Best of the Northern Circuit (10 days)

Our 10-day Africa wildlife safari brings you the best of Northern Tanzania. Expect to see the animals of the savannah (lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and leopard) and beautiful landscapes. This specific African safari and travel itinerary has been designed for visitors who want to see it all! This trip is also ideal for photographers who like to see a lot of wildlife and stunning panoramas.

This trip specifically includes the most important and well known national parks of the Northern Circuit: Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.

Highlights

Highlights

  • Game drives (safaris) on the savannahs of Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Serengeti  National Park with chances of seeing the wildlife from close quarters
  • Very good chances of seeing the Big Five: Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Leopard and Buffalo
  • The best large game viewing in the world on the endless savannah plains of the Serengeti, with the Big Migration, with over 2 million zebra’s and wildebeest
  • One of the eight Wonders of the world, the Ngorongoro Crater with outstanding wildlife, including the endangered Black Rhino
  • The tree climbing lions and spectacular views in Lake Manyara National Park
  • Meet the Local People like the Maasai and see their local way of living
Photos

Photos

Route

Route

Day 1
Kilimanjaro Airport - Arusha
Day 2
Arusha - Tarangire National Park
Day 3
Tarangire National Park - Serengeti National Park (Ndutu area)
Day 4
Serengeti National Park (Ndutu area) - Serengeti National Park (Lobo area)
Day 5
Serengeti National Park (Lobo area) - Serengeti National Park (Seronera area)
Day 6
Serengeti National Park (Seronera area)
Day 7
Serengeti National Park (Seronera area) - Ngorongoro Crater
Day 8
Ngorongoro Crater - Lake Manyara National Park
Day 9
Lake Manyara National Park - Arusha
Day 10
Arusha - Kilimanjaro Airport
Map Best of the Northern Circuit (10 days)
Day to day program

Day to day program

Day 1

Kilimanjaro Airport - Arusha

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. Pick up and meet your guide, then drive to Arusha Town, almost 45 min drive from the Airport to town for overnight.

Day 2

Arusha - Tarangire National Park

After some shopping in Arusha we drive to Tarangire National Park. Afternoon game drive in this beautiful National Park, with chances of seeing lions, elephants, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe.

Tarangire National Park stretches south east of Lake Manyara around the Tarangire River. It is most spectacular in the dry season from June to November, when several thousands of animals migrate to the last remaining pools.

Day 3

Tarangire National Park - Serengeti National Park (Ndutu area)

We drive through the Ngorongoro Highlands towards the Ngorongoro Conservation area, with spectacular Crater view, on the way to the endless plains of the Serengeti. On this day it is possible to visit a Maasai Boma (kraal) to get more familiar with their daily life activities (optional).

Serengeti is a massive wilderness of 14500 square km, where every day brings a new landscape and a new adventure. Serengeti is famous for the big migration and chances of seeing the big 5 and other game.

Day 4

Serengeti National Park (Ndutu area) - Serengeti National Park (Lobo area)

Driving through the corners of Serengeti in Ndutu area, one of the best opportunities to see the rare African bat eared foxes and Genet Cat. Afterwards we drive to Lobo in the Northern Serengeti, game drive en route.

We can make a stop in the Serengeti Migration Centre and Olduvai Gorge (famous and interesting place where our ancestors have been found). Game drive in Lobo if time allows.

Lobo is famous for the largest prides of muscular lions.

Day 5

Serengeti National Park (Lobo area) - Serengeti National Park (Seronera area)

Early morning game drive in the Lobo area searching for active animals in kopjes, especially the massive groups of lions, before breakfast. After breakfast we drive to the Seronera area, game drive on the way. Game drive in Seronera in the late afternoon.

Seronera has much water all year round, so many animals. Seronera is also home to a permanent population of hippos.

Day 6

Serengeti National Park (Seronera area)

Full day game drive in central Serengeti. One of the best places to see lions, leopards and cheetahs. Seronera has a lot of water and supports large numbers of animals throughout the year.

Optional ballooning (not included) to see the animals from the air.

Day 7

Serengeti National Park (Seronera area) - Ngorongoro Crater

Early morning game drive in Seronera to catch up with the African wild sunrise with active animals in the morning, like lions, leopards and cheetahs

Before we leave Seronera we can make a stop in the Serengeti Migration Centre and Olduvai Gorge (optional). Olduvai gorge is a famous and interesting place where our ancestors have been found. Transfer to the Ngorongoro Crater, game drive en route.

The Ngorongoro Crater is featuring one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. Here you will witness an amazing spectacle of African wildlife, inside a self-contained world teeming with animals, with very good chances of seeing THE BIG FIVE.

Day 8

Ngorongoro Crater - Lake Manyara National Park

Early morning adventure in the Ngorongoro Crater where there are high chances of seeing THE BIG FIVE.

The crater also includes a spectacular Soda lake with flamingos. Afternoon lunch at Hippo Pool Picnic site is an unforgettable experience.

