DAYS 95 – 106: TANZANIA
After an early start to beat the Nairobi traffic you will head south to cross the border into Tanzania. Your first destination here is Arusha, Tanzania’s second major city and formerly the capital of the East African community. You will stop off here to stock up in preparation for your excursion into the Serengeti National Park before heading to your campsite on the outskirts of the town. On arrival at the campsite you should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite.
For your unforgettable 3 day / 2 night safari into the Serengeti and Ngorogoro Crater National Reserves you will again travel in a fleet of 6-person 4×4 jeeps. On the first day you will drive along the rim of the Ngoronogoro Crater (stopping to take in the awe-inspiring views!) and then down into the plains of the Serengeti. You will take an evening game drive around the savannah before heading to your campsite – the area is one of the world’s premier spots for wildlife viewing and hopefully you will find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during your time here! You still stay the night in a campsite within the Serengeti National Park, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises.
The next morning you will get up very early and set off in the jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool. There is an option this morning for to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive – demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you book your trip. You will return to your campsite for brunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti at around lunchtime. You will head back through the conservation area to your second campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where you will arrive in the early evening.
In the morning you will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a ‘natural wildlife enclosure’. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game. You will spend as long as your entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give you about 3-4 hours of game driving.
You will then be dropped off at your next campsite in the small town of Mto Wa Mbu, where you will be re-united with your overland truck. Here you will go on a fantastic community walk around the town where you will see local craft workshops, learn a little about the life here, and enjoy a lunch of delicious specialties from the area. You will then head back to your camp for a relaxing evening at the campsite!
From Mto Wa Mbu you will set off again in your overland truck and head east to Marangu where you have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. You should have good views of the mountain on the drive in (if it is not covered in cloud!).
The following day you will have a long travel day south to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, which lies on the coast of the Indian Ocean. You will have either one or two nights in Dar es Salaam depending on how the drive goes, and then you will head to the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar! You will travel on the local commuter barge from Kigamboni to the city centre of Dar es Salaam, and then take a ferry from Dar es Salaam centre to Zanzibar.
When you reach Zanzibar, the group will meet up with your local guide who will help you check in to your hotel in Stone Town, and then give a quick orientation of the town before you branch off and head to lunch! You will have a free afternoon to explore the atmospheric streets of the historic centre of Stone Town, with the option of meeting for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.
On your second day on Zanzibar you will join your local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. You will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with your guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best – bright white sand, sparkling blue sea outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere. On your third day on Zanzibar, you will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozano Forest.
Returning to your campsite in Dar es Salaam where you have the afternoon free to relax at the campsite.
From Dar es Salaam you will have a couple of big drives ahead of you to reach Malawi, starting with your journey out of Dar es Salaam and through the hills of Mikumi National Park to your campsite on a working ranch 52km south of Iringa.