Arusha to Dar es Salaam

12 days from 5,949pp

Here’s an African adventure that starts among Tanzania’s most famous wildlife reserves before taking you to remote under-explored national parks of the southern circuit. Embark on wildlife drives in Lake Manyara National Park (keeping your eyes open for the elusive tree-climbing lions), meet one of the researchers at the Serengeti Wildlife Centre, and scan your surroundings in the protected Selous Game Reserve for the zeals of zebras that call these grasslands home. Experience some of the best wildlife viewing in the world amid the landscapes of Tanzania.
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12 days Arusha to Dar es Salaam

From 5,949 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 – Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 6, Avg 5.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Arusha

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Our trips throughout Kenya and Tanzania have a maximum group size of six travellers in addition to a CEO and a driver who are both trained safari guides. That means everyone gets a window seat and twice the insight about the astounding wildlife all around you.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h18:00

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Private Vehicle
Arusha

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Arrival transfer included. Also applies if you fly into Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO)

Optional Activities – Day 1

IIkidinga Village Hike & Visit
Arusha4h-6h

110-185USD per person

Take a guided walk (about 1.5 hours) from Arusha to IIkidinga village. Visit a local home, coffee plantation, and banana plantation. This is a full day tour that includes lunch.

Arusha National Park Tour
Arusha6h-8h

200-500USD per person

Home to the second highest peak in Tanzania, Mount Meru, Arusha National Park has abundant animal and bird life. Opt to participate in a full day safari tour of the area with views of Mount Kilimanjaro in the background.

Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre
Arusha

Free

Take a visit to the Cultural Heritage centre for an opportunity to browse a collection of locally hand-made items, African antiques, sculptures, and contemporary art. Be sure to make your way to the Makonde Museum to view the centres array of intricately carved masks.

Accommodation

Ilboru Safari Lodge (or similar)

Day 2: Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park

Visit Mto wa Mbu village for a guided cultural walk and a traditional lunch with a local family. Continue to our safari camp located outside Lake Manyara National Park. The camp provides unobstructed views of the Rift Valley Escarpment. Embark on an afternoon wildlife safari drive with phenomenal wildlife viewing and search out the famed tree-climbing lions.

This western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment is truly stunning. It provides a backdrop for your search of the park’s bird life, tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippos, and baboons. The afternoon is spent viewing wildlife along the main road that winds through a lush, cool forest that’s dominated by large ficus trees covered in bromeliads and ferns.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Arusha – Lake Manyara National Park2h-3h130km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

G Adventures for Good: Mto wa Mbu Village Visit and Lunch

Take part in a cultural walk to learn about life in this East African town. Mto wa Mbu has attracted some 18,000 residents from 120 different tribes. During the two-hour tour, visit the village’s local market, go right to the farmer’s fields, see how huts are constructed, and meet artisans in their shops.

Afterwards, sit down with our new friends and enjoy a traditional lunch of meat and plantains.

Lake Manyara National Park Safari
Lake Manyara National Park

This western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment is truly stunning. It provides a backdrop for your search for the park’s phenomenal bird life (including raptors), tree-climbing lions, elephants, zebras, hippos, baboons, and buffalos. Look up and see some of the more than 400 species of birds, including pink flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, and storks.

Beyond wildlife, Lake Manyara NP is home to giant fig trees, acacia woodlands, mahogany trees, and grassy flood plains. The contrasts of this area are simply breathtaking; the open plains, huge escarpment, central alkaline lake, dense woodlands, and distant volcanic peaks coming together in an area best described by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I have seen in Africa.”

