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Most explorations of the Ngorongoro Crater occur over the course of a day or two, from the comfort of a safari vehicle. This tour however, provides unprecedented intimacy with this collapsed volcano as you embark on a week long hiking trip through the varied craters and plateaus that characterize this prehistoric landscape. Ancient village trails wander up escarpments, into valleys and past countless waterfalls, exposing guests to the quiet corners of the region that have sustained rural tribes for centuries.
Day 1- Arusha – Lake Manyara
we leave Arusha town and drive for two hours to Lake Manyara National Park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park) at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of African animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos, attracted by the algae in the lake. Dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel
Lake Eyasi is a very scenic soda lake found on the southern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This less visited lake lies at the base of the Eyasi escarpment on the western rift valley wall. This afternoon you will be introduced to the extraordinary people who belong to an indigenous tribe known as the ‘Hadzabe’ (hunter-gatherer bushmen). The tribe inhabits the shores of Lake Eyasi as do the Nilotic-speaking Datoga tribe. You will visit these tribes, which will include a visit to their homesteads, learn about their way of life, animal tracking, medicinal plants, and much more. Some wildlife and a wide range of bird species can be viewed during walks around the lake, which can be arranged. Dinner and overnight at the lodge
Day 3 – Lake Eyasi – Ngorongoro
Early morning we depart to the village for local hunting experience with Hadzabe and Datonga tribes. This is not a mere performance. The bushmen rely on these techniques to survive and you’ll need to be very attentive and at times quiet, while they demonstrate their use of locally made poisons in incapacitating the poor creatures on which they depend for survival.
We return to the lodge for a late breakfast and we then travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation area.
Late afternoon drive to a Masai Village. Visitors meet the village elders, get an insight into the Masai way of life, visit the bomas, learn about their prized cattle and visit the local school.
Enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel.
Day 4 – Ngorongoro – Serengeti
After breakfast at the lodge, we will descend over 600 meters into the crater to view wildlife for a half day’s tour. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro Crater supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park, is it’s dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard We will visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the south western corner, which is one of the main features of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here.
We return to the lodge to enjoy lunch and then we the head towards the Serengeti National Park with a stopover at Olduvai Gorge, boasting with history dating back to the dawn of time. It was here, that the anthropologists Drs. Lois and Mary Leakey discovered the skulls of the famous ‘Nutcracker Man” and ‘Handy Man’, both very significant links in the chain of human evolution. Leaving the highlands behind, we descend into the heart of wild Africa – the Serengeti National Park – with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. We do a late game drive en route to the lodge.
Enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel
Day 5 – Serengeti
Day 5 will offer you an ideal opportunity to do an optional but unforgettable Hot Air Balloon flight, followed by a delightful champagne breakfast (available at a supplementary cost, but can be booked in advance). After breakfast we head to the south-eastern side of the park, visiting the Barafu Kopjes and the Ngare Nanyuki River area, for our morning and afternoon game drives. Apart from the lion prides you find in the area, the Barafu Kopjes is the place to visit for possible cheetah sightings. The Ngare Nanyuki River area is also well known for being packed with game.
Enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel
Day 6 – Serengeti – Lake Manyara
Early morning game drive and return to the lodge for a late breakfast. After breakfast will we head for the Lake Manyara National Park. We will visit and enjoy lunch at Gibbs farm en route (a small lodge, surrounded by coffee farms, on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater.
We enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel
Day 7 – Lake Manyara – Arusha
After breakfast we will visit the local Market and villages around the Karatu, experience life in the local village setting, meeting local people, learning about their culture, agriculture and history of the area.
We return the lodge for lunch and then transfer back to Arusha town where we will end our safari.