Tour Plan Day By Day .
Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Ngorongoro Crater. After arrival and clearing customs formalities you are immediately transferred to a 4*4 Toyota land cruiser and make the 3 to 4 hour drive to the vast Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This 8,300km² World Heritage Site protects the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera (260km²) and arguably, the world’s most spectacular natural area. Not only is it scenically breathtaking, but the crater is also home to one of the world’s densest populations of large mammals. Our luxurious lodge is nestled on the forested edge of the crater rim with spectacular views of the crater itself.
The lodge boasts a wonderful forests where Afro-montane forest birds such as Hildebrandt’s Francolin, Schalow’s Turaco, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, the beautiful White-starred Robin, Southern Mountain Greenbul, Brown-headed Apalis, Brown Warbler (Parisoma), skulking Cinnamon Bracken Warblers, busy flocks of Broad-ringed White-eyes and dazzling Tacazze, Golden-winged and Eastern Double-collared Sunbirds can be found. From the rooms, you can gaze down at the Ngorongoro Crater below and watch distant Elephants and herds of antelope and buffalo moving over the plains.
Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater. After an early breakfast, we will descent 600m to the Ngorongoro Crater Floor itself, for a full day crater tour. The crater is deluxe Big Five territory and a photographer’s dream. Most of the animals are extremely relaxed and habituated to the presence of human admirers and the high crater walls, usually cloaked in a pure white frosting of clouds, make for dramatic back-drops to animal photographs.
The crater floor provides an example of a complete African ecosystem with forests, lakes, grasslands, swamps and rivers. Over 27,000 large animals reside in the crater and huge concentrations of Blue Wildebeest and Burchell’s Zebra are supplemented by smaller numbers of African Elephant (we hope to find some of the crater’s famous Giant Tuskers), African Buffalo, Black Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Topi and Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelles. The crater reputably boasts the world’s highest concentration of predators in the world and these include Lions, Cheetah, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Bat-eared Fox and Golden and Black-backed Jackals.
The birding is equally rewarding and we can expect to find many of the picture-book species that make Africa so famous. Pink rafts of Greater and Lesser Flamingoes on Lake Magadi, giant Ostrich striding over the grasslands, cute Chestnut-banded Plovers, regal Kori Bustards (the world’s heaviest flying bird), the supreme Gray Crowned-Crane, the famous Lilac-breasted Roller and a plethora of raptors including the unique Secretarybird, Bateleur, Martial and the Hyrax-hunting Verreaux’s Eagles and Egyptian Vulture. Amongst hundreds of other species that we may encounter, we hope to see Black-winged Lapwing, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Dusky Turtle-Dove, Ross’ Turaco, flocks of Fischer’s Sparrow-larks, Pectoral-patch Cisticola, comical Northern Ant-eater Chats, Jackson’s Widowbird and Rosy-throated Longclaw.
In the evening, we will ascend to our scenic lodge on the crater rim.
Day 3: Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge. This morning, after breakfast and birding around our lodge, we will visit the world-famous Olduvai Gorge, known as “the Cradle of Mankind”. As a result of massive geological activities over the eons, Olduvai provides a unique record of millions of years of fossilized creatures and plants in a series of stratified rock-layers. Most famous of all discoveries, which revolutionized thinking on hominid evolution, have been those of Australopithecine hominid remains found by the Leakey family. We will visit the excellent museum at the site and beside replicas of the hominid fossils, we can marvel at genuine fossils of extinct animals that used to inhabit the region, from River Elephants and Giant Swine to Short-necked Giraffes! After an introductory lecture and time spent exploring the superb museum, we will take a bird walk around the site. Here we can expect to find many dry-country species such the outrageous Red-and-Yellow Barbet, Rufous-breasted Wryneck, Slate-colored Boubou, Banded Warbler (Parisoma), very tame Speckle-fronted and Speke’s Weavers, beautiful Purple Grenadiers and Southern Grosbeak-Canary.
This area is home to the Maasai people, tall, proud, nomadic warriors famous for their legendary prowess in battle and single-handed acts of bravery in fights with wild animals. An optional excursion for those interested in Maasai culture will be a visit to a traditional Maasai village where a local guide will explain their unique culture as you watch the people busy about their daily chores. You will be treated to a display of the famous Maasai dancing and have unlimited photographic opportunities.
Thereafter, we travel westwards, on a rough road across the vast, flat and seemingly endless Serengeti Plains, to spend four nights in arguably the world’s most famous game reserve.
Days 4-5-6 : Serengeti National Park. Extending for an incredible 14,763km², the Serengeti is one of the world’s largest natural sanctuaries. Despite the vast space, the numbers of game that we can expect to see is still outstanding and remarkable. Most of the park consists of grasslands (the word “Serenget” means “Endless Plain” in Maasai), interspersed with Acacia woodlands and rocky outcrops. There are permanent waters in the park and this fact, combined with a fairly regular rainfall pattern, has resulted in the world-famous Wildebeest migration. More than two million large ungulates move between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya. Our visit is timed so that we will be witness to unbelievable numbers of wildebeest, zebra and antelope, an unrivalled and primeval wonder of the natural world.
