Tanzania's Northern Safari Circuit
The most iconic locations in the north of Tanzania are known as the ‘Northern Circuit’, a tour of incredible diversity and wildlife found amid the raw beauty of its diverse landscapes.
- Experience the iconic safari destinations of the Northern Circuit while avoiding the crowds
- The Ngorongoro crater, the world’s biggest caldera is arguably the most dramatic backdrop against which to spot rhino and lion
- Follow the Great Migration in the Serengeti as the herds traverse the plains
- Finish your epic trip on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean
Only while exploring in Tanzania can you start your trip next to the highest mountain on a continent before visiting lakes of the Great Rift Valley then ascending coffee plantation escarpments and up into the hanging mists of rainforests which shroud the largest intact caldera in the world, before heading to the iconic Serengeti and finishing by the Indian Ocean.
An epic two-week holiday that explores the diversity of the Northern Circuit including the Serengeti and finishing with barefoot castaway luxury on Zanzibar.
The long dry season runs from June until the start of November and this is usually the best time to see the migration and also explore the other parks. From March until the end of May is usually very wet, and other months could be considered as shoulder season with pros and cons to each.
Light aircraft flights seamlessly link your safari destinations meaning shorter and more comfortable journey times plus panoramic views and game spotting from above as you fly over Tanzania.
This would make a fabulous honeymoon or special trip for a couple; equally a family could create incredible memories on the plains of Tanzania. Let us curate a bespoke itinerary which perfectly encapsulates your needs.
ARUSHA DAY 1-2
Your entry point onto Tanzanian soil will be the airport at Kilimanjaro and then Arusha, as a crucial decompression stop before heading off on safari. For your first day and night, you have space and time to acclimatise to the fierce African sun and a chance to get into the rhythm of your surroundings, staying outside of the town surrounded by a working coffee plantation. Indulge in a restorative spa treatment or wander the lush gardens listening to the exotic bird calls in your new environment. Take a tour of the coffee farm and learn how it’s made from bean to brew, cycle around the estate and play a game of croquet or tennis.
STAY: LEGENDARY ARUSHA
For years there was only one high quality offering in the Arusha area, but Legendary Expeditions decided to rock the apple cart with the introduction of Legendary Arusha. Plantation-style cottages are dotted throughout the immaculately kept gardens, offering a sense of space and tranquillity that is hard to find in the bustling town of Arusha. Unwind and relax here pre-safari, enjoying a country plantation estate of old school charm.
LAKE MANYARA DAY 2-5
Next up, you’ll ascend to the skies again, this time heading west towards Lake Manyara and Tarangire to stay three nights at a peaceful lodge that straddles the two locations on a 50,000-acre parcel of land that acts as a wildlife corridor. You can spend your day’s exploring the diverse nature on your doorstep far from any crowded locations. Swathed in aquatic forests, acacia woodland, iconic baobab trees and dense topography, Tarangire is an ideal spot for birdwatchers with over 545 species identified here including the yellow collared lovebirds, pygmy falcon and brightly hued woodland kingfisher. Lake Manyara is the place see the iridescent pink flamingos in numbers, herds of lumbering elephants and the spectacle of the tree climbing lions.
STAY: CHEM CHEM
Located adjacent to Lake Burunge, Chem Chem is a sophisticated camp in an incredible location. The camp sits between a vast salt pan, open savannah and palm forests in the land between Lake Manyara and Tarangire. The camp is understated and carries a chic vibe with lofty look out points to scan the plains and huge, tented suites with verandas facing the wilds – the perfect place to watch giraffe slowly making their way to the water hole. The ethos here is very much focused on the slow safari style.
NGORONGORO CRATER DAY 5-7
Clasped by the hanging mists of rainforests which shroud the crater, Ngorongoro is the largest volcanic caldera in the world, and as if this wasn’t impressive enough, its natural protective rim has created its own ecosystem, populated by vast groups of mammals making it a dramatic and productive place to view game. The crater is home to the highest density of lions in the world as well as the rest of the Big Five and around 30,000 other animals. Driving up to the crater rim can’t fail to feel truly adventurous and as you head down into this extraordinary crater, views surround you in the bowl-shaped topography. Starting early, you’ll be on the crater floor among the wildlife while others are still having breakfast.
STAY: NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE
Crater Lodge has a superlative position on the cusp of the Ngorongoro Crater and some of the finest views possible. There is nothing understated about Crater Lodge, best surmised by deep velvet curtains to ward off the evening chill, oversized chandeliers and bubble baths full of rose petals awaiting your return from safari. Eclectic design inspirations are taken from Bedouin souks to the Palace of Versailles and just about everywhere in between, and engulfed in the crater mists, a sense of theatre greets you on arrival as the lodge emerges from swirling fog. The lodge is shortly to be completely rebuilt and redesigned on an even grander scale so watch this space.
THE SERENGETI DAY 7-10
From the crater, you will fly northeast to explore the rocky kopjes, patches of woodland and thicket that make up the endless plains of the Serengeti. Perhaps one of the most famous national parks in East Africa, the Serengeti is synonymous with the Great Migration when thousands of wildebeest and zebra throng together on their clockwise journey through Kenya and Tanzania. Depending on the time of the year, we can advise on where to witness the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth’.
Even without the migration, the Serengeti has a rollcall of big game to spot – lions stalking the plains, cheetahs stretching their legs, leopards lounging in trees and a host of smaller wildlife to catch your eye.
STAY: SINGITA SASAKWA
Located within the endless surrounds of the 350,000-acre Singita Grumeti Reserve in the Serengeti, Singita Sasakwa pioneers uncompromising luxury on safari as seen in the grand Edwardian manor that welcomes you with its exquisite mix of antiques, oil paintings, candelabras, tribal décor and unparalleled service. Private pools, terraces and bedrooms open out onto sensational Serengeti views, the real luxury is the front row seat for prolific game viewing.
ZANZIBAR DAY 11-14
By now you will have totally deserved some beach downtime, and a restorative end to your trip will allow you to muse on your Africa adventure and the incredible wildlife you’ve seen before you plunge back into the real world. The islands of the east coast of Tanzania are known as the Zanzibar Archipelago which includes Zanzibar, Pemba and Mnemba among others. Surrounded by the iridescent blues of the Indian Ocean, life is slow paced here and you can spend your days enjoying fresh seafood and tropical fruit, dhow boat trips and scuba diving the underwater world. Zanzibar’s capital Stone Town, built in the 8th century by Persians shows the island’s heritage – a mix of African, Asian and European influences – and the island is still known for the spices it produces, notably cloves.
STAY: XANADU, ZANZIBAR
A radical lodge on the finest private beach on the island of Zanzibar, Xanadu is an architectural triumph which blends just six seamlessly cool villas with genuine five-star service. A fusion of contemporary cool and classic Zanzibari style, each has its own private plunge pool and rooftop terrace set in tropical gardens. Ranging in size, the larger villas have their own kitchen and sitting room with private butlers on hand to attend your every need.
The main reason for this journey is usually to see the Tanzania’s world-famous wildlife as well as to perhaps catch the legendary wildebeest migration. Rather than follow the well-trodden path encountering a lot of other people, Bailey Robinson safari will actively seek out seclusion.
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The Great Migration – When & Where
Knowing where to see it in all of its glory but also avoiding the ‘madding crowd’, is partly luck and partly good planning. We can help stack the odds in your favour, including what to see, when.
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