- An extensive trip for a full picture of Tanzania, travelling through breathtaking scenery
- Finish in Zanzibar, between Stone Town and golden beaches
- Pretty bush camps, guided safaris, a tour of Stone Town in an open vehicle, foodie walking tours and dinner at the Emerson Hotel are all in the itinerary
- You can personalise your trip to suit you, whether you want to climb a volcano or spend a day at sea.
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Northern parks and reservesThe trip begins by exploring Tanzania's north, with safaris in the largest reserves – Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. There are also some more unusual experiences in areas off the beaten track, such as the arid, spectacular and eerie Lake Natron, a salt water lake dominated by the active Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano.
The unknown southFrom the great reserves of the north, fly to a more secret and more exclusive Tanzania – a park that is relatively undisturbed by human impact and one of the largest protected ecosystems in Africa – the Selous Game Reserve. In this immense, wild sanctuary, soak up the sense of being totally alone and at one with nature.
After the savannah, the beach beckonsAfter ten days of the ultimate safari experience, set out for the mythical island of Zanzibar. An adventurous spirit, palm trees, warm sunshine, soft sand and turquoise waters: a few days to get away in Zanzibar's sweet and pure setting, starting at Stone Town and then moving to the east coast of the island.
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TO ARUSHA
Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
On arrival at the airport, priority customs clearance and private transfer to the hotel (30-minute drive). Overnight stay just outside the city of Arusha, in the heart of a huge tropical garden that naturally extends onto the slopes of Mount Meru, dotted with exotic flowers and sprawling trees inhabited by multicoloured birds and vervet monkeys jumping from vine to vine. This former farmhouse overlooks Mount Kilimanjaro. Nestled in a coffee plantation, it holds the nostalgia of a family country house within its walls. Sleep in a small thatched-roof bungalow extended by a veranda under a sloping roof, made entirely of stone and exposed beams. Scattered under groves of tall trees or along the river banks, they welcome their guests in a chic rustic charm. Relax after your flight, either at the spa or in the tempting swimming pool.
What to see, what to do – Paddle by canoe on the Duluti volcanic lake, go mountain biking on the slopes of Mount Meru, visit an organic coffee plantation and walk through villages along the Usa River.
ARUSHA - LAKE MANYARA
In the morning, your ranger-driver comes to meet you in the open-top 4x4 in which you will travel all over the country. The 4x4 has cold drinks, flasks of tea and coffee and a picnic basket for the road. Departure for the Manyara region with a two-hour drive. Watch the rolling hills sometimes green, sometimes desert, planted with a few baobab trees, gradually transform into an increasingly verdant landscape as you get closer to the lake. Two-night stay in a lodge clinging to a rocky cliff overlooking the African bush and Lake Manyara, populated with thousands of pink flamingos. Nestled in the middle of bountiful nature, the 16 cottages are encircled by wooden platforms on which you can relax while watching the passing wildlife. Each cottage is equipped with an outdoor shower and a luxuriously large roll-top bathtub just in front of the large bay windows, allowing you to relax while being at one with nature. From the swimming pool, train your eye to spot lionesses napping in the branches of the acacia trees.
Included in the itinerary/b] - A safari in Lake Manyara National Park. This reserve is divided by a huge valley, the famous Great Rift Valley, which at its lowest point opens onto the lake and this vast rainforest. Among the many mammals attracted to the water, there are countless elephants as well as hippos, numerous antelopes and the usual predators that surround them, as well as hundreds of species of birds. You may happen upon pythons, snakes that can reach a length of almost 20 feet. If you're really lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the tree climbing lions, a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK - LAKE NATRON
Journey through this beautiful region, alternating between paved roads and gravel tracks to the shores of Lake Natron. The road begins in a westward direction, through the village of Mto wa Mbu. The road then becomes dusty and runs to the Kenyan border in the north, through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Great Rift Valley reveals a landscape of surreal beauty where giraffes, wildebeest and ostriches have wandered freely for thousands of years. The south-western shore of Lake Natron soon appears as the oasis of the Engaresero village. Lake Natron: a strange shallow salt lake whose mirror-like turquoise waters are dominated by Mount Gelai as well as Tanzania's last active volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai. We also recommend climbing the 'Mountain of God'. Nearly three million pink flamingos, attracted by the lake's microorganisms, inhabit its shores. The lake's surroundings offer several possibilities for walks in the heart of pristine nature. This area around the lake is paradoxically one of Tanzania's driest places, inhabited only by a handful of Maasai villages. It's also one of the most strikingly beautiful spots on the continent. Spend two nights south of the lake in a pleasant campsite with a dozen tents, set under large trees a few steps from its shores, the flamingos pink against a canvas backdrop, in dream-like scenery. The access road is a voyage in itself; but it's worth the effort. Here, outdoor showers heated by the sun offer a true bush experience. Enjoy a champagne aperitif at sunset, while a sandstorm blows on the horizon and then dine under the beautiful starry sky in the middle of the bush.
