The Iconic Northern Circuit | 4 Days

Maasailand Tanzania Wildlife Adventure

Adumu Safaris invites you on a once in a lifetime journey into Tanzania, home of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the great Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the magical “Spice Island” of Zanzibar! This 4-day all-inclusive adventure, led by Adumu Safaris’ local expert naturalists and cultural guides, takes you on a wildlife safari through the iconic Northern Circuit. It includes a variety of activities that explore the natural environment. Feel good knowing that this trip strictly abides by socially responsible ecotourism practices and supports our social impact mission of Maasai empowerment.

This wildlife safari takes you through Tanzania’s most famous parks where you will see the lauded “Big 5” and a variety of other majestic fauna up close in their natural habitats. Feel like an adventurer as you encounter a myriad of breathtaking landscapes deep in the African bush. View the world-famous Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra (and the predators that follow them!) from your spacious and comfortable hatch-top Land Cruiser, and perhaps even while enjoying a beverage at camp! Explore the unique Ngorongoro Crater, alkaline Lake Manyara, photogenic Tarangire, and other natural wonders. Retreat to your fantastic accommodations where you’ll experience Tanzania’s warm hospitality and impeccable service. Savor delicious African-inspired continental cuisine prepared with the bounty of fresh, local ingredients. Learn about the culture of the Maasai, as well as other vibrant local cultures as you pass through the parks. Experience this incredible Tanzanian voyage while making lasting memories with your family that you will cherish forever. Karibu Tanzania!

*NB: We have proposed two 4-day options. The first includes Tarangire NP, and the 2nd includes Lake Manyara National Park.

Option 1: Tarangire - The Serengeti - Ngorongoro Crater

Destination: Tarangire National Park
Accommodations: Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge
Activities: Game Drive
Transfer time: 1.5 hours from Arusha to lodge; 1.5 hours to Tarangire National Park

Today begins your incredible wildlife safari, full of amazing encounters with wildlife and breathtaking natural scenes, in Tanzania’s world famous Northern Circuit! At 7:00am, your expert naturalist guide will pick you up from Arusha and drive 120km to Tarangire National Park for a late morning game drive. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park and continue with afternoon game viewing—identify different species of mammals such as lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, python, zebra, oryx, impala, and more. Over 450 species of birds have been observed in this park, so get out your binoculars! This park is also known as the park of elephants and baobabs, both of which as are scattered everywhere. The Tarangire River is a vital source water to animals in the park where you are likely to find many major species behaving and interacting naturally. In the late afternoon, you will leave the park and head 45 km toward Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge, a a sustainable tented lodge surrounded by elephants, a comfortable retreat after a day on the dusty roads. Settle into your private tented cottage with its own verandah and head to the dining tent for a delicious dinner followed, perhaps, by a drink and traditional Maasai storytelling around the fire.

Destination: Serengeti National Park
Accommodations: Gnu Migration Camp
Activities: Game Drive; (Optional) Oldupai Gorge Visit
Transit time: Approx 3 hours to Ndutu

Today you drive to the great Serengeti National Park, the world’s most famous game park! After an early breakfast at Bougainvillea, drive 120km to the Ndutu area of Serengeti where the Great Migration is in full swing during January . En route to the Serengeti, you have the option of stopping to visit Oldupai Gorge (often misspelled as Olduvai), commonly referred to as the “Cradle of mankind”. This site is where the Leakeys made some of the world’s most important archaeological discoveries, including discovering the remains of several early hominids estimated to be around 3.7 million years old. Oldupai is the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant (Sansevieria ehrenbergii), which grows in the gorge. Afterwards continue to the park entrance and, before lunch, arrive at Gnu Migration Camp, a tastefully appointed tented camp reminiscent of the first safaris at the turn of the 20th century, furnished with African touches. Set inside the Ndutu area during the calving season, Gnu Migration Camp occupies a unique and privileged paradise within the Serengeti, far from main roads and civilization, surrounded by thousands and thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and all the predators that follow them! After settling in and enjoying a delicious lunch, venture back out into the park with your guide for a late afternoon game drive. Return to camp to enjoy sundowners beneath an acacia tree on the open savannah followed by a bush dinner.

Destination: Serengeti National Park
Accommodations: Gnu Migration Camp
Activities: Game Drive
Transit time: leisurely game drive with stops around the park from morning until late afternoon

After breakfast, continue with both morning and afternoon game drives in Serengeti national Park. Totaling 14,763 km2 in area, the park is appropriately named after the Maasai word for “endless plains”. Here you are certain to get up close and personal with the “Big Five” (Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Cape Buffalo), if you haven’t already, and hosts of other iconic and lesser known species. Given the vast terrain, weather patterns, and migratory patterns of the innumerable species, many animals of the Serengeti are constantly on the move. This makes for an adventurous game drive! Your drives will depend on the move of the migrants; your expert naturalist guide knows very well how to locate the herds. Bush lunch and bush dinner will be at Gnu Migration Camp.

