My brief itinerary:Day 1: Arrive in Arusha. Full day in Arusha.
Day 2: Leave at 7 am for Tarangire. Arrive around noon. Full day game viewing. Overnight in Tarangire.
Day 3: Leave early for Serengeti. Game viewing on the way. Overnight camping in Serengeti.
Day 4: Full day in Serengeti. Overnight in the camp.
Day 5: Half day in Serengeti. Leave late in the afternoon for Ngorongoro. Overnight in Ngorongoro lodge.
Day 6: Early morning (starting 6 am) game viewing in Ngorongoro. Leave for Arusha in the afternoon to fly back.
Question 1. Where in Africa would you go on a safari and why?
- South Africa - the country is quite developed, has exotic beaches and Kruger National Park is very popular. But it would also mean that it would be more expensive and I would see more tourists everywhere.
- Zambia, Botswana - A very good option to experience wildlife in the wild! Some of the pictures I had seen were just breathtaking. I was skeptical about the safety and security in the country so I decided to stick with the third option.
- Kenya, Tanzania - Many opportunities to see the big five (Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard and Cape Buffalo), a safer place and a varied landscape. Plus, a few of my friends had been here, so I was banking on their positive reviews as well. We chose to stick to Tanzania only though.
Question 2. When to go and where to go?
|The thin black lines are migrating wildebeest|
- Serengeti Plains: This is where we spent our maximum time. They are vast plains spread over 5000 sq miles. Every day is a new day in the jungle. One day you might see a Cheetah and the next day you might see a pride of lions hunting and you can never have enough. We saw maximum variety of animals here, especially the big cats. One benefit is that the park is so huge, that we rarely bumped into any other safari vehicle. We saw them only when the guides spot a cheetah or a lion and inform other guides. Serengeti National Park is divided into three regions, Central, South and North. Depending on the wildlife movement and the season you choose to go in, you will have to take your pick. We were mostly in central and south Serengeti for good three days. We saw, gazelles, lions, cheetahs, leopards, buffaloes, hippos, giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, elephants, hyenas, warthogs and many more animals here.
|Our favorite cat- Cheetah|
|Tree climbing lions in Serengeti|
|Two horned rhinoceros|
- Ngorongoro Crater: The earliest footprints of human race were found in the Ngorongoro Crater.The animals inside the crater are said to have evolved separately from others as they were self sufficient and could sustain themselves inside the crater and never moved out. Now, however, they move out as the new lions need to establish their own territories. We went early in the morning, around 7 am and had the park to ourselves. From a few places on the rim, you can see the entire crater and it is gorgeous. We drove down to the base of the crater and saw a plethora of animals. This place is your best bet to spot a rhino and the crater has a very dense population on lions. We saw baboons, zebras, lions, hippos, gazelles, fox, flamingos, etc here. I highly recommend going early. You get to see a beautiful sunrise too.
- Tarangire National Park: This park is famous for its elephants. We saw a plenty of them in large groups. It has beautiful landscape but I think a day is just about enough here.
- Manyara National Park: This park is popular for its aquatic life. We chose to skip this as we were more interested in Serengeti :)
Question 3. Where to stay?
|Kati Kati camp in Serengeti|
Question 4. Well now how do I make the bookings?
|With our guide Fazal|
|This is how close we got to the Lion King!|
Question 5. Flights?
- If you plan on visiting Kenya as well, you can fly to Nairobi as there are quite a few connections to Nairobi. You can cross the border by land, in your vehicle, which is what a lot of tourists do.
- Fly to Kiliminjaro airport (KIA). It is an hour away from Arusha, closest town to the parks. Not many flight options, as the airport isn't that big, but quite a few connections from Kenya.
- Fly to Arusha airport(ARK). This airport is 5 minutes away from Arusha city. But, it is smaller than Kilimanjaro airport so really not many options.
- You can also fly from Serengeti park to Arusha. They fly small 6-8 sea planes between Serengeti to Arusha. It is a 3 hour long bumpy ride, so in case you are short on time, this can be a good option.
Question 6. What else can I do while on this trip?
- Just tour around Arusha- May be an hour or so
- Go to Arusha National Park - an hour away from Arusha city
- Visit Zanzibar - If you have time on hand, must explore this option. We didn't.
- Climb Kiliminjaro - why not? ;)