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8 Day Tanzania Safari: Migration and Culture


8 day Tanzania safari will immerse you in northern Tanzania’s best areas for wildlife viewing and traditional cultural encounters. You’ll be able to appreciate some of the finest scenery in the northern circuit as well. Lake Manyara is a beautiful, smaller national park with fun wildlife viewing and it’s ideal for viewing birds with over 400 species. Tarangire is a remarkable park filled with giant baobabs and large acacias with a wide variety of games such as lions, elephants, zebras, pythons, giraffes, and waterbuck.

Ngorongoro is the largest intact crater in the world with games ranging from rare black rhinos to huge bull elephants. Lake Eyasi is one of the best cultural destinations in Africa. Lake Natron offers outstanding desert scenery and walking. You will also visit the Serengeti, Tanzania’s most famous and largest national park and one of the most spectacular parks in the world.

The “endless plains” cover some 14,763 square kilometers including large plains, short grass plains, kopjes, and lakes. Here we watch big cats and their cubs thrive in the wild and massive herds of ungulates roaming the vast expanses.

This safari is a private trip, with a private safari guide and private custom Land Cruiser, with an itinerary you are welcome to customize to best suit your needs and interests. While we list a number of recommended safari lodges, we book all the lodges and you can request specific ones and we’ll re-quote the trip accordingly.

Like all safaris, we’d advise you to arrive at Kilimanjaro airport the day before “Day 1” of your safari and overnight in Arusha or nearby Moshi. We can arrange private airport transfers on request and we book all of the hotels in the area.

Itinerary - Day by Day

Day 1:Drive to Lake Manyara or Tarangire for an afternoon game drive (LD)

December through May: Depart for Lake Manyara National Park with a picnic lunch and enjoy a game drive here until late afternoon.

Lake Manyara is a highly scenic park, rimmed on one side by the tall cliffs of the Rift escarpment, and ringed with a variety of habitats including the namesake for the park, Lake Manyara. The game we see in Manyara include hippos, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, impala, dwarf mongooses, hyraxes, hippos, wildebeest, zebra, and on rare occasions, tree-climbing lions and leopards.

Birding is special here. Species include pink-backed pelican, flamingos, yellow-billed stork, and many other Eurasian migrants. The forests provide habitat for the silvery-cheeked hornbill while the savannah is home to the Leadbeater hornbill. Birds of prey include Ruppel’s griffon, Egyptian vulture, martial eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, crowned eagle, peregrine falcon, and bat hawk. Bright songbirds found here include Fischer’s lovebird, Peters twinspot, and yellow and red barbets.

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June through November: Depart for Tarangire National Park with a picnic lunch and game drive until late afternoon. Tarangire is famous for its huge herds of elephants, healthy and large lion pride, and towering baobab trees. Throughout the dry season, thirsty antelope and elephants trek from many miles away to drink along the Tarangire River. Rare mammals here include the long-necked gerenuk, oryx, and wild dog.

Meals included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2:Game drives, Guided Walk, or Biking (BLD)

Today explore more of the area, either on a full-day game drive with your AWR safari guide into either Tarangire or Lake Manyara, or try an active or cultural half-day activity.

Local activities include a Zipline, cultural hike, biking to the Lake Manyara shoreline, Mto wa Mbu village tour, Tinga Tinga painting class, or a coffee tour. Ideally, these are done as a half-day morning tour with a relaxing afternoon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3:Drive to Serengeti, afternoon game drive (BLD)

Drive 3-4 hours to the Serengeti. Once through the park gate, begin your afternoon game drive. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Visitor’s Center. See all the great wildlife that makes the Serengeti so understandably famous, then arrive at your safari lodge in time to freshen up, relax a little and have dinner.

Arguably Africa’s greatest national park, the Serengeti (meaning “endless plains”) is a massive park and home to a yearly migration of more than a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle undertaking their long trek to new grazing grounds. In return, a wealth of predators including lions, leopards, cheetah, and hyena also inhabit the region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4:Serengeti, full day game drive (BLD)

Today enjoy a full-day game drive in the Serengeti or a morning and afternoon game drive with a break and rest in between back at your safari lodge. You also have the option of a scenic hot air balloon safari early this morning at extra cost.