In the afternoon we leave the crater and drive to the lodge.

Day 9

Lake Manyara National Park - Arusha

Today we drive to Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife area, consisting of a shallow but huge soda lake, at the foot of the Great Rift Valley's western escarpment. Lake Manyara is famous for its tree climbing lions. Game drive in this beautiful National Park and transfer to Arusha in the afternoon.

Lake Manyara National Park is nestling under the wall of the Great Rift Valley, the park is scattered with acacia trees and home to the world famous tree climbing lions.

Day 10

Arusha - Kilimanjaro Airport

Transfer to Arusha/Kilimanjaro International Airport for your outbound flight. 

Accommodations

Accommodations

Medium Budget
High Budget
Day 1
Kilimanjaro Airport - Arusha
Medium Budget: Silver Palm Hotel (BB)
High Budget: Mount Meru Hotel (BB)
Day 2
Arusha - Tarangire National Park
Medium Budget: Whistling Thorn Tented Camp (FB)
High Budget: Maramboi Tented Camp (FB)
Day 3
Tarangire National Park - Serengeti National Park (Ndutu area)
Medium Budget: Ndutu Safari Lodge (FB) / Lobo Wildlife Lodge (FB)
High Budget: Masek Tented Camp (FB) / Lobo Wildlife Lodge (FB)
Day 4
Serengeti National Park (Ndutu area) - Serengeti National Park (Lobo area)
Medium Budget: Lobo Wildlife Lodge (FB)
High Budget: Lobo Wildlife Lodge (FB)
Day 5
Serengeti National Park (Lobo area) - Serengeti National Park (Seronera area)
Medium Budget: Serengeti Kati Kati Tented Camp (FB)
High Budget: Serengeti Sopa Lodge (FB)
Day 6
Serengeti National Park (Seronera area)
Medium Budget: Serengeti Kati Kati Tented Camp (FB)
High Budget: Serengeti Sopa Lodge (FB)
Day 7
Serengeti National Park (Seronera area) - Ngorongoro Crater
Medium Budget: Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge (FB)
High Budget: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge (FB)
Day 8
Ngorongoro Crater - Lake Manyara National Park
Medium Budget: Endoro Lodge (FB)
High Budget: Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge (FB)
Day 9
Lake Manyara National Park - Arusha
Medium Budget: Silver Palm Hotel (FB)
High Budget: Mount Meru Hotel (FB)
Day 10
Arusha - Kilimanjaro Airport
Medium Budget: Flight (End of service)
High Budget: Flight (End of service)

Legend: BB = Bed and Breakfast / HB = Half Board / FB = Full Board

Prices

Prices 2017

Prices per person, in USD, based on double/twin sharing

LOW Season (April, May)
  Medium Budget High Budget Camping
Based on private group of 6 persons 2.365 2.365 on request
Based on private group of  4-5 persons 2.440 2.440  
Based on private group of 2-3 persons 2.985 2.985  
Single room Supplement 315 315  
       
HIGH Season (March, June, November)
  Medium Budget High Budget Camping
Based on private group of 6 persons 2.540 2.895 on request
Based on private group of  4-5 persons 2.610 2.975  
Based on private group of 2-3 persons 3.155 3.515  
Single room Supplement 395 455  
       
PEAK Season (January, February, July-October, December)
  Medium Budget High Budget Camping
Based on private group of 6 persons 2.685 3.235 on request
Based on private group of  4-5 persons 2.760 3.295  
Based on private group of 2-3 persons 3.295 3.845  
Single room Supplement 435 490  

 

  • Some lodges may ask for seasonal surcharges for the  Easter and Christmas Holidays
  • Note: From June to November the we do not visit the Ndutu area of Serengeti because there are
    fewer animals there at that time. Instead we use the Lobo area, because at that time of year there are many animals.

Includes

  • Airport transfers
  • Accommodations with meals mentioned
  • Bottled drinking water
  • Private 4x4 custom built vehicle with knowledgeable driver/guide and fuel
  • All entrance fees to the National Parks and Ngorongoro crater fee (valid for 6 hours)
  • The following activities: bird watching, game drives, Ngorongoro adventure

Excludes

  • International flights
  • Visa for Tanzania
  • Insurances
  • All optional activities
  • Meals not mentioned and beverages
  • Tips and personal expenses such as laundry and communication
Travel info
Health Tanzania

A certificate proving that you have received a yellow fever vaccination is obligatory. Furthermore all required inoculations must be recorded by your health practitioner on a valid vaccination certificate. You must carry this document with you throughout the tour. All visitors should take malaria prophylactic drugs. We also advise that you bring a mosquito repellent with you. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist for up to date requirements, inoculations and personal recommendations!

Normally you need the following vaccinations (but please always consult a doctor):

  • Yellow Fever (you must have this can even be checked on arrival, especially when flying within East Africa)
  • DTP
  • Hepatitis

For Malaria you need to take tablets,  Malarone or Lariam. Malarone is mostly used (please always consult a doctor).

