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a 12 Day Tanzania Safari


This comprehensive 12-day Tanzania safari offers participants a journey through Tanzania’s renowned wildlife areas and the exotic island of Zanzibar, providing diverse wildlife viewing opportunities and rich cultural interactions.

Duration: 12 Days
Places to Visit: Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar


Day 1: Arrival in Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Arusha, a city of approximately 400,000 people. Arusha serves as the gateway to Tanzania’s northern safari circuit and sits at the base of Mount Meru, Africa’s fifth-highest mountain at 4,566 meters.

Visit the Arusha Declaration Museum, which documents Tanzania’s transition to socialism under Julius Nyerere, the country’s first president. The museum provides insights into Tanzania’s post-independence history and political development.

Enjoy a welcome dinner featuring traditional Tanzanian dishes such as ugali (maize porridge), nyama choma (grilled meat), and mishkaki (meat skewers).

Accommodation: Arusha Serena Hotel

Day 2: Arusha – Tarangire National Park

Distance: 120km/2-3hrs drive

Depart for Tarangire National Park, Tanzania’s sixth-largest national park covering 2,850 square kilometers. The park is named after the Tarangire River that flows through it, providing a vital water source for wildlife during the dry season.

En route, pass through Maasai villages, observing traditional bomas (homesteads) and herding practices. The Maasai in this region have maintained many of their customs while adapting to modern influences.

Enjoy a full day game drive in Tarangire. The park is renowned for its large elephant population, with herds of up to 300 individuals sometimes observed. Tarangire is also famous for its ancient baobab trees, some of which are believed to be over 1,000 years old.

Learn about the Datoga people, a pastoralist tribe inhabiting areas near Tarangire. The Datoga are known for their skilled blacksmithing and distinctive facial tattoos.

Accommodation: Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Day 3: Tarangire – Central Serengeti National Park

Distance: 325km/6-7hrs drive

Depart early for Serengeti National Park, passing through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area en route. Stop at Olduvai Gorge, often called the “Cradle of Mankind.” This archaeological site has yielded some of the oldest hominid fossils ever found, dating back 1.9 million years.

Arrive in the Central Serengeti, known as Seronera. This area is famous for its year-round wildlife concentration and big cat populations. The Serengeti ecosystem covers 30,000 square kilometers and hosts the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world.

Learn about the Maasai people’s traditional relationship with the Serengeti ecosystem. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai word “siringet,” meaning “endless plains.”

Accommodation: Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Day 4: Central Serengeti – Northern Serengeti

Distance: 150km/3-4hrs drive

Travel to the Northern Serengeti, home to the famous Mara River crossings during the Great Migration (typically July-October). This area is less visited, offering a more exclusive safari experience.

Visit a local school supported by tourism to understand educational initiatives in rural Tanzania. These visits offer insights into the positive impact of responsible tourism on local communities.

Enjoy afternoon game drives in the area, focusing on the unique landscapes and wildlife of the northern Serengeti.

Accommodation: Mara Under Canvas

Day 5: Northern Serengeti

Spend a full day exploring the Northern Serengeti. This area is crucial for the Great Migration, with over 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras crossing the Mara River in search of fresh grazing.

Learn about the Kuria people, an ethnic group inhabiting the Tanzania-Kenya border region. The Kuria have a rich cultural heritage and are known for their intricate beadwork and traditional music.

Accommodation: Mara Under Canvas

Day 6: Serengeti – Ngorongoro Crater

Distance: 180km/3-4hrs drive

Depart early for Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The crater is 610 meters deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometers. It’s home to over 25,000 large animals, including the highest density of mammalian predators in Africa.

During the crater tour, learn about the Maasai communities living within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The NCA is unique in Tanzania as the only conservation area providing protection for wildlife while allowing human habitation. Approximately 80,000 Maasai pastoralists live within the NCA, practicing traditional livestock herding.

Visit a Maasai boma to learn about their traditional lifestyle, including their famous jumping dance, the “adumu.”

Accommodation: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Day 7: Ngorongoro – Zanzibar

Morning flight from Manyara airstrip to Zanzibar (approximately 2 hours)

Arrive in Zanzibar, an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania with a rich history as a trading hub. Transfer to a beach resort on the east coast of the island.

Relax on the white sandy beaches and learn about the island’s spice trade history. Zanzibar was once the world’s largest producer of cloves and is still known as the “Spice Island.”

Accommodation: Breezes Beach Club & Spa

Day 8: Zanzibar Stone Town

Distance: 50km/1hr drive

Take a guided tour of Stone Town, the historic center of Zanzibar City and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stone Town’s architecture reflects its diverse influences, including Swahili, Arab, Persian, Indian, and European elements.

Visit the Old Fort, built in the 17th century by the Omani Arabs, and the House of Wonders, the former sultan’s palace. Explore the narrow alleys lined with shops selling traditional crafts and spices.

Learn about the island’s dark history at the Old Slave Market and Chamber, a sobering reminder of Zanzibar’s role in the East African slave trade.

Accommodation: Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Day 9-11: Zanzibar Beaches

Return to the beach resort for three days of relaxation and cultural activities.

Participate in a spice tour, visiting local farms to learn about the cultivation and uses of various spices such as cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and nutmeg.

Take a sunset dhow cruise. These traditional sailing vessels have been used in the Indian Ocean for centuries and are an integral part of Zanzibar’s maritime heritage.

Visit a local village to learn about rural life on the island and traditional fishing practices.

Accommodation: Breezes Beach Club & Spa

Day 12: Departure from Zanzibar

Transfer to Zanzibar International Airport for departure, concluding the safari and beach holiday.

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