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Itinerary Design and Reccommendations

Itinerary Design

Our published itineraries have been meticulously designed over a number of years using a variety of resources including scientific studies, first hand experiences and returning client feedback. To start with, we design each itinerary first and foremost around monthly concentrations of wildlife. Secondly, lodging options are recommended to maximize your game viewing opportunities as well as providing an optimal mixture of different styles of accommodations. Rest assured that when you book with Africa Dream Safaris you will receive the very finest wildlife viewing and lodging experience available.

All our itineraries are built upon a Fly In & Drive Back basis. This is the best way to conduct a safari in Tanzania as it maximizes your precious time and eliminates all redundancy. Each day offers something new and exciting, as you never retrace your tracks. It is also the most enjoyable and optimal way to explore Northern Tanzania. It is certainly an amazing way to kick off your adventure by first flying over this vast wilderness and then landing onto a small grassy airstrip in the world famous Serengeti! You are at once introduced to your private driver guide and he will load your luggage into your private vehicle. Without further delay you are thrust into the heart of the wilderness on your first action packed game drive. It is likely that you will encounter many different animals, including some of the big cats, before lunch. Flying into the Serengeti forms a wonderful introduction to the spectacular parks of Tanzania, and is an extremely comfortable way to jump start your adventures. Additionally, transit time is greatly reduced giving you more quality time ‘in the bush’ for wildlife viewing, relaxing and other enjoyable activities that you wish to incorporate into your itinerary.

Our Fly In & Drive Back itineraries utilize different Serengeti airstrips to take advantage of seasonal wildlife concentrations:

December - April: Seronera Airstrip in the Central Serengeti
May - June: Grumeti Airstrip in the Western Serengeti
July - November: Lobo Airstrip in the Northern Serengeti


Each itinerary is designed with a minimum of four days in the Serengeti National Park. After all, the Serengeti is Africa’s premier national park and offers the definitive safari experience. Two of these days are always based in the Central Serengeti around the Seronera River Valley. Several perennial rivers run through this valley enabling an abundance of resident animals to thrive year round including elephant, giraffe, gazelle, hippo and buffalo. The combination of location and resident prey attracts the largest and most diverse population of predators in Africa including lions, leopards and cheetahs.

In addition to the two days in the Central Serengeti viewing resident animals, each itinerary also incorporates two days in different regions of the Serengeti to view the migratory animals including the world famous Wildebeest Migration. These additional two days are shifted on a monthly basis as the migratory animals shift. We incorporate two days in the South Serengeti during the green season, North Serengeti during the dry season or West Serengeti during the transitional seasons. Migratory animals include wildebeest, zebra, eland, gazelle, cheetah, and hyena.

To summarize the above strategies regarding the Serengeti, each published itinerary optimizes your game viewing experience by incorporating two days in the Central Serengeti for viewing the resident animals and two days in either the North, South or West Serengeti (depending on the season) for optimum viewing of the migratory animals. Additional days in the spectacular Serengeti are always recommended as time and budget permit.

A two day visit to Ngorongoro Crater is always featured in every itinerary, as this unique place is truly one of the most fascinating wonders of the world. This section of the itinerary includes either two days on the rim of the Crater, or one day on the rim and one day in the nearby Crater Highlands. The end result is always two separate game drives into the Crater including our legendary early morning game drive – we pride ourselves on almost always being the first vehicle down into the Crater! The early morning is a magical time in the Crater - the amphitheater like stage is set with sunrise burning through the morning mist as animals frolic in the pale light. Enjoy a picnic breakfast at your leisure. There are certainly fewer crowds to distract you in the early morning, as most packaged tours wait to complete a leisurely breakfast back at the lodge before starting their game drive. Morning is also the best time to view the Crater’s infamous Black Rhinos.

Lake Manyara is always included in every itinerary as its jungle-like ambience offers very different scenery compared to the rest of the parks, and it also presents a unique wildlife viewing experience. Lake Manyara is especially good for viewing elephants and primates, and its convenient location makes for an easy stopover enroute to either Tarangire or Arusha. Tarangire National Park is incorporated into our itineraries during the dry season or during the green season as time permits.


Recommendations

We highly recommend diversifying the types of accommodations throughout your safari by including smaller tented lodges, private mobile camps as well as a few larger hotel style properties. The smaller lodges do provide a more intimate, natural and authentic safari experience and can be much more rewarding. However, our specialty is providing private safaris customized to each individual’s personal interests and our published itineraries represent general examples. Each itinerary may be completely customized. Please contact us and we can work with you to develop an itinerary that best meets your specific preferences and requirements.

Your custom tailored itinerary can be built from the ground up and include not only the most appropriate lodges, camps and regions but also each day’s specific activities. Every detail of your entire trip can also be pre planned to the smallest detail based upon your specific likes and dislikes. These fine details are all reflected on your final day-by-day itinerary. Your driver-guide will have a copy of this itinerary and will execute each day as described, however he will remain flexible to adjust for last minute game reports as well as your requests and suggestions while ‘in the bush’. This is the most optimal method as you will begin your adventure with the solid foundation of a fine-tuned plan, but at the same time you will retain the ability to adjust on the fly as you deem necessary.