This safari gives you an opportunity to sight Africa’s Big 5 on game drives in Tanzania’s Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti vast plains. The trip is concluded with an amazing encounter with endangered mountain gorillas in a luxurious and exciting way! This scenic expedition also brings you to fascinating cultural interactions with traditional tribes.
Arrive in Arusha through Kilimanjaro International airport and be transferred to Arusha Coffee Lodge. It is set in lush tropical gardens on a coffee farm just outside Arusha, lying on the gently rolling foothills that cascade down from the ever-present Mount Meru, hidden amongst one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations, a perfect haven for relaxation either before or after any East African safari. You will be checked into your room where you can relax at your veranda or that of the main house. Later, you will be treated to a welcome dinner—where you will be briefed by our head guide about how your trip will unfold.
After breakfast, checkout of your room and drive to Tarangire National Park, a wild landscape with open grasslands, acacia trees and the Tarangire River. You will be checked in your room at Olivers Camp, an eco-friendly lodge with direct access to the dense concentration of wildlife in this remote region. The lodge organizes walking safaris and fly camping. You will be treated to a welcome lunch before going on an afternoon game drive in search for giraffes, waterbucks, wildebeest, zebras, elephants, hartebeest, gazelles and birds the including the giant martial eagle.
You will have a guided morning and afternoon game drive destined for abundant wildlife choices. The day will be crowned with a complementary wild sundowner before the dinner and night game drive. This latter experience is a first class ticket to spotting nocturnal animals including African wildcat and the elusive leopard. You are also likely to encounter lions and hyenas as they hunt for their dinner! Overnight at Olivers Camp.
Checkout of the Olivers Camp after breakfast and cross the Great Rift Valley where the Ngorongoro Conservation Area sits. As you enter the Ngorongoro, you will be welcomed by Maasai “enkangs” (homesteads), brace yourself for a thrilling cultural and wildlife experience in this natural ring of Ngorongoro Crater, a 2,000-foot- deep caldera that offers a fascinating miniature of East African wildlife; including buffalo, flamingos, lions and leopards.
Later in the day, you will check in at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, an elegant getaway that is perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, giving unmatched views.
Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater and explore a natural wildlife haven. Many of these animals live their whole life at the bottom of this intact caldera. Watch Zebra, wildebeest, and gazelle mingle together, while herds of buffalo, elephants and rhino roam around. Catch up with the hippos as they lounge in the water holes where the lions position themselves to ambush preys. Get closer to the lake and watch the Flamingos as they feed and play. In the evening, visit a Maasai village and learn about the tribe’s charming cultural traditions; nomadic lifestyle and how they co-exist with wildlife. Meals and overnight at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Checkout and drive to Serengeti, boundless vast plains, where lions, hyenas and leopards roam. You will be welcomed at Sayari Camp and be checked into your room with dramatic views over the northern plains. In the evening visit a Masai family for a cultural experience led by a local guide who will introduce to you to the Masai traditions and practices before returning to camp for dinner and overnight. Sayari Camp is renowned for extraordinary wildlife sightings and supreme comfort. Set on the unspoiled plains of the Northern Serengeti, close to the famous Lamai Wedge, Sayari gives you easy access to the Mara River and multiple river crossing points in the Serengeti National Park. While here, relax in your extra-comfortable hillside suite after a day on safari, or take a dip in a glorious rim-flow swimming pool.
Take morning and evening game drives exploring the Serengeti plains in your private safari vehicle and enjoy this day on the great migration safari. Witness over one million wildebeests and thousands of zebra cross river Mara into Serengeti in a stampede as they avoid open jaws of mean large crocodiles. The open plains are infested by hungry predators including lions and leopards. After this thriller, you will be treated to a sundowner as you watch African skies go dim.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to western Serengeti where you will be welcomed by the Singita Faru Faru staff. Built on a gently sloping hill, Singita Faru Faru Lodge is positioned on the renowned migratory route, easily offering the unexpected encounters. Arrive in time for a lunch, featuring a wine tasting in the lodge’s temperature-controlled cellar. An experienced sommelier will guide you through a variety of wine styles, years and cultivars to find wines most suited to your individual taste. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the spa or you may wish to head out on a game drive before dinner.
Morning and evening game drives in the vast plains the private Singita conservancy give you exclusive wildlife encounters. You also witness the great migration privately. With such close proximity to the river and plains— enjoy the unique opportunity to experience a very close connection with the wilderness. End the day with another sundowner before your return the lodge for dinner and overnight at Singita Faru Faru.
After a relaxed breakfast, take a last game drive through Serengeti and return for lunch and later transfer to the airport for a flight to Kigali.
On arrival in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, check in at the Kigali Serena Hotel, a relaxed yet elegant five-star hotel that has everything a business traveler needs and wants: Resplendent rooms, extensive tropical gardens, relaxed and lavish menu, cozy spa and health club, a palatial swimming pool… It is ideally located on one of Kigali’s most charming and serene neighborhoods. Serena is built around a polished granite atrium that showcases the very best of Rwanda’s cultural art. On arrival, you will receive a full briefing of your safari from our guide. After this brief starter, you will be left alone to relax in your room or enjoy the hotel’s inviting amenities, most of which are free of crowds.
After breakfast, visit the Kigali Genocide memorial museum, one of the museums that were established to commemorate the victims of the 1994 Rwanda genocide. This is the final resting place for more than 250,000 victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda. It honors the memory of the more than one million Rwandans killed in 1994. This dark tour will make you appreciate how this relatively small country has quickly recovered from its painful history. This recovery has been facilitated by education and peace-building.
After this enlightening tour, go for lunch at Hotel Des Mille Collines, that was featured in the Hollywood movie ’Hotel Rwanda’ in 2004. After lunch, drive on a smooth road that meanders through the rolling hills to Kinigi Town, gateway to the Virunga Mountains. You will be checked in at the luxurious Bisate Lodge. It is located in the natural amphitheater of an eroded volcanic cone. The area has dramatic views of the peaks of the volcanoes Bisoke, Karisimbi and Mikeno rearing up through the Afro-alpine forests of nearby Volcanoes National Park. Each of the six en-suite rooms here maximize comfort, warmth and views while retaining environmental principles and reflecting the culture of surrounding rural Rwanda.
The Parc National des Volcans is heart of Rwandan ecosystem, also part of the Virunga region which is shared between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This region is the only habitat to the few surviving mountain gorillas left in the world. Make a short drive to park’s headquarters this morning where you’ll meet your gorilla trekking guides. Ranger guides to be exact. They will give you a brief talk on the procedures and etiquette of gorilla tracking before you set off to the dense rain forest. In an effort to give you an 80% probability of seeing these majestic primates, a team of trackers will be in the forest ahead of your departure. Their task is identifying where the gorillas were seen the night before and pursuing them to a point/climax—where you will be able to connect. Although the hike can be physically demanding, the beauty of the forest and surrounding scenery makes the effort worthwhile in addition to the ultimate reward of getting a close-up with the gorillas; a profoundly moving wildlife encounter. Return to the lodge and relax as you watch the sun burry itself over the horizons; Virunga volcanoes.
Have an early breakfast and return to the park headquarters where you will meet the park guide ahead of a guided trek to the forest—to observe rare golden monkeys. These old world monkeys are active throughout the day and mostly live in the bamboo zone of this mountainous park, not so far from its foot. A golden monkey trek operates similarly to the early morning gorilla treks. Groups are limited to eight travelers, and once you meet up with the golden monkeys, you will have one hour to spend with them and return to the lodge for lunch, refresh and transfer to the airport for your departing flight.