Best of the North

Departure city: Arusha, Tanzania | 4 days | Departure: Jan 16, 2018

Accommodation: Budget | National Parks: Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire NP | Special Interest: Wildlife Safari

only$ 1015

* based on 6 participants

who’s going

Located slightly off the main safari route, Tarangire National Park is a lovely, quiet park in Northern Tanzania. It is most famous for its elephant migration, birding and authentic safari atmosphere.  The majority of travellers to the region either miss out Tarangire altogether or venture into the park for a matter of hours – leaving swathes of Tarangire virtually untouched!

The Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtakingly beautiful setting and the best place in Tanzania to see the Big Five.  However, as one of the world’s most astonishing and renowned natural wonders, the Ngorongoro Crater does get busy, and at times very busy.  Due to the crowds we recommend a two-night stay only here, then moving on to the Serengeti for a quieter, more private safari experience.

Day 1 |16th of January | Lake Manyara

Depart from Arusha in the morning and begin the drive through a changing landscape to Lake Manyara National Park for game drives of this very diverse park. If you are lucky you may see the famous tree-climbing lions. Picnic lunch in the bush followed by game drives until mid-afternoon – then slowly make your way out of the park and transfer to Bougainvillea Lodge located in the Karatu Highlands.

O/n Bougainvillea Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 2 |17th of January | Ngorongoro Crater

Early morning transfer to the Ngorongoro Crater and descend into the crater for game drives. There are 25,000 large mammals residing in the park. The elephants are mainly bulls, females stay out of the park due to it boasting the largest predator population in Africa. Black Rhino also make their home on the grassy plains, their numbers make up for almost half of what can still be found in East Africa; about 20 in total. Leave the crater late afternoon and transfer to Isoitok Camp Manyara for sundowner drinks around the fireplace followed by dinner and overnight.

O/n Isoitok Camp Manyara – Rustic tent (B, L, D)

Day 3 |18th of January | Tarangire National Park

Early wake up call and transfer to Tarangire National Park for game drives of the ‘Elephant Playground’. Picnic lunch in the park followed by game drives to the Silale swamp area where you have good chances of spotting cats. Other animals like Buffalo, Elephant and different types of Antelopes frequently come and drink.

Mid-afternoon you leave the park and slowly make your way back to Isoitok Camp Manyara.

O/n Isoitok Camp Manyara – Rustic tent (B, L, D)

Day 4 |19th of January | Return to Arusha

After breakfast, you return to Tarangire National Park (45 mins) for another day of game drives of the Elephant playground. You enjoy picnic lunches and game drives till mid-afternoon when you leave the park and slowly return to Arusha. (B, L)

Bougainvillea Lodge (B, L, D)

Bougainvillea Safari Lodge is located on the outskirts of Karatu town about midway between Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater. The staff is looking forward to your visit when we can offer you true Tanzanian hospitality and a warm welcome.

The lodge has thirty-two cottages set throughout our lushly landscaped property. Ten rooms in five double cottages are located in our coffee garden. The rest of the rooms are located surrounding the pool area.

Each cosy room has mosquito-netted king or twin beds, dressing area, a fireplace, large bathroom with shower and a veranda from which to enjoy the views of our lush tropical gardens. Triples are possible with prior notice and two of the cottages can be used as family suites, with connecting rooms.

Isoitok Camp Manyara – Rustic tent (B, L, D)

The lodge wanted to do something different and put tent design, engineering and carpentry to the test with a magical result. The tents are thoughtfully located with plenty of bush and natural fencing to give you the seclusion and privacy you need.

With only 8 tents you are assured of privacy, very personal services and that special African bush experience that you had always dreamed it to be.

It offers two types of permanent tents; Isoitok Rustic and Isoitok Deluxe, with the latter one being slightly larger. Get acquainted with both setups below…

Facilities – Rustic Tent

  • Large Twin or King size double beds
  • Luggage rack
  • Bush style vanity table with running cold water
  • Safari wardrobe
  • Towel rack
  • Flushing western style toilet
  • Traditional hang man shower system (hot water to order)
  • Outside folding safari table and chairs
  • Throw down lounging cushions
  • Hand woven mkeka mats inside and out
  • Solar lighting throughout tent
  • 500mls of mineral water provided daily according to


  • Park fees, Conservation and Community Development Fees
  • Midrange lodge and tented camp accommodation as stipulated
  • Meals as stipulated |B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner
  • Complimentary mineral water x1.5 litres per person in the safari vehicle
  • 4×4 game viewing vehicles plus driver guide (window seat guaranteed)
  • Unlimited game drives
  • Emergency Evacuation Cover
  • All transfers and activities as mentioned above


  • Tips suggested: Driver guide $10 per person sharing the vehicle per day
  • Drinks apart from 1,5 liter mineral water during the safari
  • Flights
  • Visa and airport departure tax
  • Items of personal nature and not mentioned in the above itinerary

Lake Manyara National Park

Locked in between the Rift Valley Escarpment, Lake Manyara, the village of Mto Wa Mbu and several farms, the 30% land area of Lake Manyara National Park is an exceptional jewel. It is part of the expansive Maasai ecosystem and a corridor for the great migration of huge herds of mammals towards the north and the south.

Lake Manyara is highly alkaline and shallow, without any outgoing rivers. Even in the rainiest month, April, depth doesn’t reach more than 2,5 metres, almost dropping to zero in the dry season. From the top of the Rift Wall the natural Marang forest towers above you. Here you might encounter big-tusked elephants on their quest for food and water.

Flamingos dot the lake surface, joined by myriad other water birds that are best spotted at the end of the dry season. And that’s just the start. Practically all large mammals roam the grassy floodplains, as residents or migratory visitors.

Ngorongoro Crater & Conservation Area

The Ngorongoro Crater is protected around Lake Natron in the northeast, to Lake Enyasi in the south and Lake Manyara to the east. Once an active volcano, what makes it especially unique is the collapse of its cone, forming a crater that goes 610 meters deep, 20 kilometres in diameter and covers an area of 311 sq km.

As spectacular as it sounds, this massive crater only accounts for a tenths of the entire Conservation Area. Next to its geologically special features, the crater is home to almost every mammal of the African plains, including the endangered black rhino, and the densest population of predators in Africa. Birdlife is also extremely abundant, in particular flamingos affected by the fresh water from Lake Magadi on the crater floor.

Tarangire National Park

Located just a few hours drive from the town of Arusha, Tarangire is a popular stop for safaris travelling through the northern circuit on their way to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. But there is much the park has to offer, it extends into two game controlled areas and the wildlife are allowed to move freely throughout.

After the Serengeti, Tarangire has the greatest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania; even in the dry season wildlife is bountiful due to the Tarangire River. Large herd of elephants and migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, gazelle gather and not surprisingly the big predator follow.

Tarangire is also one of the few places in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as oryx and gerenuk are regularly spotted. It is also known for its spectacular baobab trees, breath taking views of the Masaai Steppe and mountains to the south.