Tanzania Tracking Safari with Native Tribesman Itinerary

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Itinerary

 

Day 1 - Arrival into Arusha, Tanzania

Your evening flight will land in Arusha, where a welcome party will warmly receive you.  They will transfer you with the rest of the group to your lodging where you can rest after your long flight(s).

 

Accommodations:  Rivertrees Country Inn

 

Day 2 - Arusha to Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem

You will take a brief scenic flight to the Eastern Serengeti refuge, with breathtaking views of Lake Natron and the active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, also known by the Maasai people as the "Mountain of God.”  You will be welcomed by your western and local Maasai guides upon arrival at the airstrip; they will accompany you throughout your trip offering cultural insights, wildlife spotting, tracking and bird language expertise and in-depth knowledge of wildlife behavior.  

 

After arriving at the Eastern Serengeti refuge, your head guide will brief you on the expedition and give you a brief overview and history of the 12,000-acre refuge.  As you make your way to camp, you might spot giraffe, eland, dik dik, ostrich, leopard or even wild dog in this unique wildlife haven.  After checking in at camp, the guides will lead you on a short walk this afternoon to familiarize you with the landscape as they introduce you to different kinds of track and sign and some of the local bird species and their behaviors.

 

Accommodations:  Eastern Serengeti Nyumba

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Days 3 & 4 - Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem

In the morning you will head out to look for tracks and sign of the myriad of wildlife in this terrain.  Regularly seen species include wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, impala, eland, warthog, and hartebeest.  Cheetahs, leopards, and lions also roam over the plains and new species that have returned to the land since large conservation projects began include baboon, vervet monkey, hartebeest, eland, and more.  Your guides will be great resources as they point out things we encounter along the way from the behavior of a particular bird to the patterns of tracks near a water source to the body language of a large mammal.

 

Later in the day, we will again follow trails through the plains looking for more tracks and will also participate in a bird language exercise in an attempt to identify any bird alarms that occur and to interpret what they are indicating about predators that might be on the move. Some of the more majestic birds we may spot include the ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird, crested eagle, weaver, and sunbird.  Time permitting, we will finish with a hike up into the Endoosheke Hills for spectacular panoramic views.  

 

At night, you will go for a night drive in the Eastern Serengeti refuge looking for sightings of nocturnal creatures, such as spring hares, aardvarks, and porcupines. The night drive offers an adventure few travelers in Tanzania have the chance to experience. In addition to the planned wildlife activities, travelers to the nature refuge can also enjoy optional activities.  These include visiting a Maasai village school or a Maasai boma (a settlement of circular mud-and-dung homes) to experience their semi-nomadic culture.

 

Accommodations:  Eastern Serengeti Nyumba

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 5 - Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem to Serengeti National Park

In the morning, we will do a short walk to look for tracks and sign of wildlife and listen intently for any bird alarms that occur and will investigate what they are indicating about predator movements.  Later in the morning, we will depart the Eastern Serengeti and head west toward Serengeti National Park on a rugged road that cuts through a landscape with craggy hills and wooded gullies along the Grumeti River, which serves as one two main water sources as it flows from one end of the Serengeti to the other before emptying into Lake Victoria.  We will then spend the afternoon on a vehicle safari viewing wildlife in the park.

 

Accommodations:  Central Serengeti Nyumba

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 6 - Serengeti National Park

We will spend the morning on a wildlife viewing drive in the Serengeti. We will aim for sighting all of the Big 5, including rhinos, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and lions. Your expert guide will point out wildlife that few others could hope to spot, whether a leopard well-concealed in the trees or a lion deep in the savannah grasses. In the afternoon, we will also hike up nearby Ragana Hill with your guides looking for animal sign; though the walk to the top is steep, it doesn’t take long and affords beautiful views!


You can also take an optional excursion (advance reservations required) and balloon across the plains in the early morning catching the dramatic light of sunrise, gliding over the plains and acacia treetops and taking in spectacular views of the Seronera River Valley and the surrounding plains.  

 

Accommodations:  Central Serengeti Nyumba

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 7 - Serengeti National Park

We will go on a wildlife viewing drive in the Serengeti for the full day, including Ndutu (the southernmost corner), where large herds of wildebeest tend to congregate in the so-called green months.  We will be on the lookout for all the big cats, including prides of lions who often spend daylight hours lying drowsily about the plains and up in the trees, underneath acacia trees, or in the shade of large rock formations.  

