Embark on a grand adventure within Tanzania’s most renowned game reserves and enjoy the safari experience of a lifetime.
Have an opportunity to observe Africa’s Big Five – elephant, leopard, lion, rhinoceros, and buffalo – where they live, in their natural habitats. One of our most popular trips immerses you in the Earth Journeys experience, featuring custom-made BBC Earth on-tour film vignettes and other select BBC Earth touches. Following your African safari, your journey concludes on the tropical island archipelago of Zanzibar. Enjoy many different types of experiences on this journey, from soaring high above the Tanzanian savannah aboard a hot air balloon to sailing aboard a traditional dhow on the Indian Ocean off the coast of Zanzibar. Experience ancient, stunning landscapes, the spice bazaars of Stone Town and one of mankind’s most important archaeological sites... travel by safari vehicles within Serengeti National Park, plus Ngorongoro Crater... and stay in luxury safari lodges, tented camps and a resort overlooking the sea for an in-depth, up-close African safari experience.
Arrive Arusha, Tanzania
Tour begins: Arusha Serena Hotel. A transfer from Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha Serena Hotel, is included. Welcome to Tanzania and the start of your African safari; your hotel overlooks Lake Duluti. Although most flights land at Kilimanjaro International Airport after the sun has set, thoughts of Ernest Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro will come to mind as you journey the short distance from the airport to your hotel.
Lake Manyara & on to Ngorongoro
Depart your hotel in Arusha and make your way to Lake Manyara Serena Lodge for lunch overlooking Lake Manyara, a bird-lover's paradise. Enjoy your first game viewing opportunity as you continue on this afternoon to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to Ngorongoro Crater, a wildlife mecca; your lodge is built on the dormant volcano’s rim, with stunning views of the “lost world” below. Please join us for a welcome reception followed by dinner at the lodge this evening.
Game drives & a picnic in Ngorongoro Crater
Spend today exploring Ngorongoro Crater, long regarded as Africa’s “Garden of Eden.” Within the crater lie grasslands, forests and a freshwater lake, inspiring a continual migration of animals. Riding in your four-wheel-drive safari vehicle, you’ll have a chance to spot Africa’s celebrated “Big Five” – buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black-maned lion and the rare black rhinoceros. Dig into a hot lunch as you picnic in the heart of the crater, sure to be a highlight of your African safari. Back at the lodge to enjoy dinner and local entertainment this evening, you'll be able to observe Ngorongoro's wildlife-rich caldera below from the comfort of your private terrace.
Visit Oldupai Gorge en route to the Serengeti
Set off this morning to explore Oldupai Gorge, where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of some of the earliest known human species, an estimated 1.8 million years old; learn more about the site’s significance on a docent-led tour. Continue wildlife viewing while driving the rough dirt roads across the plains and grasslands of the Serengeti. Arrive at your safari lodge in the Central Serengeti, which was inspired by Maasai tribal dwellings. Have dinner at your leisure at the lodge, and enjoy some local entertainment in the lounge this evening.
Ballooning over the Serengeti & game viewing
Lift off on an exciting hot air balloon flight* as dawn breaks over the vast Serengeti grasslands; from aloft, observe wildlife in the first light of day, an African safari thrill – and enjoy another thrill upon your return where a champagne breakfast in the bush waits for you. An afternoon game drive on the Serengeti plains may yield sightings of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinoceros, hippos, buffalo, jackals, and gazelles. This is also one of the best places on the African Continent to see prides of lions. Return to the lodge for lunch, then enjoy an afternoon at leisure (or a lecture by an expert), followed by a special sundowner with filmmaking gadgets this evening before dinner at the lodge.
On to the western Serengeti
Spot more wildlife as you travel to the Serengeti’s remote Western Corridor, known for huge masses of migrating game animals thundering across the terrain. Arrive at Kirawira, your luxurious tented camp in the remote Grumeti River region for another unique African safari experience; animals you might see on an afternoon game drive across the treeless plains of the Serengeti include wildebeest, lion, buffalo, cheetah, warthogs, giraffes and zebra.
Wildlife wonders on the Serengeti plains
After awakening in the heart of the wilderness in your luxurious tent – surrounded by Edwardian-era accents that evoke the classic safari camps of a century ago – your safari guide shares fascinating insights about the African bush on your early morning game drive, as you observe the struggle of species to survive in the "circle of life" within Serengeti National Park. Later, after lunch and another game drive, relax by the pool at Kirawira as the setting sun streaks the Tanzanian sky – a classic African safari doesn't get any better than this!
To Zanzibar & a Stone Town tour
Rise early for your final Serengeti game drive this morning, then fly midday to intriguing Zanzibar, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean that was once a wealthy trading center for spices. Upon arrival, set off with your local guide on a walking and driving tour of Stone Town, in the main port of Zanzibar City. Your home for the next two nights is a fabulous hotel overlooking the turquoise sea and white sand beaches.
Cruise aboard a dhow on an Indian Ocean "safari" in Zanzibar
Traditional Arabian sailboats called dhows have plied the Indian Ocean waters of the Swahili Coast for millennia, trading and fishing from one island port to the next. Sail out to sea from Stone Town aboard a traditional dhow for an "Indian Ocean safari" off the coast of Zanzibar this morning, as the captain and crew help you spot dolphins frolicking in the ocean blue; cast anchor on a sandy beach for swimming and perhaps some snorkeling near beautiful coral reefs. After returning to shore, the afternoon is yours to check out more of fascinating Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on your own. Join us this evening for a farewell reception followed by a farewell dinner at your seaside hotel.
Spice tour & Journey Home
Tour ends: Zanzibar. If you wish, join our local guides for a "spice tour" of Stone Town this morning, or just enjoy some time at leisure before checking out of your hotel. Fly late afternoon from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, for your flight home. Allow 3½ hours for flight check-in. Note: International flights out should be booked after 9:00 PM.