Each trip can be customized to meet your personal goals and needs. Choose your own safari - the majesty and the timelessness of northern Tanzania will leave you with stunning memories and images. A nice safari should allow for ten or eleven nights on the ground in Tanzania. Often groups will move from Arusha (2 nights) to Tarangire (2 nights) to Ngorongoro Crater (2 nights) to the Serengeti (3-4 nights) and then back to Arusha via Lake Manyara (1 night).

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Arrival into Arusha (JRO) is after a day-long flight from Europe. Arusha is the arrival city for almost all safari groups. As you will likely arrive in the late evening your first night here is in the dark. There is a convenient lodge right on the airport grounds and there are lovely estate houses nearby that can provide both lodging and meals. Some are wooded, others agricultural, some are coffee plantations. If you are heading out on safari that first day, then it really doesn't matter too much where you sleep. However, many groups allow for a rather relaxed first day with a half-day visit to the Mount Meru National Park and a second night in Arusha. Also, groups with birders often want time in the forests and lakes of Mount Meru NP.

Tarangire NP is south of Arusha and often the first stop on a northern Tanzania safari. It is the only place where most visitors will see baobab trees in profusion and the first place for elephants; lots of elephants. At Tarangire there is a rather spectacular lodge with very private tree houses for visitors. There is also a hotel-like lodge and a tented camp. All have private baths and nice beds and good food but each offers a different (though very African) feel to your first safari days.

Manyara NP is located along the edge of great Rift Valley as you travel toward Ngorongoro Crater. Most groups spend a day here on their return from the Serengeti but as we are passing by let's talk about it. Lake Manyara is a great expanse of shallow water along the edge of the rift. Much of the region is well-watered by seepage water that fell on the land above the rift. Though the water may have been seeping into the ground for years and finally oozed hundreds of feet into the ground, it eventually travels laterally and finds release somewhere on the edge of the great Rift Valley's cliffs. This water drops down and wets the bottom of the valley creating a ground-water forest in the middle of a rather arid area.

Lake Manyara is a birders paradise and many bird groups will overnight up on the edge of the Rift and visit the park twice. Most groups will visit Manyara NP just once and enjoy the hippo pools, the great numbers of wetland birds, and the forest-loving bushbuck. Other safaris will travel further and look for the tree-climbing lions, elephants and buffalo in the brush, and the more remote troops of baboons and blue monkeys.

Ngorongoro Crater is the great caldera of what was once a huge mountain; probably well over 20,000 feet tall. The caldera measures about ten by eleven miles - from the rim it is all visible and seemingly constrained, but once inside it seems to roll forever in all directions. On the rim of the crater there are a few lodges. All of them are very nice and are on the same rim-road. Each has views into the Crater from every room and offer decks, dining, service, and amenities that are most enjoyable once the view has disappeared into the darkness.

The expansive grasslands of the Serengeti are the ultimate destination for all groups. This is where the wildebeest and zebra congregate and where the lions, hyenas, cheetahs, and vultures hang out as well. The large numbers of herbivores are in the Serengeti seasonally; that is when the grass is green and growing. The largest numbers of herbivores are in the grasslands in December, January, February, and March. After March they begin to wander westward and eventually return north to Kenya's Maasai Mara in July and August. There are animals of all types in the Serengeti year round but the greatest concentrations occur in those first few months of the years. The actual migration (movement of large numbers) varies from late November (some years) into the latter part of January. The animals have their young, feed, wander and mill around for three months or so. The western part of the Serengeti see the large numbers later in the year that the east and south.

There are other places to see on this route; a visit to a Maasai village or a Tanzanian primary school, Olduvai Gorge, the Shifting Sands, and Nasera Rock are all treasures of the Serengeti.

Mount Kilimanjaro This mountain is one of the few snow-capped equatorial peaks. Climbing Kilimanjaro is a wonder in itself. The climb can be rigorous and challenging but requires no great mountaineering experience. The trained and experienced guides will watch over you from start to finish. There are two different routes to the top and travelers should plan for either three or five days on the mountain. The last day starts very early and the descent from the peak begins just after sunrise. As permits and exact scheduling are needed this is a trip to plan well ahead of time.

Nasera Safaris has years of experience in each of the these wondrous places - let us plan your safri.

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