August 17-18: This morning, with great anticipation, we board our flights for Africa. We’ll make a stop in New York and London as we make our way to the city of Arusha in Tanzania, Africa. We will arrive into Africa on the second evening and transfer to the very nice Mount Meru Hotel (or similar). We’ll have dinner and enjoy a well-earned rest as we prepare for the incredible itinerary ahead. In flight meals included.
August 19: Welcome to Tanzania! After a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast at your excellent hotel, we’ll stop at an interesting museum in Arusha that will prepare us for the experiences ahead. We will then drive one hour to the Marafiki Africa base camp arriving in time for a light lunch. We will have an orientation meeting that will provide important information about our tour. In the late afternoon, we’ll be treated to a welcome celebration by members of the local Masaai tribe. They are warm, colorful and excited to share their land and culture with you. Dinner is included at the end of the celebration. We then continue back to our hotel in Arusha. B, L, D
August 20: SAFARI! This morning we will board our Land Cruisers and head for the park. The vehicles are an important part of how you see Africa. There are SIX people in each vehicle along with a refrigerator for drinks and snacks. We have excellent drivers and guides with each vehicle and they will communicate with other vehicles when animals are spotted. We have about a three hour drive this morning to Lake Manyara National Park. We’ll have a picnic lunch upon arrival. This is a small park but very important on our trip. Vegetation ranges from savannah grass to marsh to evergreen forest (spanning 11 ecosystems) and supports one of the highest varieties of large mammals in the world. Among other animals, elephants and tree-climbing lions are among what we may see today. After our afternoon safari today, we’ll check into our excellent safari lodge. This is a splurge and worth every penny. The views, the location and the amenities will make this an evening to remember. We’ll have dinner and watch the sunset. B, L D.
August 21: We’ll get an early start today and continue northwest along the rim of the famous Ngorongoro Crater. We’ll be going down into the crater on our way back through, but today it’s the setting for a great picnic lunch. We continue our journey arriving in the afternoon to the one and only Serengeti National Park. We’ll enjoy a short game drive this afternoon/early evening and begin to see the rich wildlife of this incredible place. We’ll stay at a comfortable safari camp for the next 3 nights. We’ll gather around the campfire tonight and cover some fun discussion topics. There’s nothing like a quiet night on the plains of the Serengeti. B, L, D
August 22: It’s all about the animals today. The highest concentration of mammals roam here and we will see them. We have a game drive in the morning and in the afternoon with a picnic lunch in between. This is not just driving – There is lots of stopping to observe and film the animals in their natural habitat. You may have seen bears in Alaska or monkeys in the jungle, but nothing compares to seeing the mammals in Africa. Common animals to see in this area include giraffes, zebras, impalas, ostriches, dik diks and more. We’ll have a relaxing evening at our safari camp tonight. B, L, D
August 23: After our early breakfast (including a delicious ostrich egg omlette), we venture into a different part of the Serengeti today where we will again enjoy a morning and afternoon game drive. You’ll be amazed at how quickly time passes on these drives and because of the diverse places and animals, you’ll enjoy each one. The larger mammals are often found in this area. We are likely to see animals like elephants, warthogs, lions, crocodiles, hippos and giant gazelles. Our journey takes us into the southwestern portion of Kenya today. We will have our picnic lunch today at the Hippo Pool. It’s not unusual to see 50-100 hippos here enjoying the water. Tonight after dinner at our safari camp, we will pop popcorn over the fire and set up our big screen and speakers and watch the Lion King under the stars. Why not! We are in the place that is depicted in the movie and it’s a fun experience. B, L, D
August 24: Before leaving the Serengeti, we have a final drive this morning. In this area, we generally see animals like leopards, cheetahs, baboons, hyena, wildebeests and more. As we leave this national park, you will have spent several days that you’ll never forget. The Serengeti is magical and once you experience it, you’ll understand what we mean. But we aren’t done yet! By this evening, we will be INSIDE the Ngorongoro Crater where we’ll enjoy dinner and our safari camp tonight. B, L, D
August 25: Welcome to another amazing place. This natural crater was once a mountain higher than Everest. It is now a deep, volcanic crater which is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. It is 15 miles across and 1,800 feet deep. It is a breathtaking natural wonder and full of wildlife. Our game drive today is inside this lush crater. It is common to see the crowned crane, monkeys, buffalo, jackal and the one animal we probably haven’t seen yet: The rhinoceros which are plentiful in this crater and it is exciting to see them in the wild. We have a picnic lunch today at the Hippo and Crocodile Pool. We exit the crater and continue to our hotel which is the Mto wa Mbu region. We’ll enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening. B, L, D
August 26: Today is Sunday. There are church services available this morning. An LDS Sacrament meeting or other Christian services are available and it is very interesting to participate in local worship services. After lunch at Marafiki Africa basecamp, we’ll have a walking tour of a primary and secondary school and learn about the education process in this part of Africa. An important part of our day will be participating in a humanitarian activity associated with the primary school. It is memorable and tender to interact with these delightful children and to leave there school a little better because we visited (exact details of the project will be shared as we get closer to departure). Being with the people of Africa is a very important part of our experience and you’ll fall in love with the people of Tanzania. We’ll be back at the hotel where we began (Mount Meru Hotel) tonight to enjoy dinner and rest. B, L, D
August 27: Today we spend our last day in Africa. We’ll visit the local Masaai Market where you can get some fun souvenirs to remember your trip to Africa. We’ll give you plenty of time here. We will also participate in the Tanzanite Experience and learn about this valuable blue and violet mineral. Whether you buy or not, it is beautiful to see. After lunch, we will enjoy a meaningful visit to the Arusha Cultural Heritage Center where we’ll see beautiful animal carvings and learn about the Masaai and their way of life. A farewell dinner is included at our hotel this evening as we celebrate the incredible experience that we have enjoyed in Africa. B, L, D
August 28: Today we transfer to the airport for our flights home. We gain all of the hours back, so we arrive late in the evening on the same day (August 28). You’ll never forget your trip to Africa! B