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HOME > Tanzania > Safari Itineraries > Ngorongoro Safari



Ngorongoro Safari
7 night Tanzania driving safari

A classic and affordable overland safari, the Ngorongoro Safari visits the key natural wonders of Tanzania’s northern circuit – the Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and Tarangire – and stays at good quality lodges in prime locations. Wake early as the sun rises to make the most of each enchanting day on this comprehensive itinerary.

• Arusha

• Ngorongoro

• Serengeti

• Tarangire

Hot Air Ballooning

Experience the thrill of a hot air balloon at down over the Serengeti, available on this itinerary.

From £389 per person

Click here for more details

Hot Air ballooning on safari

Day 1 - Depart

Fly from Heathrow to Arusha, arriving next day. Regional departures from around the UK are also available.

Day 2 - Arusha

On arrival, transfer to one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations and stay at the Arusha Coffee Lodge for the night. Belonging to the deluxe Elewana Collection, this homely plantation-style lodge makes for a peaceful, relaxing start to your safari experience. Rooms here are nestled amongst the Burka Estate coffee bushes and all have an open log fire. Overnight: Arusha Coffee Lodge.

Day 3 - Arusha to Ngorongoro

After breakfast depart in your 4x4 safari vehicle towards the awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater. You’ll pass through maize, coffee and banana plantations and a scenic escarpment on the edge of the Rift Valley with stunning views over the distant Lake Manyara. After a short stop, you’ll continue on your way to Ngorongoro and the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge in time for lunch. This large lodge is the only accommodation located on the quieter eastern rim of the crater and enjoys spectacular sunsets. Its design is themed around traditional circular African houses with stone walls and conical roofs. The rooms here are traditional, with earthy colours, exposed brickwork and wood-panelled ceilings, and have an indoor balcony area with floor-to-ceiling windows so that you can make the most of the view without being exposed to the chilly evening air. After lunch, you can enjoy the afternoon at leisure or embark on a guided walk along the crater rim with a driver/guide. Tonight there’ll be a welcome dinner for you and your group. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Overnight: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 4 - Ngorongoro

Head out into the early morning mist and make the 600-metre descent into the crater on a morning game drive. Explore the distinct areas of forest, lakes and open grassland, hopefully spotting wildlife including the Big Five, cheetah and hyena. You’ll have to wait another day to see giraffe, topi or impala, which are interestingly absent due to the steep crater walls and lack of acacia trees. Return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon, visit a local Maasai village. This two-hour cultural experience will introduce you to a local manyatta where generations of Maasai live along with their cattle and other livestock. You’ll meet with the village elder or guide and gain an insight into local life, speaking to the Maasai and watching a traditional song and dance performance. Afterwards, there’s the option to buy local curios. Overnight: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 5 - Ngorongoro to Serengeti

Drive to Olduvai Gorge, the ‘cradle of mankind’ where some of the earliest hominid remains were found, before continuing to the Serengeti plains for lunch at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Serengeti National Park – Tanzania’s most iconic national park that is rich in both views and wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for big cats lounging in the shade, herds of elephant, buffalo, eland, hyena, impala – and much more. You’ll then return to the Serengeti Sopa Lodge for the night. The design of the lodge is distinctly different to its fellow African lodges, with a flat roof that provides the perfect spot for sundowners, and a warm and colourful interior. The views from the lodge are one of its real highlights, reaching far across the Serengeti plains, and there’s good wildlife viewing year-round thanks to the surrounding acacia woodland and water supply. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Overnight: Serengeti Sopa Lodge (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 6 - Serengeti

A full day in the world-famous Serengeti awaits today with morning and afternoon game drives in search of the resident big game. There’s also the option to take an early morning hot-air balloon ride over the Serengeti plains. Sunrise in the Serengeti is a magical time of day and this is one of our most highly recommended safari experiences, perfectly finished off with a Champagne breakfast. Overnight: Serengeti Sopa Lodge (breakfast, lunch and dinner included).

Day 7 - Serengeti to Tarangire

Depart for the Rift Valley this morning with a beautiful lunch stop at Gibb’s Farm near Karatu in the heart of the highlands. Established as a coffee farm in the 1920s, this peaceful guesthouse is a charming property overlooking the Great Rift Valley and Ngorongoro forest. After lunch, continue on to Tarangire National Park. Dominated by baobab trees and huge elephant herds, this beautiful park is a haven for wildlife. It experiences distinct seasons, with the dry season (July to November) witnessing a large number of animals attracted to the reducing river – the area’s only permanent source of water. Tarangire’s lions and leopards can be spotted lounging in the branches of sausage trees and diverse birdlife here includes the ashy starling and yellow-collared lovebird. You’ll stay at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge, built to blend harmoniously with its bushland surroundings with an earthy-brown-roofed main building and rooms tucked away in traditional circular cottages. With no fences around the lodge, you’ll hopefully be able to witness up-close wildlife viewing – elephants can regularly be seen wandering through the grounds. Approx. journey time: 7 hours. Overnight: Tarangire Sopa Lodge (lunch and dinner included).

Day 8 - Tarangire

Embark on morning and afternoon game drives exploring the stunning riverine ecosystems of Tarangire. Overnight: Tarangire Sopa Lodge (lunch and dinner included).

Day 9 - Tarangire to Arusha

After breakfast, pass through the Maasai Steppe on your way back to Arusha (approx. journey time: 2½ hours) for lunch. Transfer to the airport for your onward travel arrangements (breakfast and lunch included).


This is a group itinerary which operates with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 6 passengers, all guaranteed a window seat.

On occasion the itinerary may operate in a different order, or different lodges used according to availability and road conditions.

Travel times vary on road conditions and game sightings.

Pack a mixture of warm and light clothing in soft bags, plus sunglasses, camera and insect repellent.

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