Tanzania Classic Safari

Trip Length 9 Days
Group Size 4-12
Difficulty
Starting from
$5,499 for REI Members
$6,049 for non-members
Departures Dec 2019-Dec 2020
Mon���Fri 7am���5pm PT

Prepare for nine days of incredible wildlife and classic landscapes on this unforgettable safari experience.

Tanzania brings the quintessential safari trip to life?large stretches of stunning landscape, flat-topped acacia trees silhouetted against orange-purple sunsets, and graceful, powerful animals racing across the vast savannah. Our journey offers a unique way to get up-close with the culture and wildlife of the region on an intimate safari adventure.

We begin with views of Kilimanjaro, one of the seven summits of the world, learning about the varied tribal communities that make up the rich tapestry of life in Tanzania. In Tarangire, massive herds of elephants congregate and the riverine forest is interspersed with gigantic baobab trees. Witness the largest intact, imploded crater in the world and incredible animal sanctuary at Ngorongoro Crater. In the famous Serengeti, home to the world's largest annual migration of mammals and varied predators, we bask in the sights and sounds of the land and its many, constantly-moving animal residents. Our trained guides are deeply passionate about the region. Their knowledge of Eastern Africa, its culture and its wildlife is a pivotal part of our immersion into this remarkable destination.

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Trip Highlights

  • Spend nine days in Tanzania for some of the best wildlife viewing in the world
  • Visit four national parks, each with its own blend of landscape and animals
  • Stay at comfortable, well-located safari lodges and tented camps
  • Hike on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater and witness authentic Maasai traditions

Activities

This safari trip is rated Relaxed [1]. Safaris are not physically demanding but they are in remote locations over rough terrain. This trip is perfect for active people in good health and with the spirit of adventure.

  • Wildlife Safari

What's Included

Double-occupancy accommodations; meals as noted on the itinerary; internal airfare between Serengeti and Arusha; park fees; bi-lingual guides; private safari vehicles with guaranteed window seat; airport transfers when arriving and departing with the group; enrollment in Flying Doctors.

Accommodations

Safari lodges, 3 nights; Classic tented camps, 5 nights; Day lodge, 1 day

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Arusha! Prepare for a world class wildlife safari!

Our trip begins upon arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO). We provide one group transfer from the airport to Arusha where our lovely lodge, set in spacious gardens, awaits. Check into your room and enjoy a well-earned rest. No meals included today.

Day 2

Head south to Tarangire, famous for elephant herds and baobab groves.

This morning we meet our guides and fellow travelers for a brief orientation of the upcoming safari. Following breakfast at the lodge, we head south to Tarangire Park. This less-visited park is a great introduction to Africa and is famous for its legendary elephant herds and unusual palm and baobab groves. Our Classic tented safari lodge sits on a bluff overlooking a bend of the Tarangire River and can yield some exceptional game viewing right from the main lodge. Following an afternoon game run, we sip a glass of wine and sit back on the veranda to enjoy our first African sunset while on safari. All meals included.

Day 3

Look for tree-climbing lions, hippo, zebra and abundant bird life at Lake Manyara.

A full afternoon of wildlife viewing is on today's agenda. We head west to the Lake Manyara area, stopping at the vibrant agricultural town of Mtu wa Mbu for lunch along the way. This afternoon we?ll safari deep into Lake Manyara National Park, a verdant wildlife reserve located at the base of the Great Rift. The park supports a huge birdlife population as well as larger animals such as giraffe, zebra, hippo, buffalo and lion. We are also on the lookout for flighty dik-dik, the smallest of the African ungulates. Our visit is timed to take advantage of when most other visitors have departed. The wildlife is active and the afternoon sun is particularly picturesque as it drops behind the rift valley escarpment.

Our lodge this evening is set in the verdant hills of the Ngorongoro Crater highlands. All meals included.

Drive to Lake Manyara: 3.5 hours.

Day 4

Hike in the Ngorongoro highlands and visit an inspiring clinic in rural Karatu.

This morning we?ll twende tembea-tembea, which is Swahili for, "head out on a walk". We hike into the forested Ngorongoro highlands on a moderate 2-3hr walk. On our way we?ll pass the Endoro waterfalls and may catch sight of dik-dik, baboons, forest elephant as well as a myriad of bird species. The trail leads us to the elephant caves. These have literally been hewn into arched caves by the tusks of the elephants, hungry for the mineral deposits within the soil. After our walk, we?ll have lunch at a nearby FAME clinic. Here we learn about U.S. doctors Frank Artess and Susan Gustafson and their heroic mission to advance patient-centered care in rural parts of Africa. Enjoy some leisure this afternoon at our small lodge with lush gardens of bougainvillea and relax by the cool water of the pool. All meals included.

Hiking: 3 miles, 1.5-2 hours; elevation gain: ?489'?.

Day 5

Visit the magical Ngorongoro Crater, host to more than 20,000 mammals.

The Maasai refer to Ngorongoro Crater as the "footprint of God". Your first glimpse into the crater from its rim is breathtaking ? a wildlife sanctuary over 300 square miles in size spread out over 2,000' below. We spend the day exploring the diversity and richness of this gorgeous park. Over 20,000 mammals call this crater their permanent home. This includes prides of lions, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, hippos and the rare black rhino. At the heart of the crater's 10-mile wide grassland plain lies a soda lake that attracts vast numbers of flamingo and other water birds. The Maasai have watered their cattle in the crater seemingly forever. This is magical setting teeming with wildlife and human history is as rich as the crater is beautiful. Our lodging for the evening is a deluxe tented camp with breathtaking views down into the crater. This allows us to maximize our time in this world renowned conservation area. All meals included.

Day 6

Witness the constant movement of animals at Serengeti National Park.

Perhaps the most famous of the Tanzanian parks is the Serengeti, our destination for the next three evenings. The Maasai called this region the "Siringitu", meaning, "the place where the land moves on forever". This is most certainly a reference to the constant movement of the huge numbers of animals that live in vast savannahs. This is one of the largest and last remaining wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The extensive grasslands are dotted with "kopjes", or rocky outcroppings that, like islands in the plains, form their own wildlife communities. Have your cameras and binoculars ready, but take time to soak up the smells, sounds and sights with all your senses unencumbered. We overnight at a traditional tented safari camp. Each large canvas sided chalet features either one king bed or two twin beds, en suite facilities and a veranda. This allows for great views of the surrounding Serengeti plains. All meals included.

Day 7-8

Explore the Serengeti, teeming with lion, wildebeest, zebra, hyena, and more.

We have a two full days to enjoy the splendor of the Serengeti. Depending upon the season and a little luck, we may have the opportunity to witness the largest migration of mammals on earth. Regardless, we will most certainly see hundreds of animals including zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, topi, hyena, eland, warthogs, giraffe and various predators. Return to our camp each evening to enjoy sun downer drinks around the campfire. We'll retell the sightings of the day and watch as the star-studded Africa sky slowly takes center stage. Tonight is the final group dinner with our guide. All meals included.

Day 9

Skip a long overland trek by flying to Arusha before we bid farewell.

Following breakfast, we enjoy our final game drive before flying to Arusha. We have lunch together at our lodge in Arusha. There is a day room available for your use; the afternoon is free to pack luggage or relax. We provide two group transfers to the Kilimanjaro International Airport; one for guests with flights departing between 5-8pm, and one for guests with flights departing after 8pm. Breakfast and lunch included; dinner on own.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable on safari is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation. This gear list is provided to help you in choosing your equipment and clothing for this trip. Try to bring only what is necessary.

What to pack

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Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Valid Passport

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.