Serengeti Safari - Family Holiday Trip Notes
Trip code: FFQRV
Trip length: 8 days
- Journey through the land of the famous Great Migration
- Stay in comfortable lodges throughout
- Watch the predators and the prey in some dramatic scenery
As part of this truly unforgettable safari in Tanzania, you explore two of the world’s greatest game reserves - the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater - and see the famous Olduvai Gorge and the little-visited Lake Manyara National Park. This is the ultimate African trip, including game drives by 4WD vehicle, stays in beautifully situated safari lodges and comfortable safari camps, and experiencing the sights and sounds of a lively market town. There is an astonishing array of wildlife, including zebra, giraffe, lion, cheetah, rhino, gazelle, leopard, elephant, wildebeest and many more. You can round off your adventures in Tanzania with an extension to relax on the beaches of Zanzibar Island.
Tour Starts; Arusha
The tour starts at the Arusha hotel. You will receive full details of exactly where to meet your Group Leader on the Joining Instructions which will be sent to you 2-3 weeks before your trip starts. Set at an altitude of 1390m, Arusha is surrounded by fertile land. Arusha was once the headquarters of the East African community in the days when Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda were members of a communications and customs union and remains one of Tanzania’s most attractive and lively towns. Driving time approx. 1 hour.
Iboro Safari Lodge (AAA) - 1 night - Swimming pool (D)
Lake Manyara NP
This morning you cross the Great Rift Valley, one of the most dramatic features on earth. Stretching from the Dead Sea in Jordan to Mozambique in the south, it is up to 100km wide in places and hosts an enormous diversity of wildlife. Your journey takes you through the lands of the Masai - probably the best known tribe in Africa - and on to Lake Manyara National Park. Once inside the park keep your eyes peeled in case you see its major attraction - the tree-climbing lions. There are plenty of other things to see - elephant, hippo, plain’s game as well as a huge variety of bird life, both resident and migratory. Driving time approx. 2 ½ - 3 hours.
Country Lodge (AAA) - 1 night - Swimming Pool (BLD)
This morning you make your way to the Serengeti, along with the Masai Mara in Kenya, the most famous of Africa's national parks. Established in 1951, it is well known for the annual migration that takes place across the savannah plains (migration begins in the south from December to March and arrives at Ndutu from April to June); thousands and thousands of animals are on the move as far as the eye can see, a phenomenal experience that has to be seen to be believed. En route you’ll stop at Olduvai Gorge; this famous archaeological site is where some of the oldest humanoid skeletons have been discovered - visit the small museum exhibiting many of the fossils and relics from the area. You continue towards the park gates. Even before reaching our lodgings for the night you are certain to make many sightings of large animals. Most of the next three days are spent exploring the sweeping grass plains, rocky outcrops (kopjes) and sparsely wooded river valleys of this incomparable park, where lion, cheetah, leopard, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, gazelle and perhaps even wild dog can be seen. Driving time to Serengeti approx. 4 1/2 hours, plus game drive en route to night stop.
Kongoni Mobile Tented Camp (CC+) - 2 nights (BLD)
This camp provide ensuite tented rooms with comfortable beddings, their own private bathrooms, shower, king size or twin beds, sink, and toilets. The tents are furnished with safari chairs on the patio for relaxing time outdoors. The lights and power outlets are turned on in the evening for your convenience. Nights in the heart of the bush are truly unforgettable.
Full day Game drive in the Serengeti National Park. Not only will you be treated to a vast array of wildlife in its natural habitat, but sweeping panoramas of the African savannah, dotted with lush rocky outcrops (known as kopjes). You will stop for a picnic lunch in the Park and continue with an afternoon game drive. Stay over night in a comfortable Mobile tented camp within the Serengeti Central area.
The Ikoma Wildlife Area is home to many animals and, being allocated in the heart of the national park, you will get a stunning view on the prolific land. You will explore this area today on a safari vehicle through the national park.
Lobo Wildlife Lodge (AAAA) - 1 night - Swimming Pool (BLD)
Located in the North of Serengeti National Park where wildlife abunds, the lodge is strategically built into an enormous volcanic rocky outcrop and it's elevated position means that the migration can be viewed from the comfort of a sun lounger. You can watch and witness the migration even from the pool.
