Best Tanzania Safari

See the 'Big Five,' Ngorongoro Crater and More

This Tanzanian safari adventure allows travelers to encounter wildlife in Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, while staying at luxurious Harper-recommended private tented camps.

From January to March, the wildebeest migration congregates on the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti. It usually passes through the Grumeti region of the western Serengeti in mid-June, reaching the Mara River in August.

Expect to see every imaginable predator, from lion and cheetah to opportunistic hyena and vultures, all waiting their turn to feed on the more than 2 million migrating herbivores.

Itinerary Highlights

Our itineraries are for your inspiration. Please contact a travel advisor to customize this itinerary to fit your needs.

  • Visit Tanzania's best parks and reserves, including Lake Manyara and the iconic Serengeti plains
  • Go on safari for a chance to see the "Big Five" 
  • Experience the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site of Ngorongoro Crater 
  • Stay in classic and ideally situated safari lodges with outstanding views

Trip Overview

Day 1 : Arrive Arusha, Tanzania
Rest and relaxation at Arusha
Day 2 - 3 : Tarangire National Park
Enjoying game drives in search of wildlife
Day 4 - 5 : Ngorongoro Crater
See the "Big Five" at Ngorongoro Crater
Day 6 - 7 : Serengeti National Park
Explore the Serengeti plains
Day 8 - 10 : Zanzibar
White-sand beaches and turquoise water
Day 11 : Return Home
Depart Tanzania for home
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Day 1 : Arrive Arusha, Tanzania

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha after an overnight flight and transfer to Arusha Coffee Lodge. Situated on a working coffee plantation, its raised, private chalets with log fireplaces and large balconies overlook Mount Meru and the grounds. 

Mount Meru
Mount Meru - © MHGALLERY/iStock/Thinkstock
Arusha Coffee Lodge 5 Accommodations Near Coffee Plantations

Day 2 - 3 : Tarangire National Park

Travel to Tarangire National Park, where you will spend the next two days at Sanctuary Swala, with tents on raised decks under a canopy of acacia trees. Spend the afternoon and the next day on game drives in search of eland, oryx, wildebeests, zebras and a large elephant population. The Tarangire River runs through the landscape, providing thirsty animals with a year-round supply of water. Birdwatching is exceptional in the park's diverse habitats, so look for bateleur and martial eagles. You may also visit a beekeeping project that lets villagers sustain themselves by collecting and selling honey.

Sanctuary Swala tents, under a canopy of acacia trees
Elephants in front of Sanctuary Swala Camp

Day 4 - 5 : Ngorongoro Crater

Set eyes on the "Big Five" on safari in the atmospheric Ngorongoro Crater, a 2,000-foot-deep volcanic caldera that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Day 4

Take a scenic drive to quaint Gibb's Farm, where you can stop for a fresh lunch. Built in the early 20th century, the old colonial farmhouse has the comfortable atmosphere of a private home. After lunch, make time to wander around the flower-filled grounds or enjoy the aroma of coffee that Gibb's grows and roasts on the premises. Continue to your intimate safari lodge in the Ngorongoro highlands. The luxurious and imaginatively designed &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is perched in a cloud forest on the panoramic 7,000-foot rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Flamingos at the Ngorongoro Crater
Rhinoceros in the Ngorongoro Crater

Day 5: Explore the Ngorongoro Crater

Drive down into Ngorongoro Crater, a huge natural amphitheater created from the collapse of an ancient volcano. Located at the eastern edge of the Great Rift Valley, it is where Maasai herdsman still usher cattle to pastures. A stunning proliferation of animals inhabits the compact 100-square-mile area, making it possible to set eyes on the "Big Five" during a single game drive. This afternoon, visit with an elder at a Maasai village to learn about the traditional ways of these nomadic people who have coexisted with the wildlife for centuries.

&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Zebras by the lodges
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&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

This exotic lodge is perched on the 7,000-foot rim of the fabled crater.

Day 6 - 7 : Serengeti National Park

Board a flight to Serengeti National Park, the largest and most fabled in Tanzania. The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth, where climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. As the southern part of a vast expanse of plains shared with Kenya, this area has one of the largest concentrations of wildlife in the world. Look for antelope, giraffes and buffalo that graze the plains, and watch for the predators — lions, hyenas, leopards and cheetahs — that stalk them. Each year the Serengeti is the scene of the spectacular Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras.

Set out on morning and afternoon game drives in the protected Serengeti refuge, where flowing rivers support a variety of birds, mammals and reptiles. In addition to the "Big Five" (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino), you may also see the lesser-known "Little Five" — ant lion, rhino beetle, leopard tortoise, buffalo weaver and elephant shrew — peeking out from behind stones or almost hidden amid acacia branches.

Kusini Camp game-viewing
Wildebeest in Serengeti National Park
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Singita Sasakwa Lodge

This unrivaled luxury safari lodge in a 350,000-acre private concession is set on a hilltop overlooking the Serengeti plains and offers one of the grandest views in Africa.

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Singita Faru Faru Lodge

This luxury wilderness camp is set in a wooded ravine overlooking the Grumeti River (famously home to some of the world’s largest crocodiles) within a 350,000-acre private concession bordering Serengeti National Park.

Day 8 - 10 : Zanzibar

Fly to Arusha and connect to your flight to the exotic island of Zanzibar. Its capital, Stone Town, is extremely well-preserved and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The east coast is deservedly famous for its perfect, powdery white-sand beaches and limpid turquoise water.

Spend these days exploring Zanzibar, snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking, scuba diving or just relaxing on the glorious beach.

Best Luxury Safari Zanzibar beach
Best Luxury Safari Dining beach
Best Luxury Safari Hotel &Beyond
Lounge by the ocean at Mnemba Island Lodge
Bar at the Mnemba Island Vacation
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&Beyond Mnemba Island

This romantic retreat in the Indian Ocean occupies a private island about three miles off the northeastern tip of Zanzibar.

Stone Town of Zanzibar, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Day 11 : Return Home

Return to the airport on the mainland and connect to your departing flight.

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