18 Day Safari & Beach Holiday
Day 1: Depart London Heathrow
Depart from London Heathrow on an airline of your choice. Fly overnight to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania.
Day 2: Arrive in Tanzania
On your arrival a smiling driver/guides will be there to meet you. He will take you to River Trees Lodge in Arusha, located forty minutes from Kilimanjaro airport. Here you will have time to relax after your long journey.
River Trees is located in the foothills of Mount Meru, and has views of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a peaceful country estate which combines African country elegance, delicious farm cuisine and friendly and helpful service.
Fresh country meals are served in the restaurant, the gardens, the pub, near the river or in the beautifully restored farmhouse.
There are eighteen Garden Rooms located under a blanket of trees, with views out over the large gardens. Each room is unique in its decor, filled with quality antique furniture and intricate floor coverings. Amenities include self contained bathrooms with shower or bathtub, mosquito netting, hot water, bottled water, complimentary wifi in public areas, a laptop available for guest use, laundry services, and private dining upon request.
Day 3: Safari drive to Lake Manyara and onwards to Gibbs Farm
Today your driver/guide will arrive at River Trees Lodge to collect you and your safari adventure will begin!
He will drive you through the bustling town of Arusha, if you would like to exchange some money or pick up some bits and pieces or favourite snacks, you can easily stop at one of the many shops in town.
Continue with your journey out of town towards the Maasai steppe, where the rift escarpment will come into view. Continue onwards to the entrance gate of Lake Manyara National Park.
Enter Lake Manyara for a game drive. Lake Manyara is a birders paradise, offering over 400 species including red-billed quelia, pelicans and cormorants.
This small and interesting park definitely warrants a visit in its own right. It is a magical refuge for wildlife sandwiched between the great rift escarpment and the village of Mto Wa Mbu. Manyara is also a very important corridor for animals in the long dry season.
Enjoy your game drive in Manyara before continuing through the fertile highlands to the Ngorongoro Highlands and Gibbs Farm.
Here you will be welcomed by Tracy, Joseph and the rest of the Gibbs Team for your two-night stay.
Gibbs Farm offers stunning cottage accommodation in a historic setting. Gibbs is a working coffee farm, one of the oldest in the region. The farmhouse has seen a big change since the property was built in 1929, but it has been tastefully done and retains a lot of the old farmhouse character.
It is like stepping back in time, the gardens and atmosphere at Gibbs is one of the most relaxed and welcoming you could hope for.
Each cottage has a themed name, which reflects a different aspect of Gibbs Farm. These themes are shown in the paintings and other art on the walls of each cottage.
The cottages are large and spacious with large queen size beds, huge bathrooms complete with indoor and outdoor heated showers. There is also a large bath in which you can soak away the rigours of the day overlooking your private garden area.
The coffee farm and the 10-acre organic fruit and vegetable farm produce 90% of the products used in the kitchens at Gibbs Farm. Meals are artistically created by Lisa the head chef. Lisa takes great pride in Gibbs home-grown food.
A cosy living room and reading area with a fireplace to keep you warm on colder days is a great place to relax and unwind.
On warmer days, the veranda leads down to the terraced gardens offering views of the valley. There is always someone on hand to take you for a tour around the farm and walks and hikes can be arranged further afield.
Breathe in the sense of well being and nature at Gibbs.
Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater Tour
This morning you will experience what is often described as the highlight of a northern safari! Drive through the lush forests of this protected area until you reach a clearing and an uninterrupted view over the Crater’s unmatched splendour. It is like looking at the ‘Lost World’ only into a crater instead of a plateau. Stopping for photos is a must. You will then descend 2,000 feet into the crater.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the World’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Due to its size and diversity, the crater floor is comprised of several distinct areas, ranging from forest, swamps, lakes and springs to open grassland and some sandy dunes. It is an awesome wildlife experience!
The crater is now the only place left in Tanzania where you can catch a glimpse of the black rhino. It is a unique haven for mammals. Sightings of leopard, lions and hyena are all possible not to mention large bull elephants that can be found wandering around the forested areas close to the walls of the crater.
Following your game drive in the crater, you will make your way back up the road to the crater rim and back to Gibbs Farm for a second evening.
Day 5: Drive to Serengeti Ubuntu Tented Camp
This morning, you will check out of Gibbs Farm and drive back up to the conservation gates and continue along the Western edge of the crater, stopping for one last photo. Continue down onto the Serengeti plains.
Tanzania’s first and undoubtedly most famous National Park, the Serengeti is home to a wealth of plains animals and predators.
These immense grasslands are interspersed with acacia forest, scrub and river courses and hold resident herds of animals.
You will have a picnic lunch with you so I suggest you take your time. A stop at the Oldupai Visitors Centre for a leg stretch and visit to the museum can also be arranged. The site curator gives visitors a brief history of the area which is where the skull of ‘Zinjanthropus’- early man – was unearthed. It is quite fascinating to see this if you are interested.
You will arrive at Ubuntu tented camp in time for sundowners. Ubuntu is a mobile tented camp and the ethos of the camp is to follow the wildebeest migration and intercept its movements. The camp offers you an authentic experience with some added luxury and comfort; we think it is a great balance.