Hygiene is not at the same standard as in your home country, so we advise you to bring a disinfectant cream with you. Always drink bottled water instead of tap water.

On arrival

On arrival on the airport our guide will be there waiting for you. During safari we use custom made safari vehicles, custom made for an optimal view of the wildlife. Safari vehicles (and small aircrafts) provide limited space for luggage. It is therefore recommended to travel with light bags since bulky suitcases will overload and might be difficult to be taken on board.

Visa Tanzania

Visa - for those who require one - can be purchased in advance through the Tanzanian embassy or consulate in your home country. Visa can also be obtained upon arrival at Kilimanjaro / Dar es Salaam International Airport or at any overland border. The price for a single entry visa is USD 50 per person.

It is your own responsibility to arrange your visa(s) correctly and in time, but if anything is unclear of course we will be glad to assist you.

Note: This information is subject to change! Always consult the Tanzanian embassy in your country if you are not sure.

Money

In most of the cities it is possible to withdraw money from an ATM. Travelers Cheques are not widely accepted and it is very difficult or impossible to pay by credit card outside the cities. The US dollar is traditionally the hard currency of preference. We advise to bring some Dollars for daily expenses and tips.

Dollar bills should not be older than 10 years.

Currency Tanzania

The unit of currency is the Tanzanian Shilling. Please check the latest exchange rates before you go to your destination. This will be a guideline. Please note you will get a better exchange rate in the bigger cities.

AMREF Flying Doctors


We advise you to apply for a Flying Doctors membership. The membership provides a quick and reliable air evacuation and medical care if needed.

AMREF Flying Doctors offers 2 covers (Annual and Tourist). You can choose between the Maisha Silver (Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar), Maisha Gold (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi) or Maisha Platinum (Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Ethiopia).

Please check out the AMREF Flying Doctors website for more information and to become a member.

Language in Tanzania

The national language of Tanzania is Kiswahili but English is widely spoken and is the main language in the tourist areas.

Climate Tanzania

Tanzania is a tropical country, with high temperatures along the coast and at lower altitudes (especially in the Southern Part). The Northern part is at higher altitudes (except for Lake Natron and Tarangire).

Areas around the Ngorongoro Crater, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru and Arusha are generally cooler.

What to wear Tanzania

Daytime temperatures are generally warm to hot, so bring lots of light clothing. Evenings are cooler, especially at higher altitudes, so carry a couple of light sweaters too.

Those who intend to do mountain hiking will be exposed to alpine temperatures and should pack accordingly.

Don’t forget to bring a hat, sunglasses and a waterproof jacket. During safaris we advise to avoid black and dark blue clothes (because they can attract tsetse flies). For hiking and walking safaris Solid walking shoes and sturdy clothing are ideal for forest walks.

If you are planning on doing a community walk or visit the local people, we advise you to wear appropriate clothing. For example women putting on long skirts and a top that covers the shoulders.

What to bring

A valid passport is mandatory (passport must be valid for at least 3 months after re-entry) and visa requirements for all countries you are planning to visit should be checked before you travel.

To make the most of your visit to the game reserves and national parks, we advise you to carry binoculars and field guides.

Photographers will need a zoom lens for wildlife (70-300 or more). Please make sure to carry enough memory cards with you. Toiletries and other essentials can be bought in the cities.

A torch (flashlight) can proof to be very useful

Electricity Tanzania

We advise you to take an international adapter with you for your electric equipment. The system used in Tanzania is the British system. In most lodges it is possible to charge your batteries.

Driving Tanzania

Driving in Tanzania is on the left-hand side.

Visitors without experience of African roads are advised to travel with a 4x4 vehicle driven by a knowledgeable driver/guide, rather than self-drive.

All our guides are well trained in "Defensive Driving".

Stopover Points

Please mind that washrooms along the road are sometimes not to European standards, for example squatting toilets, no flushing toilets or no toilet paper available. Like the locals say: T.I.A. This Is Africa.

Facilities and accommodations

Bathroom facilities and accommodations can be more basic when traveling on a medium to low budget. In the eco lodges mind that the water reserves are limited and in most cases there are no sockets in the room, but you can always charge your devices at the reception.

Tipping

Tipping will always be appreciated. It is normal to tip 5-10% in hotels and restaurants. Guides, drivers and carriers should always be tipped. Indication: for carriers USD 1-3 and for your driver/guide USD 5-15 per day, depending on the group size, number of days and your satisfaction.

Further information Tanzania

The Lonely Planet and Bradt Travel Guide are the most detailed guidebooks for Tanzania. For wildlife, the best guidebook is ‘Watching Wildlife East Africa’ from the Lonely Planet and The Bradt ‘East African Wildlife’. For birding, the best guidebook is ‘birds of East Africa’. It is advisable to get the most updated copy.