 

Additionally, we will attempt to locate cheetahs who are looking to make a quick meal out of the myriad types of antelope that are grazing on the plains.  We will also search for hippos and crocodiles near water holes as well as numerous other species that come for a drink. In the afternoon, back at camp we will head out on foot with an armed ranger in search of large mammals.

 

Accommodations:  Southern Serengeti Nyumba

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 8 - Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Conservation Area

We will depart from the Serengeti in the morning and drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. On the way you will pass one of the greatest prehistoric sites in Olduvai Gorge, where archeologists have been making thrilling fossil discoveries for nearly a century.  We will hear a brief lecture at the museum that is the site of fossilized remains of animals and hominids dating back two million years.  

 

After cutting across the desert-like bush country, we will arrive at a range of hills that lead to Ngorongoro, where you will see Maasai living in boma settlements throughout the conservation area and herding their cattle alongside the road.  After arrival at the conservation area, you will enjoy a traditional Tanzanian dinner this evening. Rich with spices and fresh local vegetables, this is a chance to sample the best of local cuisine. (Please note that this does not include bush meat).

 

Accommodations:  Ngorongoro Nyumba

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 9 - Ngorongoro Conservation Area

In the morning you will descend into the Ngorongoro crater and spend the whole day in the conservation area, a habitat rich in culture and teeming with wildlife.  Sometimes there are more than 30,000 animals in and around the crater, including black rhino, cheetah, lion, hyena, eland, and numerous antelope. On the floor of the crater, the alkaline Lake Magadi serves as an important water source, also attracting flamingo flocks during the dry season.

 

Nearby, the small Lerai Forest, with its yellow fever acacia trees, provides shade and shelter for wildlife.  You will often see baboons, vervet monkeys, and even elephants in its thicket.  Thorny bush, grasslands, hippo pools and a second small lake are also found on the floor.  In the evening, you will again enjoy a traditional Tanzanian dinner. Rich with spices and fresh local vegetables, this is a chance to sample the best of local cuisine. (Please note that this does not include bush meat.)

 

Accommodations:  Ngorongoro Nyumba

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 10 - Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the Great Rift Valley

You will leave Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the morning and drive for a view down into The Great Rift Valley below, which offers a dramatically different and drier landscape and offers one of the most beautiful views in Tanzania from the top of the escarpment down into the plains below.  You will continue all the way to Lake Eyasi, where you will settle in at the lodge and enjoy magnificent scenery.  In the afternoon you will explore the area on foot with your guide looking for tracks and listening to bird language, while enjoying the views of the escarpment valley.  By late afternoon you can rest and enjoy the rest of the day walking along the lakeshore or relaxing at the lodge.

 

Accommodations:  Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Days 11 & 12 - Great Rift Valley

These two days afford the opportunity to spend time in the bush with one of the world's last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes, the Hadza. In the morning you will follow young hunters as they venture into the forest and scrubland looking for tracks and sign of vervet monkey, ground squirrel, ground birds, and possibly larger hoofed mammals as well as to collect honey.  Later on in the day you can join the women as they gather roots, tubers and other necessities, all the while looking for tracks and listening for bird language clues that inform the women and your guide that there might be predators nearby.

 

The activities will not be pre-arranged as it is based solely on the tribe's needs on the given day.  In the afternoon, you can engage in an optional activity by making your way to a Datoga village for a rare glimpse into this pastoralist culture.  Here you will have the opportunity to meet men and women of the community as they go about their daily lives, visiting a typical home and a local blacksmith, who makes the brass jewelry favored by Datoga women, as well as the spear tips prized by men.

 

Accommodations:  Lake Eyasi Safari Lodge

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Day 13 - Great Rift Valley to Arusha and Departure

You will have one final morning to spend with the Hadza, either following young hunters as they look for tracks and sign of prey and to collect honey, or by going out with the women to gather roots, tubers and other necessities.  Afterwards, you will depart the vast savannah of the Great Rift Valley and make your way back to Arusha, where you will check into a day room and rest up for your departure flight later in the day.  As you head to the airport and bid farewell to Tanzania, think of all the fabulous stories and memories of your adventure, which you will share with friends and family when you arrive home and for years to come!

 

Accommodations:  Day Room at Mount Meru Hotel

Meals Included:  Breakfast, Lunch, Snack

 

End of Trip

Tanzania Tracking Safari with Native Tribesman

Naturalist Ventures

Austin, Texas, USA

info@naturalistventures.com

+1.512.763.0764

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