Discover Tanzania, an East African nation where the majesty of the Serengeti meets the temperate shores of the Indian Ocean. Featured in Wonders of Tanzania, sun and sand take center stage in this island paradise.
Ker & Downey presents this region as a vintage safari with a twist, meandering through diverse landscape and seeing ample undisturbed wildlife before finally indulging in beachside luxury.
The Tanzanian journey begins in Arusha, an area famous for its robust coffee crops. Arusha Coffee Lodge occupies a corner of the Burka coffee estate, a fully operational coffee plantation with roasters and fermentation facilities on site. Guests can indulge in the blends and observe the roasting process before traveling onward to the Tarangire National Park and Oliver’s Camp. This camp is a fitting introduction to the Tanzanian wild with just the right balance of bush luxury and classic safari grit. In the distance Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, and the Great Rift Valley are visible from camp, all anticipated bullet points on the itinerary.
Slow down first at Oliver’s Camp whose seasoned camp attendants include wildlife wizards. Guides and rangers excel at distinguishing between the specific families of lion and sorting out individual pride members from the throng, their characteristics and personalities memorized. Game drives will net sightings of elephant, hyena and several different big cats. Oliver’s is best known for walking safaris, an activity that not long ago was forbidden by the park authorities. Set off on foot, flanked by a skilled guide and ranger, to stealthily observe the Tarangire’s inhabitants in their natural surroundings. Extend the experiential safari and include a fly camping excursion, turning a few hours’ walk into an unforgettable day of up-close game viewing and sleeping in the solitude of the wilderness. Tents at camp are well-appointed with an incredible outdoor shower with a view and plush furnishings inside. Stroll the lantern-lit grounds and dine at the banquet table with the camp family of guides, rangers and other guests, ending the evening with conversation around the campfire – an activity affectionately nicknamed “Bush TV.” The paths that wind through the grounds are raked every evening and visitors wake to a surprise sandy tapestry of animal tracks weaving throughout the area.
Depart Tarangire and take in a private game drive over lunch at the intimate and exclusive Lake Manyara National Park. Manyara’s shallow waters attract a variety of herbivores including hippos, impala, elephant, giraffe and wildebeest. En route to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, keep watch in the surrounding branches for the famous tree-climbing lions. With a constant water supply and varied terrain, the area around the stunning Ngorongoro Crater remains rich and diverse in game year-round. A Dutch colonial-chic personality defines The Manor at Ngorongoro with whitewashed cottages standing stark and crisp against the green of the impeccable gardens. Soak in views of the Tanzanian bush from the manor and journey by off-road vehicle or bike into the crater for a closer look at the activity on the 100-square-mile crater floor. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is heralded as one of the most spectacular places for game viewing in all of Africa, particularly in the crater. From the petite dik dik to the massive black rhinoceros, an estimated 25,000 big game residents – the Big Five among them – are living on the plains or in the swamps. Trek to the Olduvai Gorge, located nearby on the plains of the Great Rift Valley, where excavations have yielded important clues into the lives of prehistoric humans.
The famed Serengeti National Park is next, existing on the Kenyan border and home to the annual mammalian spectacle known as the Great Migration. From October to April, grab a front-row seat to the Great Migration from Sayari Camp’s prominent position on the Mara River. Watch as herds of big game grazers – including wildebeest, zebra and antelope – follow the rains across the Mara with predators in hot pursuit, hoping to exploit the weaker travelers. Sayari is a superb slice of luxury on the vast plains, featuring 15 deluxe tents with breezy verandas, en-suite facilities and the distinction of a five-star hotel experience in the wilderness — a far cry from a typical, more rugged tented camp. Beyond the grounds, discover all the wonders and wildlife of the Serengeti. As the only permanent camp in this region of the park, Sayari remains isolated and quiet, removed from the maddening tourism traffic. Game drives will reveal the diverse inhabitants of the plains and the towering kopje rock formations, including the Simba Kopje, a landmark that is often credited as the inspiration for the fictional Pride Rock seen in the animated feature The Lion King.
End the Tanzanian adventure with exceptional seaside opulence on the islands of Zanzibar. Sun and sand take center stage in this island paradise, showcasing a heritage steeped in spices and warmed by the Indian Ocean. A good portion of the world’s cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper originate on these islands and guests in the region can tour the plantations and facilities where sumptuous spices are still produced. Experience the island nation from the secluded Matemwe Lodge, located on the white sand beaches of Zanzibar’s main island, Unguja. Local materials and verdant gardens set off the 12 bungalows, each with its own veranda overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Aside from luxuriating in Matemwe’s oasis of sand and sea, guests can look forward to experiencing the pristine natural wonders of the island. The crystal-clear waters, with impressive coral formations found on the nearby Mnemba Atoll, are a thrill for divers. An array of marine life can be found as well with dolphins residing year-round and humpback whales passing through from July to September. On a hike through the Jozani Forest, guests will spy the Zanzibar red colobus, a primate with distinctly different markings and calls than those of its mainland colobus cousin. Zanzibar ends the journey with a choice of energetic activities and leisurely moments, leaving visitors with fond memories of their privileged trek.