The communal areas have an open feel and look out over the plains where you can enjoy a drink whilst relaxing in the lounge and bar. The dining room is also made from canvas and allows a typical bush experience.
There are 6 canvas tents, each with a spacious bedroom area and ensuite facilities. The bathrooms have a flush toilet and a canvas shower bag that the staff fill up with hot water when you need.
Days 6 & 7: Serengeti and Ubuntu Tented Camp
You will enjoy morning and afternoon game drives with your guide.
In this immense remote wilderness, almost double the size of the Masai Mara, guests can enjoy fabulous landscapes and terrific game viewing with practically no crowds.
Equal in size to Northern Ireland, the Park contains an estimated three million large animals, most of which take part in a seasonal migration that is one of nature’s greatest wonders.
Resident wildlife numbers are exceptionally high, with prides of lion up to 30 strong, but nothing compared to when the migration starts arriving from December onwards. The area then turns into a wildlife paradise par excellence.
Several large herds remain behind and weather changes could easily bring the vast herds flooding back into the area from the Mara. Migration and predator action lasts up to the end of March, assuring this area’s reputation as one of the finest wildlife areas in Africa.
Day 8: Fly to Zanzibar – Matemwe Lodge
Today you will depart the Serengeti; your guide will drive you to the Seronera Airstrip where you will board the 12 seater Cessna to Zanzibar.
On arrival at Zanzibar Airport, a driver will be there to meet you. He will transfer you to Matemwe Beach Lodge.
Matemwe Beach Lodge is located on the north east coast of Zanzibar, close to Matemwe village.
The property has twelve thatched cottages and four deluxe bungalows. Each room is large and has plenty of space with an ensuite bathroom, with bath.
A private shaded veranda and hammock can be found outside each room. All the rooms face the Indian Ocean.
There are two pools at Matemwe Bungalows. One is an infinity pool on the edge of the coral outcrop, with stunning view towards Mnemba. From this top pool the water cascades (well nearly) into the pool below.
Days 9 – 14: Matemwe Lodge, Zanzibar
You will spend a further six nights at Matemwe, making a total of seven.
Food is excellent at Matemwe with plenty of fresh salads, fruit and seafood. The staff are attentive and helpful.
Well tended tropical shrubs and plants line the pathways to the bar, swimming pools and dining area. There is a great big outdoor chess set which paves the way to a stretch of beach used by Matemwe guests. This part of the beach is gorgeous; it is used by the local villagers for fishing and seaweed collection, which adds to the local interest.
A number of activities can be arranged at Matemwe. There is snorkelling and diving at the famous reefs of Mnemba Atoll, kite surfing, kayaking, guided reef walks, sailing and fishing. You can also go on an ‘escape to infinity’ sandbank excursion, a trip to the historic Stone Town, a spice tour, a Jozani Forest tour, a guided walk around Matemwe village or a sundowner dhow trip. Wellbeing and spa treatments are also available.
Day 15: Fly to Saadani – Saadani Safari Lodge
Today you will depart Matemwe, we will arrange a road transfer back to Zanzibar Airport and you will board the morning flight to Saadani.
On arrival at the small airstrip at Saadani a driver/guide will be there to meet you. Saadani Safari Lodge is located fifteen minutes from the airstrip.
Saadani Safari Lodge is the only property in this area. It is set on the shores of the Indian Ocean and is an idyllic retreat from which to explore this unique destination. A stay here enables you to combine the relaxation of a beach holiday with the wildlife viewing of a traditional safari lodge.
The accommodation is light and airy and each room opens onto the beach looking towards the ocean. The rooms have wooden frames and a grass roof. The veranda on the front of each room is enclosed by mosquito netting, making it ideal for relaxing during the day. The rooms are furnished with locally produced furniture in the Zanzibari style and each has ensuite facilities.
Days 16 & 17: Saadani Safari Lodge
You will spend a further two nights Saadani Safari Lodge.
The restaurant at Saadani specialises in fresh seafood and also offers a vegetarian menu whilst the bar is well stocked with wines and spirits. The Mkadi Coffee Lounge and library are pleasant places to while away some spare time. Both are only a short walk from the viewing deck at the lodge’s waterhole where you can view the local wildlife.
There are 2 swimming pools, one being a rock pool hidden in the gardens and the other an infinity pool on the beach. The beach is remote and so free from crowds.
For the more energetic, there are various activities to keep you amused at Saadani. You can choose from game drives and bush walking, boat trips on the Wami River with the chance of seeing pods of hippo, or take a boat trip to one of the nearby sand islands where you can enjoy a picnic lunch. You can also simply spend some time in the hide just beyond the lodge where you can sit and listen to the noises of the African bush as well as the sounds of the ocean – a bizarre but wonderful combination.
The lodge also has several community projects running in the local villages and walks can be arranged to see these.
Day 18: Fly to Dar es Salaam in time to connect with your international flight fly back to UK
Today you will be transferred to Saadani airstrip for your flight to fly to Dar es Salaam.
You will remain at the airport, and check in for your flight back to the UK.
Costs for this itinerary
£5,460.00 per person sharing a double/twin room
What is included?
Full board accommodation, services of an English-speaking guide and private safari vehicle all national park and concession fees.
What is not included?
International flights, drinks, visa, extra meals, extra excursions, travel insurance.