NORTHERN TANZANIA GRAND SAFARI
|Duration:||17 days, 16 nights|
|* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.|
Northern Tanzania embodies everyone's vision of East Africa. It offers numerous colorful and unusual birds in a variety of habitats plus sweeping savannas home to game animals and predatory mammals. Our extended Tanzania birding and big game safari is the same as our standard tour but also includes a traverse of the western Serengeti and two nights on the shores of Lake Victoria where some specialty birds are found. The tour begins with a full day in Arusha National Park followed by a morning spent outside Arusha looking for the rare and endemic Beesley's Lark along with other birds of dry savanna. The tour continues to Tarangire National Park, a less visited place of beautiful savanna studded with Baobab trees that is home to a large Elephant population and various endemic birds. Of special note are Yellow-collared Lovebird, Ashy Starling, and Rufous-tailed Weaver. From there the tour proceeds to Ndutu, an extension of the southern Serengeti, where Blue Wildebeest spend the rainy season calving and where predatory cats including Cheetahs are quite common. After Ndutu, a traverse of the western Serengeti to Lake Victoria should yield two local rarities, Eastern Plantain-eater and Karamoja Apalis. A two night stay at Speke Bay on Lake Victoria will feature two dozen specialties of western Tanzania not likely to be found elsewhere on the tour. Then a return across the western plains to the central Serengeti provides the best chance for seeing Leopards, most easily seen around Seronera. From Seronera the tour route drops back south to famed Ngorongoro Crater, where the crater rim features several highland specialties and the crater floor offers excellent game viewing as well as birding. The tour continues with an overnight stay near Gibb's Farm, situated at the outside base of the Ngorongoro caldera, where additional bird species await. Following an overnight stay back in Arusha, transfer to the village of Same east of Arusha. En route bird the reservoir area south of the North Pare Mountains where specialties such as Rufous-crowned Roller and other birds of dry scrub are found. Spend a morning birding Mkomazi National Park and continue on to the West Usambara Mountains, an ancient mountain range that harbors many endemic birds and plants, with stops en route. A day and a half in the Usambaras will yield many new species not present elsewhere on the tour. The tour concludes with an afternoon transfer back to Arusha for evening international flights home. Accommodations are comfortable throughout the tour.