 

Accommodation

Rift Valley Photographic Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3: Lake Manyara National Park/Serengeti National Park

Travel through the Rift Valley and visit a Maasai village to learn about the Maasai people and the G Adventures-supported Clean Cookstove project. Enjoy an exclusive presentation by one of the Maasai women and hear how participation in the project has impacted her life and empowered other females around her. Take a guided tour of the village, meet the women that have been trained as stove engineers, visit bomas (traditional homes), and observe (or get your hands dirty) by helping the Stove Team build a stove in a home. After, stop at the Olduvai Gorge Museum and Visitors’ Center before continuing to our safari camp located inside Serengeti National Park.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Lake Manyara National Park – Serengeti National Park5h-6h220km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

G Adventures for Good: Clean Cookstove Project Visit

Visit a Maasai village in the Monduli District and witness the benefits of the G Adventures-supported Clean Cookstove Project. In Tanzania, 95% of people rely on cooking with wood and coal. Women and girls spend hours walking to collect wood every day (making them vulnerable to assault and unable to use their time to go to school). Indoor smoke from open-fire stoves causes cancer, emphysema, pneumonia, blindness, and burns. Take a guided tour of these villages and meet the women that have been trained as stove engineers, visit bomas (traditional homes), and observe (or get your hands dirty) by helping the Stove Team build a stove in a home. See the beneficial impact of the clean-burning stoves on the health and daily lives of the Maasai villagers, especially the women.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Clean Cookstove Project Talk

G Adventures has partnered with the Masai Stoves and Solar Project to install more efficient cookstoves across the Serengeti in order to cut down on smoke-related illnesses. Enjoy an exclusive talk with some of the “Masai mamas” and learn how their lives have been impacted and their community empowered.

Olduvai Gorge Museum
Olduwai Gorge

The Olduvai Gorge is a steep ravine in the Great Rift Valley of Tanzania. It is one of the world’s most important paleoanthropological sites. Beginning in 1931, excavations by Louis Leakey revealed evidence of early man dating back nearly 2 million years. Visit the Olduvai museum and see bone fossils and fragments of ancient stone tools. This UNESCO World Heritage site provides an intriguing glimpse into the origin and evolution of man in these Serengeti Plains of Africa.

Serengeti National Park Safari
Serengeti National Park

This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.

Accommodation

Serengeti Tortilis Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4: Serengeti National Park

Embark on morning and afternoon wildlife safari drives in our compact, safari 4×4, that features a pop-up roof for optimal wildlife observation. Visit the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre, where wildlife researchers and scientists are working on projects within the National Park and surrounding protected areas. Enjoy a lecture by one of the visiting researchers. Topics will vary based on the studies being done at the time. Opt to take a sunrise balloon safari.

If you have pre-booked a Serengeti Balloon Safari, your flight will be early in the morning. You will miss the morning wildlife safari drive, but you will have a much better view from above.

Serengeti National Park Safari
Serengeti National Park

This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Serengeti National Park

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture

Visit the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre, where most of the wildlife researchers and scientists are based for projects within Serengeti National Park and surrounding protected areas. Enjoy a lecture by one of the visiting researchers; topics will vary based on the studies being done at the time.

Optional Activities – Day 4

Serengeti Balloon Safari
Serengeti National Park

599USD per person

Spirited aloft in a hot-air balloon, view the wildlife and terrain of the Serengeti that only the birds see. Enjoy a champagne breakfast and keep that shutter-finger good and limber—you’ll be using it plenty over the course of your hour in the air.

 

Accommodation:

Serengeti Tortilis Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5: Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro
Continue viewing wildlife on the drive out of the Serengeti to our comfortable tented camp. Relax this evening enjoying the African sunset on the deck with a cool drink.

Please note that due to the high-altitude location of our camp, temperatures can drop at night. We recommend bringing extra layers to wear during the evening and following morning.

Serengeti National Park Safari
Serengeti National Park

This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro4h160km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

 

Accommodation:

Pembeni Rhotia (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6: Ngorongoro/Arusha

Depart early into Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a wildlife safari drive and picnic lunch. In the afternoon, drive to Arusha.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Ngorongoro – Arusha4h-5h200km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife Safari Drive
Ngorongoro Crater

Set the alarm and prepare for an early start to see the wonders of the Ngorongoro Crater. Here you’ll see Maasai herdsmen in the morning mist. Your driver/guide will take you down into the crater and to all the best spots to view wildlife. Spot zebra, gazelles, buffaloes, and warthogs. The swamp and forest are home to hippos, rhinos, elephants, baboons, and monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready to capture a pride of lions or a lone leopard walking along the crater floor.

