Cultural Tours And Coral Reef Serengeti

Day 1

Arusha – arrive at anytime in Arusha. Known as the gateway of the Serengeti, Arusha is a lush and scenic town …that sits at the foot hills of Mount Meru, Africa’s fourth highest mountain. You will be met at the airport by an Friends of Usambara Society representative and transferred to our comfortable lodge. After relaxing, you will meet your adventure guide, other members of the group and talk about the adventure ahead! “Karibu sana” (welcome) to Tanzania!

Day 2

Serengeti National Park – our Safari starts with an early drive from Arusha to Serengeti National Park. On the way …we will ascend the great rift escarpment for some great photos of Lake Mayara and to see the bizarre African Baobob tree. After a quick stop at the Ngorongoro park gates, we arrive at the Serengeti National Park, one of Africa’s finest. Upon entering the park, we spend the afternoon searching for Tanzania’s majestic wildlife before arriving at our luxury tent safari camp for the evening. The tents are specially designed to take you back to the classic African safari and give you the most authentic experience possible, yet with comforts like fully-equipped bathrooms and beds and a veranda to enjoy a sunset drink. Reminiscent of ‘old Africa’, we fall asleep to the sounds of the Serengeti night!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Serengeti National Park – the Serengeti National Park is a spectacular piece of nature. Meaning “endless plains” …in Maasai, this massive area covering some 15,000 km² was created from intense volcanic activity millions of years ago. Now it is home to a stunning array of wild animals, including one million migrating wildebeest that annually inhabit the area. Early morning start for a full day of game drives with our expert guide to search for the big “5”, a term used by the early African big game hunters to describe the most dangerous animals to hunt. Depending on the time of year we can expect to see wildebeest, lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos, antelopes and many bird species such as the ostrich and the world’s largest flying bird, the Kori Bustard. With some luck, we will spot the elusive big cats, the leopard and the cheetah.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 4

Ngorongoro Crater – up early, and off for another game drive in animal paradise. After lunch at our tented camp …, we eventually make our way out of the Serengeti and towards Olduvai Gorge. Here, anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered ancient remains that supported the theory that human life evolved in Africa. After our “anthropological” experience we drive to the stunning Ngorongoro Crater. Arriving at our lodge perched on the edge of the crater rim we unwind and watch the sunset of yet another perfect day.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 5

Ngorongoro – Arusha – the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is in fact a caldera, an ancient volcano that collapsed inwards and fell silent some 2.5 million years ago. With an area of over 260 km², and walls 600m high, the caldera is an impressive reminder of the areas turbulent past. The Ngorongoro Crater known for its natural beauty of forests, fresh water lakes, swamps and a massive soda lake that supports thousands of pink flamingos can sustain animals all year around, so it is little surprise that it has a very high animal concentration! Early morning we descend the crater walls in our 4WD and observe the abundance of animals that call the crater home. Here we will have the chance to see the black rhinoceros, no longer found in the Serengeti. After lunch we head back to Arusha.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Lushoto – today, we travel to the pleasant town of Lushoto, high in the Usambara Mountains. Lushoto was chosen …as a favourite summertime destination by the former German colonial administration due to its cooler climate. After checking into our hotel, we will be briefed by our local guide about our next few days trek around the beautifully lush Usambara area. After there will be time to explore the colourful markets or perhaps have a game of football with the locals! You will immediately notice the laid back feel of the town and its friendly residents. The Friends of Usambara Society contribute profits towards community projects and conservation development of the Usambara area through cultural tourism program. The project actively promotes sustainable, environmental and beneficial tourism to the villages in the area. See Giving Back for more details.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.

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Day 7

Usambara Trek – Lushoto to Rangwi – our trek begins as we climb up through the protected, lush rain-forest.

Day 8

Usambara Trek – Rangwi to Mtae – from Rangwi, we will start our walk through traditional villages and farming areas. Interacting with locals, the hike continues to the woman’s pottery group in the village of Sunga where you will have the opportunity to see how the knowledge of making pots is passed on from one generation to the next. Due to certain beliefs and customs the craft is practiced exclusively by the females of the village. We will see the new, large kiln that was built, thanks to the generous support of past Original Trails’ travellers, that will allow the group to produce pottery all year round. Our day ends when we reach the picturesque Mtae village, situated on a ridge which offers stunning views of the Tanzanian and Kenyan plains below.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Usambara Trek – Mtae to Lushoto – starting from Mtae, we visit the Mtae primary school where we will …meet the principal and the teachers, tour the classrooms and learn about the school system. We will be entertained by songs from the students, interact with the children and even have the opportunity to sing a song for them! After, we will descend to the famous Irente view point and have lunch at a local farm that produces cheese, brown bread and homemade jams. On returning to Lushoto we visit the local blind school, an initiative set up to educate visually impaired and blind children. During both these visits, you will have the opportunity to donate much needed supplies. We will inform you of the best way to do this.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Pangani – we travel to the seaside town of Pangani, right on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean. During our drive …, we will see massive fields of sisal, a very important plant of the region which is used to make many products, such as mats and rope. On arrival it’s time to relax on the white sands and take in the beautiful view. The next day we will embark on a unique voyage over to Zanzibar in the true spirit of adventure! We sail to the exotic spice island the way fishermen and sailors have for centuries, on a traditional dhow! This will be a truly unique experience. However, for those who get seasick, don’t worry, we can arrange an optional flight over to Zanzibar.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11-12

Zanzibar (Stone Town) – Zanzibar has a fascinating history of power, wealth and foreign influences. For centuries traders from Arabia, Oman, India and Portugal all bought their customs and language to the island which eventually formed the unique ‘Swahili culture’. Zanzibar Island is predominately Muslim, accounting for over 95% of the population. On arrival we will check into our hotel located in Stone Town, the old quarter of Zanzibar town. Later on we zigzag our way, along with our local guide on a city tour through the narrow and winding streets. We visit the bustling local food market where fresh seafood is sold alongside exotic spices and fruits. In the evening, we go to the best spot to have a sunset drink as old dhows sail past and fishermen return with their days catch. Our second day in Stone town is a free day to explore, shop, relax or take an optional day trip. We will be able to suggest and organize activities for you.
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13-14

Zanzibar (Beach) – transfer in the morning to take us on our spice tour .We will learn about all the different spices and fruit grown on Zanzibar from our local guide as we travel from plantation to plantation. We will have lunch at a local house, made from many of the spices that we saw and learned about on our tour. After lunch, we travel to the less populated East coast to our beach retreat for the next 2 nights. Time to relax on the white sand beaches, swim in the crystal clear waters, eat, drink and be merry!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15

Zanzibar – after breakfast, our journey comes to an end …. We say farewell at our beach retreat and will arrange any transfers for you to the airport or port where you can take a flight or ferry back to the mainland and catch your flight back home. We will happily assist you with these arrangements upon initial booking of the trip.
Meals: Breakfast

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