Travel to Tanzania in 5-Star Style

On my recent tour of Tanzania, I visited dozens of lodges and tented camps in order to bring you the best of the best. This firsthand expertise allows me to create unforgettable safaris that truly match your travel goals.

While each traveler has unique needs, I’ve outlined a possible 11-day adventure safari with five-star accommodations below to give you an idea of what Tanzania has to offer. As an adventure safari, this sample itinerary hits northern Tanzania’s most famous wildlife areas and features overnights at some of the area’s finest tented camps – offering unprecedented intimacy with the East African landscape with all the comforts of five-star hospitality.

  • Day 1: Arrive Tanzania. Overnight at Lake Duluti Lodge.
    Lake Duluti Lodge is located on a 30-acre coffee farm next to a scenic crater lake on the outskirts of Arusha. Each of the 18 spacious chalets has a private deck with an amazing view of the ancient indigenous trees that provide shade to the farm’s coffee bushes.  Lake Duluti Lodge prides itself on its fine cuisine, five-star service, top-class amenities and eco-friendly architecture and operations.
  • Day 2: Arusha National Park. Overnight at Lake Duluti Lodge.
  • Day 2–4: Tarangire National Park & Manyara Ranch. Overnight at Manyara Ranch Conservancy.
    Manyara Ranch Conservancy is much more than a place to sleep; it’s a destination in and of itself. Guests have the unique opportunity to ride horseback among giraffes and zebras, go on morning safari walks, or enjoy night game drives on conservancy land. Zebras and other herd animals often wander through the camp during sundowners (cocktail hour). The six exquisitely furnished guest tents have electric lights available at all hours, and the en suite bathroom includes flush toilet and shower with hot water on demand.
  • Day 5: Lake Manyara National Park. Overnight at Lemala Ngorongoro.
    Lemala Ngorongoro is an intimate seasonal camp set in an ancient acacia forest near the rim of the crater, just a 15-minute drive from the crater floor. A small camp with nine luxury tents, the camp guarantees seclusion in a pristine forest environment. Each of the spacious standard tents has a king bed or two queen beds with duvets; gas heater; a leather couch; wood floors with rugs; 24-hour solar lighting; and an en suite bathroom with dressing area, flush toilet and a large safari shower. A family room is also available.
  • Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater. Overnight at Lemala Ngorongoro.
  • Day 7–10: Ngorongoro Conservation Area & Serengeti National Park. Overnight at Pioneer Camp.
    Located in the hill-dotted Moru Kopjes area of Tanzania’s south central Serengeti, Pioneer Camp offers superlative access to the annual migration and Big Five game. A large elevated lounge has sweeping views overlooking knobby granite outcroppings and the endless plains. Each of the 10 private tents pays homage to the mobile camps of the 1930s with solid wooden furniture and trunks, classic canvas chairs, throw rugs and gleaming copper wash basins.
  • Day 11: Fly back to Arusha for departure flight to U.S. or extension to Zanzibar.
Lake Duluti Lodge
Lake Duluti Lodge room
Pioneer Camp

Pioneer Camp lounge

Lemala Ngorongoro Camp

Lemala Ngorongoro Camp tented room

Manyara Ranch

Manyara Ranch tented room

Travel to Tanzania in 4-Star Style!

I recently took a whirlwind tour of Tanzania, visiting five national parks and Zanzibar to find the best accommodations for safari travelers. At each place, I visited an average of half a dozen lodges and camps. All in all, I inspected 39 properties in 9 days.

It was a lot of work, but it’s important to me that I see the properties I’m recommending to my clients in person. It’s rare in the travel business for agents to visit each country and property they work with, and that’s the difference I strive to offer: firsthand expertise that allows me to create unforgettable safaris that truly match each client’s needs.

For a short adventure safari with 4-star accommodations that hits northern Tanzania’s most famous wildlife areas, I would recommend:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania. Overnight at Arumeru River Lodge.
    Arumeru River Lodge is on 12 acres of an old coffee plantation near Arusha National Park. The property has 23 standard rooms and 6 junior suites in cottages that border an exquisitely kept garden populated by a resident family of dik-diks. Family rooms and triples are available. Arumeru River Lodge offers half-day guided hikes in the nearby rainforest for a nominal fee and free guided garden walks through its grounds.
  • Day 2/3: Tarangire National Park. Overnight at Tarangire River Camp.
    Tarangire River Camp, a 21-tent camp that includes four roomy family tents and a spacious swimming pool for refreshing dips after a long day of safari. The camp overlooks the winding Tarangire River, which attracts a variety of animals even in the dry season when little water is visible. Electricity is available 24 hours.
  • Day 4: Lake Manyara National Park. Overnight at Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge.
    Exploreans Lodge is a 20-cabin luxury resort close to Ngorongoro Crater. The grounds are astounding, with vast well-kept vegetable, flower and herb gardens. Cabins have a living room, bedroom, en suite bathroom, and a balcony that overlooks a wildlife reserve and coffee plantation, with the Ngorongoro mountains off in the distance. On-site amenities include massage and spa services, a swimming pool, sauna and whirlpool spa. Exploreans is known for its small touches that make a stay truly great, such as a pillow menu that allows guests to choose from several different options to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • Day 5: Ngorongoro Crater. Overnight at Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge.
  • Day 6/7/8: Ngorongoro Conservation Area & Serengeti National Park. Overnight at Lake Masek Tented Camp.
    Masek Luxury Tented Camp has 20 well-appointed tents with en suite bathrooms that include a large tub, enclosed outdoor shower, two vanity sinks and a hair dryer. Each tent has a furnished veranda that overlooks Lake Masek, where hippos and Big 5 game abound all year. Electricity and hot water are available 24 hours a day.
  • Day 9: Fly back to Arusha and depart for home or extension to Zanzibar.

