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Capturing the very essence of Africa, this trip boasts some of best safari opportunities on the continent. Search for the Big Five, sleep under canvas in the bush and watch the sun go down over the plains.
Explore Tour Leader
1 nights comfortable hotel
6 nights comfortable tented camp
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
The trip begins in Arusha.
For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 4pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Arusha at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is around 75 minutes' drive. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
Food is served at the lodge throughout the day until 11pm.
If you arrive early today you may wish to go into Arusha, a small Tanzanian city with a food and craft markets and a natural history museum. From the lodge you can reach Arusha by taxi or local minibus, just ask at reception for assistance. Alternatively, you may wish to relax by the pool or find a shady spot in the gardens after your long journey.
Forest Hill Hotel (or similar)
This morning we head south-west to Lake Manyara National Park for our first game drive. This drive takes us through villages and towns, where busy markets and locals in traditional, bright dress line the route. On arrival at our lodge we will have lunch and a short while to take in the view over the floodplains below, before heading out on our first game drive.
Lake Manyara is nestled at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley and for a national park only 330 sq km, it is the perfect introduction to a variety of habitats, ecosystems and wildlife. The various habitats of lush forests, acacia woodlands, grassy floodplain and volcanic peaks are home to prey and predators, as well as over 400 species of birds! After our game drive, we return to our lodge to enjoy a sundowner and watch the changing lights on the plains below.
Please note that drones are not permitted in any Tanzania National Park without a permit, please refer to the equipment section of the trip notes for more information.
Manyara Tortilis Camp (or similar)
Comfortable Tented Camp
Today we have a long but rewarding journey into the world famous Serengeti National Park. The scenery and views are spectacular as we travel around the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and transit through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We pass several Masai homesteads before arriving at Olduvai Gorge, where in 1959, anthropologists Dr and Mrs Leakey discovered the remains of an almost intact human skull named 'Nutcracker Man'. It was here at this important prehistoric site, together with other startling discoveries, that have contributed to the furthering understanding of early human development. Olduvai Gorge and the fossils that it contains give a unique insight into the role this part of the world played in human evolution. We'll enjoy a packed lunch in the courtyard of the Olduvai Gorge visitor centre, before walking around the interactive, timeline museum to learn more of this fascinating place. A local guide will then talk us through the ages of the gorge whilst we look out over the valley below.
Later today we will enter the Serengeti at Naabi Hill Gate. Serengeti is a Masai name that means the 'endless grass plains' and it is through these plains interspersed with granite outcrops that we travel to our lodge. Once in the Serengeti we'll move slowly through the park, keeping a close eye out for game as we head to the central Seronera area. Our Serengeti camp provides a warm welcome and a true sense of adventure. Sleeping under canvas, the sounds of nature filter through ensuring a true Serengeti experience.
Serengeti Tortilis Camp (or similar)
The Serengeti covers almost 15,000 square km in area and is Tanzania's oldest, and arguably, greatest park. Famed for the awe-inspiring spectacle of the annual migration, it offers some of the best game viewing in Africa. We will travel through various different habitats from dry, dusty savannahs to long grasses and mud pools. Prey and predator can be found in the park, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffe and buffalo, as well as over 500 species of bird. This day is guaranteed to be exciting, and binoculars and cameras need to be at the ready! We'll take a packed lunch with us but timings and location will depend on the wildlife movements for the day. We'll return to our accommodation this evening in time for 'Bush TV', also known as a bonfire and the opportunity to enjoy a local beer whilst watching the sun go down. The sheer vastness of space, under a starry sky, generates a liberating feeling of being in the wild that would be difficult to find anywhere else.
We'll make one last early morning game drive as we retrace our route back to Naabi Hill Gate and back into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We will pass various settlements en route and the Masai can often be seen herding their livestock or working the land in the surrounding fields.
In the late morning, we'll arrive into Karatu where our accommodation is located. The central farmhouse remains a working farm and coffee plantation, built in colonial style and is set amongst beautiful gardens. This afternoon will be free to enjoy the pool or take the late afternoon walking tour of the planation with a local villager to learn more about their life and produce grown on the grounds.
NgorongoroTortilis Camp (or similar)
This morning we will have a very early start to make our way to the crater where we will we descend from the upper rim, driving down a steep track that drops a staggering 600m to the grassy plain, lake and marshes of the basin floor below. The crater provides a unique wildlife spotting experience and is home to the Big Five. Among the animals to watch out for are elephant, lion, cheetah, buffalo and rhino. The perennial marshes teem with birdlife.
The crater itself, technically classed as a caldera, owes its existence to the violent fracturing of the Rift Valley over a period of some 15 million years. At one time a volcano occupied this spot that then became extinct and collapsed into the empty magma chamber beneath it leaving only the gigantic natural basin which is now considered a veritable 'Garden of Eden'. After our half day game drive in the crater today, we return to the farmhouse in time for lunch and the afternoon will be at leisure to relax after the early start.
Today we leave Karatu and continue our journey to Tarangire National Park. One of the most striking features of the park are the majestic old baobab trees with massive silvery trunks and gourd-like fruit that dominate the skyline. Tarangire has the greatest concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti ecosystem and is part of a larger ecosystem that extends further south into the Masai steppes. The permanent water sources in the park result in Tarangire being home to the largest elephant populations in Tanzania, where during the dry season over 300 elephants can be seen digging for water in the riverbeds. The park is also home to the shy fringed eared oryx and the gerenuk antelope that are not seen in other parks.
Today we will enjoy an afternoon game drive, before travelling to our camp. The evening will be spent relaxing in this spectacular location and enjoying a traditional evening meal.
