The Iconic Northern Circuit | 4 Days

Wildlife, Adventure, & Culture

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, as well as the history and culture of the people in this magnificent region--particularly the Maasai people who live in and near the parks. 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, and other natural wonders on foot, accompanied by your guide and Maasai warrior guards. 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, through some memorably authentic experiences.

Experience this incredible Tanzanian voyage while making lasting memories with your loved ones that you will cherish forever. Karibu Tanzania!

*NB: The following itinerary includes optional additions in The Serengeti and Arusha, as noted with an *. Other optional activities will be noted with an * as well.

Itinerary

Destination: Arrival at Kilimanjaro National Airport (JRO); Transfer to Arusha
Accommodations: Ilboru Safari Lodge
Activities: International Arrival and check-in; Botanical Walk; (Optional: Organic Fair Trade Coffee Farm Walk, Arusha City Tour, or Waterfall Hike)
Transfer time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport. After clearing customs, you will be met by your two guides and transferred to the lovely Ilboru Safari Lodge. This beautiful Swahili sanctuary is set on a five-acre plot, tucked away beneath ancient trees on the outskirts of Arusha town. After settling in, you will meet with an Adumu Safaris representative who will give you a short briefing to review your safari itinerary. Today you have the have the option to relax in the hotel for the rest of day, enjoying your meals at Ilboru’s lovely restaurant, taking a dip in the pool and enjoying evening entertainment. If you are feeling energetic, you also have the option of having the lodge’s local botanical specialist take you on a 1-2 hour walk, sharing his vast knowledge with you. Start at the Ilboru gardens, and from there you will tour the entire Ilboru area where you will find a large variety of beautiful and ancient trees. Learn about the history of the area and how it has evolved from before the time of the first German settlers. Other optional activities include going on a fair trade coffee plantation tour, touring Arusha city, or going on a waterfall hike near the slopes of Mount Meru.

*NB: This day is an optional add-on. We recommend having a day in Arusha to settle into Tanzania before starting your safari. As well, if you have a flight that arrives in the afternoon or later, we would highly encourage this day in Arusha.

Destination: Lake Manyara
Accommodations: Isiotok Camp Manyara
Activities:Game Drive; Adumu and Musical Performance; Viewpoint Walk
Transfer Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

After breakfast*, 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. Before lunch, check into Isiotok Camp Manyara, a unique, sustainable luxury tented camp situated in the Maasai area known as Esilalei on the soft rolling hills of Losimingori, 13km away from the national park. Set in a rich wild savannah bush location with an altitude of 1075 metres above sea level, this relaxing, intimate camp of only 8 beautiful tents blends into the bush and also offers wonderful opportunities to delve into Maasai culture. After settling in and meeting camp staff, a member of one of the nearby Maasai villages, with whom Isoitok enjoys fruitful relationships and supports through giving programs, will take you on a traditional medicine walk. Towards sunset, join your camp host and Maasai scout who will take you up to one of several viewpoints overlooking Lake Manyara and The Great Rift Valley. Sundowner snacks and a beverage of your choice are available whilst you soak in a melting sunset overlooking Lake Manyara. After returning to camp, enjoy a performance by members of the nearby community of traditional dance and song, including the famous Adumu! Retreat to your tent and sleep soundly to the night chorus of crickets, cicadas, tree frogs, and the occasional soulful call of a hyena and other passing wildlife.

*NB: If you opt not to spend your first night in Arusha, you should aim to fly in as early as possible so that you can enjoy a full day at Isiotok Camp and Lake Manyara.

Destination: Serengeti National Park
Accommodations: Pumzika Camp
Activities: Game Drive
Transit time: Approx 3 hours to Naabi Hill Gate; approx 2 hours to Pumzika Camp, leisurely game viewing en route

Today you drive to the great Serengeti National Park, the world’s most famous game park! After an early breakfast at Isoitok, drive 145 km to the Naabi Hill entrance. 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 where you will check in, stretch your legs, and enjoy a picnic lunch. Before lunch, arrive at Pumzika Camp, an eco-friendly tented camp reminiscent of the first safaris at the turn of the 20th century, with furniture made by local craftsmen and decorated with handmade carpets woven by the Mbulu women’s community. Set inside the Seronera area, Pumzika occupies a unique and privileged paradise within the Serengeti, far from main roads and civilization, surrounded by two of the biggest and most prolific lion prides in the park. After settling in, 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: Pumzika Camp
Activities: Game Drive
Transit time: leisurely game drives around the park

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 Pumzika.

NB* This day is an optional add-on. We highly recommend that you spend an additional day in the Serengeti if you can.

Destination: Serengeti – Karatu
Accommodations: Farm of Dream Lodge
Activities: Game Drive
Transit Time: 4 hours of game drive, broken up with stops and a picnic lunch; 2 hours from Serengeti Gate to lodge

Today, wake early, and after a cup of tea or coffee and some biscuits, depart on an early morning game drive back into the Serengeti. The earlier mornings are magical in Serengeti, when the wildlife is just waking up to greet the day. Spend the day in the park, stopping for a picnic lunch. In the early evening, depart through the Serengeti Gate and travel through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area 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: Ngorongoro Crater; Arusha for overnight or connection to International Departure
Accommodations: Ilboru Safari Lodge*
Activities: Game Drive
Transit Time: 1 hour 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! After an early breakfast, drive the short distance to the rim of the Crater and descend to its 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 where you will return to Ilboru Safari Lodge* or connect to your International Departure. Kwaheri!

*NB: You can opt to spend your last night in Arusha, especially if you you are not able to find a late flight departing Tanzania.

SAFARI INCLUDES

  • Pick up at JRO airport
  • 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 (group fares available)*
  • 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

This option is the shortest itinerary option. If you only have 4 days, this is a great option! Please note that by adding just one more day in the Serengeti, we are able to offer a special rate to increase the trip value significantly.

Double occupancy……………………………………….$1932 per person

The 5 day option offers a a full extra day in the Serengeti, which we highly recommend. We are able to offer special pricing for adding an additional day here.

Double occupancy……………………………………….$2240 per person

 

This option is the 4 day wild safari plus your first night in Arusha. This is a good choice if you have limited time but cannot find an early flight into Tanzania.

Double occupancy……………………………………….$2085 per person

 

This option is the 4 day wild safari plus your last night in Arusha. This is a good choice if you have limited time but cannot find a late flight out of Tanzania.

Double occupancy……………………………………….$2062 per person

 

This option is a 5 day wildlife safari plus your first night in Arusha. The extra day in the Serengeti is nice, and if you cannot find an early flight into Tanzania, you may need night in Arusha so that you can spend enough time at Lake Manyara.

Double occupancy……………………………………….$2393 per person

 

This option is a 5-day wildlife safari with first night at Isoitok Camp and your last night in Arusha. The extra day in Serengeti is nice, and if you cannot get a late flight out of Tanzania your final day, you may need to spend the night in Arusha.

Double occupancy……………………………………….$2370 per person

 

This option is the exact itinerary as outlined above with all of the optional days included. If you have time, we recommend this one so that you have down time after your arrival and before you depart.

Double occupancy……………………………………….$2523 per person

 

If you would like to spend all 4 days, 3 nights in the Serengeti, you have the option to fly directly into the park where your guide will meet you, bring you to Pumzika tented camp for check in, and proceed with an itinerary of game drives in the park.

Option 1, no flights included……………………………………….$1973 per person
Option 2, flights to/from Arusha included……………………..$2373 per person
Option 2, flights to/from Nairobi and Arusha included………$2723 per person

To reserve this trip for tavel in the next week, we would require full payment immediately. 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