The Serengeti National Park has an abundance of game on its grassy plains, where thousands of hoofed animals are followed by the predators, while the Ngorongoro Crater has been declared a World Heritage Site as one of the most important refuges for wildlife in Africa. Northern Tanzania is home to the red-robed Masai people who stalk the plains with their cattle as they have done for centuries, while the coast and Zanzibar are steeped in a long Muslim tradition. Zanzibar offers a tangle of narrow and ancient alleyways to explore in Stone Town and dazzling white beaches. A safari and time on the beach makes a perfect combination.
This trip begins in Nairobi, Kenya and travels south through Tanzania and Zanzibar before ending in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
This trip departs from Nairobi early on Sunday morning. Should you wish to explore Nairobi, an earlier arrival should be planned and accommodation can be booked through us.
Day 1: Nairobi to Arusha (Tanzania) (L / D) This morning we head out of busy Nairobi and travel south crossing the border into Tanzania at Namanga. Tonight we stay at a campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on our Optional Excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow.
Days 2-4: Arusha / Optional Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti Excursion (B / L / D) Arusha is a pleasant town situated at the base of Mount Meru, and is the starting point for safaris into the Serengeti, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This morning we have the opportunity to explore this thriving town while we stock up on provisions needed for our excursion. You may chose to wander the vibrant craft markets, stock up on supplies or perhaps catch up on the news back home at one of the small internet cafe available. Heading back to our base camp, Meserani Snake Park, those that are participating in the optional excursions to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park can start to prepare for their departure this afternoon. The excursion is offered by a local Tanzanian operator who conducts the trip into the Parks in 4WD vehicles (In peak season, there may be a minivan or bus transfer to Karatu), which are adapted for safari use.
For those not opting to visit the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park, the next days are spent at leisure enjoying the Meserani reptile park, Masai Cultural Museum and the surrounding villages and craft markets. Alternatively the town of Arusha is close by to explore. The driver and cook remain behind in Dar es Salaam during the excursion.
The Optional Ngorongoro/Serengeti excursion takes us via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu. The following morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino.
After our game drive in the Crater, we continue down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on our way to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight we bush camp (no ablutions) in the wild surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident wildlife. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’!
After our morning drive, we head back across the plains and the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.
Day 5: Arusha to Pangani (B / L / D) We head to Arusha this morning to stock up on supplies before continuing on towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions, and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! We pass through vast sisal plantations surrounded by The Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges, before reaching our lovely campsite nestled between these mountains, midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam.
Day 6: Pangani to Dar es Salaam (B / L / D) Today we continue on to Dar es Salaam. Travelling through lush scenery and palm trees, we near the warm Indian Ocean. Today’s drive time is extended due to the heavier amount of traffic heading in to the city, but the sights and sounds of Dar’s vibrant outer suburbs are sure to keep you entertained. Look out for the colourful shop-fronts with their sometimes humorous ‘catch phrases’. On arrival in Dar es Salaam we make our way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar the next morning.
Day 7: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (B) A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the "Spice Island,” where we have the option to spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join us to replace those that’ll leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.
Note Accommodation and Meals are for your own account whilst on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own, and in accordance with their own budget. The Trip Leader joins you and can arrange your accommodation, while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. There are also a wide variety of optional excursions on offer – please see the price guide on the end of this document for more details.
For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next 3 days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam. There are various optional excursions available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips. The driver and cook remain behind in Dar es Salaam during the excursion.
Days 8 & 9: Zanzibar History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire if you’d like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean - crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.
Day 10: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (NM) Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam. Arrival back to camp is usually in the late afternoon, or early evening. In Dar we exchange addresses and part ways, having just experienced a trip of a lifetime!
Special Offer Bonus Trip When you book this trip you are entitled to receive a Bonus 3 day Masai Mara Safari. The Local Payment of US$235 is still applicable for the trip and the trip only runs with a minimum of 2. This offer must be taken up when booking your main trip. Conditions apply.
Please Note: This itinerary should be used as a guide only and may vary from day to day depending on road & weather conditions, political situations and group decisions. All prices & Local Payments are subject to change. Due to Tourism Laws in some of the countries we visit, there may be a truck and crew change during the trip.
Your arrival transfer and pre-trip accommodation in a dorm bed is included in your trip price. Should you choose not to make use of these, or in the event that we are not updated with your arrival details, no refund will be paid for services not used.
Our unique relationship with our tour operators ensures only people who have participated in a trip after making an enquiry for it at The Africa Guide can leave a review.
The email we send you when you make an enquiry has full instructions for registering a booking and leaving a review - both are free services.
Feel free to read through the reviews for any trip you like the look of.
Trips with no reviews are usually new to the The Africa Guide but are normally operated by a tour operator who is established here. Most tour operators listing here will usually have gained reviews about other trips they have listed here.
Thanks for visiting, happy travels and don't forget to send us your reviews...
This trip: Tanzania Safari: Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar
Our trip to Kenya and Tanzania was an excellent experience, everything was very well organized and the staff was very helpful and knowledgeable.
I'm looking forward to a future opportunity to travel with your company.
Katsujiro Tachikawa - from Japan
This trip: Tanzania Safari: Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar
Thank you for your company's support.
As I am a Japanese and participate this tour alone, I had many anxieties. But I was happy to have a nice trip. Especially the trip leader Shallon and Bronwyn supported managed me very well.
And the game safari driver is excellent at the technique and find-out ability of animals. I saw the beautiful scene, abundant green, severe life of animals, geography and agriculture of Africa.
Thanks to good organization, I have a lot of nice memory of Africa.
Will St. Clair - from United States
This trip: Tanzania Safari: Serengeti, Ngorongoro & Zanzibar
This was the first overland trip that I had taken and I was a little bit apprehensive as I did not know exactly what to expect. An acquaintance of mine had done a circuit through Tanzania and Kenya with a different tour operator and enjoyed it, but I knew that there would probably be large differences between operators.
That said, this operator presents a professional online image and they back it up with a professional, smoothly run, and safe operation on the ground. Our guide, Jo, had done the Nairobi-Cape Town loop numerous times and was excellent at making sure everything went according to plan.
The food was good, the tents were solid and fully-waterproofed (which turns out to be very important), and the bus was well-equipped. For those worried about safety, I never once questioned my personal safety while I was traveling with them.
To caveat all of this, however, it's worthwhile to add that I may have been especially lucky in how the tour group came together. We had an amazing group that got along perfectly. Considering that I was traveling by myself, this was really important. We had a blast traveling and I know that these were all people I would love to be better friends with except for the fact that we are spread all over the world. We had no more than three people from any single country in our group. I would say that the group you travel with may be one of the biggest determinants of how much you enjoy your trip, which is a little disappointing because you certainly can't control it. The one thing you can do is check in with the tour operator to see what the capacity of the bus you're traveling on is and how many people are already booked on the trip you're thinking about taking. You don't want too small of a group, but a bus that's half to two-thirds full gives everyone a little bit of breathing room. Our bus was only half-full so we all had the luxury of spreading out and taking two seats to ourselves. When everyone has there own personal space, things tend to be a lot friendlier and less stressful. There's nothing worse than a hot, smelly, cramped bus (for the record, our bus was never really hot or cramped, only smelly, but hey it's Africa).
In sum, they runs a great operation from my experience, although much of this may have just been because we had a great guide and crew running this particular trip. If I could change anything, I would have kept on traveling to Victoria Falls or Cape Town with my group instead of ending in Zanzibar. The landscapes were spectacular and the sights unrivalled.
I loved the trip and I know I'll be back to do something like it again.