• Tanzania Off The Beaten Path

Northern Tanzania's quintessential safari parks plus the remote Mahale Mountains

Days: 10 | From: TBD/per person

  • Includes accommodations at best in class hotels and lodges
  • A range of unique, optional safari activities included at each lodge
  • Expert private guides and custom built safari vechiles

Start with a classic safari through the dramatic landscape of the Ngorongoro Crater, and experience the endless plains and abundant wildlife of Serengeti National Park as you move with the Great Migration. Fly south to the untouched Mahale Mountains National Park to track wild chimpanzees through the forest, relax on the beach, and experience true pristine wilderness in this remote park.

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Talk to our Africa Specialist Dervla Pinto
(800) 342-1796

We tailor itineraries to your dates and interests, adjusting hotels, excursions and length as desired.

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At a glance

  • Arusha
    1 night: Discover this gateway city at the base of volcanic Mount Meru, with the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance
  • Ngorongoro Crater
    2 nights: Descend the steep walls of this ancient caldera to experience the exceptional game viewing below
  • Serengeti National Park
    3 nights: Enjoy an unparalleled safari experience in this vast park, the jewel of Tanzania's safari scene
  • Mahale Mountains National Park
    3 nights: Track wild chimpanzees through the pristine forest and swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika

  • All itineraries are fully customizable. We will send you a personalized variation that reflects your interests and travel dates at no extra cost. Call to discuss your travel plans with one of our Specialists who know this region firsthand.

Customize this trip
(800) 342-1796

Sample itinerary

Day 1:

Welcome to Africa

Arrive to Arusha, a bustling city and the gateway to some of the continent’s best safari destinations. Your private guide will be waiting to transfer you to your boutique hotel, a Cape Dutch style house set in a historic residential area.

Accommodations: Villa Maua

Located near the center of Arusha in a historic residential area, Villa Maua is a comfortable and convenient starting point for travelers starting or finishing a safari in Northern Tanzania. This boutique hotel features nine garden rooms in a home-style Cape Dutch style house with ample indoor and outdoor common areas. The hotel offers a restaurant and bar, and the central courtyard features a swimming pool and shaded tables.

*Includes: Breakfast

Day 2:

FROM ARUSHA TO THE NGORONGORO CRATER VIA LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK

Set out from Arusha with your private guide, taking in the local life along the road: vibrant markets, women with impossibly large loads balanced elegantly on their heads, and traditional Maasai people walking with their livestock.

Your first stop today is Lake Manyara National Park. Explore the area around this shallow alkaline lake and see the giant fig trees within the park. Nestled at the base of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara is home to a vibrant variety of birds and wildlife.

In the afternoon you will ascend the escarpment, bound for your first glimpse of the Ngorongoro Crater from above. This evening you will spend the night on the rim of this ancient caldera in one of just a few lodges inside the park gate.

Accommodations: Entamanu Ngorongoro, 2 nights

Entamanu Ngorongoro is perched high on the side of the Ngorongoro Crater rim, a thoughtfully designed refuge from which to explore the unique highland environment in which it sits. Surrounded by the soaring peaks of dormant volcanic hills and the ebb and flow of Maasai pastoralist life, this is a place to explore beyond the hustle and bustle of the main tourist trail at the Crater.

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 3:

Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater

Be among the first to descend the steep walls of the crater this morning, from your exclusive lodge positioned right on the rim. In these magical morning hours with very few other vehicles, you are witness to the secret rituals of the more than 25,000 creatures who call this unique ecosystem home.

This spectacular caldera is almost three million years old and was formed as the result of a gigantic explosion that caused the original volcano to collapse in on itself, creating the massive crater we see today. Twelve miles wide and approximately 2,000 feet deep, the journey from the edge of the rim to the bottom of the floor takes roughly 45 minutes by vehicle.

The crater floor has an abundance of wildlife, all taking advantage of the fertile soil and lush grazing. Flocks of flamingos, hippos in the pools, and a range of herds, solitary predators, and even a few very rare black rhino make this one of the most interesting safari landscapes on earth.

Accommodations: Entamanu Ngorongoro, 2 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 4:

From the Crater to the Serengeti

Bid farewell to your private safari guide as they drop you at the the Manyara airstrip for your flight to the Serengeti. You will be treated to spectacular views of the Great Rift Valley from the window of your bush plane as you approach your next stop. Nothing says safari in Africa like arriving at your lodge by safari plane.

As you land you will be greeted by your expert guide for this next leg of the journey and whisked away in an open Landcruiser for a leisurely game drive to your secluded lodge.