After a morning game drive you’ll depart for the onbroken volcanic caldera that forms theNgorongoro Crater (an early morning alternative would be to take an optional hot air balloon flight - ideal to appreciate the immense plains and hopefully spot herds of grazing antelope or wildebeest), spotting game en route as you leave the plains of Serengeti behind you. There may also be time for an optional stop at a local Masai village to witness something of their traditional way of life. You will arrive around mid-afternoon and spend the night on the rim of the crater, from where vantage points offer magnificent views over and down into the caldera. Nights here can be particularly cold.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (AAA) - 1 night - Swimming Pool (BLD)
Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most picturesque settings for observing wildlife and with about 30,000 resident animals, there is excellent game viewing here all year round. The photographic opportunities are unrivalled! You descend into the crater in 4WD vehicles, accompanied by a local driver/guide(s). Encounters with animals are frequent in this Garden of Eden and there is a wide variety of animal life to be seen, from African fish eagle to zebra and everything in between. Lake Magadi, the soda lake at the floor of the crater, is home to thousands of flamingos and nearby there is a pool where splashing hippo laze in the sunshine, watched by a profusion of water birds. This is also one of the best places to see the endangered black rhino. Leaving the crater you follow the road climbing steadily up its precipitous inner edge.
Bougainvillia Lodge (AAA) - 1 night - Swimming Pool (BLD)
Arusha; Tour ends
Today you cross the open plains and retrace your steps to Arusha. The trip ends here. Driving time to Arusha approx. 2 ½ hours, Arusha – Airport approx. 1 hour (B)
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Trip gradesAfrican Safari
Beach / coastal
Grasslands / Savannah
Lodge based safaris
No physical difficulty involved so any healthy individual should be able to take part. When travelling in Tanzania you can expect some rough roads and some long full-day drives and be aware that some transfer drives can be combined with game viewing en route. Driving times indicated are estimates only and can vary depending on local conditions and game viewing. Expect the unexpected!
Minimum age: 7 years.
Transport - 4WD, minibus.
Accommodation - Lodges (5nts), tented camp (2nts).
Meals - 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 7 dinners.
Single room supplementA single supplement is available for this trip priced from 117 GBP. This does not guarantee a single room for all accommodation. please contact us to discuss this.
For your comfort we recommend you travel as light as possible; many airlines impose a maximum weight limit of 20kg – we advise you to take 10kg as you will be on the move a good deal! For domestic flights using light aircraft the usual weight limit is 15 kg.
One main piece (a soft bag or rucksack, not a hard suitcase).
A daypack (25-30 litres), large enough to carry what you need for the day including camera, water, etc.
Tsetse flies are attracted to the colours blue and black. For your comfort we advise you to refrain from wearing these colours whilst on safari.
The Ngorongoro Crater can be cooler than you imagine – sometimes even very cold! Take something warm to wear here especially at night.
Learn some Swahili : Lonely Planet have a handy little guide to learning Swahili which will add an extra dimension to your trip! There are also many good internet sites so you can learn some simple words before you travel. Your efforts are sure to be rewarded with a warm smile (no matter how wrong you sound!) – go on be brave!
Jambo – hello: is the first word you will learn, but very touristy so say Habari – How’s things?
Asante (sana) – Thank you (very much)
Wapi choo? – Where are the toilets?
Hakuna Matata – No problem.
And to really get you learning; try pointing to things and saying….
Unasemaje ….. kwa Kiswahili….? How do you say .…. in Kiswahili?
SOME INTERESTING READING:
The Shadow of the Sun: My African Life - Ryszard Kapuscinski
Natural Order on the African Plain - Mitsuaki Iwago (Photographer)
The Book of Secrets – M. G. Vassanji
The Gunny Sack – M. G. Vassanji
Your Child’s Health Abroad - Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications)
Travel with Children – Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet)
FOR YOUNGER READERS:
We All Went on Safari: A Counting Journey Through Tanzania – Laurie Krebs & Julia Cairns
Cheetahs for Kids – Winnie MacPherson
The Place of Lions – Eric Campbell
With Love – Jane Goodall
African Adventure – Willard Price
Lion Adventure – Willard Price
Local Costs - Tanzania
Approximate costs are given for guidance only, and may vary widely according to location and type of establishment.