Where prey is found so are predators, and Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Hyena and others will also present in good numbers. Not only is this a great place in which to find game, but also the wide green-gold savannas, dotted with thorn trees, make it ideal for photography. The Serengeti is ravishingly beautiful and offers long, undisturbed views and utterly dramatic panoramas. The weather really means something here. The sun may beat down unforgivingly, huge clouds in fabulous shapes may sweep across the widest of skies, and the wind ripples the grasses as though a giant hand strokes them. The landscape is stunning.
Additionally, there will certainly be a veritable feast of superb birds (over 550 species have been recorded in the park!) and a host of resident wildlife to keep us very busy for the three full days we have in the park. We once again have the chance of finding the full compliment of African mega fauna. We hope to see prides of Lions, Leopards draped over large trees, Cheetah resting near termite mounds, skulking Spotted Hyena, jackals and the bizarre Bat-eared Fox. Several species of smaller cats such as Caracal, Serval or African Wild Cat may even be seen. Besides the Wildebeest, the Serengeti supports huge populations of Burchell’s Zebra, African Buffalo, Giraffe, Warthog, Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelle, Impala, Topi, Kongoni, Bohor Reedbuck and Eland and smaller numbers of Elephant, Hippopotamus, rubber-nosed Kirk’s Dik-diks, Klipspringer, Roan, Oribi and Defassa Waterbuck
Star birds include three Tanzanian endemics (Gray-breasted Spurfowl, Fischer’s Lovebird and Rufous-tailed Weaver – all common) as well as localized species such as Usambara Barbet (a split of D’Arnaud’s Barbet), Red-throated Tit and Athi Short-toed Lark. Other birds we hope to find include the magnificent Saddle-billed Stork, up to six species of vultures and the grotesque Marabou Stork squabbling over the remains of a kill, coveys of Coqui Francolin, White-bellied Bustard, Spotted Thick-knee, Temminck’s Courser, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, White-bellied Go-away-bird, White-headed and Red-fronted Barbet, Abyssinian Scimitarbill, the giant Southern Ground-Hornbill, Von der Decken’s Hornbill, Taita Fiscal, Magpie Shrike, Hildebrandt’s and the ubiquitous Superb Starling, both species of Oxpecker, Silverbird, the cute Buff-bellied Warbler, Kenya Rufous Sparrow, Gray-capped Social-Weaver, Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, Black-cheeked Waxbill and the aptly named Beautiful Sunbird.
Day 7: Serengeti National Park to Tarangire National Park. After breakfast, we will drive to Tarangire National Park. Here our lodge nestles into valley overlooking Tarangire Hill and is set within the heart of the Tarangire National Park.
Day 8: Tarangire National Park. The Tarangire ecosystem is the third largest in Tanzania (20,000km²). During the dry season, when our visit is planned, the park supports the second largest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania (only surpassed by the Serengeti during peak migration season!) The unique Acacia savanna and Baobab studded woodlands provide a home for over 558 bird species, as well as Lion, Leopard, African Buffalo and large herds of grazing ungulates. However, Tarangire is most famous for its huge numbers of Elephant that congregate around the Tarangire River at this time of year.(the highest concentrations of elephants per square kilometer)
We have the opportunity to find species associated with drier environments than we have previously visited. Lifers might include African Hawk-Eagle, the diminutive Pygmy Falcon, Double-banded Courser, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Meyer’s and Orange-bellied Parrots, Bare-faced Go-away-bird, Spot-flanked and D’Arnaud’s Barbets, Spotted Mourning-Thrush, Northern Pied-Babbler and two more Tanzanian endemics, Ashy Starling and Yellow-collared Lovebird.
Day 9: Tarangire National Park to usambara mountains. After breakfast and final birding in Tarangire, we will transfer to Arusha. Here we will have lunch before leaving for usambara mountains. Here we explore this less visited mountains which boasts 25% of the total life, (bionic)in the world ,is a part of the famous western arc mountains. The lodge is set in a superb views
Day 10: Usambara mountains. lies at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak at 5,895m, and the world’s highest freestanding mountain. Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peaks dominate every aspect of this park and form a stunning backdrop to the birdlife found here. During our exploration, lot of endemic species of birds can be seen here, includes the usambara weaver, usambara akalat, usambara eagle owl, pangani longclaw
Day 11;Morning at usambara for final ,bird watching, thereafter transfer to Kilimanjaro international airport for your flight back home.
TOUR SIZE: This tour will be limited to 6 participants with 1 Caracal Adventures ltd professional bird-guide or 12 participants with 2 Caracal Adventures ltdg professional bird-guides. Note when are more than 6pax,then are two jeeps, with 2 bird-guides.
Our tour guides and naturalist are well equipped with wildlife and birdlife knowledge and are remarkable understanding of the birds, and their vocalizations, ecology, and wildlife behavior . As natives in Tanzania, are passionate of studying wildlife behavior, observing birds, and enjoying the many facts of international travel and culture. With extensive experience birding throughout Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana, and Namibia. Their excitement for the nature and enjoyment sharing them with others stand out on every tour .