Included in the itinerary - A safari around Lake Natron. The eight lagoons of Lake Natron are covered with a crust that dissolves only during the rainy season. It's sometimes coloured reddish-pink by aquatic micro-organisms. Only one colony of dwarf flamingos still breeds on the shores of Lake Natron.
Optional - A night climb of Ol Doinyo Lengai for the boldest adventurers, to admire the sunrise from the top of the active volcano.
LAKE NATRON - NGORONGORO CRATER
Head for the foothills of Ngorongoro Crater, arguably one of the country's most beautiful natural wonders. It's home to abundant fauna but also a kaleidoscope of landscapes: steppes, grassy savannahs, marshes, streams and small woods. The area also has fascinating archaeological sites, such as Nasera, which testify to the presence of homo sapiens millions of years ago. Two-night stay in the small town of Karatu, at the foot of the volcano, in a lodge at the top of a valley overlooking a coffee plantation, a place combining elegance and charm reminiscent of the famous 'Out of Africa' film. Cottages with thatched roofs and typical colonial architecture have warm, spacious rooms with mosquito nets and fireplaces. Around a friendly communal table, organic products from the vegetable garden are served and enjoyed. Take a dip in the swimming pool with a view of the plantations and crater before going to the lounge for an aperitif by the fire.
Ngorongoro is not a national park but a conservation area, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, in which the Maasai and nature live in complete harmony. The conservation area strictly supervises and limits tourists to preserve balance and authenticity, as a result, the place is teeming with wildlife. As large as the city of Paris, it's the world's largest enclosed crater is home to extraordinarily diverse ecosystems and wildlife, made up of many species of large mammals that live in a closed circle and rarely emerge from this wild Garden of Eden. The crater is one of the only places in Tanzania where the endangered rhinoceroses are regularly seen.
Included in the itinerary – Lunch in the crater In a peaceful and intimate area, a lunch is prepared in the heart of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Included in the itinerary - Venturing down into the crater for a safari in the so-called 'Garden of Eden'. The area is strictly controlled by the national parks and UNESCO, which is why although attendance is high, safaris are no longer than half a day.
NGORONGORO CRATER - SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Drive to your last park in northern Tanzania: the Serengeti, one of the most famous sanctuaries in East Africa, where rich animal life reaches its peak. Its savannah plains crossed twice a year by the great migration of wildebeest have made it a mythical land. In the afternoon, go on a safari through the vast plains of the Seronera, where the grassy expanse attracts many wildebeest, zebras and antelopes. Two-night stay in a beautiful canvas camp, built entirely of natural materials and locally-sourced elements, located in the central area of the park in the shade of giant umbrella thorn acacia trees. After a day in the savannah, relax in the swimming pool or enjoy a drink around the campfire, before retreating to the privacy of your own terrace to get lost in the starry canopy.
THE SERENGETI SAVANNAH
Serengeti's landscapes are often similar to those encountered in Kenya's Masai Mara. The two reserves form a single ecosystem, making them one of the largest areas entirely dedicated to wildlife. The plains give way to forests, which in turn give way to rocky landscapes. It's composed of several regions, the best known and most popular include Seronera (in the centre) and Lobo (in the north), but the southern and western regions are also very popular. Undoubtedly one of the most magnificent parks in the world, the Serengeti National Park is a must for anyone who loves wildlife and wide-open, pristine, natural spaces. All the large African mammals can be found in this reserve. During the great migration where nearly a million animals including mainly wildebeest but also zebras and antelopes, you can watch wildebeest forming columns of processions that can be several miles long. Depending on the region and the month of the year, you will find whole valleys black with animals, in a never-ending, motionless hubbub of grazing. Your time here will be punctuated by two daily safaris, one at dawn and one at sunset, when animals are most active.
