Tanzania Safari

Overview

A majestic elephant greets safari participants.

A majestic elephant greets safari participants. Antje Gunnar

Tanzania offers some of the best, if not the best, game-viewing in Africa. The places we visit have drawn travelers for over a century, including Lake Manyara National Park, where thousands of elephants roam in herds of up to three hundred; the Serengeti, host of the famous Great Migration; the Rift Valley, where some of the world's most gifted human runners have come from; and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where a crater 14 miles across and 2000 feet deep provides habitat for uncountable numbers of lions, wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, jackal, elephants, hippo, and many other exotic species. Lovers of adventure can combine a walking safari with a Kilimanjaro trek to experience some of the most distinctive landscapes, wildlife, and cultures in East Africa.

The world "safari" translates literally as "journey" in Swahili, Tanzania's national language. Join us for anywhere between 3 and 7 days. A safari makes the perfect complement to a Kilimanjaro climb, but can also be arranged as a stand-alone adventure.

Both walking and driving safaris are possible, with lodging options ranging from luxury game lodges to beautiful campsites. Safari itineraries can be customized, or you can choose one of the options listed on the "Safari Options and Prices" Tab, on this page.

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Tanzania Safari

Tanzania's Protected Areas

The Tanzanian government has dedicated over 26,100 square mile of land to 14 national parks, two of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Serengeti National Park and Kilimanjaro National Park). There are also a number of other protected areas, including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (over 3125 square miles, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Selous Game Reserve.

The places we visit on safari include:

Safari - Land Cruisers take us through the Ngorongoro Crater.

Land Cruisers take us through the Ngorongoro Crater. Shawn Olson

Ngorongoro Conservation Area: The huge Ngorongoro Crater hosts a large, permanent concentration of wildlife - about 75,000 wild animals year round - and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The crater itself is 14 miles across and 2000 feet deep at its deepest point. It is the largest unbroken volcanic caldera (collapsed volcano) in the world. All the typical plains herbivores, including wildebeest, zebra, Grants and Thomson's gazelle, are well-represented. Cape buffalo, hartebeest, lions, elephant, spotted hyena, hippo, jackal (silver-backed and golden), are also abundant. Cheetah, leopards, and several cats are present but sometimes difficult to see. The Ngorongoro is one of the few places left in east Africa where one can still see the black rhino, a rare and extremely endangered species. Giraffes reside on the crater rim. The area is also occupied by people of the nomadic Maasai tribe.

Serengeti National Park: Probably the most well-known of Tanzania's natural areas. 5700 square miles stretch endlessly across savanna, occupied by all the wildlife east Africa is famous for. It is the great migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every November and December, then move west and north after the long rains in April, May, and June. The migration is one of the most impressive natural events in the world, and is said to be visible from space. Serengeti National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and borders Kenya to the north.

Lake Manyara National Park:   Though smaller than the Ngorongoro and Serengeti (127 square miles), Lake Manyara is a unique gem. The lake itself stretches for 32 miles along the base of the rusty-gold 2000-foot high Rift Valley escarpment and hosts thousands of pink flamingos as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants, and storks. It is a bird-lovers paradise. Ernest Hemingway described this area as "the loveliest I had seen in Africa." The park contains a compact game-viewing circuit, offering a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.

Safari - Lionesses keeping watch over the African plains.

Lionesses keeping watch over the African plains. Keith Gunnar

Tarangire National Park:  The Tarangire (1005 square miles) hosts the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem. It is also the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed. Lions, migratory zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest, and eland, and herds of elephants up to 300 are regularly viewed. Very good bird-watching can be had here as well.

Arusha National Park:  This is the closest national park to Arusha, northern Tanzania's safari capital and a good-sized urban center (19 miles). Three spectacular features bejewel this park: Momella Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater, and Meru Crater. Both Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru, Africa's fifth highest peak, dominate the park's horizon. Animal inhabitants include: antelopes, buffalo, leopards, hyenas, baboons, colobus monkeys, giraffes, rhinos, elephants, and hippos.

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Tanzania Safari

Safari Options and Prices

Most of the safaris that we plan are customized, as different parties may want to choose their exact number of days, where they want to go, as well as how they want to overnight (in luxury lodges or in tent camps). Whether you are planning on a safari as a pre- or post-climb activity, please get in touch with us about about designing your itinerary.All safaris include 3 meals a day, park fees, lodging and camping fees, guide and cook fees, camping equipment (camping safaris), and transportation.

We offer three main types of safaris:

  1. Driving safari - overnight in luxury lodges.
  2. Driving safari - overnight in exotic campsites.
  3. Walking safari - overnight in exotic campsites.

 

Safari - Leopards can be seen in the Serengeti.

Leopards can be seen in the Serengeti. Antje Gunnar

1. Driving Safari - Overnight in Luxury Lodges:
This option is probably the most common way to safari through Tanzania. We offer safaris from three to seven days in length. Choose from the above areas, or ask us for itinerary ideas. Guests stay in very comfortable game lodges, known for their delicious meals and top-notch service.

  • 2-5 participants: $420/person/day
  • 6-9 participants: $390/person/day
  • 10-12 participants:$360/person/day

 

2. Driving Safari - Overnight in Exotic Camps:
This is the more economical safari option, designed for those who are attracted to the experience of spending nights in a camp, close to the sounds and smells of the savanna.

  • 2-5 participants: $300/person/day
  • 6-9 participants: $280/person/day
  • 10-12 participants:$250/person/day

 

3. Walking Safari - Overnight in Exotic Camps:
4 - 7 days. This is a unique option for those who want to feel the closest to nature. Donkeys and young Maasai men carry our gear, and we are accompanied by an armed ranger for the duration of the safari. Overnight accommodations are comfortable camps. In addition to viewing wildlife and big game, the walking safaris also include ventures through traditional Maasai villages, providing an opportunity to explore the strong link between this intriguing tribe and the natural world.  Please inquire with the AAI Office about this option at 360-671-1505 (Toll Free: 1-800-424-2249) or email: info@alpineinstitute.com.

Tanzania Safari

Details

Dates

Please contact the AAI Office at 360-671-1505 (Toll Free: 1-800-424-2249) or email: info@alpineinstitute.com to arrange dates for this program.

 

Volunteer Opportunities for Physicians

If you are a physician and you are looking for a medical volunteering opportunity, you should check out the Foundation for African Medicine & Education. Dr. Frank Artress, M.D., is the founder and director, and works with physicians seeking short- and long-term volunteer opportunities in Tanzania. Please visit his website www.fameus.net or email him at frank@fameus.net.

Tanzania Safari

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