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7 DAYS CULTURAL AND WILDLIFE SAFARI

7 DAYS CULTURAL AND WILDLIFE SAFARI

This 7 day lodge and tented camp safari allows you to experience the highlights of the Northern Safari Circuit. You will encounter wildlife in the midst of some of the most diverse landscapes: monkeys in the forest, lions on trees, elephants amongst acacias and a huge variety of animals inside a collapsed volcano. You will visit the world famous Serengeti National Park, the breath-taking Ngorongoro National Park, Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. The landscapes are jaw-dropping and the variety and volume of wildlife you will see are unforgettable. You also get the opportunity to visit Lake Natron for a cultural tour with the local masai community, enjoy the cooling water of Ngaresero waterfall and see the millions of flamingoes by the lake. At Lake Eyasi, you will hunt with the Hadzabe people and mingle with the Datoga tribe.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL – TRANSFER TO LAKE NATRON

You begin your magical holiday as you board your flight to Tanzania, the Heart of an African Safari. On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will clear with the customs and immigration as Gilmag Safaris’ representative will be waiting to meet you. Briefing about your upcoming safari will be done here. Thereafter, we shall drive to Lake Natron (approximately 136 KM west of Arusha). After clearance at the three gates, accompanied with a local Maasai guide, you will be driven to the start point where start a hike through the river valley to discover and refresh at many falls of Engaresero river. The round hike will take you 2-3 hours and after your return you will meet your driver to drive you back to our lodge. The hike follows the bed of the river and you will come across huge gorges, to finally discover a huge platform with many springs showering out of a huge rocky wall where you will take a good shower during the hot day. Later, you will enjoy a stroll through the local villages in the company of a local tour guide. See true local African life, and be at one with the indigenous, friendly people of the area. In the evening, you will check into Masai Giraffe Eco Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Masai Giraffe Eco Lodge with all meals included.

DAY 2: LAKE NATRON TOUR – MANYARA NATIONAL PARK

After very early breakfast, take an easy guided (by local guide) walk from the Lodge to the Southern part of Lake Natron to explore the ecological diversity and discover the magnificent breeding sites of flamingos. Around two millions of these large birds migrate each year to nest on the salty pack ice, forming in the dry season in the middle of the Lake Natron. Your guide will explain you about the flora and fauna of the lake and also its cultural, ritual and customs of Maasai people, who are the locals here. Your walk will then be extended to admire one of the oldest foot prints of homosapiens believed to date back almost 120,000 years. After the lake tour, you will exit the three gates and drive to Lake Manyara National park for game viewing. Lake Manyara is a small park at the base of Rift Valley escarpment. Its groundwater forest offers an excellent change of scenery from more savannah-dominated parts. Although the park is known for tree-climbing lions, big cats aren’t the easily seen. Elephants are very prolific and are also part of main attraction. In the evening, you will exit the park and drive to Karatu Area for dinner and accommodation at Marera Valley Lodge.

Accommodation: Marara Valley Lodge with all meals included

DAY 3: LAKE EYASI – VISITING THE DATOGA PEOPLE AND HUNTING WITH THE HADZABE

After early breakfast, depart the lodge with packed lunch for a hunt with the Hadzabe. The Hadza, as they are better known, are East Africa’s last remaining true hunter-gatherers. As one of Africa’s oldest tribes, they have lived sustainably on their land near the Rift Valley, birthplace of humanity, for over 50,000 years. Their current number stands at 1,000 and they are on the verge of extinction, living in the Lake Eyasi Valley and surrounding hills. Their language is similar to the Southern Africa’s Bushmen who speak the Click language. With their strong bows whose string is made out of giraffe tendons and their arrows treated with a poison extracted from the Desert Rose, they hunt both small and larger animals. As the men go on the hunting sessions, women gather fruits and berries. They eat an amazing variety of wild fruits and berries like no other tribe in Tanzania which has proven to be their survival strength. They do not own belongings other than what they need for survival like the bows and arrows and some pots for cooking. Also, you will visit the Datoga Tribe. Experience a genuine, authentic, cultural encounter with these tribes and spend some time with them, learning their various traditions and skills. They are fascinating tribes whose ancient cultures still exist in our modern times. In the evening, you will drive back to Karatu for dinner and overnight at Marera Valley Lodge.

Accommodation: Marera Valley Lodge with all meals included.

DAY 4: KARATU – OLDUVAI GORGE – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast we will drive to Serengeti National park via Ngorongoro Conservation Area, stopping at the rim for a spectacular view of the Ngorongoro crater. We will pass through Olduvai Gorge to the site of the Leakey family where 50 km fossils long were discovered from almost two million years ago. Olduvai Gorge is a site that holds the earliest evidence of the existence of human ancestors. Paleoanthropologists have found hundreds of fossilized bones and stone tools in the area dating back millions of years, leading them to conclude that humans evolved in Africa. Continuing as far as the eyes can see is the vast Serengeti. “Serengeti” means endless plain. And this is 6900 sq. mile (1800 sq. km). It is also home to 2,000,000 wildebeests and 800,000 zebras. Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder, it is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle. In central Serengeti, you will have high chances of seeing the elephants, giraffes, hippos, warthogs, gazelles, impalas, lions, leopards, cheetahs and many more. You will arrive in time for hot shower, dinner and overnight at Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge in Central Serengeti.

Accommodation: Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge with all meals included

DAY 5: FULL DAY IN SERENGETI

After breakfast, you will leave the lodge with picnic lunch and enjoy a full day game drive in the Serengeti National Park covering as much area as possible. The wildebeest migration normally pass through the area in April, May and November, however the Seronera area is within reach of both the southern plains and the Mara River on the North. The resident game in the area is phenomenal and species such as elephant, buffalo, gazelle, zebra, lion and a variety of other predators and herbivores can be seen here all year round. Explore the range of different habitats that include swamps, woodland, soda lakes and the world famous Serengeti short grass plains. See great herds of wildebeest and zebra. Later in the evening, you will return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge with all meals included.

DAY 6: NGORONGORO CRATER TOUR – HUNTING THE ENDANGERED BLACK RHINO

After early breakfast, we will depart the lodge with packed lunch and drive towards the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We will descend over 600 metres into the crater and have a full day crater tour. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro National Park hosts a vast variety of animals e.g. herds of wildebeests, zebras, buffalos, eland, warthogs, hippos and giant African elephants. We shall visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the South West corner, which is one of the main features of the crater. This is also the best place to spot the endangered black Rhino. Our packed lunch will be enjoyed at the hippo pool. Later in the afternoon you will ascend the crater, exit the park and drive to and drive to Marera Valley Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Accommodation: Marera Valley Lodge with all meals included.

DAY 7: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK – DEPARTURE

After early breakfast, we will depart the lodge and make a short drive to Tarangire National Park for Game viewing. We will then enjoy our packed lunch overlooking the Tarangire River, before enjoying the afternoon game drive. Among the thousands of Baobab that mark the landscape, we will enjoy Tanzania’s largest concentration of elephants. In addition to elephants, leopards, ostrich, lions, warthog, zebras and cheetahs are common sightings in Tarangire. If we are fortunate, we may encounter the much endangered wild dog. As this park is slightly off the main safari route, majority of travelers leave this out in favor of the nearer ones, which makes major parts of Tarangire untouched and rich. Later, we shall drive back to Arusha for drop off to Kilimanjaro International Airport to catch your flight to next destination.

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