Optional - A birds-eye view of the Serengeti, in a group – one hour
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK - ARUSHA
After crossing the country's roads in a 4x4 for a week now, it's time to return to Arusha in a taxi plane, flying over the bush at low altitude. The journey takes about an hour, while flying over stunning landscapes. On arrival, spend a night at the same country farm as on the way out.
ARUSHA - DAR-ES-SALAAM - SELOUS PARK
Depart from northern Tanzania to its southern regions. Private transfer to Arusha airport (approximately a 35-minute drive). Flight to Dar-es-Salaam (approximately two hours). In Dar-es-Salaam, benefit from the support of one of our team on the ground who will help you to change terminals. Then, embark for the Selous Game Reserve, which is about 45 minutes in an air taxi. Upon arrival in Selous, you will be accommodated in the heart of Africa's largest hunting reserve, in a private shelter on the banks of the Great Ruaha River. The camp houses 12 spacious and luxurious air-conditioned tents, equipped with an outdoor shower and a small private swimming pool, with a stunning view of the magnificent river. The surrounding tranquillity is disturbed only by the bubbling rapids upstream and herds of grunting hippos. Lions are also common in these southern regions, and where lions are found, you usually encounter a whole host of animals of prey. The wilderness surrounding the camp is exceptional and the cuisine is excellent. Every evening, a three-course dinner is served in a different place in the bush.
Included in the itinerary/b] - Safaris by boat or 4x4, fishing trips, night walks, and a barbecue in the savannah under the stars all guarantee a unique experience.
SELOUS GAME RESERVE
Covering an area of 19,300 square miles, the Selous Game Reserve is the largest reserve on the African continent, relatively undisturbed by human contact. It has one of the world's largest concentrations of elephants, but also of black rhinoceroses, cheetahs, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles and many other species. The reserve also has an exceptional diversity of habitats, including open forests and grasslands, riparian forests and marshes, making it a rich observational laboratory for biologists and scientists. As soil is subject to erosion in heavy rainfall, the result is a network of dry sand rivers that turn into raging torrents during the rainy season; these sand rivers are one of the most original features of the Selous landscape. Large sections of wooded meadows north of the Selous Game Reserve are flooded, depending on the season, by the Rufiji River overflow, creating a very dynamic ecosystem. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site as one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in Africa, with relatively undisturbed biological and ecological processes and significant prey-predator relationships.
SELOUS GAME RESERVE - ZANZIBAR'S STONE TOWN
In the morning, leave the mainland, heading for the shores of Zanzibar Island, on a direct flight from the Selous Game Reserve. It takes about an hour and a half to fly by air taxi. Upon arrival, priority customs clearance and private transfer to your Stone Town hotel (approximately a 20-minute drive). Rather than heading straight to the beach, spend some time in the island's cradle of history, Zanzibar's historic Stone Town. Two-night stay in the most beautiful room of a house built in 1860 for a princess, the niece of Sultan Sayyid Bin Barghash. Staying in the palace like all royal princesses, she probably never lived in the house, but instead used it as a showcase for her crystal or porcelain collections. The facade to the city is austere and noble and typically Omani Arabic, while the one facing the garden is more Indo-Victorian with a more whimsical design. In the afternoon, cool off in the small swimming pool on the ground floor. At the end of the day, head to the rooftop to relax in the shaded outdoor lounge, book in hand and with a cooling mint tea against the bustling backdrop of the port.
Included in the itinerary - Foodie walking tour of the Forodhani Gardens food market, with a private guide. The Forodhani Gardens are part of Stone Town's cultural heritage. In this beautiful beachfront park, there's a nightly street kitchen market, every evening. Enjoyed by both the people of Zanzibar and tourists, this popular market offers a wide range of local food and drink stalls. During this experience, taste some of the island's most iconic dishes, including Urojo soup, pizzas made in Zanzibar, cane juice and bungo fruit juice depending on the season. This walking tour with a private guide lasts approximately one hour and 30 minutes and includes tastings and two drinks per person.
ZANZIBAR'S STONE TOWN
Included in the itinerary - Tour of the old city with a local guide. Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a maze of narrow winding streets that reveal their charm to curious visitors. A blend of Swahili, Indian and Omani cultures, it's home to palaces and houses with lavish carved wooden doors that are the architectural hallmark of the city, as well as elevated terraces and spice markets with colourful stalls. The ancient Sultan Palace and slave market recall a sad part of the island's history, which for centuries was unfortunately one of the main slave ports in East Africa. Discover these places on foot, accompanied by an expert local guide, to tackle Stone Town as a Stone Town resident. For three hours, mix with the crowds, or slip away to quieter areas, and find out all about daily life in Zanzibar, while collecting a wealth of advice for the rest of the trip.
