Lake Victoria to the Indian Ocean

Lake Victoria to the Indian Ocean

A twelve day exploration from the largest lake in the world, through the Serengeti and Ngorongoro
ecosystem, east towards the Indian Ocean. Canoeing, game viewing, walking safaris, night drives, and boat cruises.

Day 1: This morning transfer to Nairobi Kenyatta Airport for the Precision flight to Mwanza departing at 08hr25 and arriving at 09hr55. (Or transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for the 12hr25 departure arriving at 13hr35 in Mwanza.) On arrival this morning at Mwanza Airport, met by our guide and explore the thriving port city of Mwanza, before departing for Speke Bay Lodge on the shores of Lake Victoria for dinner and overnight. Here you can visit the local Wasukuma villages, head out onto the lake in a dugout canoe, or walk in the private conservation area. Dinner and overnight at Speke Bay Lodge.

Day 2: After breakfast this morning leave the shores of Lake Victoria and head towards the Serengeti with picnic lunch to spend the day game viewing en route to the campsite either in the Seronera valley or further east at the Moru Kopjes for dinner and overnight. This is a private campsite using our standard dome tents, with camp beds, mattresses and all bedding as well as private shower and toilet tents. (Up grade to full service camping is also available)

Serengeti National Park
Arguably the most famous National Park in the world, the Serengeti Ecosystem (the name comes from “siringit” the Masai word for “endless plains”) consists of some 35,000 square kilometres. It extends into the Masai Mara in neighbouring Kenya and provides a vast eco-system for the wildebeest migration that takes place each year. The famed plains are found to the south of the park east of the Seronera Valley, rolling hills in the less visited Lobo area to the north and wooded riverine valleys to the remote east around Kirawira and Grumeti.

The park itself is about 14,763 sq kms in area and encompasses the main part of the Serengeti ecosystem. The ecosystem is
defined by the annual migration of over 1,500,000 million wildebeest, zebras and associated predators, which occurs throughout
the year and extends into the game reserves, game controlled areas and conservation area surrounding the park boundaries. As
in all ecosystems, the vegetation and type of animals you will find are closely correlated, although it is impossible to say exactly where different species will occur, it is possible to build up a picture of the most likely species to be found in each area.

Short grass plains
The short grass plains occur east of the Naabi Hill gate and extend almost to Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation
Area. The area is characterised by large sweeping plains with a short covering of grass which completely withers during the dry
season. On the northern fringes of the plains are granite kopjes, large rocky outcrops which in themselves form unique habitats.

On the border of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area is Lake Ndutu. The lakes here are surrounded by acacia
forests and it is here that all the accommodation and campsites are to be found. It is also from here that it is possible to do some walking with one of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area rangers on the lake shore. It is on the Short Grass plains during mid December through to mid January that the wildebeest herds congregate in large numbers to give birth to nearly 400,000 calves in the first two weeks of February. This is a defense mechanism, as giving birth to large numbers in a very short period overwhelms the predators following the herds. The herds stay in the area till mid to late May, depending on the rains, before splitting up into smaller herds numbering in the tens of thousands of wildebeest all heading west in long straggling columns up to 40 kilometres in length. This is without parallel and is definitely the best game viewing to be had anywhere at anytime in the world! Not only are the massive numbers of wildebeest beyond comprehension, but the prides of lions and groups of cheetahs provide outstanding viewing opportunities.

Days 3 and 4: Full day exploring the Serengeti, either with picnic lunch or early morning and late afternoon game drives and lunch in camp. Dinner and overnight within camp.

Day 5: This morning depart for Ngorongoro with picnic lunch to spend the afternoon game viewing in the crater. Late afternoon ascend the crater walls to the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge for dinner and overnight.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the name given to the 8,300 square kilometer piece of land that surrounds the famous Crater and the Highlands of the same name. The Crater was once the headquarters of Serengeti National Park of which it was an integral part, but in 1956, after intense pressure and lobbying from the local Masai community who were dispossessed of the lands when the National Park was set up, Ngorongoro was designated a
Conservation Area.

The 210 square km Crater is now one of the principal attractions on the Northern Tanzanian Safari Circuit and the reputation of the Crater Highlands is slowly developing as a premier trekking destination. The Crater is all that it is made out to be, the hyperbole about Garden’s Of Eden, Eighth Wonder Of The World etc all justified by its perennial animal population. This cross-section of wildlife is about as convenient as you will find, dispersed amongst an amazing array of eco-systems within the Natural Amphitheatre created by 600 metre high cliffs around it. It is home to one of the few remaining populations of black rhino in Tanzania and just about every other East African mammal, with the exception of giraffe (walls are too steep) and impala, all unafraid and used to the constant retinue of vehicles.

The crater has the highest density of lions in Africa, with over 30 lions per 100 sq kms, compared to the Serengeti, which has about 14 lions per 100 sq kms; and Kruger National Park in South Africa with about 10 lions per 100 sq kms. In Ngorongoro it is not uncommon to find the lions lying in the shade of the parked tourist vehicle!

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is unique in that the area is shared between the pastoralist Masai tribe and the wildlife the area was established to preserve.

Day 6: Early this morning have the opportunity for a trek on the crater rim area with one of the NCAA guides, before departing with picnic lunch for Tarangire to spend the rest of the day game viewing. Dinner and overnight at Boundary Hill Lodge.

