconic Tanzanian treasure offers an unparalleled safari experience. The vast expanse of the Serengeti’s sweeping plains creates a remarkable stage for the Great Migration. In this natural phenomenon, millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles traverse the land for fresh grazing grounds. Witnessing this epic journey up close was an unforgettable spectacle, as the thundering herds and predator-prey interactions created a captivating display of wildlife dynamics.
Beyond the Great Migration
The Serengeti teems with an impressive array of wildlife throughout the year. Lions roam the grasslands, leopards stealthily perch in acacia trees, and cheetahs showcase their remarkable speed in pursuit of prey. Elephants, giraffes, buffalo herds, and an abundance of antelope species also call this vast ecosystem home. The Serengeti’s diverse habitats, from open plains to woodlands and riverine forests, provide a haven for an extensive range of species, making every game drive a thrilling adventure filled with sightings of these magnificent creatures.
The Serengeti not only offers unparalleled wildlife encounters but also provides a captivating backdrop of natural beauty. The ever-changing landscapes, from golden savannahs to rocky outcrops known as kopjes, create a mesmerizing tapestry that delights the senses. The sunsets over the Serengeti’s vast horizons paint the sky with vibrant hues, casting a magical glow over the land.
Moreover, the Serengeti’s well-established infrastructure and experienced guides ensure visitors can explore this pristine wilderness with utmost comfort and safety. The accommodation options cater to various preferences, from luxury lodges to tented camps. We found the perfect blend of luxury and authentic safari experiences. With their deep understanding of the park’s intricacies, the knowledgeable guides unveil the secrets of the Serengeti. We learned about wildlife behavior, local culture, and conservation efforts.
In essence, Serengeti National Park epitomizes the quintessential African safari experience. Its unique combination of dramatic landscapes, remarkable wildlife populations, and captivating seasonal events make it a bucket-list destination. A journey to the Serengeti is a transformative experience, immersing visitors in Africa’s untamed wilderness’s raw beauty and timeless allure.
During the adventure-filled day, a well-deserved lunch break awaited at Ronjo camp. Here, guests could relax and indulge in a delectable meal surrounded by the untamed beauty of the Serengeti. The camp’s rustic ambiance and scenic location provided a peaceful respite before continuing the thrilling game drive en route to the Grumeti area. A stop at Togoro Plains offered a chance to enjoy the breathtaking views and appreciate the untouched landscapes.
Grumeti Game Reserve Adventure
As the afternoon drew to a close, the journey led to Grumeti Hills, where a warm welcome drink awaited. Guests could unwind and soak in the serene atmosphere, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the African bush. An early dinner was served, allowing time to savor the flavors of the carefully crafted cuisine.
One of the highlights of Grumeti Reserve is the opportunity to embark on thrilling night drives. As the sun sets and the nocturnal creatures awaken, an entirely different world comes to life. Expert guides lead guests into the darkness, with spotlights illuminating the surroundings. The enigmatic ambiance, heightened senses, and anticipation of nocturnal wildlife encounters create a sense of adventure and discovery. From elusive predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas to fascinating smaller species like servals, genets, and bush babies, the night drives unveil the hidden secrets of the African bush. Our group was lucky enough to see a group of lions, including cubs patrolling the area on the lookout for their next hunt.
Day 7: Grumeti to Zanzibar
While we only had time to spend one night in Grumeti, I highly recommend extending the trip and adding an extra night here. Grumeti Reserve in Tanzania is a remarkable destination within the vast Serengeti ecosystem. The reserve showcases abundant wildlife, untouched landscapes, and exclusive activities that immerse visitors in the heart of nature.
Another exceptional feature of Grumeti Reserve is exploring the wilderness on foot during walking safaris. Accompanied by highly trained and knowledgeable guides, guests can step out of the safari vehicle and engage with nature more intimately. Walking safaris allow for a deeper connection to the environment. Guests can observe the intricate details of flora and fauna, discover animal tracks, and learn about the smaller elements that contribute to the ecosystem’s delicate balance. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the subtleties of the bush, guided by the expertise of the rangers. The rangers share their wealth of knowledge about the local wildlife, plants, and cultural history.
With its vast open plains, woodlands, and winding rivers, Grumeti Reserve provides a picturesque backdrop for these extraordinary activities. The landscape’s diversity sets the stage for captivating encounters. Whether it’s stumbling upon a herd of elephants during a walking safari or witnessing the silent movements of predators on a night drive. The reserve’s exclusivity ensures a more personalized and intimate experience away from the crowds. This allows guests to fully immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of the natural surroundings.
Moreover, Grumeti Reserve is committed to conservation and community initiatives. The staff is actively engaged in projects that protect wildlife, preserve habitats, and empower local communities. Travelers contribute to these important efforts by visiting Grumeti and supporting sustainable tourism practices. Thereby helping to safeguard the environment and benefit the local people.
In the afternoon, we took a flight to Zanzibar for a few days of seaside relaxation.
Day 8: Zanzibar Island
Zanzibar Island is located off the coast of Tanzania. It is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and idyllic beaches. One of its prominent attractions is Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its rich history and distinctive architecture. A few days on Zanzibar Island is an excellent way to unwind and relax after an exhilarating safari adventure.
Upon arrival, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant ambiance of Stone Town. Stroll through its narrow streets and winding alleys, where the air is filled with the scent of spices. Explore the historic buildings adorned with intricately carved doors, reflecting the influences of various cultures over the centuries. Visit iconic landmarks such as the House of Wonders, the Old Fort, and the Sultan’s Palace Museum to explore the island’s past.
Beyond Stone Town, Zanzibar offers an array of activities and experiences. The island is renowned for its stunning beaches, where turquoise waters gently lap against pristine shores. Spend leisurely days sunbathing on powdery sands, taking refreshing dips in the crystal-clear sea, or indulging in water sports. Snorkeling and diving are popular ways to discover the vibrant marine life and coral reefs.
For a taste of local culture, venture into the rural villages of Zanzibar. Engage with the friendly locals, learn about their traditional ways of life, and savor the authentic flavors of Swahili cuisine. Explore the spice plantations that have made Zanzibar famous. Here you can witness firsthand the cultivation and processing of spices like cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Day 9: Zanzibar Island
If you want to enrich your experience further, take a boat trip to the neighboring islands, such as Prison Island or Mnemba Atoll, for opportunities to swim with dolphins, go fishing, or simply bask in the tranquility of the untouched surroundings.
In the evenings, Zanzibar comes alive with a vibrant nightlife. Indulge in delicious seafood dinners accompanied by live music and traditional performances that showcase the island’s cultural heritage. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing sunset views over the Indian Ocean. This is truly an enchanting sight that paints the sky in hues of gold and pink.
Do you prefer to relax on beaches, explore historical gems of Stone Town, or engage in thrilling water activities? Zanzibar Island offers a perfect escape for those seeking relaxation, adventure and cultural immersion. Its natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality create an unforgettable experience that will leave you with cherished memories of this tropical paradise.
Day 10: Departure
After an incredible 10-day adventure, it was time to head home. While the trip may be over, the memories of this experience will last forever. I flew back through Doha and spent another fun night exploring this wonderful city.
14-Day Tanzania Extension
Unfortunately, I only had 10 days for this incredible adventure. However, this trip can easily be extended to two weeks for visitors with more time. I recommend adding two nights in Ngorongoro Serena Lodge and another night in Grumeti. A few extra days in Zanzibar island would also be a welcome respite after the excitement of bush safaris. You can also take your safari experience next level by flying over to South Africa. Spend time exploring both Cape Town and the Kruger National Park region.
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