Explorer Style Mobile Safari
The "Explorer Style" exclusive mobile safari (previously known as the Authentic Style mobile safari) is the modern version of the style of the past - like the gentleman explorers Baker, Stanley and Baines. Improvements in modern camp equipment, lighting, refrigeration, etc allow a quality lifestyle under canvas in the wilds of Africa, whilst maintaining that pioneering feel.
Camping equipment consists of 3.5m x 6.5m dome tents, which are extremely spacious with camp beds, foam mattresses and warm bedding consisting of quality linen, duvet, cotton sheets and a full size pillow. The shower and eco-friendly toilet are en-suite, so you don't have to leave the safety of your tent at night.
Sumptuous homemade meals are prepared by the friendly chef and are either served in the mess tent or, if you prefer, directly under the stars. Meals usually consist of a cooked breakfast, light lunch and a three-course dinner.
We've replaced the "ox-wagons and bearers" with custom 4x4 Land Cruisers, with game viewing hatches that allow 360-degree views, and professional guides. At the camp you have your own personal staff of chef, waiters and support crew. The support vehicle and camp crew travel ahead of your group and set up camp. In the safari vehicle you will find a selectio of reference books on Tanzania's parks, history, flora and fauna, and a cool box for drinks.
Your guide and their assistants are experienced professionals who prioritise your comfort and safety, whilst ensuring optimal game-viewing opportunities throughout your safari.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and conduct a pre-departure briefing at 08h30 for a 09h00 departure. Your guide can assist you should you wish to exchange money or purchase other beverages or snacks. The rest of the safari crew will have gone ahead to set up your camp. The drive to Tarangire is just over two hours and you will either be able to enjoy lunch at the campsite or a picnic lunch en route, so that you will be able to spend the rest of the day game-viewing. Continue on to Lake Manyara National Park and overnight at a private campsite at the park or in a private concession nearby.
Countless elephant scrach the dry river bed for underground streams while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd shringking lagoons - the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem occurs within the Tarangire National Park. Then, when finally the first rains fall, these seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 square kilometre range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. Tarangire's mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry. And the swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus of many of the park's 550 bird species, one of the highest tallies for any protected area anywhere in the world. On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the world's heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world's largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys. More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling - all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania. Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting. Tarangire's pythons climb trees, as do its liions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitch of a tail.
This morning, you will be able to enjoy a full day exploring Lake Manyara National Park where you can enjoy game viewing and bird watching. If you rise early, you will enjoy the park in relative "privacy" before other guests arrive from their lodges outside of the park. Tonight, spend a second evening in your private campsite in Lake Manyara or in a nearby private concession.
From the entrance gate to Lake Manyara National Park, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy. Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffe - some so dark in colouration that from a distance they appear to be black. Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara's legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk's dik-dik forage in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steam and bubble adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania's birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingo on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
This morning after breakfast, continue to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with a picnic lunch packed for the day. You may stop along the way at the bustling town of Mto-wa-mbu, where there is a lively curio market, and then at Karatu, a rich farming area. Weave your way upwards into the densely forested slopes of the Ngorongoro Conservation area, pausing to admire the splendid view of the crater floor 600 metres below at Heroes Point.
Head down into the caldera below and spend the rest of the day enjoying game viewing in one of the most spectacular places on earth! Photographic opportunities are abundant, and one often sees four out of the Big Five in a short time. Have a picnic lunch at the floor of the crater at a pleasant lakeside location, where you can stretch your legs and soak up the magnificent scenery. Overnight at a private campsite inside the conservation area. The crater rim can be very cold at night and cloaked in mist in the early mornings. You will need a heavy jumper, several layers or a warm jacket here.
The Ngorongoro Crater, at 2286 metres above sea level, is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. Surrounded by very steep walls rising 610 metres from the crater floor, this natural amphitheatre measures 19.2 kilometres in diameter and 304 square kilometres in area. It is home to up to 30,000 animals, almost half being wildebeest and zebra. Buffalo, elephant, hippo, hyena, jackal, lion, ostrich, serval, warthog, bushbuck, eland, hartebeest, reedbuck, waterbuck and huge herds of both Thomson's and Grant's gazelle are easily seen on the crater floor. Thanks to anti-poaching patrols, the crater is now one of the few places in East Africa where visitors can be certain of seeing black rhino, with the number now reaching 25. Leopard may occasionally be seen in the trees of the forest surrounding the crater while cheetah are present but rarely seen. Large herds of giraffe live on the rim of the crater. Countless flamingo form a pink blanket over the soda lakes while more than 100 species of birds not seen in the Serengeti have been spotted. The crater, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which covers more than 8,300 square kilometres. It is bounded by Lake Eyasi in the southwest and the Gol Mountains in the north. Roughly in the centre is the Olbalal Swamp and the arid Olduvai Gorge.