Destination: Ngorongoro Crater; Arusha for connection or departure
Activities: Game Drive; (Optional) Mto wa Mbu Cultural Village Tour
Transit Time: 2.5 hours to Crater gate; 1 hour Crater decent; 1 hour ascent; 3.5 hours to Arusha

Today is an exciting day when you will venture to the world famous Ngorongoro Crater! Wake early and take breakfast on the road as you depart at 5:30 leaving the Serengeti, drive 90km and arrive at the Ngorongoro Crater gate around 7:00. After checking in, descend to the Crater floor for a half-day tour, inclusive of a picnic lunch by the hippo pools. Often referred to as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ the Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s best-known wildlife areas. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also one of the largest volcanic craters in the world (almost 20 kilometers wide, 610-760 meters deep and covering a total area of 264 square kilometers). An utterly unique biosphere, the Crater harbors grasslands, swamps, forests, saltpans, a fresh water lake and a glorious variety of birdlife, all enclosed within its towering walls. Due to its high concentration of wildlife, close-range viewing opportunities and striking scenery it is also Tanzania’s most visited destination. In the afternoon, ascend once more to the rim of the crater and continue on to Arusha with an optional stop at the Mto wa Mbu Cultural Village to gain some insight into local cultures. Arrving in Arusha, you will connect to your next destination or International Departure. Kwaheri!

Option 2: The Serengeti - Ngorongoro Crater - Lake Manyara

Destination: Serengeti National Park; (Optional) Oldupai Gorge; (Optional) Mto wa Mbu Cultural Village
Accommodations: Gnu Migration Camp
Activities: Game Drive; Optional Cultural Visits
Transit time: Approx 6 hours to Camp; or  2 hours to Mto wa Mbu, 2.5 hours to Oldupai Gorge, and 1.5 hours to camp

Today begins your incredible wildlife safari, full of amazing encounters with wildlife and breathtaking natural scenes, as you drive to the great Serengeti National Park, the world’s most famous game park! At 7:00am, your Adumu Safaris expert naturalist guide will pick you up in Arusha and take you to the Northern Circuit. En route to the Serengeti, you have the option of stopping to visit the Mto wa Mbu Cultural Village and/or Oldupai Gorge (often misspelled as Olduvai), commonly referred to as the “Cradle of mankind”. This site is where the Leakeys made some of the world’s most important archaeological discoveries, including discovering the remains of several early hominids estimated to be around 3.7 million years old. Oldupai is the Maasai word for the wild sisal plant (Sansevieria ehrenbergii), which grows in the gorge. Along the way, you will stop at a scenic location for a picnic lunch. In the mid-late afternoon, arrive at Gnu Migration Camp, a tastefully appointed tented camp reminiscent of the first safaris at the turn of the 20th century, furnished with African touches. Set inside the Ndutu area during the calving season, Gnu Migration Camp occupies a unique and privileged paradise within the Serengeti, far from main roads and civilization, surrounded by thousands and thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and all the predators that follow them! After settling in, venture into the park with your guide for an early evening game drive. Return to camp to enjoy sundowners beneath an acacia tree on the open savannah followed by a bush dinner.

Destination: Serengeti National Park
Accommodations: Gnu Migration Camp
Activities: Game Drive
Transit time: leisurely game drive with stops around the park from morning until late afternoon

After breakfast, continue with both morning and afternoon game drives in Serengeti national Park. Totaling 14,763 km2 in area, the park is appropriately named after the Maasai word for “endless plains”. Here you are certain to get up close and personal with the “Big Five” (Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Leopards, and Cape Buffalo), if you haven’t already, and hosts of other iconic and lesser known species. Given the vast terrain, weather patterns, and migratory patterns of the innumerable species, many animals of the Serengeti are constantly on the move. This makes for an adventurous game drive! Your drives will depend on the move of the migrants; your expert naturalist guide knows very well how to locate the herds. Bush lunch and bush dinner will be at Gnu Migration Camp.

Destination: Serengeti – Ngorongoro Crater; Karatu
Accommodations: Farm of Dream Lodge
Activities: Crater Game Drive
Transit Time: 2.5 hours to Crater gate; 1 hour Crater decent; 1 hour ascent; 1.5 hours to lodge