Coffee/tea USD 5.00
Soft drink USD 2.00
Bottle of water (1 litre) USD 1.50
Medium beer USD 3.00
Bottle of wine USD 20-40.00
Lunch snack USD 5-10.00
3-course dinner* USD 15-25
* in a reasonable mid-range restaurant
In Tanzania and Zanzibar, there are two (2) departure taxes. Domestic flights: 8,000 Tsh (or $8) and International flights: $40. Part of this tax ($30) should be included in your flight cost. When returning to your own country, you will be charged $10 as an exit tax. The customs sign asks for dollars, so it's probably safer to keep $10 in cash for when you leave.
Visas & Permits - Tanzania
Holders of UK & IRL passports do require a visa. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the end date of the trip. Nationals of all other countries should contact their local embassy or consulate. Visas for Tanzania are available on arrival for some nationalities, but we strongly recommend that you get your visa before travelling, as delays of 1 ½ - 2 hours can occur when getting the visa on arrival at Dar Es Salaam airport. Information can also be found on www.travcour.com.
This information is given in good faith, but may be subject to change without warning. Please note that, where appropriate, obtaining a valid visa is ultimately your responsibility. Please consult a visa agency or the consular authorities 4-6 weeks before departure for the most up-to-date information.
Vaccinations - Tanzania
The following are recommended:
- Hepatitis A
- Yellow Fever (compulsory if arriving from an infected area, not required for mainland Tanzania and for travelling from mainland to Zanzibar as per recent regulations provided by Kenya Airlines, see description below:
TANZANIA YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CERTIFICATES
We personaly recommend you to get your Yellow Fever Certificate anyway, to be on the safe side, as it is valid for 10 years and you might be delayed in an endemic country for more than 12h if your flight get delayed and then you will need to provide it.
Kenya Airways has received the following communication from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania regarding requirement of Yellow Fever Certificate. The directive stipulates the following:
1. All passengers arriving from Non Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) will not be required to show a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate on their arrival to Tanzania.
2. All passengers en route to Tanzania, who have passed through an Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) BUT did not leave that country's airport, will be treated as above (1) above.
3. All passengers en route to Tanzania, who have passed through an Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) and have left the airport of that endemic country, will be required to show yellow fever certificates on their arrival in Tanzania. Otherwise they will require a vaccination at the entry point of arrival in Tanzania (vaccination fee USD 50.00).
4. All passengers from Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) will be treated as those in (3) above
5. All passengers from the Tanzania mainland to Zanzibar will not be required to show their yellow fever vaccination certificate as Zanzibar is inside the United Republic of Tanzania.
Note: The same regulations now apply to those flying directly to Zanzibar.
Please be aware that we had reports of Arusha airport abusive practices and if you get asked for your Yellow Fever Certificate and you don't have it, argue that you were only transiting in Kenya or Ethiopia and did not leave the airport and therefore aren't entitled to provide such certificate and will NOT purchase it at the airport.
For detailed information and advice concerniing vaccinations go to: www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk. Vaccination requirements change periodically so we advise that you check with your nearest specialist travel clinic 4-6 weeks before departure to get up-to-date information. A specialist travel clinic should also be able to advise regarding any special vaccination requirements for your children.
International rules for carrying medicines vary. Some countries do not allow certain medicines to be imported, or require official documents, such as a doctor’s letter, to prove drugs have been prescribed by a doctor and obtained legally. It is sensible to contact the relevant embassy or high commission of your destination to check what their drug transportation rules are before you travel.The itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and does not form part of a contract between the client and The Imaginative Traveller.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at email@example.comThe Imaginative Traveller & The Adventure Company. This trip is operated by our partner company, The Adventure Company. They have more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a codeshared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Adventure Company travellers on your trip.