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5-Day Ultimate Big Cats Safari

Northern Tanzania




5 days

Tour Type

Tour Overview

Our 5-day comfort safari is designed to give you a remarkable experience of the Northern Safari Circuit. Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring wildlife found amidst a diverse range of landscapes. From playful monkeys dwelling in the forest to majestic lions perched on trees, and elephants gracefully ambling through the acacia trees, you will witness extraordinary moments. Moreover, we take you to a collapsed volcano where a multitude of animal species flourish, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Our journey also includes a visit to Serengeti National Park, boasting a staggering population of approximately 3 million animals. Here, the vast grass plains provide an unparalleled opportunity to spot cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, and lions thriving in their natural habitat. Prepare to witness the untamed beauty of these incredible creatures.

Trip Itinerary

Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK) - both serving domestic flights - an African Big Cats Safaris representative will be there to greet you and provide transportation to your accommodation in Arusha. You will be staying overnight at the serene Ilboru Safari Lodge, nestled in the outskirts of the city. This peaceful lodge features a delightful garden, creating a tranquil ambiance, and is the perfect place to unwind before embarking on your safari adventure the next day.

After breakfast in the early morning, we begin our journey to Tarangire National Park, an impressive sanctuary situated along the Tarangire River. This river, also known as the 'river of warthogs', serves as the sole water source for wildlife in the region during the dry season.

The park showcases a diverse array of vegetation, ranging from dense elephant grass to magnificent acacia woodlands. Notably, Tarangire National Park is renowned for its vibrant elephant families, often seen congregating near the river. Additionally, sightings of giraffes, bushbucks, and hartebeests are common, while predators such as lions and leopards closely trail these magnificent creatures.

Furthermore, this park boasts an unparalleled variety of bird species, making it an unrivaled destination for bird enthusiasts worldwide. With Tarangire being home to Tanzania's largest elephant population, witnessing these majestic beings in their natural habitat is an extraordinary experience, from charming calves to awe-inspiring bulls.

Following a fulfilling packed lunch, we will proceed to our accommodation for dinner and an overnight stay at the esteemed Eileen's Tree Inn or a similar establishment.

Join us on an unforgettable adventure as we embark on a thrilling journey to Serengeti National Park, bright and early after a nourishing breakfast. Prepare to be mesmerized as we traverse through the captivating Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where en route to Serengeti, you'll have the remarkable chance to witness diverse wildlife in all their splendid glory. What better way to experience the natural wonders of Tanzania than encountering these magnificent creatures up close?

After indulging in a delectable packed lunch, our expedition continues towards the renowned Serengeti National Park. Here, you will be immersed in a truly remarkable environment, teeming with an abundance of wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. As the day draws to a close, we shall retreat to the serene and comfortable accommodations of Tukaone Camps, ensuring a peaceful night's rest for your next day's exploration.

Join us on this exhilarating excursion and let us guide you through the wonders of Serengeti National Park, where adventure awaits at every turn.

In the morning, we will delight in an early breakfast before commencing our game viewing drive around 6:30 am. This expedition will grant us a generous timeframe of 6 to 7 hours to fully immerse ourselves in the marvels of this remarkable park.

Known for its staggering array of wildlife, including impala, buffalo, crocodile, and hippo, the Serengeti is most renowned for the awe-inspiring spectacle of its migrating herds. Brace yourself to witness two hundred and fifty thousand zebras, a staggering one and a half million wildebeest, and half a million antelope traversing this breathtaking habitat. The direction of the animals' migration is dictated by rainfall patterns, which vary from year to year.

Beyond the migratory action, we may have the fortune of sighting the park's fierce predators, such as the elusive leopard, speedy cheetah, and majestic lion, indulging in their hunting activities. As the clock nears 14:00, we shall embark on our return journey to Karatu, where a meticulously selected mid-range partner lodge awaits us. Here, we will indulge in a delectable dinner served at a superbly appointed restaurant.