Tarangire National Park and Conservation Area
This park represents perhaps the closest approximation to people’s expectations of Africa. Savannah lands, acacia stands, clusters of baobab trees, large herds of elephant and large tracts of rarely visited game lands make this perhaps the epitome of the safari experience. The park is approximately 2,600 sq kms within an ecosystem of over 20,000 sq kms on the Masai steppes, and during the height of the dry season is second only to Ngorongoro in density of wildlife. Tarangire is also arguably the best park in Africa for elephants with a population of over 3,000; and during the season, these are concentrated around the permanent waters of the Tarangire River during the heat of the day.

As in all ecosystems the vegetation and the types of animals you find are closely correlated. The principle features of the
ecosystem are grasslands and floodplains, Acacia tortillas and baobab parkland, riverina woodland, acacia commiphora woodland
and combretum woodland. Three swamps form very important all year water sources for the large elephant populations,
Silale and Gursi within the park, and Goswa within the conservation area.

Tarangire is also one of the only places in Tanzania where you are able to combine the traditional game viewing from vehicles with other activities such as night drives, walking safaris and fly camping. For avid birders, to be able to walk in the Conservation Area with one of the trained Masai guides is incredibly rewarding as it is at this pace it is far easier to spot and observe the many bird species. Night drives also enable visitors to see the nocturnal animals such as African wildcat, Serval cats, genets, civets and bat eared foxes. The larger predators are also active at night and it is not uncommon to spot leopards hunting in the woodland margins or lions on the plains.

For birders, species to note include Hildebrandts Starling, the endemic Ashy starling, Yellow collared lovebird and Orange bellied parrot. Also seen around the camp are Brown parrots, Von der Deckens Hornbill, Northern pied babbler, Northern white
crowned shrike, white bellied go away bird, plus a variety of rollers, woodpeckers and other species. On the night drives we
also have the chance to see some of the many owls in the area, as well as two banded coursers and Montane nightjars.

Community Conservation

During the late eighties and early nineties, Tarangire National Park was in danger of becoming an island surrounded by marginal agricultural activities. This would have been a disaster for the Tarangire National Park and the world would have lost one of the top three wildlife migrations. The local Masai communities, seeing their natural heritage endangered entered joint partnerships with private investors and established areas set aside for habitat and wildlife preservation. It is in these areas that we offer our walking safaris, night drives and fly camping, with economic benefits flowing back to the local Masai communities.

Day 7: Full day walking safari and night drive in Tarangire, dinner and overnight at Boundary Hill Lodge.

Day 8: Morning departure with picnic lunch for Mkomazi National Park, afternoon spent game viewing in the park en route to the campsite at Ibaya for dinner and overnight.

Mkomazi National Park

The Mkomazi National Park is Tanzanias newest park and is located is a wild and beautiful stretch of land behind the Pare and Usambara Mountains and forming the Tanzanian extension of the Tsavo National Park of Kenya. The Transborder National Park is the largest of its type in the world, over 26,000 sq kilometers. The acacia and boabab habitat is home to over 400 bird species as well as dozens of large mammals usually found in the Somali – Masai habitats including gerenuk and kudu. The landscape is dominated by a ring of mountains. The reserve is also home to migratory mammals from Tsavo at the beginning of the short rains in December but mainly during the long rains in April and May. Thousands of elephant, buffalo, oryx and zebras are
common during this period, as well excellent chances of spotting lions and leopards.

African Wild dog and black rhinoceros have been reintroduced into the reserve and are to be found in a semi- captive environment near Kisima. Mkomazi is one of the few areas in northern Tanzania where we are able to alk with armed rangers, and
makes for exciting game viewing!

Day 9: Full day spent exploring Mkomazi on walking safari with a ranger and game views, dinner and overnight at Ibaya.

Day 10: Morning departure with picnic lunch for Sadaani National Park, arriving late afternoon. Tonight will be camping on the beach in Sadaani.

Sadaani National Park

Sadaani is one of Tanzania’s newest National Park and one of the most fascinating and least visited of all the parks and reserves in East Africa. Being 500 sq kilometres in size the park is located on the Indian Ocean between Dar es Salaam and Tanga and boasts a variety of habitats, historical villages and is East Africa’s only coastal National Park.

The park consists of three environments, the coastal strip and plains on the Indian Ocean, the fluvial system around the Wami River and the acacia forests and swamps inland. This is home to about thirty different mammal species, including elephant,
although most of this is very shy due to the poaching which occurred unchecked until early 2000. Exploring the park can be quite exciting, a boat trip down the coast and up the Wami River and the estuarine mangroves found here, a traditional game drive in the parks acacia forests and a more exciting walking safari with one of the parks rangers.

Complementing the game viewing and bush experience is the historic village of Sadaani, which is in the traditional Swahili style and is thought to date from the late 16th century.

Day 11: Full day game viewing, walking safaris and boat trip on the Wami River, dinner and overnight in beach camp.

Day 12: After breakfast this morning depart for Dar Es Salaam, in time for late afternoon and evening flights.

End Of Services

INCLUDED: This can be a private safari or joining with other, with all game viewing in 4WD land rover or Land cruiser with English speaking guide, all full board accommodation throughout, all park fees and conservation fees, unlimited kilometers on game drives, all walking safaris and night drives as stated. Flight Nairobi to Mwanza.

NOT INCLUDED: soft and alcoholic drinks, all items of a personal nature, visas and international flights.