- We take a morning flight from London to Arusha, where we will be met on arrival by our naturalist guide, and a two-hour drive brings us to our lodge in Arusha National Park.
- Accommodation: Lodge, Arusha National Park, 2-nights on full board basis
- Today, we have a full day to explore the jewel of Tanzania’s national parks – Arusha National Park. Set between the towering peaks of Mount Meru and the snow-capped Kilimanjaro, Arusha is known for its incredible scenery.
- The birdwatching here is superb, and this morning we familiarise ourselves with the specialities within the lodge grounds, before venturing out into the national park. The various habitats range from montane rainforest, soda and freshwater lakes, to acacia mixed woodland and grassland. In the montane forest, we can expect to see bar-tailed trogon, Hartlaub’s turaco, green pigeon, scarlet-chested sunbird, as well as Tacazze and golden-winged sunbird. While in the soda lakes, we are more likely to see an array of waterbirds.
- We are also likely to see an interesting array of mammals including black-and-white colobus monkey, blue monkey, elephant, buffalo, red duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck and giraffe.
- After breakfast, we head to our next accommodation in the northern boundary of Tarangire National Park, set in a grove of Acacia tortilis trees. Our lodge is situated near a seasonal riverbed which is lined by many species of trees, which attract a diversity of birdlife. The lodge surrounds are a particularly good place to see the endemic Ashy starling, as well as yellow-collared lovebird, Fischer’s lovebird and rufous-tailed weaver.
- We explore the dry riverbed to look for northern pied babbler, magpie shrike and Pangani longclaw on nature walks from the lodge. We leave the lodge for game drives among the baobab trees, which are often favoured by birds of prey as perches. We will keep an eye out for martial, black-breasted, brown snake, Bateleur, African hawk and tawny eagles.
- Accommodation: Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge, Tarangire Natonal Park, 2-nights on full board basis
- This morning, we travel to Lake Manyara National Park. Here, there is a diversity of habitats and vegetation zones, which are governed by the geography and the soil types. At the lake, we may see greater and lesser flamingo, which are preyed upon by African fish eagle, pink and white-backed pelican, while at the lake edge, we may spot black, grey-headed and buff-backed herons, black-winged stilt, three-banded and Temminck’s courser. The nearby doum palms are a favourite perch for the palm nut vulture, while the groundwater forest is home to a variety of birds which eat fruit from the numerous fig trees. We may even see silvery-cheeked hornbills eating freshwater crabs from groundwater streams, while giant kingfishers lurk on the edge of the forest. The escarpment has a cliff chat – a distinctive bird found amongst rocks, as well as red-winged starling, helmeted guineafowl and crested francolin in the dry bush.
- In the afternoon, we travel to our accommodation, which is set on an escarpment overlooking the park. The lodge has become a haven for birdlife, and we look for African firefinch, cordon bleu, chestnut weaver, red-faced crombec, chin spot and yellow-breasted apalis and the great mimic – the spotted morning warbler.
- Accommodation: Kirurumu Manyara Lodge, Lake Manyara, 2-nights on full board basis
- After breakfast, we venture through the farmlands of Karatu and into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The volcanic crater is an incredible natural wonder, which encloses the largest concentration of plains game in Africa, and is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. We begin exploring the highland grassland, which is home to Jackson’s widowbird, while on the crater floor itself, we look for chestnut-banded and - depending on the season – Caspian plovers. Near to the water, we may also see Abdim’s and the distinctive saddle-billed stork.
- The crater is also home to a wide variety of animals, with frequent sightings of elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard.
- Accommodation: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro, 2-nights on full board basis
- Today, we enjoy a morning game drive in the crater, followed by lunch back at the lodge. In the afternoon, we drive to the Ngorongoro highlands, where take a walk along the rim to look for birds, including brown-headed apalis, Schalow’s turaco, eastern double collared, Tacazze, and golden-winged sunbirds, as well as the exuberant Hunter’s cisticola on the rim of the crater. This clear viewpoint is also an excellent place to look for raptors, such as Augur buzzard.
- After breakfast, we head to the great Serengeti National Park – one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges.
- During our stay here, we can experience the annual migration of around two million blue wildebeest, together with a quarter of a million Burchell’s zebra and half a million Thompson’s gazelles. Endemic bird species we hope to encounter include rufous-tailed weaver, Fischer’s lovebird and grey-breasted spurfowl. The Coqui francolin is common on the plains along with the short-toed and short-tailed larks and Fisher’s sparrow lark. The large population of mammals result in a number of mortalities by predators or disease, which support a high number of vultures including white-backed, white-headed, lappet-faced and griffon vultures.
- Accommodation: Kiota Camp, Serengeti National Park, 3-nights on full board basis
- After breakfast, we begin the drive back to Arusha, where a day room will be available for us to freshen up before the evening flight home.
Day 13 Arrive UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
We stay in a range of comfortable safari lodges and tented camps with en suite facilities.
All included in the price. Breakfasts and dinners at the safari lodges/tented camps. Lunches are generally picnics or light meals served at the accommodation.
With over 1,100 bird species recorded, Tanzania is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Of these numerous bird species, 23 are endemic, and include the colourful yellow-collared lovebird, grey-breasted spurfowl and rufous-tailed weaver.
- Fischer’s lovebird
- Baglafecht weaver
- Hartlaub’s turaco
- Bar-tailed trogon
Tanzania is thought to contain around 20 percent of Africa’s large mammal species across its reserves and national parks. The Serengeti – the country’s second largest national park – is known for its extensive herds of wildebeest and zebra, while wetland areas such as Lake Manyara National Park boast a diversity of species including hippo, waterbuck, warthog, giraffe, sitatunga and elephant.
- Blue wildebeest
- Burchell's zebra
- African elephant
On this tour we encounter incredible scenery, such as the vast landscapes of Ngorongoro crater, the mountain backdrop at Arusha, the extraordinary flocks of flamingo at Lake Manyara, and the rolling wildlife-rich plains of the Serengeti.
The maximum elevation we reach on this tour is 2,400 metres above sea level.
Easy, short walks. In the parks, away from our lodgings, the presence of wild animals may preclude excursions on foot so we travel by safari vehicles specially adapted for viewing wildlife.
Comfortable walking shoes and sandals are suitable.
This tour offers excellent photographic opportunities, particularly for birds and large mammals.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Arusha – London.
Ground transportation is by minibus or 4 wheel drive safari vehicle, with driver.