Awaken to Africa– Best custom wildlife safaris to Tanzania: Serengeti, Tarangire, Selous, Mahale
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Awaken to Africa will put together the trip that you’ve always dreamed of taking. The scenery is stunning, the wildlife viewing is outstanding, and there is something about Tanzania that touches your soul.

For your first trip, you might choose our Classic Safari, which focuses on the northern parks in Tanzania—the world famous Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Or you may decide to return to this part of Tanzania because you will always see something new and special. We will take you where the masses don't go. The northern parks of Tanzania are still the best place to see wildlife in all its abundance and excitement.

However, you may decide that you’d like to journey to the southern parks and reserves—a magnificent, remote wilderness filled with wildlife and still visited by very few tourists. The Southern Highlands is home to the national parks Ruaha, Mikumi, and the Udzungwa Mountains. Bordering these parks to the east is the Selous Game Reserve, Africa’s largest wildlife protected area.

To the west is the most remote and least developed area in Tanzania. If you are excited by the prospect of trekking chimpanzees, this is the place for you. In addition you will see wildlife in one of the most pristine settings in Africa. This is Mahale Mountains National Park (located alongside Lake Tanganyika, the longest freshwater lake in the world) and Katavi National Park.

One of the newest Tanzanian national parks is Saadani, which is located north of Dar es Salaam along the Indian Ocean. With its 20 kilometer coastline, you may be able to see an elephant or lion strolling on the beach right from your lodging. South of Saadani is Bagamoyo, a historic town that was a maritime trade center and a transit point in nineteenth century slave trade. Today Bagamoyo attracts visitors for its historical significance, its flourishing arts scene, and its beach resort destinations. Further north along the Swahili coast is Pangani, which attracts visitors for its historical significance and its beach resorts.

If it's adventure that you seek, you may choose to trek Mt. Kilimanjaro, which attracts more than 30,000 climbers annually, or you may choose the slightly lower but more beautiful Mt. Meru. You may be excited at the prospect of visiting Zanzibar, an exotic mixture of African and Arabic cultures, and whose archipelago offers some of the best diving in the world.

Our Classic Safari is a 14-day itinerary with 12 days in the parks. The highlight of this trip is the amazing wildebeest migration, which many consider to be the greatest wildlife show on earth. The migration of an estimated 1.5 million wildebeest, 250,000 zebras, and various other antelopes in search of fresh new grass, followed by a variety of predators, represents the delicate balance of nature’s supply and demand.




The Classic Safari includes visits to:

  • Arusha National Park, a small park near Kilimanjaro International Airport, where, in addition to animals of the savannah, you may see rare black and white Colobus monkeys;
  • Tarangire National Park, one of the most beautiful parks in Tanzania. The landscape is dotted with baobab trees, and the park is home to one of the largest elephant populations in East Africa;
  • Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage site and one of the most famous wildlife refuges in the world and one of the few places left in Africa to see a rare black rhinoceros;
  • Serengeti National Park, the vast savannah grassland and World Heritage Site that covers more than 5,000 square miles and extends north to the Kenyan border; site of the famous migration that includes more than 1.5 million wildebeest and 250,000 zebra; and
  • Lake Manyara National Park, a small, beautiful game-rich park along the Rift Valley known for its tree-climbing lions.

Classic Safari lodging are diverse and could include, among others:

  • Small, intimate lodges, such as Kigongoni, a charming hillside Arusha lodge with wonderful views of both Mt. Meru and Kilimanjaro, or Onsea House, a charming country inn set on a hillside with a view of Mt. Meru and a luxury B&B, providing you with wonderful food, personalized service, and privacy, or the new Lake Duluti Lodge, an elegant countryside retreat with outstanding amenities and service combined with fine cuisine;
  • Small permanent tented camps, such as Tarangire Safari Lodge, Tarangire Treetops, Oliver's Camp where you can take a walking safari with an armed ranger and participate in night game drives, or the luxury tented camp Sayari, located in the Northern Serengeti;
  • Luxury properties with outstanding food, service, and furnishings, such as Plantation Lodge, Gibbs Farm, the Ngorongoro Manor House, or the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, built onto the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater;
  • A luxury mobile camp, moveable and sited at just the right location for close viewing of the migration herd, such as Olakira.

