June 8 to June 20, 2018
Friday, June 8—Welcome to Tanzania
Upon arrival at Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport, your flight will be met by our private drivers for your transfer to the Arusha Coffee Lodge. Accommodations at the Arusha Coffee Lodge consist of 18 plantation suites and 12 plantation rooms set in the midst of a working coffee estate almost a century old. Your rooms are a combination of modern comforts framed in the architectural style of the original coffee farm buildings dating back to the early 1900s.
Please note, as everyone will be coming in on a variety of flights, we have left this first day without costing in lunch or dinner. There is a very good restaurant at the lodge, and a safe 10-minute taxi ride will bring you to other restaurants around the city of Arusha. Budget about $30.00 for your meals today.
Wednesday–Friday, June 13, 14, 15—Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge, and the “Big 5”
Boat transfer to Kigoma, private air charter to Manyara Airstrip
Overnight Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, full board
Today you will have another boat transfer from the Gombe National Park to Kigoma for private air charter to the Lake Manyara Airstrip (about 3 hours 10 minutes with a stop midway). You will be met at the airstrip for transfer to the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge for three overnights.
The fabled Ngorongoro Crater is justifiably considered one of the most spectacular spots on earth. Actually, this is a caldera, a sunken volcanic core, not a crater. It is about 120 square miles and provides a home for an amazing variety of animals. Fresh water year-round keeps a large population of buffalo, elephant, zebra, wildebeest, and antelope resident, as well as the rare black rhino. There are five known prides of black-maned lions here, competing with cheetah and hyena for their share of the food supply. No matter what you see, they all look spectacular against the backdrop of the dramatic caldera walls. Many have described Ngorongoro as one of the wildlife wonders of the world. In the late afternoon, when the light softens, the magic of Ngorongoro becomes particularly beguiling.
The Serena Lodge is one of the finest hotels on the Ngorongoro Crater rim as it is beautifully designed to blend in with the dramatically beautiful surroundings. Serena is not as opulent as some other local lodges, but we find it is one of the most comfortable and offers well-trained and friendly staff. Needless to say, all rooms have nice views of the crater itself, but it is the attention to the small details of service that makes this hotel our choice.
You will have a full day tour of the Ngorongoro Crater on the 14th, complete with a picnic lunch and drinks.
On the 15th, you will be transferred to Olduvai Gorge for a tour of this world-famous fossil site. Evidence of Homo habilis, Paranthropus boisei, and Homo erectus, and their tools, have been found in this portion of the Great Rift Valley. After this fascinating tour, you will be transferred back to the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge for dinner.
Saturday, June 16—Rose-lipped maidens, light-foot lads
Road transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport, air to Nairobi, Kenya
Overnight Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, breakfast included
You will have a private road transfer from the crater to Kilimanjaro Airport for the scheduled flight to Nairobi where you will be met and transferred to the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden for overnight.
The Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and its cottages are located on the original Swedo-African Coffee Company owned by Danish author Karen Blixen and her husband Bror. The original house that today serves as a restaurant was the farm manager’s house, built near the main house called Bogani House, portrayed in the film, Out of Africa. There are 14 colonial-style cottage suites, with spacious 100-year-old gardens. All the cottages have large bathrooms, a fireplace, satellite TV, and mini-fridge. There is also a large swimming pool.