Begin your adventure in Tanzania’s famous wildlife reserves before heading off the beaten path to the lesser-known parks of the southern circuit. Embark on safari in Lake Manyara National Park and float down the Rufiji River amid wading hippos and bathing elephants. Meet researchers and rangers along the way to gain a deeper understanding of threats to local wildlife and learn about important conservation efforts.

Trip highlights

Clean Cookstove Project Talk, Enjoy an extended experience at a Masai village. Meet some of the incredible women who live here and learn how their lives have been impacted and their communities empowered through the G Adventures-supported Masai Clean Cookstoves Project.

Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife Safari Drive, Spot zebra, gazelles, buffaloes, and warthogs. The swamp and forest are home to hippos, rhinos, elephants, baboons, and monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready to capture a pride of lions or a lone leopard walking along the crater floor.

Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture, Set in Serengeti National Park, the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre is a base for many of the region’s top wildlife researchers and scientists. Meet one of its researchers for a talk about the centre’s ongoing studies.

Itinerary - 12 Days

Day 1 Arusha

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Day 2 Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park

This morning, make your way to Mto wa Mbu village, a vibrant settlement of Tanzania’s diverse tribal groups. Take a guided walk through the village, visiting the local market and meeting artisans in their workshops; then sit down for a traditional lunch with a local family. Continue to the Rift Valley escarpment and settle into our safari camp, located at the edge of Lake Manyara National Park. Set out on our first safari drive to discover East Africa’s legendary wildlife, searching for lions, elephants, hippos, giraffes, and more.

Day 3 Lake Manyara National Park/Serengeti National Park

Travel through the breathtaking Rift Valley to a Maasai village. Here, we learn about the G Adventures–supported Clean Cookstoves Project, dedicated to providing clean-burning cookstoves to Maasai communities throughout Tanzania. Enjoy a presentation by a Masaai woman on the impact of the project, and take a guided tour of the village, visiting traditional homes or bomas and helping build a new stove. Continue to our safari camp in Serengeti National Park, stopping en route at the Olduvai Gorge Museum and Visitor’s Centre—located near the site where National Geographic archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered early hominid fossils and stone tools in 1960.

Day 4 Serengeti National Park

Immerse yourself in the splendor of the Serengeti, one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife reserves. Discover the park’s iconic creatures on an optional hot-air balloon safari at sunrise, and set out in a 4x4 on morning and afternoon safaris through the golden grasslands. With luck, spot all of Africa’s “big five”—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. Later, visit the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre, and enjoy a talk by one of the visiting researchers.

Day 5 Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro

Depart the Serengeti this morning, looking out for the park’s wild denizens along the drive. Check in to our comfortable tented camp near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and enjoy a fiery African sunset from the deck.

Day 6 Ngorongoro/Arusha

Spanning more than 20 kilometres in diameter, the Ngorongoro Crater is the largest non-flooded caldera in the world and is inhabited by some 25,000 animals. Descend into this green-walled paradise early in the morning on safari. As you ride past herds of zebra and flocks of flamingo, keep your eyes peeled for a pride of lions or a lone leopard. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the floor of the crater; then drive to Arusha.

Day 7 Arusha

Enjoy free time to explore Arusha, a sprawling city located at the base of a dormant volcano. Wander the town’s bustling markets, or opt to visit the Natural History Museum.

Day 8 Arusha/Ruaha NP

Catch a flight to Ruaha National Park—one of Tanzania's largest parks, boasting diverse landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. Transfer to our safari lodge, located on the banks of the Great Ruaha River, and set out on a safari drive amid the grassy plains and scrub woodlands of this remote reserve. Spot herds of elephant and buffalo; keep an eye out for the park’s resident predators; and learn about local conservation efforts from our guides. Relax this evening by a bonfire at your lodge.

Day 9 Ruaha National Park

Spend a full day on safari in the wilds of Ruaha with our expert guides. Track lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and hyenas; and drive past graceful giraffes and herds of gentle impala. Or, opt to explore the park in a hot-air balloon at sunrise. Back at the lodge, unwind on the deck with a cool drink, listening to the sounds of the bush and taking in the starry sky.

Day 10 Ruaha/Selous

Enjoy one last safari drive in Ruaha before catching a flight to Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Crisscrossed by rivers and covered in dense woodland, this pristine reserve is home to large concentrations of big-tusked elephants and majestic lions. After settling into our camp, hop on a boat for a river safari down the Rufiji—one of Tanzania’s longest rivers—and observe the plethora of creatures that frequent its shores.

Day 11 Selous Game Reserve

Rise early and head out on a daylong game drive in Selous with our knowledgeable local guide. Keep a lookout for the reserve’s fascinating inhabitants, from endangered African wild dogs to baboons, zebras, wildebeest, antelope, and hundreds of species of birds. After a busy day, enjoy sunset by the river and dinner in a traditional boma.

Day 12 Selous/Dar es Salaam

Embark on a thrilling bush walk early this morning with our expert guide, keeping your eyes peeled for lounging leopards, elephants, and buffalo. Later, fly to Dar es Salaam, where our trip ends.

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