Evening - Dine at the Emerson Hurumzi, a Boutique hotel in Stone Town. On the hotel's terrace, a lookout point from which you can see the Stone Town and the sea, take the time to sit down to a traditional island dinner. On certain evenings, the place comes alive with the rhythm of taarab, music with Persian, Indian and Arab influences. Three course dinner includes table reservation.
ZANZIBAR'S STONE TOWN - EAST COAST OF ZANZIBAR
From Stone Town, stalls and shacks trace a path while distinct aromas fill the air. The Arabic atmosphere on the outskirts of the legendary city clearly becomes African as you gradually venture further inland. The trail makes its way through the lush Jozani Forest, populated by red colobus monkeys, to soon reach the sparkling Indian Ocean and its pristine sandy beaches. Three-night stay in a sea view room at a beautiful location set between idyllic beach and lush gardens. This charming villa only has 12 rooms so the atmosphere is relaxed and intimate. Some are set away in small bungalows with greenery, others belong to the main house with a warm family atmosphere. Seafood is a favourite on the menu, enjoyed at the table or on the grill with your feet in the sand. The hotel has two swimming pools, the first with a quiet indoor patio, the second in the fine sand, filled with salt water, level with the turquoise Indian Ocean. This villa is the epitome of simple comfort and luxury.
EAST COAST OF ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar has a rich history, with Omani and African influences. Discover all these aspects of the island in Stone Town. The coastline, less populated and bordered by soft sand and dazzling turquoise seas, shows a completely different side to the island. The short coastline of Matemwe – renowned for its snorkelling and diving backdrops – is located in the traditional village of Jambiani, where you can stay at the edge of a beautiful beach. The Paje area is ideal for kitesurfing and its coral-free beaches are some of the best on the island. Tides are common on this coast, when the sea goes out, the seaweed gatherers get busy.
What to see and experience together - Sip a fresh juice in the shade of the terrace - Revitalise in the infinity swimming pool next to the ocean - Soak up some sun on the private beach - Enjoy a grilled lobster from your beach table - Attend a yoga session for even more relaxation - Hire a bicycle to discover the fishing villages - Snorkel to explore the seabed - Try kitesurfing on the beaches of Kiwengwa and Pwani Mchangani - Enjoy a scented massage together.
ZANZIBAR EAST COAST - ZANZIBAR'S STONE TOWN - RETURN FLIGHT
Private transfer to the airport by air-conditioned vehicle. It's a one-and-a-half-hour drive to reach Zanzibar Town from the southern part of the east coast. Over the last few miles, the route winds between the villages, soon reaching the airport. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
A la carte
A MORNING VIEW OF THE SERENGETI
Wake up early and encounter animals at the first light of day. On the ground, the savannah slowly awakens and the animals start to stir. Watch as the sun rises above the Serengeti plains. After a wild morning, set up camp for a hearty breakfast in the bush. This one-hour small group overflight includes round trip transfer from the lodge and breakfast served upon landing.
Optional - One hour
RUAHA NATIONAL PARK
Even more isolated, exclusive and wild than the Selous Game Reserve, its neighbour Ruaha National Park is a wonderful alternative or extension to your trip. Among the countless animals that inhabit the shores of the Great Ruaha River, rare greater kudus, giant sable antelopes and African wild dogs make this Tanzanian region a unique wildlife viewing site.
Optional - Three days and two nights
SNORKELLING IN THE MENAI BAY CONSERVATION AREA
The Menai Bay Conservation Area is located on the south-western coast of Zanzibar Island and a sanctuary to countless dolphins. The bay has several coral reefs, dense mangrove woods, pristine sandbanks and bountiful marine life. A private dhow, a boat traditionally used by Zanzibar's fishermen, takes you and your snorkel and mask to Fumba to explore the coral reefs and the seabed with its cosmopolitan wildlife. Diving is followed by lunch on a small island, a stroll through the mangrove in a traditional 'ngalawa', a local dugout canoe carved from a mango tree, and free time to relax and go swimming. This eight-hour day is accompanied by a private English-speaking guide and includes return transfers to and from the hotel by an air-conditioned vehicle, lunch and drinks, the hire of snorkelling equipment and admission fees to the marine sanctuary.
Optional - One day
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