Departure on overnight flight
Day 2 (May 21)
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 8AM. 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 Lake Manyara National Park which lies in the Great Rift Valley. Lake Manyara provides an intimate setting for a large variety of species and is known for their tree climbing lions. We then proceed for dinner and overnight to the beautiful Ngorongoro Sopa Lodgewhich sits on the highest rim (7600 ft) of the Ngorongoro Crater. All of the rooms in this world class location have breathtaking views into the crater floor 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 it’s own ecosystem. We will have lunch on the crater floor and return to the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge just in time to see the sunset.
After breakfast we will look for game as we drive to one of the most significant origin of man archeological sites in the world. At Olduvai Gorge, the Leakeys uncovered traces of man’s predecessors from 3.5 million years ago. After a lecture and viewing the museum we will spend the afternoon game viewing in Ndutu area. Dinner and overnight at Ndutu Safari Lodge which is situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, overlooking Lake Ndutu. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) boasts a large population of cats and other wildlife just after the rainy season and photography and viewing is more intimate because we are permitted to drive off-road. Wildlife wanders through the grounds daily and sitting around the campfire at night visitors compare the wonders they have seen with others from around the world. The lodge, a charming African style resort, has great food, cabin accommodation facilities and is a strategic base from which to watch the start of the wildebeest migration north.
All day up close and personal safari drives off road through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area returning to the Ndutu Safari Lodge, The grounds of Ndutu Lodge are filled with the iconic flat topped acacia tree with great views of them against both sunrises and sunsets. You do not have to tell anyone where you took these photos… they ARE Africa. 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. The intimacy of the wildlife photography in the NCA can not be matched, since we are permitted to drive ‘off-road’.
Once in the famed Serengeti National Park just minutes from Ndutu, we will travel through the kopjies (piles of rocks) that were the inspiration for Pride Rock in Disney’s Lion King. Our mobile Cowger Custom Photo Camp by Intimate Places Camping. is situated in the center of the Serengeti, in the midst of the most dense cat population in Africa as well as the migrating herds. Our clients regularly rate the 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 drives in the Serengeti National Park. Overnight at the mobile camp 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 person 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,
An all day game drive to the famed western corridor of the Serengeti will take us to the first class Mbalageti Lodge which offers a breathtaking 360-degree panorama view of the Serengeti Plain and the Mbalageti River. One of the main attractions is the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra which is expected to be passing through this region at this time of year. We will experience the fascinating behaviors of vast numbers of wildebeests rutting and mating. If the water levels are high, we may experience the migration crossing a swollen Grumeti River with giant crocs lying in wait.
After breakfast we will depart for Arusha with some shopping on the way and our day room (including lunch) at the Mt. Meru Game Lodge until 5:30 PM when we leave for the airport for the return flight.
$7460* per person with accomodations for two people. If you will be traveling alone and would like a private room there will be a supplementary charge of $1400.
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.
- All Game Park fees
- All accommodations, based on double occupancy
- All meals including of restaurant staff tips
- All beverages while at Cowger Custom Photo Camps
- 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.
What is Not Included?
- 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
Call 248-828-0666 or email info@CowgerSafaris.com to reserve your spot.
For air tickets and insurance I recommend Travel by Pathfinders in Birmingham, Michigan. Their number is (248) 649-1234 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.