 

Accommodation:

Ilboru Safari Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 7: Arusha
Enjoy free time to explore Arusha.
Free Time
Arusha Full Day

Opt to check out the town’s bustling markets, or visit the Old Boma Museum.

Optional Welcome Meeting for Travellers on Combos

You may be a seasoned pro at group travel by now, but there will likely be some new travellers joining the group. Sit in on the welcome meeting to meet the newest members of your group and learn about the next leg of your tour.

 

Accommodation:

Ilboru Safari Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast

Day 8: Arusha/Ruaha NP

Catch a flight to Ruaha National Park — Tanzania’s largest national park with an abundance of wildlife and vast, diverse landscapes. Transfer to our safari lodge, located beside the river for optimal viewing of wildlife. After, enjoy a wildlife safari drive in this incredibly remote park. Wildlife viewing is always exciting with a large concentration of elephant and buffalo herds, as well as abundant predators such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, and hyenas. Relax this evening by the bonfire.

Please note each passenger is only allowed a total of 15kgs of checked and carry-on luggage combined, and must be in small soft-sided bags. This is strictly enforced by airlines and outside of our control.

Plane
Arusha – Ruaha National Park3h Morning

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Wildlife Safari Drive in Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park

Enjoy a wildlife safari drive in Tanzania’s largest, and lesser-visited national park. Considered to be one of Tanzania’s “best kept secrets”, Ruaha’s abundance of wildlife and vast, diverse landscapes truly make this place a hidden gem. Keep an eye out for lions, buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and impalas (to name a few).

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Wildlife Conservation Discussions

One of the most remote parks in Tanzania, Ruaha National Park holds approximately 10% of the worlds lion population and is a haven for other carnivores including, cheetah, wild dogs, leopards and spotted hyaenas. While a prime area for scientific study, it does face serious issues regarding human-wildlife conflict, in terms of safety and protection of livestock. Our expert local guides will lead various discussions in understanding the importance of wildlife conservation and protection, how local people are being encouraged to help, current research being done in this area and how sustainable tourism can can help in conservation efforts.

 

Accommodation:

Ruaha River Lodge (or similar)
Lodge

Ruaha National Park
The Great Ruaha River forms the spine of this vast and varied park. Most of our game
drives spend at least some of their time following the river, before breaking off and
exploring the bushland and kopjes beyond.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9: Ruaha National Park

Spend a full day wildlife viewing with our expert safari guides inside this vast and remote park, keeping an eye out for lions, buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and impalas. This evening, relax at our lodge, sitting back on the deck with a cool drink listening to the night sounds and gazing at the stars.

At just over 20,000km2 (20,226km2) Ruaha is the largest National Park in East Africa, but add in the adjacent wildlife management areas, Villages and Private Reserves, the wildlife area grows to up to 50,000km2.

Wildlife Safari Drive in Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park

Enjoy a wildlife safari drive in Tanzania’s largest, and lesser-visited national park. Considered to be one of Tanzania’s “best kept secrets”, Ruaha’s abundance of wildlife and vast, diverse landscapes truly make this place a hidden gem. Keep an eye out for lions, buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and impalas (to name a few).

Optional Activities – Day 9

Ruaha Balloon Safari
Ruaha National Park

575USD per person

Soar above Tanzania’s biggest National Park for wildlife viewing amongst the baobab-studded landscape. Upon landing, enjoy a full English breakfast and raise a glass of sparking wine to an unforgettable experience.

Accommodation:

Ruaha River Lodge (or similar)
Lodge

Ruaha National Park
The Great Ruaha River forms the spine of this vast and varied park. Most of our game
drives spend at least some of their time following the river, before breaking off and
exploring the bushland and kopjes beyond.