TarangireTortilis Camp (or similar)
Departing Tarangire this morning we will drive for four hours to Arusha where we'll stop for a lunch break before departing Kilimanjaro International Airport, this is where our trip ends. The earliest your flight can depart is 5pm.
If you are going on to Zanzibar to join the Zanzibar Island Extension, your flight will depart Arusha Airport and you will be dropped off at Arusha Airport before the group stop for lunch. The earliest your flight to Zanzibar can depart is 12.45pm, please speak to one of our reservations team about assistance booking flights.
The climate is tropical but varies greatly with altitude. Coastal areas and islands are hot and humid, while the central plateau is dry and arid.
Tanzania can be visited all year round and its seasons can be defined as green and dry.
The dry season is generally from June to October and January to February, with most days being fine and sunny weather with temperatures and humidity rising throughout the day. It can be cold at night, particularly in June & July.
The green season includes the rains of March to May (with the peak in April – generally during the afternoon) and November to early December. This pattern can be unpredictable. The weather system during these periods refreshes the landscape creating luscious green scenery which is not witnessed during the dry season.
The Zanzibar archipelago is a year-round destination but does have dry and rainy seasons. The dry season is between June to October and January to February. The ‘short rains’ are between November to December, when a short, afternoon rainstorm can be a daily occurrence. The ‘long rains’ occur between March to May, when days can be humid and rainy, however, sunshine is still often frequent. The changing weather patterns does mean the ‘rainy’ season is becoming less predictable.
Weather at altitude can vary to the above seasons, with the evenings being cold. Kilimanjaro features its own array of climates and biomes; between 1,800 to 2,800 metres is a rainforest climate (humid and hot), from 2,800 to 4,000 metres is dry mountain vegetation – please note night time temperatures can fall to below 0 degrees from this level. A cold desert climate with a strong equatorial sun during the day but cold nights is found between 4,000 to 5,000 metres. The summit generally has clear days though the evenings can be very cold featuring snow.
3 Pin (as per the UK), best to travel with an adapter as some lodges have 2 pin sockets.
Clothing should be lightweight. However, a warm sweater or fleece and a wind/water-proof jacket are advisable for early morning game drives. Take thermal underwear for the occasional very cold night at altitude at places like Ngorongoro (even in summer). A scarf is recommended as protection against dust and dirt on game drives. A waterproof is advisable
Comfortable shoes, trainers or sandals.
A flexible holdall (suitcases are not suitable for vehicle luggage racks) and a daysac.
Charging points: The tour vehicle and camps have charging points for cameras and phones. Drones: Are not permitted in any NatioBring a small torch, sunglasses, sunhat and sunblock . We also recommend you bring binoculars and a water bottle for day to day use. nal Park in Tanzania without a permit. Permits cost approximately US$250 per 24 hrs. Please advise us at time of booking if you wish to take a drone with you into the National Park, as permits are difficult to obtain. If you launch a drone without a permit this will be confiscated by the Park officials. Plastic Bag Ban: With effect from 01 June 2019, it is illegal to use, manufacture and/or import plastic bags into Tanzania and Zanzibar. Any person found with plastic bags of any type including shopping bags on arrival into the country can receive a heavy fine. Small plastic bags used for hand luggage toiletries are permitted but must be in a reusable condition and not disposed of in the country. Please ensure you do not have any non-permitted types of plastic bag in your hand luggage or luggage. Any plastic bags obtained whilst travelling are disposed of before arriving into Tanzania or are surrendered at the designated desk available at all entry points into the country.
Can you drink the water?
The water quality is poor and therefore it is recommended to avoid drinking tap water during your trip.
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.
Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.
Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. However, please note that if you voluntarily make any changes to your booking including changing your trip or departure date, any additional costs or charges incurred will not be covered. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions
Tanzania: A single visa is required by UK, New Zealand, Australian, US & Canadian citizens. Single entry visas only can be arranged on arrival, but due to queues at immigration we recommend for the visa to be arranged in advance. An E-visa for Tanzania can be obtained prior to departure via the e-visa website: http://www.immigration.go.tz. Click on the e-Services tab and then select Online Visa Application, please ensure you read the Visa Application Guidelines before applying for your e-visa. Please refer to the Explore visa letter you will receive for information required to complete your e-visa application. You will need to print a copy of your e-visa approval letter and present this with your passport and final documents at your entry point into the country. The approval letter takes approximately 10 days to approve if there are no queries on the application. We therefore advise for you to apply at least 15 workings days prior to travelling. Please ensure you have enough validity left on the visa through to the end of the tour before you travel. The Tanzanian High Commission in London no longer processes or issues visas. American nationals are required to apply for a multiple entry e-visa for all tourism visits to Tanzania; the ordinary single entry e-visa is unavailable for Americans to apply to. Passports must have a minimum validity of 6 months and at least 1 blank/unused page at time of travel. Plastic Bag Ban: With effect from 01 June 2019, it is illegal to use, manufacture and/or import plastic bags into Tanzania and Zanzibar. Any person found with plastic bags of any type including shopping bags on arrival into the country can receive a heavy fine. Small plastic bags used for hand luggage toiletries are permitted but must be in a reusable condition and not disposed of in the country. Please ensure you do not have any non-permitted types of plastic bag in your hand luggage or luggage. Any plastic bags obtained whilst travelling are disposed of before arriving into Tanzania or are surrendered at the designated desk available at all entry points into the country.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.
Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.
For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.
You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.
On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.
A Yellow Fever vaccination and certificate is only required when travelling to Tanzania from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. We strongly recommend protection against malaria, hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, polio and yellow fever.
Please note you are required to produce a valid yellow fever certificate on arrival in Tanzania. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Travellers may also wish to take immunisation against meningococcal meningitis. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.