The fabulous Serengeti is a singular safari destination in Africa. The oldest and largest intact land-based ecosystem in the world, the Serengeti is celebrated for its wealth of leopard and lion. Serengeti, meaning ‘endless plains,’ is home to the largest annual overland migration of mammals in the world, with over a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles along with a range of other antelope species gradually undergoing an over 800-km long trek seeking new grazing grounds.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5:Drive to Ngorongoro, optional visits to Olduvai Gorge and Maasai village (BLD)

This morning, drive from the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro highlands, enjoying wildlife viewing within the Serengeti National Park as you gradually make your exit. Departing the park, you have several optional visits available at extra cost, either to the Olduvai Gorge or a Maasai village (or both). Continue onwards to your lodge tonight situated near the Crater or on the Crater rim itself.

The Olduvai Gorge delivers substantial evidence of the earliest signs of humankind, with rare hominid footprints preserved in solid rock from 3,600,000 years ago.

There are many authentic Masaai villages in the area to visit. Here you have a chance to get to know authentic Maasai families and see how real life is like for the locals. You can visit homes, watch traditional dances, and purchase homemade jewelry.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:Ngorongoro Crater, half-day game drive, Drive to Lake Natron or Lake Eyasi (BLD)

This morning you will have a half-day game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater.

The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest caldera measuring nearly 2,000 feet in depth while covering 250-square kilometers in area. The Crater is a spectacular setting and contains an abundance of wildlife with over 20,000 large animals including Tanzania’s remaining black rhino. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is unique in that it allows over 40,000 Masaai pastoralists with their cattle goats and sheep to live alongside the abundant wildlife in a natural setting.

After the game drive, you will continue to either Lake Natron or Lake Eyasi. After some rest at camp, enjoy an afternoon activity.

The best months to visit Lake Natron, temperature-wise, can be June-July and December-January however the peak flamingo season, when the entire region’s population of flamingos come here to nest and are situated here in unreal numbers, is between August and October.


Lake Eyasi is an excellent choice for cultural enthusiasts seeking to see more of Tanzania’s amazing living heritage. Here you can walk with bush people as they hunt and visit a pastoral Datoga village. While there is no awesome wildlife here, bird-watching can be highly rewarding.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7:Activities at Lake Natron or Lake Eyasi (BLD)


Canyon Hike to the Waterfalls

This is a 20 to 30-minute guided hike one-way up a scenic rocky river gorge. Wearing your Chaco or Teva-style sandals, you will be scrambling and walking through the river (sometimes waist deep). It is an excellent swim in the river and under the pretty waterfalls for a nice cool-down from the hot sun.

See Flamingos

Lake Natron is uniquely outstanding for bird watching. You can walk from your camp or from the road out on the mudflats to the edge of the water. In the dry season, this may be a half-mile walk. Flamingos breed here August-October, creating a birding spectacle that rivals almost any, anywhere in the world. However, there will be some flamingos around all year. Endemic desert birds provide a wonderful bonus for the avid birdwatcher.

Scenic Drive

Full-day scenic drive around the south and west side of Lake Natron. In this area, you can drive off-road. There may be animals right around the camp, but it is still safe to walk around because there are no dangerous animals in this area.

Maasai Village

There are many authentic Masaai villages in the area to visit. Here you have a chance to get to know authentic Maasai families and see how real life is like for the locals. You can visit homes, and walk with them from boma to boma, meet the children along the way, and even help them milk the cows.
There are many authentic Masaai villages in the area to visit. Here you have a chance to get to know authentic Maasai families and see how real life is like for the locals. You can visit homes, watch traditional dances, and purchase homemade jewelry.

Footprints of ancient man

Visit the impressive prehistoric human footprints in the nearby mudflats.


Join your guide and head to a nearby hill for 360-degree views of the surreal landscape and looming Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano (Mountain of God), Tanzania’s third-highest peak.

Climb Ol Doinyo Lengai (extra cost)

A very difficult climb with lots of exposure. Contact us for details however we can arrange for a local mountain guide to steer you up the steep, loose scree slopes.


Early morning visit with the Bushman tribe, visit onion fields and blacksmith shop.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8:Drive back to Arusha/Kilimanjaro Airport (BL)

Drive back to Arusha, or the Kilimanjaro Airport.

If you have time en route, you can stop at the Arusha Coffee Lodge to taste the fresh coffee made in the area and to visit the Shanga Shop. Shanga employs people with disabilities to create unique, high-quality, handmade jewelry, glassware, and homewares incorporating recycled materials.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

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