5-Day Safari (Lake Manyara / Serengeti Plains / Ngorogoro Crater)

Safari Itineraries

5 day tour overview

Our 5-day African safaris, tours, travel and trekking packages, which specifically include 2 nights in Serengeti National Park, have been designed to offer you more time in the Serengeti to witness the wildebeest migration. You will experience the excitement of game viewing in some of the most spectacular national wildlife game parks in Africa.

This unforgettable Tanzanian safari journey will take you to the Ngorongoro Crater, featuring one of the highest concentrations of game in Africa. Here you will witness an amazing spectacle of African wildlife – inside a self-contained world teeming with animals. The tour will further take you to the Serengeti National Park, into the heart of wild Africa, a massive wilderness of 14500 square km, where everyday brings a new landscape and a new adventure. You will visit the Lake Manyara National Park, one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a shallow but huge soda lake, at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment.

This is a suggested or sample Tanzanian safari itinerary – it can be adapted to suite your own personal needs and preferences, as well as for any seasonal changes or migratory animal movements. . As with all our African safaris, tours, travel and trekking packages, we have offered you a wide variety of accommodation options – directly impacting on the total safari costs – in order to offer you the widest possible tour budget options. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our tours consultants directly, should you require any further assistance or more detailed information, regarding any of our African safaris, tours, travel and trekking packages – we will gladly assist you.

Safari at a glance

5 Days: Lake Manyara / Serengeti / Ngorongoro

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
National Park Lake Manyara Serengeti Serengeti Serengeti / Ngorongoro Ngorongoro
Game viewing drives PM PM AM / PM PM Hike to crater rim* or visit Masai village*
Other activities (additional cost) Visit to Masai Village* Hot air balloon* Hot air balloon* Crafts market
Non game-viewing travel time 2½ hours 6 hours  4 hours  4 hours
Accommodation options
Luxury lodges Lake Manyara Serena Lodge Serengeti Serena Lodge Serengeti Serena Lodge Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Semi Luxury lodges Kirurumu Tented lodge Serengeti Sopa Lodge Serengeti Sopa Lodge Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Tented Camps & Lodges Migunga Forest Camp Serengeti Kati Kati Camp Serengeti Kati Kati Camp Ngorongoro Farmhouse (not on crater rim)
Board LDB BLDB BLDB BLDB BL
BL = Breakfast & Lunch, BLDB = Breakfast Lunch Dinner & Bed, LDB = Lunch Dinner Bed
Am = Morning game viewing drive / Pm = Afternoon game viewing drive
* optional extras subject to availability at additional cost

Day 1 – Arusha – Lake Manyara

Non game-viewing travel time: 2½ hours
Distance: 130 km

Pick up from Arusha and transfer to Lake Manyara national park.
We arrive in time for lunch at the lodge and after lunch do we head into the Lake Manyara National Park for an afternoon game drive. This national park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park), located at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Lake Manyara’s unique tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos attracted by the algae in the lake.

Dinner and overnight as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Day 2 – Lake Manyara – Serengeti Plains

Non game-viewing travel time: 6 hours
Distance: 205 km

After breakfast we head towards the Serengeti National Park, via the beautiful high lying farmland of Karatu and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Leaving the highlands behind, we descend into the heart of wild Africa – the Serengeti National Park – with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. We head to the central park area, known as the Seronera area, one of the richest wildlife habitats in the park, featuring the Seronera River, which provides a valuable water source to this area and therefore attracts wildlife well representative of most of the Serengeti’s species.
We arrive in time for lunch and enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Serengeti national park.

Dinner and overnight in the Seronera area, as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Day 3 – Serengeti Plains

Be one of only a few fortunate people to glide in a Hot Air Balloon over the Serengeti Plains (available at supplementary cost by pre-arrangement). Floating silently above the awakening bush, while spotting wildlife and enjoying the amazing scenery of Africa, across rivers and over numerous small villages.

We do an after breakfast game viewing drive along the Sogore River Circuit, which loops into the plains south of the Seronera River, and which is good for possible Lion, Thomson gazelle, topi, ostrich and cheetah sightings. The Visitor Centre close to the Serengeti Seronera Lodge and public campsites, is well worth a visit after the morning’s game drive. This nicely designed centre offers some interesting wildlife displays as well as a gift shop selling information leaflets and maps of the area. The centre also has a shop where cold drinks and snacks can be purchased, as well as a picnic area and information trail up and around a nearby kopje. We will enjoy a relaxed picnic lunch at the centre in the shade of the giant acacia trees.

In the afternoon we will follow the Kopjes Circuit, which goes anti-clockwise around the Maasai Kopjes, which usually attract a number of lion and some formidably large cobras. Kopjes are weathered granite outcrops, scattered around the plains, most of which are miniature ecosystems, providing shade and drinking water in pools left in the rock after the rains. This makes the kopjes particularly good for spotting wildlife in the dry seasons – including lions, which like to lie in wait for animals coming to drink!

Dinner and overnight in the Seronera area, as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Day 4 – Serengeti Plains – Ngorongoro crater

Non game-viewing travel time: 4 hours
Distance: 145 km

After breakfast at the lodge do we depart to Ngorongoro Conservation area. We will stopover at Olduvai Gorge, boasting with a history dating back to the dawn of time. It was here, that the anthropologists Drs. Lois
and Mary Leakey discovered the skulls of ‘Nutcracker Man’ and ‘Handy Man’, both very significant links in the chain of human evolution.

We arrive in time for lunch at the lodge and after lunch we will descend over 600 meters into the crater to view wildlife for a half day’s safari tour. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro National Park supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park, is it’s dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. We will visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the southwestern corner, which is one of the main features of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here.

Dinner and overnight as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Day 5 – Ngorongoro crater – Arusha

Non game-viewing travel time: 4 hours
Distance: 190 km

Enjoy breakfast, after which we will transfer back to Arusha. Upon arrival in Arusha will we have lunch and then we will end our African safari adventure. The group should tip the guide around $20 a day. You will be taken to your hotel, which ends our safari services.
*It is possible to have an additional half day game drive at Ngorongoro conservation area if you are not restricted to an early departure time from Arusha, please note additional cost will apply.

Please note this itinerary is subject to change with or without prior notice according to local conditions / park rules. The order of places visited could also be changed according to the guide’s decision.

Departure dates

The departure dates for all our African safaris, tours, travel and other trekking packages are totally flexible according to your own personal needs. Please contact us for further and more detailed information, as well as information on our photographic packages, safaris, tours, travel and other trekking packages into Tanzania.

Safari prices

Link: 5 day safari package prices.