Tarangire and Lake Manyara Safari - Tanzania
Day 1: Lake Manyara / Tarangire
Morning departure for Tarangire, passing fertile valleys and traditional villages as we skirt the Great Rift Valley escarpment. En route stop at Lake Manyara National Park, famed for its alkaline lakes, habitat for thousands of pink flamingos. The park boasts some 400 species of other birds, too, among its myriad wildlife. Troops of baboons and blue monkeys carouse in the forest while leopard, cheetah, elephant and plenty of hoofed game roam the plains. With luck we may see the park’s famous tree-climbing lions.
Arrival at Tarangire National Park - home to Africa’s largest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem will be in the afternoon. The Tarangire River traces a path through the red-dust plains and is the lifeblood for huge herds of wildebeest and zeb in the afternoonra, buffalo and elephant that inhabit this seldom-visited park.
Overnight at chosen accommodation.
Days 2 & 3: Tarangire National Park
Spend two full days exploring Tarangire, which boasts some of Africa’s best game viewing along its broad savannas and open acacia woodlands studded with ancient baobab trees. Our introduction to this vast ecosystem that spans more than 1,000 square miles begins with a half-day walking safari, providing an intimate encounter with the native flora and fauna. Tarangire is known for its large elephant herds, and we sometimes observe several hundred elephants at a time, drawn to permanent underground springs that sustain great numbers of wildlife during the dry season from July to November.
These plains are also Tanzania’s only home of fringe-eared oryx and gerenuk – two rare dry-country antelope to keep an eye out for, along with more commonly sighted eland, impala and gazelle. Some 550 bird species are drawn to Tarangire's swamps; we may see ground hornbills blustering about, and the Kori bustard, the world’s largest flying bird. The savanna is also home to northern Tanzania’s only pack of African wild dog.
Afternoon wildlife game drive in search of more animals, including Tarangire’s healthy population of predators. Like Lake Manyara, Tarangire is home to tree-climbing lions, and leopards are also frequently spotted high in the branches savoring the bounty of their hunt.
Overnight chosen accommodation
Day 4: Arusha / Departure
After breakfast, make a final wildlife drive en route to the park gate followed by a transfer by road to Arusha. Enjoy lunch and use of a day room at Arusha Coffee Lodge, an exclusive boutique hotel on a working coffee plantation that exudes the colonial ambience of old. Laze by the swimming pool, stroll through the lushly landscaped gardens and absorb the fragrant aroma of lavender, or relax over a drink before the open log fireplace at the Safari Bar. Late this afternoon, transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for homeward flights.