Departure on overnight flight
Day 2 ( Feb 6)
Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport. Our hosts will meet us outside customs and transport us to the Mt. Meru Game Lodge. The lodge is located on 33 acres of mature, well-manicured gardens bounded on one side by the rushing waters of the Usa River and on the other by the animal sanctuary where resident animals and birds live in peace. The lodge consists of 17 double rooms with verandahs. This location provides a great way to decompress from the long flights.
Our only optional sleep in morning, after a lovely breakfast on the verandah, at 9 AM we will take a cultural walk through the town of Usa River and visit the orphanage project being supported by Acacia Photography travelers. Back to Mt Meru Game Lodge for a quick lunch and then off to Arusha National Park for a short afternoon game drive. This park is a great place to start and sits between Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,320 ft ) and Mt Meru (15,780 ft). On a clear day it is a magical setting with vistas of wildlife in front of the mountains, and provides the best photo ops for flamingos and colobus monkeys. We will return for a fine dinner under the stars and overnight at Mt. Meru Game Lodge.
Breakfast and then off on safari around 8:00AM. First stop on the way is a grocery store where you may purchase your choice of beverages / snacks for your room or in the car. We will take a picnic lunch and head off for a game drive in Tarangire National Park which lies in the Great Rift Valley. Known as a magnet for large herd of elephants, Tarangire has a wide variety of other wildlife as well. Overnight at the Tarangire Safari Lodge. Game viewing from the veranda can be excellent, with large herds of elephant, giraffe & other animals coming down to the river to drink. The grounds are also highly attractive for birders, not only for the remarkably habituated hornbills, buffalo-weavers & starlings that parade around the common areas, but also for the host of smaller birds that are resident in the acacia scrub.
After breakfast and a short game drive, we head to the NCA (Ngorongoro Conservation Area) where we will have a picnic in the bush. After lunch we will wind our way off-road on a game drive through the NCA) on our way to a Cowger Custom Photo Camp by Intimate Places Camping . At this time of year, the largest concentration of wildebeests congregate south of the Serengeti National Park. During this time it is estimated that 8000 wildebeests are born each day in this area. Since there is just one lodge in this section of the eco-system, we stay in a mobile camp in the heart of the migration. Our guests regularly rate our mobile camp as having the best services, food and overall experience. Each tent has 4 rooms with real wrought iron beds, running water, electricity (with charging stations), toilet and shower. The gourmet food is brought in fresh every day and cooked to each guest’s specifications while we enjoy cocktails around the fire.
All day game drive in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). Overnight at a Cowger Custom Photo Camp by Intimate Places Camping near Ndutu. Each car has the option of going out all day for game viewing with a picnic lunch, or returning to the camp for a few hours of R&R in the middle of the day. The 4 vehicles do not need to stay together. The intimacy of the wildlife photography in the NCA can not be matched, since we are permitted to drive ‘off-road’.
After check out, we embark on an all day game drive to Sopa Lodge in the heart of the Serengeti National Park (picnic lunch on the way). The lodge which is constructed in the intriguing style of the Masaai Manyatta, each building with rounded corners and flat roofs. The complex is superbly sited in the Nyarboro Hill, an area of intense natural beauty. The acacia woodland on the lower slopes of the hill and the all-year-round springs have created an ideal habitat for many species of game living in this area. The elevated position of the lodge provides guests with cooling breezes above the sun-baked plains and sweeping panoramic views of timeless Africa.
All day game drives in the Serengeti National Park. Overnight at a Cowger Custom Photo Camp by Intimate Places Camping in the middle of the most dense cat population in Africa. This camp is chosen because of location along the Seronera River that is a permanent water source for wildlife and the permanent cat territories. Each car has the option of going out all day for game viewing with a picnic lunch, or returning to the lodge for a few hours of R&R in the middle of the day. The 4 vehicles do not need to stay together,
We will look for game as we drive to one of the most significant “origin of man” archeological sites in the world. At Oldupai Gorge, the Leakeys uncovered traces of man’s predecessors from 3.5 million years ago. After a lecture and viewing the museum we will then proceed to the beautiful Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge which sits on the highest rim (7800 ft) of the Ngorongoro Crater… for dinner and overnight. All of the rooms in this world class location have breathtaking views into the crater floor more than 2000 feet below. The lobby and dining areas are a stunning combination of modern and ethnic décor.
We will depart before dawn for our descent into the amazing World Heritage site of the Ngorongoro Crater (Africa’s Eden). More than 25,000 large mammals (including black rhinoceros) and all the carnivores call the floor of the crater home. The crater floor sits inside the largest (16 miles in diameter) continuous rim caldera in the world, and it creates its own ecosystem.. Lunch on the Crater floor and return to the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge to photograph the sunset and have a great dinner.
After breakfast depart for Arusha with some shopping on the way and our day room (including lunch) at the Mt. Meru Game Lodge until 6:30 PM when we leave for the airport for the return flight.
- All Game Park fees
- All accommodations, based on double occupancy
- All meals including of restaurant staff tips
- Services of naturalist guides and drivers
- Land transportation in 4×4 safari Land Cruisers. Each person has a row to themselves and an empty seat for photographic equipment. The vehicles also have charging outlets, and refrigerators.
- Airport transfers to and from hotels
- Bottled water at all times and beer in the cars for lunch and late afternoon.
- International airfare to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
- Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, and insurance
- Optional hot air balloon flight of $550
- Alcoholic beverages except in Cowger Custom Photo Camps
- Additional tips for staff such as guides and for drink service
- Laundry, phone and other items of a personal nature
- Cost of hospitalization and medical evacuation if needed
$5600* per person. The non refundable deposit for this trip is $1500. Optional hot air balloon ride is $550 per person. Accommodations are two person to a room. If you will be traveling alone and would like a private room there will be a supplementary charge of $950.
Please note: We will attempt to adhere to this itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (climatic, environmental, cultural, or wildlife migrations) may necessitate changes in the itinerary.
* Price subject to change. After receipt of deposit, the price will not be changed except for new taxes or fees levied by the Tanzanian government.
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.