Immerse yourself in the utterly breath-taking surroundings of Tanzania as you go in search of some of the world’s most majestic wildlife. From the powerful migration in the Serengeti to game drives that visit Lake Manyara, experience the very best of Tanzania alongside National Geographic experts and conservationists. Meet with Maasai community leaders and discover more about the fascinating culture whilst spotting wildlife such as lions, elephants, cheetahs and wildebeest. This is a photography departure and will be lead by National Geographic photographers.

Trip highlights

Meet Louise Leakey or Fidelis Masao for a private tour of Olduvai Gorge, where Homo habilis was discovered on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition.

A Maasai chief invites us to witness a traditional ceremony and learn first-hand about his culture.

Settle into a stunning canvas suite at Sayari Camp, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World (July through October departures only).

Itinerary - 9 Days

1 Arusha, Tanzania

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport this evening and transfer to our hotel.
Arusha Coffee Lodge

2 Lake Manyara National Park

Drive to Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its elephants, hippos, giraffes, flamingos, and tree-climbing lions. Set out on our first safari to discover East Africa’s legendary wildlife amid the stunning Rift Valley landscape.
Plantation Lodge (B/L/D)

3 Lake Manyara National Park

On a morning game drive, observe the wildlife that congregates on the shores of Lake Manyara. Enjoy a guided walk around the lodge’s grounds and gardens before hiking to a nearby coffee plantation.
Plantation Lodge (B/L/D)

4 Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast, travel to the Ngorongoro Highlands, where we will meet with Maasai community members. Far from the tourist circuit, enjoy a rare opportunity to view traditional singing and dancing, witness an initiation ritual, and learn about this fascinating culture from the village chief and his wives. After lunch, descend 2,000 feet to the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, where volcanic slopes shelter almost 25,000 animals. Observe the interactions between predator and prey; spot colourful birdlife, from malachite sunbirds to marabou storks; and track elephants, rare black rhinos, cheetahs, and more.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B/L/D)

5 Igorongoro Crater

Return to the crater floor for breakfast and a morning safari. Enjoy an afternoon to relax and watch the sun set over the crater from the lodge. Tonight, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Louise Leakey or Dr. Fidelis Masao, co-director of the Olduvai Landscape Paleoarchaeology Project, joins us for dinner and a discussion about the groundbreaking paleontological finds in the region.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B/L/D)

6 Olduvai Gorge/Serengeti National Park

Drive to the Olduvai Gorge, where, on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition in 1960, Louis and Mary Leakey discovered Homo habilis, one of the earliest members of the human genus. This morning, Louise (the Leakeys’ granddaughter) or Dr. Masao will discuss the family’s legacy and ongoing work at Olduvai Gorge. Then take a private tour of the site, or accompany Dr. Masao on a walk through the area where much of his life’s research has been conducted. This afternoon, drive to our lodge in the southern Serengeti, looking for lions, giraffes, and leopards along the way.
Lake Masek Tented Camp (B/L/D)

7-8 Serengeti National Park

Embark on an off-track safari in the Ndutu area in search of lion prides, giraffes, and bountiful herds of wildebeests, elephants, and zebras. On morning and afternoon game drives, witness magnificent birds, hippos, packs of hyenas, and pairs of jackals lurking around the surrounding marshlands and lakes. You may also choose to take an optional hot-air balloon ride to view the plains game from above. Meet with a local lion researcher to learn about work being done to protect the lions of the Serengeti. On our last evening, gather for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner.
Lake Masek Tented Camp (B/L/D)

9 Serengeti/Arusha

After a final early-morning safari, fly back to Arusha. Relax at our hotel before connecting with your flight home.
Rivertrees Country Inn (B/L/D)

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