Dave's Tanzania & Rwanda Planning Page

Tanzania & Rwanda Planning Page

July 2011

Best flight options

Ethiopian Air $2121
2nd Washington (IAD) 1130am to ADD 0755
3rd ADD 1030am to KGL noon
16th JRO 1535 to ADD 1930
ADD 2215 to IAD 17th 0735

United AUS to IAD $556
1st 434pm to 838pm
17th 1221pm to 425pm

Check permit availability before booking.

Saturday 2nd- fly out

Sunday 3rd- arrive

You are met on arrival at the airport by the safari guide and then transfer to Kigali. City tour. You get briefed about your safari and then after lunch leave for Parc Nationale des Volcanoes. The journey to the north goes through the beautiful terraced hillsides that show much of Rwanda’s landscape, gradually climbing to the base of the awesome Virunga volcanoes; sometimes five peaks can be seen. Overnight and dinner at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB).

#3 of 4 specialty lodging in Ruhengeri

Day 2 4th Monday
Early morning, go gorilla tracking in Parc National des Volcans. Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virungas is a wonderful experience. Incase you are lucky; you can get to see the gorillas, spend an hour with them, and get back at the lodge in time for a late lunch. Some gorilla families however are more mysterious, and tracking can take a full day, especially when it is wet and muddy. Community walk. Overnight and dinner at Mountain Gorilla View Lodge (FB).

Day 3 5th Tuesday
*** Add another gorilla trek to be safe.

Day 4 6th Wednesday
Trek to Dian Fossey's grave.

Transfer back to Kigali.
Stay at Hotel Rwanda (Hotel des Mille Collines)
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Based on modified version of this itin and price- Rwanda Safari $1879pp sharing *** for 4 day add more for second trek

Volcanos Safaris Dec 18th, $2797
Ker & Downey $3360
Africa Adventure- extension trip
Go 2 Africa $2814 Saturday departure


Wiki info

7th Thursday
Rwandair KGL 0400 to Nairobi 0615 $255

Kenya Airways NBO 0800 to Zanzibar 0940 $276

Friday and Saturday in Zanzibar

Wiki travel

Gap tour $2529
Starts July 3rd or 10th

Day 1, Sunday 10th- Arusha

Zanair 1130-1250 $186

Arrive in Arusha any time and make your way to the joining point hotel. A brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in evening on Day 1 of your tour. Upon arrival look for information from your tour leader on the hotel bulletin board from regarding meeting time. At this point you may be joined by other Gap Adventures travellers who have started their safari trip in Kenya.

Arusha, also known as Tanzania’s “safari capital”, is undoubtedly the most important center in northen Tanzania. With many protected national parks, reserves, and mountains nearby (on a clear day, it may be possible to see Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance), Arusha is a modern town, and with its markets, services, and fine location, it is a great base for your safari trip.

Arusha officially became a city on the 1st of July 2006. The primary industry of the region is agriculture with large vegetable producers sending high-quality produce to Europe. The city and its environs are also spotted with large coffee plantations, adding to the area’s charm. Though in recent years, due to the coffee crisis, many local farmers have been badly hit, and now subsistence farming is the most common source of livelihood.

Arusha, who owes its name from the local Wa-arusha people who resided here for hundreds of years, is historically and politically significant city within East Africa. In 1961 the official documents ceding independence to Tanzania were signed by the United Kingdom in Arusha. Six years later the Arusha Declaration of Self Reliance in Tanzania was signed. On the 4th of August 1993 the Arusha Accords were signed by representatives of competing factions in the civil war in neighbouring Rwanda. After the Rwandan genocide, the UN Security Council decided by its Resolution 955 of 8 November 1994 that Arusha should host the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The establishment of the tribunal with its employees has influenced the local economy of Arusha. The tribunal is expected to end its mandate in 2008.

Impala hotel is located at the foot of Mount Meru and adjacent to a quiet residential area in the suburbs of Arusha, one kilometer from the town center, and 30 minutes from Kilimanjaro International Airport. It offers various amenities including restaurants, swimming pool, sauna, fitness center and business services.
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Mt Kilimanjaro
Kili Info

Day 2 Monday 11th Lake Manyara (B,L,D)

Approximate Distance: 130 km
Estimated Travel Time: 2-3 hrs

We make our way to Lake Manyara National Park, and spend the afternoon touring and viewing wildlife in the park. This area is truly stunning, as the western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment provides a backdrop for your search of the park's phenomenal birdlife, tree-climbing lions, elephants, giraffes, and hippos. The afternoon is spent game viewing along the main road that winds for several kilometers through a cool, lush, mature groundwater forest dominated by large fichus trees and a tangle of green epiphytes.