The lodge also features a refreshing pool, offering a moment of respite and relaxation if desired. For those seeking an extra touch of luxury, a post-dinner digestif can be enjoyed by the fire beneath the vast African sky. As the night beckons, we will retire to our spacious quarters, allowing dreams of wild cats to accompany us into a night of tranquility. Rest assured, our accommodation for the night will be Rhino Lodge.

Departing early in the morning after a fulfilling breakfast, our journey takes us to the remarkable Ngorongoro Crater. The first glimpse of this breathtaking location evokes a sense of being transported back to a forgotten era.

It is here that you will have a unique opportunity to witness the endangered black rhino and witness the majestic presence of large lion families. The creation of the crater dates back two to three million years when a volcanic eruption led to its collapse, resulting in its awe-inspiring formation.

Renowned for its geological marvels, the Ngorongoro Crater also holds the distinction as a natural haven, boasting one of the densest populations of large mammals on the entire African continent. As we venture towards the crater floor, the drive itself proves to be an exhilarating adventure. As you descend, you are instantly surrounded by vast herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle, creating an immersive wildlife experience. Moreover, the abundance of over 500 bird species further amplifies the rich biodiversity of the area.

The Ngorongoro Crater offers a prime opportunity to witness the endangered black rhino in its natural habitat. Occasionally, these magnificent creatures can be spotted traversing the open grasslands, enhancing the rarity and beauty of the experience.

After a delectable lunch, we will make our way to your chosen departure point, be it Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha Airport should you opt to extend your vacation with a visit to the stunning Zanzibar beach holiday.

Inclusions / Exclusions

  • Park fees(For non-residents)
  • All activities(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All accommodation(Unless listed as upgrade)
  • A professional driver/guide
  • All transportation(Unless labeled as optional)
  • All Taxes/VAT
  • Roundtrip airport transfer
  • Meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)
  • Drinking water(On all days)
  • International flights(From/to home)
  • Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
  • Tips(Tipping guideline US$10.00 pp per day)
  • Personal items(Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
  • The government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
  • Some meals(As specified in the day-by-day section)

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Other Itineraries

Can you please explain what constitutes a game drive?

A game drive is an activity commonly organized in African game reserves and national parks where visitors go on guided tours to see wildlife in their natural habitat.

The drive can take place at different times of the day and typically lasts between 6-8 hours. Visitors are accompanied by experienced guides, who can offer insight into the different animals and birds encountered during the tour.

To maximize the chances of seeing animals, guides often use specialized vehicles that are open, allowing visitors to move around and observe wildlife from different angles. Game drives are popular with tourists as they provide a unique and unforgettable experience of the natural world.

What is a Safari?

Have you ever heard of a safari? Wondering what sets it apart from a regular vacation?

The term safari has roots in the Swahili language, signifying a journey and serving as the foundation for the verb “to travel” in this East African tongue. When seeking a remarkable safari experience, Tanzania reigns as the top destination throughout Africa. Not only does Tanzania showcase the biggest national parks, but it features UNESCO World Heritage Sites and lays claim to Africa’s highest mountain.

Serengeti National Park, located in Tanzania, has consistently been recognized as the leading safari destination in Africa for multiple years in a row. This accolade serves as a testament to Tanzania’s position as the top country for safaris in the continent, as Serengeti National Park has been awarded the title of ‘Best Safari Destination’ by experts, surpassing several national parks within Africa.

A safari in Africa offers more than just a mere vacation but a compelling travel experience. It is noteworthy that advertising ‘safaris’ at other destinations such as Thailand or India is significantly different and cannot be matched to an African safari. Additionally, these excursions to observe animals lack any historical relevance to the Swahili word ‘safari.

Do I need Visa?

It is mandatory to have a visa for entry. The visa fee is USD 50 per individual, whereas US citizens are required to pay USD 100 per person. While it is possible to obtain visas on arrival, it is advisable to obtain them beforehand.

Do I need Travel Insurance?

To safeguard against unforeseen events that may disrupt travel plans, travel protection plans offer a range of benefits including coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and other customizable options.

