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Northern Circuit Three parks, four days Three parks, four days

About the Northern Circuit whistle-stop safari.

Get a real taste of Tanzania on this safari which will take you right out to the Serengeti, a great place to visit any time of year. You will also visit two of Tanzania’s most popular national parks: the Ngorongoro Crater, where you will have the best chance of seeing the Big Five, and Tarangire, where families of elephants congregate year round by the Tarangire River.

Cheetah with cubs

Itinerary

DAY 1: TARANGIRE

You will be met by your private guide and vehicle and driven to Tarangire National Park, arriving with plenty of time for an afternoon game-drive. The Tarangire River runs through the park attracting a huge number of elephants, buffalo, giraffe and antelope, particularly in the dry season between June and October. It is not uncommon to see large herds of elephants roaming through Tarangire's savannah grasses or taking shade under the odd looking "upside down trees" (baobab) that are dotted around the park. The park also boasts over 550 different bird species, the most diverse in Africa, including the Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the World!

DAY 2: SERENGETI

After breakfast, you will take a picnic lunch with you as you continue to the Serengeti, a drive of around 4 ½ hours through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers some of the most exciting game viewing - great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, as well as thousands of eland, topi, hartebeest, impala and Grant's gazelle.

DAY 3: SERENGETI

After breakfast, you will set out with a picnic lunch for further game viewing in the Serengeti. The Serengeti National Park is one of the world's greatest game parks. Meaning "endless plains" in the Maasai language, it is Tanzania's oldest game reserve and is world-famous for the role it plays in the annual Great Migration, when an estimated two million herbivores - mostly wildebeest and zebra - migrate from the Serengeti to Kenya's Maasai Mara Game Reserve. In the afternoon you will leave the Serengeti to return to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

DAY 4: NGORONGORO CRATER

After an early breakfast, you will drive to the fascinating wildlife arena of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is over 260 km2 (100 miles2) and was formed when a massive volcano exploded and collapsed on itself 2-3 million years ago. It is now the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world and often referred to as "Africa's Eden". Home to more than 25,000 large mammals, it is not unusual to see all of the "Big Five" (buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion and leopard) in a single day. Driving through the Ngorongoro Highlands, you will arrive at the crater rim and then descend down 610m (2000ft) onto its floor to start your safari extravaganza.

Following your game drive you will transfer to your hotel in Arusha, or onwards to Kilimanjaro airport.

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