Break up camp this morning and embark on a game drive into the great Serengeti plains. Before crossing from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area into the Serengeti National Park, you should take the opportunity to visit the Olduvai Gorge. Here you may attend a short talk on the archaeological importance of Olduvai and the work of Mary and Louis Leakey in excavating the area and discovering some of Africa's most important hominid fossils. You might consider the optional extra of a visit to a Maasai village boma where you can spend some time learning about the culture, traditions and beliefs of this ancient, noble warrior tribe. This is an additional cost, and should be discussed with the guide, and paid directly to the guide and the Masai. Overnight at a private campsite in the Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti is Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famed for its annual migration when some six million hooves - not only wildebeest but also zebra and gazelle - march as one in search of fresh grazing. And even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers scintillating game viewing: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and gazelle. The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates. Golden-maned lions feast on an abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt acacia trees along the Seronera River, while greyhound-like cheetahs prown the open plains. All three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat. There is more to the Serengeti than large mammals. There are also wooded hills and towering termite mounds, rivers lined with fig trees and acacia woodland stained orange by dust. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around isolated granite kopjes. A full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500 plus bird species, making the park endlessly rewarding to birders. Above all, there is the liberating sense of space that characterises the sunburnt plains, as they stretch to shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth. After the rains, this golden grassy expanse is transformed into a lush green carpet flecked with wildflowers. Popular the Serengeti might be, but its vastness is such that you might be the only human audience when a pride of lions masterminds a siege, focussed unswervingly on its next meal.
If you would like to go on an early morning balloon safari over the Serengeti, this MAY be possible, but is largely dependent on the position of your pre-booked accommodation or camp and the season you are travelling. Please note that the balloon safaris can only be guaranteed if they are pre-booked and there is an additional charge for this.
Morning and afternoon, or full day game drives in Serengeti National Park. If you would like to go on an early morning balloon safari over the Serengeti, this may be possible - but it is largely dependent on the position of your pre-booked campsites and the season that you travel. Please note that balloon safaris can only be organised by pre-arrangement and there is an additional cost for this. Overnight at your private campsite in the Serengeti National Park.
Another day in the Serengeti - with either morning and afternoon game drives or a full day game drive with picnic lunch. Overnight at your private campsite in the Serengeti National Park.
It is recommended that you consider the option of flying back from the Serengeti to Arusha today. It is an exceptionally scenic flight over the highlands of Ngorongoro, across the vast expanse of the Rift Valley escarpments, and over the green coffee plantations surrounding Arusha airport. On a clear day, you will see amazing views of Mount Meru's dark profile rising up above the town, cloaked in wisps of cloud, and sometimes Kilimanjaro in the distance. This flight is an additional cost. Should you fly back, only breakfast this morning will be included.
Alternatively, if you decide to drive back to Arusha, you will arrive in the late afternoon and a picnic lunch will be provided en-route. There may be a little time to shop for curios along the way, or just outside the town centre.
- Separate safari vehicle for guests – ie luggage and equipment taken separately
- Back up crew, waiter and safari chef in support vehicle, fridges, etc
- PRIVATE campsites in conservation areas or within the parks
- En-suite mobile tents with camp cots, mattresses, quality linens and bedding provided, towels, torches
- Reference books inside safari vehicle
- Bottled water throughout
Read more about Explorer Style Mobile Safari [pdf file]
Scheduled Departure Dates
The safari departs Arusha at 09h30 on a Saturday morning, it is necessary to spend Friday night in either Arusha or Moshi to join this safari. Ideally guests should overnight in Arusha the night before the safari commences.
Guaranteed departure with minimum two guests.
Explorer Style Mobile Safari
$2,320 per person twin share
Plus Park Fees $655 pp
increase for July 2013 70.00
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