As a responsible travel operator, EAS Guides mandates all travelers to acquire essential Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation insurance protection. This rudimentary coverage, also known as Post-Departure or Travel Med, is available for as little as $60 per person and guarantees peace of mind during travel.

How do I tip?

While tipping is not mandatory, it is customary to show appreciation for exceptional service. To assist you in determining an appropriate gratuity, below are some suggested tipping ranges per person per day/vehicle, based on the number of people in the vehicle:

– 6 people: $10 to $15 per person per day

– 4 people: $12 to $20 per person per day

– 2 people: $15 to $25 per person per day

If you are on a camping safari, it felt your chef should be tipped like the safari guide, as they work as a team. Most lodges/camps have a tip box at the front desk, and we recommend using it instead of tipping individuals so that everyone who contributed to your enjoyable experience can share in gratitude, including those working behind the scenes. In most lodging and hotels, it is usually for staff members to offer assistance with your luggage. While it is common to consider tipping as an appropriate gesture, the decision to do so is ultimately at your discretion.

About Kilimanjaro Tipping

These are our recommended tipping guidelines when trekking on Kilimanjaro (not per climber): Guides should receive $15/day, assistant guides should receive $10/day, cooks should receive $10/day, and porters should receive $5/day. For every 2 hikers, we suggest having 1 guide, for every 3 hikers, 1 assistant guide, and for every 8 hikers, 1 cook. The number of porters should meet the following minimums:

– 4 porters per hiker for the 8-day Lemosho Route (minimum of 8 porters)

In some cases, additional porters might be required based on luggage weight. We recommend a budget of $250-300 per hiker for tips during an 8-day trek.

How about Security?

While Tanzania is generally a secure country, it is advisable to exercise caution. Avoid attracting attention by keeping a watchful eye on your personal belongings. It is recommended to refrain from walking in towns or cities after dark and instead, opt for a taxi.

Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or displaying valuable items like cameras, as these can make you a target for pickpockets. Use hotel safety deposit boxes and ensure to obtain a receipt to secure your valuable possessions. Consider leaving valuable jewelry at home to avoid any unwanted attention.

How about Health?

It is essential for all individuals traveling from yellow fever-endemic countries/regions to obtain the yellow fever vaccine. This requirement applies to individuals who are in transit for at least 12 hours or those who venture beyond the immediate airport premises in a yellow fever endemic area. Furthermore, individuals from yellow fever endemic regions traveling via air, marine, or land transportation must also meet this vaccination requirement. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the United Republic of Tanzania has reinstated HEALTH SURVEILLANCE DESKS in all border crossings, ports, and international airports. Therefore, it is crucial to carry your health certificates when entering Tanzania. While malaria is endemic in Tanzania, it is preventable by taking appropriate measures, including using insect repellent, protecting oneself at sundown, sleeping under a mosquito net, and taking anti-malaria prophylactics as prescribed by a medical professional. It is wise to bring prescription medication, spare glasses, contact lenses, solution, sunscreen, a first aid kit, cream for insect bites and stings, and medication for diarrhea.

About Covid-19

To enter Tanzania, travelers arriving from or transiting through Uganda or the DRC need to complete a Traveler’s Health Surveillance Form at least 24 hours before their arrival. The completed form will generate a Unique Health Code (UHC), which the traveler needs to present upon arrival. To access the form, please follow this link: https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/. For those arriving directly in Zanzibar, please use this alternative link.

While proof of Covid-19 vaccination is not required, arriving guests are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated. No RT-PCR certificates or Rapid Antigen tests are needed upon arrival; however, guests will undergo thermal and physical screenings. It is essential to review your airlines and international airport(s) pre-boarding testing requirements carefully. Kindly ensure you read and understand the full regulations to avoid any inconvenience during your travel and entry into Tanzania. A significant number of our visitors transit via Amsterdam, and it’s important to note that as of now, passengers who do not exit Schiphol Airport are not subject to Covid-19 testing protocols.