romantic ngorongoro crater

Romantic East Africa safari Sleep in the boughs of an ancient forest, camp on the Serengeti plains, bathe in rose petals at the Ngorongoro Crater and relax on a private island

Your journey at a glance

Indulge in the drama of East Africa’s most beautiful landscapes, from the romance of classical safari to the wonder of breath-taking landscapes and the barefoot luxury of a private island. At Lake Manyara you will share a cosy tree house in the heart of a scenic landscape, where lions lounge in the forks of trees and pink flamingo wade near the lakeshore.

Enjoy a taste of adventure combined with the ultimate luxury on the open plains of the Serengeti, where Persian carpets and fully sized beds are separated from the African night by only a thin sheet of canvas and the light of lanterns sparkles on silver and crystal as your private feast is served in the open air.

What to expect …

Transfer to Lake Manyara Day 1

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Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a member of the &Beyond team who will assist you to your scheduled flight to Manyara Airstrip.

On arrival at the airstrip, you will be met by a representative from &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge for your first game drive to the lodge.

Overnight in Lake Manyara Day 1 - 3

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Lake Manyara National Park offers a wilderness experience in diverse habitats, from its Rift Valley soda lake to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides. Apart from a spectacular setting, the park is famous for its unusual tree-climbing lions and the vast elephant herds it was established to protect. The shores of the lake, encrusted with pink flamingo, attract more than 400 species of birds, many of them waterfowl or migrants. Large herds of buffalo, cheetah, Masai giraffe and impala roam the lake shores and the forested valley slopes. A Lake Manyara safari is a fascinating experience as the park also features a ground-water forest; acacia tortilis woodland and hot springs called Maji Moto.

Spend two nights at &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Accommodation is in an elegant, stilted treehouse, which is cradled in the boughs of mahogany trees. Your room is built of timber and makuti (palm fronds) and has a spacious sitting area, viewing deck and a lovely ensuite bathroom.

Find tree-climbing lions Day 2

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Game drives from &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge explore areas of the park that cannot be reached by day visitors and are undisturbed by others. Each morning and afternoon set off in the company of your guide and tracker in an open 4×4 safari vehicle with a canvas canopy. Together you will explore the diverse habitats of the park, stopping on the lakeshore to admire the different bird species and look for pink flamingo. You will traverse a mosaic of acacia woodlands, grassy floodplains and tall forest in search of wildlife, including Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions and family herds of elephant.

Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Day 3

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Enjoy an early morning breakfast before a safari vehicle drive back to the Manyara airstrip, where you will be met by a representative from &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge who will drive you to the lodge.

Overnight in Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Day 3 - 5

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The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, within the Serengeti, is home to more than 30 000 protected animals. It is an area of spectacular beauty and excellent game viewing, a truly unique safari destination in Africa. The Ngorongoro Crater, once a gigantic volcano, is the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 metre deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth. Fresh springs and a large soda lake quench the thirst of all the inhabitants. Black rhino are protected within its rim, giant tusked elephants wander the forests, black-maned lions stalk the grasslands, and flamingos crowd the soda lakes.

Spend two nights at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Accommodation is in a suite with ensuite bathroom with bath and shower.

Dine in an ancient volcano Day 4

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Indulge in a gourmet feast served in one of the most unique settings in Africa. Descend into the scenic landscape of the Ngorongoro Crater and enjoy the incredible density of wildlife before making your way to a private picnic spot on the Crater floor. Tables set with snowy tablecloths and sparkling silver cutlery are laden with the most delectable of dishes. An army of butlers spring into action to attend to your every wish as you indulge in a mouth-watering meal served against the backdrop of groups of zebra strolling along the Crater floor.

Flight to the Serengeti Day 5

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Tuck into a sensational breakfast feast before your drive back to the Manyara airstrip for your scheduled flight to &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas.