While on safari we encourage you to spend as much time as possible in a small tented camp—in our opinion the best way to really experience the bush. We continue to research the evolving lodging scene in Tanzania and ferret out unique properties that offer good value, spending a month annually traveling around the country.

In addition to experiencing some of the best wildlife viewing on the African continent, we can include the following other kinds of activities:

  • Lunch or dinner with a Tanzanian family,
  • A visit to Oldupai Gorge, site of Louis and Mary Leakey's famous archaeological research and the discovery of early man,
  • A stop at a Tanzanian grade school, and
  • A tour of a Maasai village.

You may also choose to book one or more of the following:

  • A hot-air balloon ride over the Serengeti plains, an exciting way to get a bird's-eye perspective of the vast area the Serengeti covers,
  • A trip to meet with the Hadzabes, a bush tribe near Lake Eyasi,
  • A meeting with a researcher from the Lion Research Project or the Cheetah Project in the Serengeti,
  • A hike along the Ngorongoro Crater rim or in the Ngorongoro Highlands,
  • Canoeing in Arusha National Park, and/or
  • Participation in any number of programs that have been organized in villages to enable visitors to experience local culture.





There are special safaris and activities that may interest you:

  • Honeymoons
    We know how important the planning for a honeymoon is. We've put together a variety of honeymoon itineraries, and we can customize one for you. On one of our honeymoon itineraries, we were asked to plan an African wedding ceremony, and we did—complete with dancers, singers, and a barbecued goat for the reception.

  • Photographic safaris
    We work with professional photographers who offer photographic safaris for a small number of participants, insuring that you'll receive personalized instruction.

  • Volunteering
    If you are interested in volunteering while visiting Tanzania, we suggest you consider spending some time at Peace House Africa, a dynamic school for orphans and vulnerable children and home to over 200 students. The secondary boarding school is located just outside Arusha, has volunteer accommodations on campus, and provides a variety of volunteer opportunities.

    We work with Peace House Africa to arrange volunteer visits at the school, and we can do that for you.

  • Travel to Rwanda
    Many people travel to Rwanda, a small country on the western border of Tanzania, to experience the thrill of visiting some of the few remaining mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

    We offer travel to Rwanda and can arrange your entire trip, including your air travel to and from Kigali.

    In addition to gorilla trekking, you may also visit the Golden Monkeys in Volcanoes Park, and in the Nyungwe National Forest, there are 13 species of primates as well as prolific birdlife.

We invite you to inquire further and will be pleased to discuss with you and to send you a detailed itinerary and price. Prices for our Classic Safari begin at $5,000/pp for four travelers, depending upon the type of lodging that you choose. International airfare is additional, and we can also book your airfare arrangements.

Because all our trips are customized, we will work with you to create a trip that reflects your interests, your preference for lodgings and parks/reserves, and the desired length of your trip.

We specialize in private customized trips for small groups—two to four people. Unlike some companies, we believe that you will have the best possible experience when we keep the number of people to a minimum, and we put only four (possibly five) people to a vehicle. But, if you have a group of people who want to travel together, we will work with you to plan a trip that gives you the experiences you desire.

You also need to keep in mind that the African experience can only be appreciated fully if you allow adequate time for your visit. To reach Tanzania and return home, you will travel the better part of two days each way, depending upon your origination point (i.e., if you are traveling from the United States). Awaken to Africa counts only your actual travel days in Tanzania when we describe your itinerary. We do not inflate our trips by counting your travel time to and from Tanzania.

Whether your interest is driven by the excitement of seeing animals and birds in their natural environment or your interest is driven by photography, your wildlife viewing experience will be determined by the expertise, experience, and sensitivity of your naturalist/driver.

Simply put—Awaken to Africa has the best in the business!

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