North and Central Tanzania
|NTCZ1/13||16||Thursday 31st January to Friday 15th February 2013||6 plus UK leader||£4750
*Single room supplement.
- Lake Manyara NP
- Ngorongoro Crater
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- Serengeti NP
- Ruaha NP
- Selous Game Reserve
North and Central Tanzania
Papyrus has been operating tours to North and Central Tanzania for many years but this tour is a new departure as it combines the best of the two areas in one fifteen day itinerary.
Beginning in the north of the country, the tour visits Lake Manyara National Park which sits in the shadow of the high wall of the Rift Valley. The parks wide range of habitats ranging from woodland, fed by the fresh water streams tumbling down from the Mbulu Plateau, to areas of open grassland and the soda waters of Lake Manyara itself. The bird life in the park is prolific and those in search of mammals will be expecting to encounter elephant, giraffe, a variety of antelope including impala, bushbuck and waterbuck, and predators such as lion and hyaena.
Our next stopping point is the Ngorongoro Crater which is as awe inspiring sight but also importantly the home to numerous mammals and birds. Habitat diversity is again the key to the many species present with healthy resident populations of lion, cheetah and black rhino among the most notable. Two long game drives in the crater are sure to provide many memorable encounters.
The timing of the tour has been dictated by the presence of the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra which reaches the southern Serengeti early in the year. From our base on the boundary of the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area,we will be searching for the huge herds as they follow the fresh grass on their inexorable march. Predators are always present in good numbers seeking to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the migration and as we drive across the wide open grasslands, the pipits, larks and rollers will be amongst the birds present along with the more sinister vultures and raptors also seeking to benefit from the vast herds.
A short flight from the airstrip at Manyara will take us to a completely different environment, beginning with a stay at the beautifully located Ruaha River Lodge from where we will be exploring the park in search of elephant, Greater and Lesser Kudu, Cheetah and other mammals. The contrasting habitat will also bring us into contact with yet more bird species.
Our final stopping point will be Rufigi River Lodge, perched on the banks of the Rufigi River and offering wonderful panoramic views along the river course. A combination of boat and jeep safaris will allow us to explore extensive areas of the very attractive Selous Game Reserve with its lakes, woodlands and glades, all of which are teeming with wildlife. The river is host to numerous large pods of hippos and the river and lake areas act as a magnet for drinking elephant and other mammals. Wading birds abound and there are also sure to be encounters with weavers, rollers and raptors as we traverse the beautiful landscape. Selous is also regarded as offering one of the best opportunities to catch sight of the elusive Wild Dog.
We believe that this new itinerary is sure to become a long term favourite for those who wish to see the best that Tanzania has to offer in a two week itinerary.
Day 1 : We will depart from London in the evening on the overnight flight to Nairobi.
Day 2 : After an early morning arrival in Nairobi, we transfer to the Kilimanjaro flight, arriving there mid morning. We will then drive to Arusha where we pause for lunch before travelling on to Lake Manyara Serena, the lodge overlooking the Rift Valley which will be our base for the next two nights.
Day 3 : Setting off at first light with a packed breakfast, we will take morning and afternoon game drives into the nearby Lake Manyara National Park, returning to the lodge for lunch, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 : A relatively short drive across the Mbulu Plateau via Karatu will take us to the viewpoint overlooking the Ngorongoro Crater where we will pause before proceeding around the crater rim to another superbly located lodge. Following lunch, we will make our way round to the descent road, dropping down to enjoy one of the most famous wildlife locations in the world. The large number of resident animals are sure to provide and an endless spectacle and all in the superb setting of the vast caldera. We return to our lodge in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 :An early morning start will see us descending into the crater at first light with a packed breakfast on board for a second game drive. We will return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon there will be the option for those wishing to do so to take a short walk from the lodge accompanied by a ranger who will be able to explain the habitat and also help with the search for new bird species.
Day 6 : We will be transferring to our lodge on the boundary of the Serengeti today, setting off after breakfast and calling en route at Oldupia Gorge to visit the museum there and to learn of the archaeological work being undertaken in the area famous for the discoveries linked with early man. We will reach our lodge for lunch, giving ample time for an afternoon game drive before we return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Days 7 and 8 : Two days have been set aside to go in search of the migrating herds of wildebeest, zebra and the attendant antelope such as Thomson’s Gazelle. Our route across the seemingly endless grassland will be dictated by the progress of the herd and may take us in to the Serengeti National Park. Packed breakfasts or lunches may be taken depending on just where the herds are to be found but we will return to the lodge each evening for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 : After breakfast, we will retrace our steps as we head back to Manyara where we connect with our flight south to Ruaha. On arrival at the airstrip, a jeep transfer will take us through a large section of the park before we arrive at our riverside lodge for dinner and overnight.
Days 10 and 11: We have two days to explore the Ruaha National Park with morning and afternoon game drives in this very attractive area.
Day 12: We will drive back through the park to the airstrip to catch our flight to Selous Game reserve. It is anticipated that the flight will be in the morning but schedules are subject to change at short notice. On arrival in Selous, the transfer to our lodge takes only a few minutes which will hopefully leave time for us to undertake our first game drive in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight will be at our lodge.
Days 13 and 14 : One of the attractions of Selous is the possibility of taking boat safaris on the fast flowing Rifugi River giving wonderful sightings of hippos and crocodiles, the latter often found sunning themselves on the shore. During two full days in the park we will use the boat safaris to explore the river and its fringes and also take jeep safaris which will give us access to the lake shores and the woodland areas further removed from the river. We will also be mindful of the possibility of seeing Wild Dog here. On both days we return to the lodge at the conclusion of the afternoon activities for dinner and overnight.
Day 15 : Our activities on this final day will be dictated by the air schedule. If time permits, we will have a final morning game drive before departing by air for Dar es Salaam. On arrival we transfer to Nairobi and thence on to the overnight flight to London.
Day 16: We will arrive back into London in the morning.