This Northern Circuit safari visits the incredible Ngorongoro Crater, elephant hot spot of Tarangire National Park and wildlife-rich Serengeti. Two Serengeti stops – central plus northern or southern depending on when you travel – lets you follow The Great Wildebeest Migration more closely.
Suggested route & duration
8 nights from Arusha
• Arusha: 1 night
• Tarangire: 2 nights
• Ngorongoro Crater: 1 night
• Central Serengeti: 2 nights
• Northern or Southern Serengeti: 2 nights
About this independent tour
Why you’ll love this safari
• Follow the migration by staying in two different areas of the vast Serengeti
• Travel by road in your own vehicle, so you can let your driver/guide know which animals you want to see and sightsee at your own pace
• Spot elephants and huge baobab trees in Tarangire National Park
• Head down into the Ngorongoro Crater
Suggested itinerary details
Day 1: Arusha Begin in Tanzania’s northern highlands in the town of Arusha and stay at an authentic coffee lodge. Stay at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge.
Day 2: Tarangire National Park Tarangire is home to Tanzania’s largest population of African elephants. See roaming herds of these gentle giants up close, across a backdrop of rolling green plains and lofty baobab trees. Stay 2 nights at Lemala Mpingo Ridge.
Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater Head down into a 600-metre-deep volcanic caldera and spot big cats, black rhino and buffalo. Stay at Lemala Ngorongoro.
Day 5: Central Serengeti Soak up views over meandering river valleys, see hordes of herbivores, and spot cheetah and lion prowling the savannah. Stay 2 nights at Lemala Ewanjan.
Day 7: Northern or Southern Serengeti Further north from the central Seronera Valley you’ll find the less accessible and quieter reaches of the Serengeti, bordering the Maasai Mara – the famous river crossings take place around here in July and August. Or you can venture south for miles of short-grassed plains dotted with kopjes and acacia trees – see congregating and calving wildebeest here between December and March (February in particular). Stay 2 nights at Lemala Mara (summer) or Lemala Ndutu (winter).
Day 8: Central Serengeti Return to Arusha.
Serengeti Lemala camps
Just 12 en-suite tents ensure an intimate experience in this remote wilderness
Arusha Coffee Lodge
Stay at the renowned Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge and join a ‘bean to cup’ plantation tour
See elephants crowding the waterholes during the dry season (June to October)
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this itinerary based on our own experiences and our customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
We’ve included superb Lemala tented camps which come with luxurious touches – in the Serengeti you can stay at Lemala Mara near the Mara River in summer, or Lemala Ndutu on the edge of a marsh in winter, to follow the migration herds.
You can add some really special experiences to this itinerary, like hot-air balloon flights over the Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks for amazing bird’s-eye views over the stunning wildlife below. Let us know if there’s anything extra you’d like to add.
This is a comprehensive and flexible itinerary. For a slower pace, we recommend spending more time at Ngorongoro. To speed things up, drop Tarangire or ask us how you can make the most of the time you have.
You can see more on this itinerary, so just say if you have somewhere in mind. Zanzibar’s frosted white sands are only a short flight from Arusha – in the same archipelago you’ll find Pemba, an island of honeyed sands, clove plantations and emerald hills.
Good to know
When to go
• To follow the wildebeest migration across the Serengeti, visit the north during July and August or the south from December to March
• Visit Tarangire National Park during dry season from June to October when the animals move closer to the river
• There are two rainy seasons from April to May and November to December – this is a good time to see new-born animals and get the best value offers