Tanzania Safari

Northern Circuit

Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire National Parks & Ngorongoro Crater

We begin with views of Kilimanjaro, one of the seven summits of the world, learning about the varied tribal communities that make up the rich tapestry of life in Tanzania. In Tarangire, massive herds of elephants congregate and the riverside forest is interspersed with gigantic baobab trees. Witness the largest intact, imploded crater in the world and incredible animal sanctuary at Ngorongoro Crater. In the famous Serengeti, home to the world’s largest annual migration of mammals and varied predators, we bask in the sights and sounds of the land and its many, constantly-moving animal residents. Our trained guides are deeply passionate about the region. Their knowledge of Eastern Africa, its culture and its wildlife is a pivotal part of our immersion into this remarkable destination.

Serengeti National Park


Southwest Tanzania, east of Lake Tanganyika.

The headquarters at Sitalike lie 40km (25 miles) south of Mpanda town.

Getting there

Charter flights from Dar or Arusha.

A tough but spectacular day’s drive from Mbeya (550 km/340 miles), or in the dry season only from Kigoma (390 km/240 miles).

It is possible to reach Mpanda by rail from Dar via Tabora, then to get public transport to Sitalike, where game drives can be arranged. If travelling overland, allow plenty of time to get there and back.

What to do

Walking, driving and camping safaris.

Near Lake Katavi, visit the tamarind tree inhabited by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi (for whom the park is named) – Offerings are still left here by locals seeking the spirit’s blessing.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Nature's Own Eden

The showpiece of the conservation area is undoubtedly the Ngorongoro Crater which was created when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 and is the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world.

It measures about 16-19km in diameter, with walls of 400-610m in height. However you measure it, the Crater is a strong candidate for any list of the world’s greatest natural wonders. It is renowned both for its geological splendor, and for being a natural reserve which is home to some of the densest large mammal populations found anywhere in Africa

Lake Manyara

A small but very scenic park south of the Serengeti ecosystem; Seasonal flamingo-viewing on the soda lake; Incredible birdlife all year round; Opportunities to observe unusual tree-climbing lions; Acacia forests filled with primates and antelope; Plains inhabited by wildebeest, giraffe and buffalo; A great hippo pool are what makes Lake Manyara worth your exploration.

Set beneath the spectacular backdrop of the Great Rift Valleys with 330 sq km (127 sq miles), of which up to 200 sq km (77 sq miles) is the lake when water levels are high; the alkaline Soda Lake of Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds.

Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay a visit to this park. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park.


Tarangire National Park covers an undulating area of 2,600km2, between the plains of the Maasai Steppe to the south-east, and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west. The northern part of Tarangire is dominated by the perennial Tarangire River, which flows through increasingly incised ravines until it leaves the north-western corner of the park to flow into Lake Burungi. In the south are a series of vast ‘swamps’ which dry into verdant plains during the dry season.

The park’s most obvious features are the permanent Tarangire River, which runs the length of it, and the vast ‘swamps’ – which are, in fact, dry for most of the year. Despite the fact that Tarangire is drier than the Serengeti, its vegetation is generally much denser including densely packed elephant grass, large areas of mixed acacia woodlands and some lovely ribbons of riverine forest.

Think of Tarangire as part of a much larger ecosystem, and you’ll understand why its game varies with the seasons. From November to May, some of the wildlife leaves the park, north-west to Lake Manyara, or east into the Maasai Steppe. From around June to October, when those regions are drier, the animals return to Tarangire’s swamps, and especially, its river system. This is the best season for a game-viewing safari in Tarangire, which can be excellent.

some safari options

Safari Itineraries

6-Day Serengeti Migration Safari

River Crossing

5-Day Serengeti Migration Luxury Safari
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