The name Manyara is derived from the Masai word “Emanyara”, which is a Euphorbia species of plant that is found around a family homestead in the area. The lake itself is a shallow, alkaline lake stretching 50km at the base of the sheer 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment. This forms part of the national park that covers an area on roughly 330km sq.

Lake Manyara National Park is home to the giant fig trees, acacia woodlands, mahogany trees and grassy flood plains. The contrasts of this area are simply breathtaking, with the open plains, huge escarpment, central soda lake, dense woodlands, and distance volcanic peaks coming together in an area best described by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.

Animals such as blue monkeys, hippo, impala, elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, warthog, and giraffe all roam the park’s territory. The park is also home to legendary tree-climbing lions, and also has small populations of leopard. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s bird life, with over 400 species having been recorded within the parks boundaries. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.

Lake Manyara Hotel is dramatically located in the very edge of the vertiginous western escarpment of the Rift Valley, affording magnificent views down across the whole lake. Lake Manyara Hotel invites you to an unforgettable Safari Experience from its privileged location, unrivaled by any other both for game viewing and scenery. Elegantly designed as a two levels ensemble of buildings, its authentic traditional African style decorations create a unique atmosphere that perfectly combines extreme tranquility with the best of adventure packed Safari experiences. From its privileged position, all the Hotel's 100 guestrooms have stunning views across the tranquil and beautiful waters of the Lake.
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Lake Manyara- tree climbing lions

Day 3-4, 3-4 Serengeti National Park (2B,2L,2D)

Approximate Distance: 220 km
Estimated Travel Time: 5-6 hr

Travel across to the world famous Serengeti, one of Africa's premier game parks, stop at the archaeological site of Olduvai Gorge en route, and continue on to your safari lodge in the late afternoon. The area where you will be staying and game viewing is in the central Serengeti 'Seronera' area, which lies in the southeast of the National Park. Because of the sheer size of the National Park other areas will not be accessible during your stay.

As we drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and on to the Serengeti National Park, en route you will begin to experience the sheer vastness of this territory, and you will marvel at the multitude of animal and bird life while cruising through this acacia-spotted savannah. On day 4, after an early rise we enjoy an early morning game drive, returning for a hearty lunch followed by a brief but well-deserved rest. Continue your search for the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino - while taking in the vastness of the Serengeti plains.

The Olduvai, or Oldupai, Gorge is commonly referred to as “The Cradle of Mankind”. It is a deep, steep ravine that is roughly 48 km long. It is famed for the discovery of the 3.5 million year-old fossil fragments of an early human civilization. Accordingly, it is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world and has been instrumental in furthering understanding of early human evolution.

Olduavai Gorge

The Serengeti National Park is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times as large! The Serengeti, which derives its name from the Masai for “endless plain”, is the jewel of Tanzania’s protected areas, together with the Masai Mara and the Ngorongoro Conservation area it protects the most varied and greatest collection of wildlife on earth. With the Big Five, the Small Five and the extensive amounts of wildlife, this region offers arguably the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. That said, with its vast size and varied terrain, game viewing is only one aspect of the Serengeti - the scenery is simply breathtaking.

The Masai people arrived into the Serengeti plains in the 17th century, displacing the Datoga pastoralists who had previously lived there. They lived an undisturbed, nomadic life in the region for hundred of years, until the first westerner, American Stewart Edward White, passed through in 1913. He recorded the plains in the chronicles of a journey that began in Nairobi, Kenya. What he wrote still applies today: “... We walked for miles over burnt out country... Then I saw the green trees of the river, walked 2 miles more and found myself in paradise” .

There is no bad time to visit the Serengeti as every season has its own special highlight – even the rainy season has the daily thunder and lightening to look forward to. Changing seasons and light patterns form the most beautiful backdrop to view Africa’s majestic and incredible wildlife. It has more than 1.6 million herbivores and thousands of predators. Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos are the animals most commonly found in the region.

This area is most famous for the migration that takes place every year; in october over a million herbivores travel toward the southern plains, crossing the Mara River from the hills to the north. They continue west across the Serengeti, and then north once again, crossing the Mara River, after the rains around April, and often totals more than 800km. This phenomenon is sometimes also called the Circular Migration. Over 250,000 wildebeest alone will die along the journey from Tanzania to Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya.