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 10: Ruaha/Selous

Enjoy one last morning safari drive in Ruaha before catching a flight to Selous Game Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After settling into the camp, board a boat on the river for an evening safari. The rivers of Selous are the lifeblood of the park, attracting an abundance of wildlife including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a plethora of bird life.

In Selous Game Reserve the order of activities can change and all activities are subject to weather and local conditions.

Please note each passenger is only allowed a total of 15kgs of checked and carry-on luggage combined, and must be in small soft-sided bags. This is strictly enforced by airlines and outside of our control.

Wildlife Safari Drive in Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park Morning

Enjoy a wildlife safari drive in Tanzania’s largest, and lesser-visited national park. Considered to be one of Tanzania’s “best kept secrets”, Ruaha’s abundance of wildlife and vast, diverse landscapes truly make this place a hidden gem. Keep an eye out for lions, buffalo, zebras, giraffes, and impalas (to name a few).

Plane
Ruaha National Park – Selous Game Reserve1h30m Morning

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Rufiji River Safari
Selous Game Reserve Afternoon

Board a boat in the afternoon and drift down the Rufiji river as the sun sets. This experience gives you a unique view of the wildlife on shore, crocodiles and hippos that inhabit the river, as well as the park’s abundant bird life.

Accommodation

Rufiji River Camp (or similar)

 

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 11: Selous Game Reserve

Rise early and head out for a full day wildlife safari drive in this incredible reserve with our expert local guide. The park is known for its numerous lion prides and holds over 50% of the remaining endangered African wild dog populations as well as over 400 species of bird. There also is an abundance of zebras, impalas, giraffes, sable, kudu, baboon, wildebeests, colobus, and vervet monkeys. After a busy day, relax this evening enjoying sunset by the river and dinner in the boma.

Wildlife Safari Drive in Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve Afternoon

Spanning a vast 54,600 square km, Selous Game Reserve is one of the world’s largest animal conservation areas – a trait that allows visitors the unique opportunity to spot east and southern African wildlife. Head out for a drive in a 4×4 safari vehicle with an expert guide and take it all in.

Accommodation:

Rufiji River Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 12: Selous/Dar es Salaam

Rise early and follow an expert guide into the bush on foot, keeping your eyes peeled for birds, lounging leopards, elephants, and buffalo. After, catch our flight to Dar Es Salaam. Tour ends on arrival.

Today we fly to Dar. The tour ends at the airport in the mid-to-late afternoon.

Please note each passenger is only allowed a total of 15kgs of checked and carry-on luggage combined, and must be in small soft-sided bags. This is strictly enforced by airlines and outside of our control.
Walking Safari in Selous Game Reserve
Selous Game Reserve

There are many ways to experience a wildlife safari, but doing it on foot is one of the most exciting ways to immerse yourself in your surroundings. Follow an expert guide into the bush in the early morning and keep your eyes peeled for birds, lounging leopards, elephants, and buffalo.

Plane
Selous Game Reserve – Dar es Salaam3h15m Afternoon

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… yup, it is a plane, actually.

Departure Day
Evening

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

 

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

What’s Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Clean Cookstove Project Talk, Mto wa Mbu
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture, Serengeti National Park
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Wildlife Conservation Discussions, Ruaha National Park
  • G Adventures for Good: Mto wa Mbu Village Visit and Lunch, Mto wa Mbu
  • G Adventures for Good: Clean Cookstove Project Visit, Mto wa Mbu
  • Arrival transfer
  • Wildlife safari drives in Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Serengeti National Park
  • Entrance to Olduvai Gorge Museum
  • Entrances and wildlife safari drives in Ruaha NP and Selous Game Reserve
  • Boat and walking safari in Selous
  • Internal flights
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Safari Camp/lodges (5 nts), hotels (3 nts), comfortable tented camp (3 nts).

Meals

11 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 8 dinners
Allow USD205-270 for meals not included.

Transportation

4x4 safari vehicle, plane, boat, walking.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, certified driver/guide.

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