Arusha – Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro Crater – Arusha, Tanzania
Switching to smaller, more game park-friendly vehicles, we drive west across the Great Rift Valley, passing through Mto Wa Mbo (‘Mosquito Creek’) and entering the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. Heading into the park, we drive around the Crater’s rim and down onto the plains of the Serengeti. A luscious green after the rains, and brown and burnt after the droughts, this area is home to a vast variety of grazing animals, predators and birdlife. Flatter and larger than the Masai Mara, the Serengeti is simply enormous. In fact, the name is derived from the Masai word Siringitu, meaning ‘the place where the land moves on forever’. Here, game viewing is a fantastic activity in which to partake, and spending your nights sleeping in the unfenced campsite where lion and hyena roam freely is an enthralling and extremely memorable experience.
The next day we leave the plains while game driving en route, and after lunch we begin to ascend the outer wall of the Ngorongoro Crater. It is here that we spend the night camping on the rim, where wildlife runs free and where you will definitely need a warm jacket to combat the cold night air. The Ngorongoro, at 326 square kilometres in area, is Africa’s largest intact crater, as well as a World Heritage Site. The spectacular view from the rim (2400 metres above sea level) makes the site from the Crater floor even more enjoyable at approximately 600 metres below sea level. All of the major mammals can be seen here, except for the giraffe who cannot manage the steep slopes leading downward to the floor of the Crater. We descend the almost vertical dirt roads for a morning of game driving and stop for lunch at the top of the Crater for one last magnificent view over the Ngorongoro before heading back to our camp at Arusha.
Trip Highlights: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater
Accommodation: Serengeti National Park: Bush Camp, Ngorongoro Crater: Simba Camp, Arusha: Meserani Snake Park
Meals included: Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Distance Covered: +/-250kms each way on days 1 and 3
Approximate Driving Time: Full days including game drives