An early transfer from your beach hotel, a short flight from the Zanzibar Archipelago, and you are already in Arusha city, the ‘Safari capital’ of Tanzania. Your guide will take you to Tarangire National Park, famous for its large number of elephants.
It is the sixth-largest national park in Tanzania and is renowned for its diverse landscapes and abundant wildlife. The park is characterized by a varied landscape that includes open grasslands, acacia woodlands, ancient baobab trees, and the Tarangire River, which flows through the park. During the dry season (June to October), the river becomes a vital water source, attracting large concentrations of wildlife. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 500+ bird species recorded.
A visit of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is planned for today. Its famous crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world and a stunning natural wonder. It was formed millions of years ago when a massive volcano collapsed on itself, creating a fertile basin that now serves as a self-contained ecosystem with abundant wildlife all year round.
Ngorongoro is home to an impressive concentration of wildlife, including the ‘Big Five‘ (elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos). The crater floor alone is teeming with animals, and visitors have a high chance of spotting numerous species during a single game drive. The area also hosts large numbers of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and flamingos. Unlike other national parks, this protected area allows coexistence between wildlife and the Maasai people who inhabit the region.
After breakfast you will go on a fascinating road trip to the remote Lake Natron region. This remarkable salt and soda lake forms part of the East African Rift system, an active tectonic region known for its stunning landscapes and volcanoes.
Lake Natron’s unique composition is characterized by its high alkalinity and soda content. The lake’s alkalinity is due to the presence of sodium carbonate and other minerals that flow into the lake from the surrounding volcanic soils. As a result, the water in Lake Natron has a high pH, making it inhospitable for most aquatic life.
Despite its harsh environment, Lake Natron is a critical breeding site for Lesser Flamingos. These iconic pink birds thrive in the lake’s alkaline waters, which support the growth of the blue-green algae Spirulina, their primary food source. Millions of flamingos gather here during the breeding season to nest on the lake’s salty shores, creating a breathtaking spectacle of pink and white colors.
Before you will have to leave this strange and remarkable place, you can join a local Maasai on a Flamingo lake walk. The region around Lake Natron is inhabited by the Maasai tribe, known for their unique culture and traditional pastoralist lifestyle. The Maasai coexist with the wildlife in the area and adapted to the challenges posed by the harsh environment.
During this walk you can learn more about the fragile ecosystem of the Lake Natron basin, its important flamingo breeding grounds and Ol Doinyo Lengai, the ‘Mountain of God’, an abode of the god Engai, who withdrew there after being hit by a hunter with an arrow.
This is followed by a road trip back to Arusha airport and a subsequent domestic return flight to Zanzibar and transfer to your hotel.