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Set out on a wildlife safari amid the incredible diversity of landscapes in Tanzania's most famous game parks: Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti. Venture into a Maasai village, meet renowned anthropologist Meave or Louise Leakey on a visit to Olduvai Gorge, and conclude your journey on the exotic spice island of Zanzibar.
Spot spectacular wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater, a unique habitat sheltering almost 30,000 animals.
Witness the great annual wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park.
Meet Meave or Louise Leakey — both National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence — at Olduvai Gorge, where their family discovered fossils that have shaped our understanding of human origins.
Discover a unique blend of cultures on Zanzibar, an island of white-sand beaches set along a historic spice trade route.
Itinerary - 13 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Arusha, Tanzania
Depart on an overnight flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport via Amsterdam, and arrive in the late evening the next day. Serena Mountain Village
Day 3 — Arusha/Lake Manyara
Drive to Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its elephants, hippos, giraffes, flamingos, and tree-climbing lions. This afternoon, set out on our first wildlife safari. Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Lake Manyara/Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, enjoy a morning safari around Lake Manyara. Stop to visit a Maasai village on the way to the Ngorongoro Crater. This evening, get acquainted with this fascinating culture during a talk by a local Maasai chief. Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Ngorongoro Crater
Descend 2,000 feet to the base of the crater, where volcanic slopes shelter almost 30,000 animals. We may see elephants, rhinos, buffalo, cheetahs, lions, hyenas, hippos, wildebeests, and much more of East Africa's spectacular wildlife. Then view the vast crater from above on a hike along its rim. Tonight, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Meave Leakey or her daughter Louise joins us for dinner and a discussion of the Leakey family's research. Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Olduvai Gorge/Serengeti
Drive to the Olduvai Gorge where, on a National Geographic-sponsored expedition in 1960, Louis and Mary Leakey discovered Homo habilis, regarded as one of the earliest members of the human genus. Meave or Louise Leakey will join us on a visit to Olduvai Gorge. In 1999, Meave and Louise discovered a 3.5-million-year-old skull and partial jaw believed to belong to a new branch of early hominid. Continue to the central Serengeti, and on a late afternoon safari, catch a glimpse of the wildebeest migration. Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Serengeti
This morning, soar over the plains on an optional hot-air balloon ride, followed by a champagne breakfast under the shade of an acacia tree. In the afternoon, watch for wildlife as we travel through beautiful scenery to our tented camp in the western Serengeti. Kirawira Camp Western Serengeti (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Serengeti
Embark on a sunrise game drive and watch the eastern Serengeti's legendary wildlife interact with each other. Return to the lodge for breakfast and time at leisure. Then on an afternoon game drive, look for herds of zebra or wildebeest eyeing a predator warily, and spot crocodiles as their snouts surface in the Grumeti River. Kirawira Camp Western Serengeti (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Serengeti/Zanzibar
Set off on your last early morning safari in the Serengeti. Fly back to Arusha and on to Zanzibar, where Islamic architecture and white palm-fringed beaches coexist with lively Swahili culture. Settle into our hotel in Stone Town, Zanzibar's historic port town and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Zanzibar Serena Inn (B,D)
Day 10 — Zanzibar
On a morning walking tour of Stone Town, visit the city market, the Old Slave Market site, and the National Museum of Zanzibar. Then discover cinnamon trees and cardamom plants at a spice plantation, or view red colobus monkeys on a walk through Jozani Forest. Later, cross the island to our lovely resort on one of the island's most pristine beaches. Ocean Paradise Resort (B,L,D)
Day 11 — Zanzibar
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax at the beach, explore the coast, or swim and snorkel amid the reefs around the island. Tonight, celebrate our East African adventure at an oceanside farewell reception and dinner. Ocean Paradise Resort (B,D)
Days 12 & 13 — Zanzibar/Dar es Salaam/U.S.
After a leisurely morning at the beach, transfer to Stone Town to take an evening flight to Dar es Salaam. Connect with your flights home, arriving the next day. (B,D)