Keep an eye out for next week’s posting on 5-star accommodations!

Arumeru Lodge

Arumeru River Lodge

Arumeru Lodge

Arumeru River Lodge

Tarangire River Camp

Tarangire River Camp

Exploreans

Ngorongoro Exploreans Lodge

Lake Masek Tented Camp

Lake Masek Tented Camp


Lake Masek Tented Camp

Lake Masek Tented Camp

New Video

Greetings!  Most of the group is back in the United States with Nikki and Kristin returning from their extension to Zanzibar tomorrow (March 2nd).  The trip was really spectacular and I hope to post some testimonials from the rest of the group in the coming days.

I wanted to share some great video with our followers.  Here is a video of the Maasai courtship dance.  The higher the men can jump, the more worthy he is as a husband:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9-VWAG9W68

Here are children at the Maasai kindergarten singing us a song:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2g8T69euE0

Here is a video of the wildebeest migration in the Ndutu area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  We were waiting on a female lion who was hiding in the tall grass to continue stalking.  Other guests at our lodge said they waited for hours with no success of watching a kill.  With such abundant animals, the lions must wait for their prey to practically fall in their lap!:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xwAocEXM5U&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

I did add two additional videos in a couple of the posts, as well as made some edits and added some more pictures to the other posts, so please peruse.  I also uploaded about 75 new pictures to the Flickr account, which you can access by clicking on the “Photos” on the top of the right column.

Abundant Wildlife & Beauty

We’ve had an amazing time since our arrival.  After leaving Ngorongoro Crater we traveled to the Ndutu area of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park.  We saw SO much wildlife.  I can’t even believe it.  We’ve seen 16 cheetahs, about a dozen lions, a herd of elephants, and tens of thousands of zebras and wildebeest.  This morning was the most spectacular because we actually saw a wildebeest give birth.  Her baby calf was standing and walking in 4.5 minutes!  Important for survival!  Here is a picture of the new calf with its Mama.

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Here is a video of the calf taking its first steps:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=825wn8xkzSo

Shortly after that we watch two male cheetahs stalking.   The wildebeest created a defensive line, but the cheetah still charged anyway, scattering the wildebeest.  When we left they hadn’t killed any wildebeest or zebra and the cheetah were pooped out.

We traveled back to Bougainvillea Safari Lodge and enjoyed a traditional African meal before heading out to Lake Eyasi where we are staying at a quaint, private permanent tented camp.  I’ll try to post more tomorrow, but the kind owners have let me use their computer at their house, so I’ll need to be moving on.  I did add some more photos to the Flickr site (upper right-hand corner of the blog) so check them out!

This shot was just taken prior to this post.  Genevieve and Mona were unwinding from a long day in the car to a pilates work out by the Kisima Ngeda pool.

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The group has had a marvelous time!

A Beautiful Day with Amazing Animals

 

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Our drive to Ngorongoro Crater today took us through Tanzania’s 4th largest city Arusha.  A congested city, where Kristin noted that we didn’t pass one stop light or stop sign thoughout our journey through the town.  The drive continued into the Tanzanian countryside where our guide, Stephano informed us of the ways of the Maasai, a herding tribe.  A “family” lives in a boma, consisting of several huts, occupied by the man’s wives.  Yes, man is singular; wives is plural!  They are a people that practices polygymy and it is not uncommon for a man to have 3 or 4 wives.  Stephano pointed out a boma where the husband had 35 wives and over a 100 children.  Apparently the government of Tanzania built a school for him off his compound.  He is considered to be a very rich man for Maasai standards.  More wives = more cattle!

We arrived to the crater rim and then group oo-ed and ah-ed at its majesty.  Here is our group at the rim:

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We dropped into the Ngorongoro crater and the group was immediately excited to see zebras, gazelles, warthogs, and wildebeest, as well as their babies.  We then got serious and went in search of the elusive back rhino.  With only 33 in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, many groups spend days trying to see one.  We lucked out and found a big fellow about 20 yards for the road:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj9ie2WI2UI

Shortly after we found a young lion couple panting heavily and dozing under the high sun.  They were even closer – about 10 feet from the car:

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We then headed over to hippo pool picnic area for lunch and a bathroom break and were treated to some visitors for lunch: three lionesses.  They casually walked through our lunch area and we quickly got in the vehicle!

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It was time to head out but were were treated to more zebra and ostriches, beautiful birds, and some overly friendly baboons who attempted to enter our vehicle while we were parked at the headquarters.  They didn’t realize that we were still in the car!  But it woke me up!

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We headed to Bougainvillea Safari Lodge with their beautiful ground and had dinner.  We are looking forward to a pilates mat class tomorrow morning around the pool.  I will attempt to post some pictures in the morning of the lodge before we head off for the Ndutu area and the wildebeest migration!

Check out more great pictures by clicking “Photo” on in the upper right-hand column!