The Seronera Wildlife Lodge is located in one of the most important spots of Serengeti National Park, where you can witness an actual kill in the flesh. This area is in the heart of the Serengeti, located in the migratory route, and provides front seat viewing of this extraordinary natural phenomenon. The Lodge is artfully constructed around a rocky outcrop from glass and wood elements, perfectly blending into its surrounding. Next to the lodge lie several waterholes attracting the most amazing animals and providing a unique opportunity for a close encounter with the so called Big Five. From its privileged location, the Seronera's 75 rooms afford stunning views of over 2.5 million wildebeest as they migrate from Kenya to Lake Victoria to escape the drought.
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Hot air balloon safari

Day 5 Thursday 14th Ngorongoro Conservation Area (B,L,D)

Approximate Distance: 160 km
Estimated Travel Time: 4 hrs

Before leaving the Serengeti, enjoy one last morning game drive to see the animal kingdom come to life in this incredible expanse of grassland savannah. After packing up from your safari lodge, journey to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, famous for Africa's best game viewing. The views from the Ngorongoro Crater rim are stunning, and there is an ever-present abundance of wildlife, due to the permanent water supply on the crater floor.

The 8,300 km² Ngorongoro Conservation Area is named after its central feature, the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, and arguably its most spectacular natural arena. Ngorongoro Crater has often been described as one of the wonders of the world, not only because of its inherent geological significance, but also because it serves a quite extraordinary natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s most dense population of large mammals. The Ngorongoro was part of the original Serengeti National Park proclaimed in 1951, but it was made a separate conservation area in 1956 so that the Masai could graze their cattle there. The Ngorongoro Crater became a World Heritage Site in 1978.

Land in the conservation area is unique to Tanzania as it provides protection for the wildlife whilst allowing human habitation. The landscape is made up of a blend of volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests, where the wildlife is extensive. The southern and eastern boundaries are approximately defined by the rim of the Great Rift Valley, which also prevents animal migration in these directions. The annual ungulate migration passes through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with wildebeest and zebra moving south into the area in December and moving north in June. The area has healthy resident populations of most species of wildlife.

Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge is dramatically perched on the rim of the crater, affording unbelievable views plunging down over the crater floor, 2286 metres (7,500ft) above the sea level. The Lodge is elegantly built from natural stone and local wood, harmoniously merging with its natural surroundings, and it is provided with panoramic windows that encompass superb views of the crater’s great bowl. From its privileged position, all the Lodge’s 75 rooms afford breathtaking uninterrupted views, and the open air terrace of the Rhino Lounge Bar offers superb panoramic views of the whole crater.
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Day 6 Friday 15th Ngorongoro Crater/Arusha (B,L,D)

Distance: 200 km (3-4hrs)

After breakfast we embark on a half-day crater tour. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of more than 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable. Since most of the crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate: zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland, and warthogs. The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania's last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons and vervet monkeys. All these animals in turn support large predators such as lion and leopard, and scavengers such as hyena and jackals.

Ngorongoro Crater

After this fabulous experience within the crater, we have to leave the wildlife behind us and start heading back to Arusha, where you can enjoy the last safari evening with your travel companions and experience a truly unique "local dinner” in the private home of a local family in Arusha – an authentic community experience to cherish forever.

Day 7 Sat 16th Depart Arusha (B)

Fly home

Laiboni Masai Village $50/TSH50,000 per vehicle
Ngaramtoni markets - Thursday & Sunday (Bus 250Tsh and Walking Tour $10)
Serengeti balloon safari $500
Ngorongoro Crater rim walking safari $20 per ranger (4-5 clients)

Other packages:

Africa Adventure

*** Essential Northern Circuit, $2945
2 S Serengeti Sopa Lodge, 2 N Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, 1 M Manyara Serena Lodge, 1 Tarangire Sopa Lodge, stop at Gorge

Good safari program, $2385
1M, 2N, 2S, stop at Gorge, optional overnight at Arusha

Tanzania in Style
Luxury Migration Safari
*** Tanzania under Canvas, $8677
2 M Lake Manyata Tree Lodge, 2S Grumeti River Camp, 2S under canvas, 2N Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, fly between camps

*** Tanzania Treasures, $8090
1 Arusha, 2 Tree Lodge, 3 Grumeti, 2 Crater Lodge, fly between camps

http://www.africanmeccasafaris.com/amtours/safariafrica/tailormakesafaridetails.asp?ProductID=9366">Safari program

Look for Tanzanite?

Migration info