Accommodations: Serengeti Safari Camp, 3 nights

The Serengeti Safari Camp was one of the first camps to imitate the seasonal migration of the wildebeest migration, moving 4/5 times a year to be in the best possible location to see the herds. Maintaining that original pioneering feel of the camp and you can be assured of a comfortable bed, a hot shower and a flush toilet (operated on strict environmentally friendly principles using eco-flush loos which use very little water - 90% less than a conventional toilet, in fact).

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 5:

Serengeti Safari

A young African leopard (Panthera pardus pardus) high up in a tree. wildlife. Moremi wildlife reserve, Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Rise with the sun and embark on your first morning on safari in the Serengeti with your expert tracker-guide. This iconic park is renowned for its resident wildlife species, including the famous Big Five: buffaloes, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and lions.

The park is also home to herds of grazers, and not just the wildebeest and zebra that form the Great Migration. The presence of Topi, gazelle, waterbuck and hartebeest means local carnivores, including cheetahs, hyenas and African wild dogs, are always lurking as well. The Serengeti is also home to more than 500 species of birds, including some very large specimens like ostriches, crowned cranes, marabou storks, and secretary birds.

Accommodations: Serengeti Safari Camp, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 6:

On safari in the Serengeti

Experience the sights and sounds of the Serengeti as you venture out with your expert guide. You are fully immersed in the experience from your perch aboard an open safari vehicle.

Your luxury tented camp is positioned perfectly to experience the impossibly large herds that form the Great Migration, and depending on the season you may bear witness to an adrenaline-filled river crossing, as thousands of wildebeest and zebra brave the crocodiles and hippos below to make it to the other side.

This afternoon you have the option to head out into the bush again, perhaps to revisit an active leopard den and catch a glimpse of the new arrivals, or to check on the progress of a sleepy pride of lions as they navigate their territory. The bush is always full of surprises.

Accommodations: Serengeti Safari Camp, 3 nights

Day 7:

Fly to Mahale Mountains National Park

After another glorious sunrise in the Africa bush and an early morning game drive, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your charter flight to Mahale Mountains National Park. This adventurous destination is the ultimate in untouched wilderness. You may feel like you have stepped back in time as you are transferred by traditional dhow boat across the lake to this remote paradise, set on the white sand beaches of Lake Tanganyika.

Accommodations: Greystoke Mahale, 3 nights

Greystoke Mahale sits on a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise water of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8000 ft Mahale Mountains rising behind.

Greystoke affects people in a way that no other place does; perhaps it's because of its remoteness, and because of the mountains rising from the beach at your backs, the wide lake with its many different moods and the feeling that you are the only ones here. Your days can start there, eating breakfast whilst waiting to hear news of the chimpanzees and deciding what to do with your day. Evenings end with sundowners on the rocks of the headland, where drinks are served around the lamp-lit bar whilst the mountains, rising behind camp, disappear into the darkness.

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 8:

Mahale Mountains National Park

Meet the chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains. The surrounding forest and crystal clear lake are teeming with wildlife, but the resident chimpanzees are truly the star of a safari here. Watch as they conduct their complex social lives, calling and playing among the trees. This is a animal encounter like no other.

Accommodations: Greystoke Mahale, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 9:

Another day in Mahale

Discover the natural wonders of Mahale. It is not just chimpanzees that make this place so special. Hike the forest paths looking for all the other animals who make their lives here. Swim in crystalline pools beneath mountain waterfalls, take a kayak out for a dawn paddle when the lake is like glass, and enjoy the sunrise as it creeps above the mountains. Enjoy sundowner cocktails on a traditional wooden dhow or just relax on the warm sands of the beach with a drink in hand.

Accommodations: Greystoke Mahale, 3 nights

*Includes: All Inclusive

Day 10:

Fly back to Arusha and Farewell to Africa

Bid farewell to your hosts and return by boat to the airstrip to catch your charter flight back to Arusha, where you can connect with your international flight home or onward to your next destination.

*Includes: Breakfast

More Photos From This Trip

Popular Ways to Customize This Itinerary

  • Choose from a selection of carefully curated lodges and hotels to ensure this trip fits your exact travel style.

  • Arrange a hot air balloon safari in the Serengeti for a totally unique perspective on game viewing as you float above the savannah at sunrise.

  • Add an additional safari location in Tanzania’s untouched Southern Parks for a full circuit and a truly in-depth look at the country.

  • Add a beach extension and spend some relaxing downtime on the pristine white sand of the Indian Ocean. Zanzibar is just a short flight away, as are Seychelles and Mauritius.

  • Contact us to learn about more options for designing and customizing your trip.

Call us to start planning your journey today:

1-(800)-342-1796

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