Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park – 3 Day Safari
$1725 per person
Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire National Park – Embark on an enchanting adventure to amazing safari destinations on our three day safari. This itinerary will bring you to three popular wildlife sites with completely different ecological environments – Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. Our expert guide will point out Northern Tanzania’s wildlife diversity while you observe in style in our well maintained Land Cruiser with a roof hatch for optimal game-viewing.
Lake Manyara National Park – Offers a wilderness experience in diverse habitats, from its Rift Valley soda lake to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides. Apart from a spectacular setting, the park is famous for its unusual tree-climbing lions and the vast elephant herds it was established to protect.
The shores of the lake, encrusted with pink flamingo, attract more than 400 species of birds, many of them waterfowl or migrants. Large herds of buffalo, cheetah, Masai giraffe and impala roam the lake shores and the forested valley slopes.
Ngorongoro Crater Safari – Crater was created as a result of an imploded volcano, establishing a unique caldera that stretches 20km in diameter, is home to its very own eco-system and is teeming with indigenous wildlife. Located right near the famous Serengeti National Park, it is ideally located for visitors to explore the variety of plant and animal life living within the crater walls.
This is one of the most magnificent tourist destinations in Africa unparalleled in its distinguished scenic beauty, wildlife and atmosphere.
Tarangire National Park – Located in Tanzania’s Manyara region Tarangire National Park is one of the prime safari attractions. Adding essence to northern Tanzania, the national park is full of natural wonder and untamed wildlife viewing. The national park is nearer to the Lake Manyara area which is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The national park got its name from the Tarangire River that flows inside the national park.
Departure Timemorning from Arusha
Return Timeafternoon to Arusha
Dress CodeComfortable casual, athletic and beach clothing, comfortable sneakers, shoes or sandals, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
IncludedAccommondation per Tour DescriptionArrival and Departure TransfersEmergency Evacuation by Flying DoctorGovernment Taxes, VAT and all relating service chargesMeals per Tour DescriptionPark FeesPersonal GuideRescue Fees
Not Included4x4 pop-up roof safari vehicleMeals not listedOptional ToursPersonal ExpensesTanzania VisaTips and Items of Personal Nature
Day 1: Lake Manyara National Park
Our first stop is Lake Manyara National Park.
Although small in size, this park is one of the most diverse reserves in the country. Lake Manyara covers two thirds of the park. As we enter the park, in the distance, the wall of the Great Rift Valley stretches out for miles.
In the foreground lies the giant fig and mahogany trees winding through and eventually giving way to vast grasslands that surround the lake.
Lake Manyara National Park is a birding paradise that has more than 350 species of bird. The park is also famed for its unique and elusive tree-climbing lions. Baboons, blue monkeys and velvet monkeys scurry endlessly among the low brush. Along the way, we will stop for a picnic lunch away from the tall grasses and dense trees to avoid any unwanted visitors.
The safari’s highlight is the drive along the banks of Lake Manyara where we can view buffalo, elephants, giraffes, flamingos and wildebeest.
After the game drive, we dine and stay overnight at Rhino Lodge.
Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater
We visit the largest intact volcanic crater in the world - the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater. It is said that the crater used to be a volcano taller than Mt. Kilimanjaro, but when it erupted the cone collapsed creating the massive crater we see today.
It is more than 2,000 feet deep and 11 miles in diameter.
The Ngorongoro Crater has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. 30,000 animals make their home in this crater, making it an ideal place for sightings of the ‘Big 5’ – lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino.
This truly world-class attraction is known as the ‘8th Wonder of the World’.
We enjoy an outdoors lunch overlooking the bluff and viewing Tarangire’s plains. After the game drive, we dine and stay overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge.
Day 2: Tarangire National Park
We depart for Tarangire National Park. It’s known for its vast herds of elephants. It’s estimated there are over 2,500 here.
The park surrounds the perennial Tarangire River. More than 500 species of birds, wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe and zebra find shelter along the banks of the river. Though hard to find, the cheetah and leopard stalk their prey along these same banks. We enjoy an outdoor lunch overlooking the bluff and viewing Tarangire’s plains.
With prior arrangement* we can drop you off at Kilimanjaro International Airport or book you an extra night in Arusha.
Embark on an enchanting adventure to amazing safari destinations on our three day safari. This itinerary will bring you to three popular wildlife sites with completely different ecological environments – Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park.
Lake Manyara National Park
Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views.
Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Lake Manyara National Park is worth a stop in its own right. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds.
The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands colourful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.
Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay a visit to this park. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world — a fact that accounts for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.
Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.
From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside; the blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees; dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and the outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.
In contrast with the intimacy of the forest, is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, and so do the giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.
Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, whereas the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.
Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera. The property has global importance for biodiversity conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, the density of wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals into the northern plains. Extensive archaeological research has also yielded a long sequence of evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back 3.6 million years.
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park has some of the highest population density of elephants as compared to anywhere in Tanzania, and its sparse vegetation, strewn with baobab and acacia trees, makes it a beautiful and distinctive location to visit.
Located just a few hours drive from the town of Arusha, Tarangire is a popular stop for people travelling through the northern safari circuit on their way to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. The park extends into two game controlled areas and the wildlife is allowed to move freely throughout.
Before the rains, droves of gazelles, wildebeests, zebras, and giraffes migrate to Tarangire National Park’s scrub plains where the last grazing land still remains. Tarangire offers an unparalleled game viewing, and during the dry season elephants abound. Families of the pachyderms play around the ancient trunks of baobab trees and strip acacia bark from the thorn trees for their afternoon meal. Breathtaking views of the Maasai Steppe and the mountains in the south make a stopover at Tarangire a memorable experience.
Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem - a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry. The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.
On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.
More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.
Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting.
Tarangire’s pythons climb trees, as do its lions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitch of a tail.
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