Overnight in the Serengeti Day 5 - 8

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The Serengeti National Park, meaning “endless plains” in the Masai language, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated Wilderness areas and is an on-going source of inspiration to writers, filmmakers and photographers. It is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve, renowned for the part it plays in the annual Great Migration, when an estimated three million antelope – mostly wildebeest – migrate to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. This epic, seasonal journey is a deeply moving experience and a wonderful photographic subject. Here visitors to the park can roam its sprawling plains on exhilarating game drives or hop into a hot-air balloon ride for an once-in-a-lifetime wilderness adventure. The Serengeti National Park is also home to the Olduvai Gorge, where ground-breaking archaeological discoveries have been made, as well as the breath-taking Ngorongoro Crater – a World Heritage Site.

Spend three nights at &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas in an ensuite tent. Your stay includes accommodation, meals, scheduled activities, laundry, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and return airstrip transfers.

Float above the Serengeti Day 6

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Experience the breathtaking beauty of the Serengeti National Park on a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon flight. At dawn, rise as the sun greets the day and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take you. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude of your balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below. At other times you will probably ascend to 1000m or more to see the enormity and wonderful panorama of the Serengeti. From time to time the pilot must put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is silence apart from the natural sounds below.

Discover the wonders of Lake Victoria Day 7

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This full-day tour along the shoreline of Lake Victoria promises a combination of wildlife adventures, sightseeing, fishing thrills and cultural insight. A morning game drive through the Serengeti takes guests to the park gate. From here, it is a 20-minute drive to the lake shore, with the option to stop and learn about the work of the Africa Foundation at Lukungu Primary School. On arrival at Lake Victoria, guests can choose to set off on a fishing safari in a traditional canoe, pay a visit to the traditional doctor, clap along to the rhythm as villagers perform a local dance or simply admire the magnificent landscapes. A picnic lunch is served on the lakeshore before guests set off on their return journey.

Flight to Zanzibar Day 8

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Depart by road to the Airstrip, where you will board your scheduled flight to Zanzibar Airport via Arusha.

Transfer to &Beyond Mnemba Island Day 8

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On arrival in Zanzibar you will be met by an &Beyond representative who will assist with your road transfer to the crossing point for Mnemba Island. Here you will be met by a boat for your transfer to Mnemba Island Lodge.

Overnight on &Beyond Mnemba Island Day 8 - 11

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Spend three nights at &Beyond Mnemba Island Lodge in a Banda. Your stay includes accommodation, meals, soft drinks, house wines, local beer, local brand spirits, snorkelling, kayaking, salt water fly-fishing, windsurfing and scuba diving (guests must provide proof that they hold a valid diving certificate, alternatively diving courses are available at an additional cost).

Immerse yourself in a world beneath Day 9

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Zanzibar boasts a variety of pristine coral reefs, particularly off Unguja Island, the main island of Zanzibar, as well as Pemba Island and Mnemba Atoll. Boasting calm waters and a wide variety of colourful marine species, these are some of the top dive sites in the world. Keen divers will find diving off Zanzibar an absolutely breath-taking experience, with some of the healthiest reefs in the Indian Ocean. An average water temperature of 26ºC / 79º and visibility of 30 to 40 metres / 100 to 130 feet, as well as truly staggering range of marine wildlife, make this an unforgettable diving destination.

Paddle along the beach Day 10

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Explore the warm Indian Ocean waves in utter tranquillity in a deep sea kayak built for two. Ask one of Mnemba’s Dive Instructors for a quick tutorial session or set off with your partner on the quiet waters protected by the island’s surrounding reefs. Paddle along the beach to admire the changing features of the shoreline or head out into deeper waters in the hope of encountering a pod of dolphin or some sea turtles.

Transfer to Zanzibar Day 11

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Depart by boat to the crossing point, where a member of the &Beyond team will meet and transfer you to Zanzibar International Airport for your flight to Dar es Salaam Domestic Airport. On arrival at the Domestic Terminal of Dar es Salaam International Airport you will be met by an &Beyond representative and transferred to the International Terminal for your outbound flight.

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