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Go in search of the thundering
herds of the legendary wildebeest
migration on a wildlife safari in Tanzania.
Experience the power of the migration up
close in the vast savannas of the northern or
southern Serengeti, depending on the season. Take in extraordinary
vistas of the Great Rift Valley, and descend
into the Ngorongoro Crater to spot lions,
cheetahs, elephants, and more.
Take a private tour of Olduvai Gorge where
Homo habilis was discovered on a National
Seek out the great wildebeest migration.
Settle into your stunning canvas suite at Sayari Camp, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the world (July through October departures only).
Join a Maasai chief on a private visit to his village, witness a traditional ceremony, and learn firsthand about Maasai culture.
Itinerary - 9 Days
Day 1 — Arusha, Tanzania
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport this evening and transfer to our hotel. Arusha Coffee Lodge
Day 2 — Lake Manyara National Park
Drive to Lake Manyara National Park, famous for
its elephants, hippos, giraffes, flamingos, and
tree-climbing lions. Set out to discover East
Africa’s legendary wildlife amid the stunning Rift
Valley landscape on our first safari. Plantation Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 3 — Lake Manyara National Park
On a morning game drive, observe the wildlife that congregates on the shores of Lake Manyara. Hike
through a coffee plantation this afternoon. Plantation Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, travel to the Ngorongoro
Highlands, where a nearby Maasai community
welcomes us into their village on a special visit.
Far from the tourist circuit, enjoy a rare opportunity
to view traditional singing and dancing, visit
a school, witness an initiation ritual, and learn
about this fascinating culture from the village
chief and his wives. After lunch, descend 2,000
feet to the base of the Ngorongoro Crater, where
volcanic slopes shelter almost 25,000 animals.
Observe the interactions of predator and prey;
spot colorful birdlife from Marabou Storks to
crowned cranes; and track elephants, rare black
rhinos, cheetahs, and more. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Ngorongoro Crater
Return to the crater floor for breakfast and
a morning safari. Enjoy an afternoon to relax
and watch the sun set over the crater from the
lodge. Tonight, National Geographic Explorer-in-
Residence Louise Leakey or Dr. Fidelis
Masao, co-director of the Olduvai Landscape
Paleoarchaeology Project, joins us for dinner and
a discussion about the groundbreaking paleontological
finds in the region. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Olduvai Gorge/Serengeti National Park
Drive to the Olduvai Gorge where, on a National Geographic–sponsored expedition in
1960, Louis and Mary Leakey discovered Homo
habilis, one of the earliest members of the human
genus. Here, Louise, the Leakey’s granddaughter
will discuss her family’s legacy and ongoing work
before we set out on a private tour, or Dr. Masao
will join us on a walk through the site where much
of his life’s research has been conducted. This
afternoon, drive to our luxury tented camp on the
southeastern border of Serengeti National Park, looking for lions, cheetahs, and leopards along the
way. Lake Masek Tented Camp (B,L,D)
Days 7 & 8 — Serengeti National Park
Embark on an off-track safari in the Ndutu area in search of resident lion prides, cheetahs, giraffes, and bountiful herds of wildebeests, elephants, and zebras. On morning and afternoon game drives, witness magnificent birds, hippos, packs of hyenas, and pairs of jackals lurking around the surrounding marshlands and lakes. You may also choose to take an optional hot-air balloon safari to view the plains games from above. On our last evening, gather for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner. Lake Masek Tented Camp (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Serengeti/Arusha/Depart
After a final early morning safari, fly back to Arusha. Relax at our hotel before connecting with your flight home.
Rivertrees Lodge or Lake Duluti Lodge (B, L)
Conservationist and National Geographic Explorer Laly Lichtenfeld began her work in East Africa as a Fulbright Scholar researching community-based conservation in 1996. She went on to co-found the African People & Wildlife Fund with her husband, and currently lives in Tanzania at their Noloholo Environmental Center on the Maasai Steppe. National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative supports Laly’s inspirational work to conserve lions, leopards, and cheetahs in partnership with rural people. She earned her Ph.D. from Yale University, where she continues to act as a research affiliate.
ALT indicates a departure that has a slightly different itinerary than the one shown on this page. Click the ALT icon to see the day-to-day itinerary.
*The July through October departures follow a slightly modified itinerary to provide travelers with the best opportunity to witness the wildebeest migration. See the box at left.
January - March, December
July - October 2017
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $2,700. On the December departures, there is an additional holiday surcharge of $750 per person. Airfare to/from Arusha and airfare within Tanzania are not included in the expedition cost. The group flights within Tanzania are $425 to $775 (subject to change), depending on the departure date.