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A Perfect Safari Itinerary for Tanzania

by The Travel Captain

A post for a safari itinerary is long overdue, mainly because it took a lot of digging to get the photos together for each of the lodges we stayed in.  I have a perfect Safari Itinerary for Tanzania below which includes Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and a visit to a Masai Mara village.  The three of us embarked on this journey after summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in mid August one year and I can’t begin to describe how amazing the entire experience was.  I wound up traveling around East and South Africa for two months afterward just because I never wanted it to end.  Remove any doubts you have in your head about going.  Just do it.

Ten days is quite a while to take out for a safari itinerary alone. Each of us are animal aficionados so we knew witnessing the annual wildebeest migration, one of the planet’s most spectacular wildlife events, would result in the trip of a lifetime.  You can easily cut down your days in the Serengeti if time is limited.  In addition to the game drives and breathtaking landscapes, the safari accommodations we stayed in were also a big highlight.


Your Safari Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive at Arumeru Lodge in Arusha, Tanzania. Briefing on tomorrow’s safari. Dinner is included in the first night. Overnight at Arumeru River Lodge

Arumeru River Lodge - the grounds were green and lush. Run by a European couple who left their corporate jobs, hospitality was second to none. We had mounds of laundry after Kilimanjaro and it was no problem.

Arumeru River Lodge – the grounds were green and lush. Run by a European couple who left their corporate jobs, hospitality was second to none. We had mounds of laundry after Kilimanjaro and it was no problem.


Day 2. In the morning, head to Tarangire National Park. After a picnic lunch, you’ll do an afternoon game drive. You also have the option to do a night drive here, which I definitely recommend. Bring a fleece or something warm. Also, be mindful of clothing colors. Tarangire does have TseTse flies which are diurnal (active during the day) and are drawn to dark colors. Light colors are recommended in Tarangire. Overnight at Maramboi Tented Camp.  Armed guards escort you to the rooms at night just in case of lingering wildlife.


Day 3. After a morning game drive in Tarangire, head to Manyara National Park for the afternoon. This is a great park for viewing the myriad birds that Tanzania has.  If you are lucky, you might see the elusive tree-climbing leopard as well.  Overnight at Rhotia Valley – one of my favorite places with excellent, local food.


Day 4. An early start as you head out to northern Serengeti, which will take you through the eastern portion of the Serengeti and the short grass plains. The short grass plains are home to the cheetah, a diurnal hunter, so keep your eyes open. Overnight at the luxurious Serengeti Migration Camp. Large hippos can be heard right outside your tent structure at night.  Security advises you to stay inside after dark.


Day 5. A full day of game driving in northern Serengeti. The concentration of wildlife during the migration is impressive and the scenery of northern Serengeti is stunning. This region is also less explored and is an excellent location for wildlife viewing. In fact, the largest number of African elephants in the Serengeti can be found here. Overnight at Lemala Mara River Camp.


Day 6. Today you’ll explore the northern/central regions of the Serengeti. You’ll head into the short grass plains which is the habitat for cheetahs. Overnight at Lemala Mara River Camp

Day 7. Today will be your last full day in the Serengeti. You can explore new territory or revisit areas for photo opps and wildlife viewing. Overnight at Migration Camp.


Day 8. Today you’ll make your way east, out of the Serengeti, where you’ll stop for a bit at Olduvai Gorge. You’ll then head to Ngorongoro crater in time for sundowners overlooking the rim. Overnight at Serena Ngorongoro.


Day 9. An early start today, around 6am, so you’re one of the first vehicles in the crater. There are more than 25,000 big mammals that live in the crater – the black mane lions and long tusked elephants are only found here. There are black rhinos too, but this animal is very close to extinction. After the drive you will drive east down the green forest in the winding road pass Karatu town to the farm lands on the base of the Ngorongoro highlands. Overnight at Rhotia Valley.


Day 10. After breakfast you have the option to head to some markets where you can buy local handicrafts. You’ll also have the option to do some cultural visits with local Masai villages. After lunch you’ll head back to Arusha for your flight to Zanzibar.

If You Need More Help with your Safari Itinerary

Contact me if you need help with your safari itinerary or safari companies in general.  There are few times when I recommend booking a tour company and this is one of them.  A good safari tour operator will customize your safari itinerary any way you please.  The one above was exactly that.

This post was not sponsored.

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1 comment

Rhotia Valley Lodge: Conscience Tourism in Tanzania | The Travel Captain March 21, 2016 - 8:07 am

[…] Valley Tented Lodge was an unexpected outlier during our nine day safari through Tanzania.  I initially thought it was one of those lodges the safari guides throw in the […]


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