The Ultimate Tanzanian Safari Experience
Story and photos by Stacey Cohen, Senior Luxury Travel Advisor
Are you ready to indulge in the ultimate Tanzanian safari experience? As your dedicated Luxury Travel Advisor, I’m thrilled to present this exquisite 10-day safari itinerary that I recently experienced firsthand, which features both traditional safari lodges and a tented camp experience. I was able to visit the Unesco Heritage site of Ngorongoro Crater and the world- famous Serengeti National Park. Tanzania boasts more than 20 national parks and national game reserves, where visitors can view some of the country’s most spectacular wildlife, including the Big Five animals.
This itinerary will hopefully allow you to understand my incredible experience in Tanzania, where I was able to experience a journey of opulence, adventure, and unparalleled natural beauty. And for my clients, I can offer you an experience that from the moment you touch down at Kilimanjaro International Airport, to your departure, every moment will be carefully curated to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Day 1 – Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, Arusha
When I arrived at Kilimanjaro International Airport, my private guide was waiting to transfer me to the vibrant town of Arusha, which serves as the perfect starting point for the Tanzanian adventure. Arusha boasts an array of upscale restaurants, bars, and local markets, offering a warm welcome to this exciting journey.
Accommodation: Grand Melia – A World of Luxury
The Grand Melia, situated between the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro National Parks, epitomizes five-star comfort and elegance. Unwind in the beautifully appointed rooms, rejuvenate in the spa, take a dip in the heated pool, keep up with your fitness routine at the gym, or enjoy a relaxing lunch or cocktail on the rooftop bar. The Grand Melia sets the stage for beginning your extraordinary journey in Tanzania.
Day 2 – Arusha National Park & Walking Safari
After a sumptuous breakfast, I met with the Excellent Guides for a comprehensive safari briefing. The day kicked off with a game drive in Arusha National Park, the first of many on this incredible journey. We encountered giraffes, baboons, flamingoes, and buffalo. In the afternoon, we returned to the Grand Melia to relax and prepare for more adventures to come. That evening, we met with representatives from the Tanzanian government and the US Embassy in Tanzania and learned that in early 2024, there will be nonstops to Tanzania from the US, which will allow for an easier transit experience.
Day 3 – Arusha to Tarangire National Park
Today, the expedition led me to Tarangire National Park, a sanctuary for an extraordinary elephant population and iconic baobab trees. The Tarangire River, which provides the park’s water supply, attracts a diverse range of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, and up to six thousand elephants. For the next two days, we were completely immersed in game drives and cultural visits with the semi-nomadic tribes of the Maasai who live in the vicinity.
Accommodation: Lake Burunge Tented Lodge
Set against the stunning backdrop of Tarangire National Park and Lake Burunge, this lodge offers the perfect place to unwind. With a swimming pool and captivating campfire evenings under the star-studded sky, it is also a wonderful spot to see wildlife strolling by. I saw elephants and zebra amble past my tent as I was enjoying my morning coffee. And as you are in tented lodgings, you will likely hear the symphony of animals throughout the night!
Day 4 – Tarangire National Park
The adventure in Tarangire National Park continued, offering unparalleled views of open plains and the chance to observe its remarkable elephant herds in their natural habitat.
Day 5 – Manyara National Park
We embarked on a game drive in Manyara, renowned for its tree-climbing lions and numerous baboons. As it is a smaller park, we were able to make it to our lodging for a relaxing afternoon.
Accommodation: Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge – Where Luxury Meets Nature
Nestled amidst the rich wildlife and tranquility of Lake Manyara National Park, this lodge boasts over 300 migratory bird species, including flamingoes and long-crested eagles. Its architecture is an ode to the beauty of bird migratory patterns, providing an enchanting atmosphere. There is a lovely pool overlooking the lake and its surroundings.
Day 6 – Manyara to Serengeti National Park via Maasai Village
Embark on a journey from Manyara to the Serengeti. We also had a fascinating visit at a Maasai village, learning about their way of life, engaging in a dance with the villagers and visiting their homes and school. An afternoon game drive and a picnic lunch in the Serengeti awaited me.
Accommodation: Kirawira Serena Camp Facilities
This camp offers 25 exquisite tented rooms overlooking the Serengeti, each designed to provide a comfortable and memorable stay.
Day 7 – Central Serengeti National Park
I experienced the magic of the Serengeti with a morning and evening game drive in its central region. The Serengeti is home to a plethora of wildlife, and it’s where the famous Great Migration takes place. There are approximately 1.2-1.5 million zebra and wildebeest in the Serengeti and the area is so vast. I was also able to take an early morning hot air balloon experience to see the magical Serengeti and its animals from the sky. The experience concluded with a gourmet breakfast in the bush. A truly once in a lifetime experience.
Accommodation: Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge – Where Luxury Meets the Wild
Positioned high on an acacia-lined ridge, this lodge with thatched roof villas offers panoramic views of the endless grasslands of the Serengeti. Lions, cheetahs, and massive wildebeest herds are part of the incredible landscape you’ll witness from your base.
Day 8 – Full-Day Game Drive in Serengeti Plains
Today started with a leisurely breakfast before embarking on an unlimited game drive in the expansive Serengeti plains. The chances of witnessing the Great Migration and spotting prides of lions, cheetahs, leopards, and more are exceedingly high. After a delightful picnic lunch, the adventure continued with an afternoon game drive where we saw a cheetah mom with her 3 babies.
Day 9 – Ngorongoro Crater
Rise early and savor breakfast in the Serengeti before heading to the Ngorongoro Crater for an extraordinary morning and half-day game drive. Often referred to as Africa’s “Garden of Eden,” the crater teems with wildlife, including Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinoceros. We also saw lions, hippos and elephant but no giraffe as they cannot enter the steep terrain of the caldera.
Accommodation: Serval Wildlife
My journey concluded at Serval Wildlife; a unique property where once has remarked access to wildlife in an up-close setting. I stayed in the zebra lodge as each individual cabin is named for a specific animal.
Day 10 – Departure
After a breakfast surrounded by giraffe and the opportunity to feed them along with zebra, eland and kudu, we had a delicious lunch before being chauffeured to Kilimanjaro International Airport, where my incredible journey ended as I embarked on my journey home.
My memories of Tanzania’s wonders will be cherished forever. I hope that I can be your preferred travel planning partner in creating an exceptional journey in Tanzania for you!
- Arusha National Park
- Central Serengeti National Park
- Grand Melia
- Kirawira Serena Camp
- Lake Burunge
- Manyara National Park
- Ngorongoro Crater
- Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
- Serval Wildlife
- Tarangire National Park