Today is an exciting day when you will venture to the world famous Ngorongoro Crater! Wake early and take breakfast on the road as you depart at 5:30 leaving the Serengeti, drive 90km and arrive at the Ngorongoro Crater gate around 7:00. After checking in, descend to the Crater floor for a half-day tour, inclusive of a picnic lunch by the hippo pools. Often referred to as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ the Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s best-known wildlife areas. An UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is also one of the largest volcanic craters in the world (almost 20 kilometers wide, 610-760 meters deep and covering a total area of 264 square kilometers). An utterly unique biosphere, the Crater harbors grasslands, swamps, forests, saltpans, a fresh water lake and a glorious variety of birdlife, all enclosed within its towering walls. Due to its high concentration of wildlife, close-range viewing opportunities and striking scenery it is also Tanzania’s most visited destination. In the afternoon, ascend once more to the rim of the crater and continue on to the town of Karatu on the western south slopes of Ngorongoro Crater at 1400 feet above sea level where resides Farm of Dreams Lodge. The lodge sits in a garden of flowers and vegetables and offers spectacular sweeping views of the surrounding hills. In the early evening, settle in to your warm and cozy room which overlooks the reserve and tropical gardens and opens up to a terrace furnished with a table and chairs. Perhaps, take a walk around the farm to contemplate the daily activities, relax in the fragrant gardens, take a dip in the pool, or just enjoy the spectacular sunsets before dinner, evening entertainment, and a good night’s rest.

Destination: Lake Manyara; Arusha for connection to next destination or international departure
Activities: Game Drive; (Optional) Maasai Village Visit
Transfer Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes to Lake Manyara; 30 minutes to Maasai Village; 2 hours to Arusha

After breakfast at the lodge, depart for a morning drive in Lake Manyara National Park, which lies at the base of the western wall of the eastern arm of the Rift Valley. Typically shimmering in a golden heat haze, the lake is often frosted with thousands of flamingos, while the trees that surround the lake are famous for their tree-climbing lions. The park also offers abundant sightings of monkeys, jackals, mongoose, hyenas, hyraxes, zebras, hippos, warthogs, buffalos, Maasai giraffes, duikers, waterbucks, and impalas. Significant numbers of elephants are also resident in the park, while sightings of black rhino and leopard are not uncommon. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park. In the early afternoon, depart the park for Arusha. En route, you have the option of stopping by an authentic Maasai village to see how this pastoralist tribe lives traditionally. You can even see the famous Adumu dance being performed! Continue on to Arusha where you will connect to your next destination or your international departure. Kwaheri!

SAFARI INCLUDES

  • Pick up at JRO airport or Arusha region
  • Entrance fees into the game parks/reserves
  • Crater service fee
  • Government Taxation
  • Professional naturalist guide
  • Transport and wildlife viewing in 4×4 Land cruiser with open roof hatches
  • All game drives and activities (unless noted with an * as optional)
  • All cultural excursions mentioned in the itinerary
  • Full board accommodations and additional meals, per itinerary
  • Plentiful drinking water (mineral water)
  • Coffee, tea, and fresh fruit juices as provided by accommodations
  • Alcoholic beverages and sodas at select lodges/camps
  • Flying Doctor services in Tanzania
  • Currency Conversion Fee
  • Service charges
  • Maasai Empowerment Land Restoration Fund

SAFARI EXCLUDES

  • International airfare & flights
  • Passport & visa fees
  • Personal health insurance
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended and offered upon making your deposit)
  • Laundry services, unless provided by the lodges
  • Alcoholic beverages & sodas, except at select camps and lodges (all-inclusive beverages optional for additonal cost)
  • Optional massages and spa services
  • All items of personal nature
  • Gratuities to safari guides and lodge/camp staff

Please note: Adumu Safaris makes every effort to customize your safari itinerary in order to cover areas where wildlife habitats are known to be plentiful during the season and precise time of year that you are traveling. However, since wild animals move freely in their environment, we cannot absolutely guarantee sightings of every species. We also use our best effort to provide the lodging set out in this itinerary, but occasionally there are circumstances that occur which require lodging substitutions. We reserve the right to make comparable lodging substitutions or upgrades whenever necessary or in your best interest to do so. Fortunately, we have vetted all of our lodges and stand by their ability to provide an amazing accommodation experience.

SAFARI COST

Peak Season (December 30, 2019 – January 3, 2020)

Double occupancy ……………………………………….$1857 per person
Single occupancy…………………………………………$2029 per person
TOTAL FOR 3 people, 2 rooms ……………………………………….$3886

We recommend this option. In December-January, after the short rains, Tarangire National Park can become very grassy, which can make wildlife viewing a little harder. For this reason, we recommend opting for Lake Manyara National Park.

Peak Season (December 30, 2019 – January 3, 2020)

Double occupancy ……………………………………….$1787 per person
Single occupancy…………………………………………$1990 per person
TOTAL FOR 3 people, 2 rooms ……………………………………….$3777

To reserve this trip we require $500 per person. The remainder is due 59 days before departure. All major credit cards and PayPal are accepted. We will send a secure payment link when you are ready to confirm this trip.

Please note that we offer these variations to demonstrate some of the ways that we can modify an itinerary to suit your preferences (destinations, activities, level of luxury, type of accommodations, length of stay, budget, etc.). If none of these options looks best for your group, we are more than happy to gather more information from you and customize the perfect trip. You can call us at +1 530 574 9519 or email us at to discuss this itinerary or others on our website.

Karibu Africa!
The Adumu Safaris Team