Arrive Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will be met and transferred (about 30 minutes) to the lodge for your first night, a comfortable lodge situated beautifully on a golf, polo and wildlife estate. Meet up with the rest of the group, followed by sundowner and dinner. If there is a polo game on, sundowner will be at the polo club house.
An early start to catch a morning charter flight to Ndutu airstrip in the southern Serengeti. After the flight, depending on where you fly in, anything between 2-4 hours drive, depending on routing (you may be flown over the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara or Tarangire National Park, a wonderful opportunity to see these iconic sites from the air), you will be met by a safari vehicle at Ndutu. A short wait whilst you are checked-in at the Ngorongoro Conservation area registration post, then set off driving, past impressive rocky outcrops known as “kopjes, river courses and across the Serengeti’s famous ‘short grass plains’. Prime grazing area for migrating wildebeest during the early months of the year, with luck (always dependant on the weather!) the plains may be thick with wildebeest which arrive in their thousands after the rains to make the most of the fresh grass. The plains are also the wildebeests’ favoured birthing spot – it is one of nature’s miracles that females delay giving birth until the rains and grass arrive in an effort to ensure their newly born young get the best start in life, a chance to build their strength on lush new grass before setting off on the long march north to Kenya’s Mara plains. About 2- 4 hours in all, you eventually arrive at the spot chosen for the first camp in the shade of a lovely flat topped acacia. Meet the team of support staff, settle into your tents and a welcome lunch in the shade of the mess tent. Then, a short siesta, before meeting the horses and their grooms, and time allowing, an evening ride to try them. Return to camp at sun set for hot showers, drinks by the campfire and your first dinner together in the bush, before tomorrow when the adventure really starts! (B, L, D)
Wake at about 7am with tea or coffee brought to your tent, then breakfast in the mess tent before heading to the horses to mount up at around 8am. Depending on the weather and movement of game, you might ride out for a long morning today returning to camp for lunch and another ride or a game drive in the late afternoon – or you might head out for a full day ride, meeting the back-up team for lunch out in the bush. Either way you should have a good chance of seeing the gathering herds of wildebeest for which the area is famous, as well as giraffe browsing in the acacia scrub, zebra and perhaps predators such as hyena and jackal. Dinner and night in camp (B, L, D)
Four more days to explore, riding across the open plains into grassy valleys dotted with picturesque granite outcrops, swathes of whistling thorn and typically East African flat toped acacia trees. The route and arrangements each day will vary with the weather and movement of game but your guide will aim to ride to at least one or two more camps so you can discover new areas. On one of the afternoons or mornings the horses will be given a rest and you jump into the vehicles to visit Olduvai Museum, one of the most important paleo anthropological sites in the world. The museum includes fossils and artefacts of our human ancestors and skeletons of many extinct animals who shared their world. Throughout the safari we will most definitely cross this gorge ‘Cradle of human kind” on one or more occasions on horseback. The following day, another early start with tea or coffee served at your tent, ride out for 3-4 hours, meet the back-up crew for an al- fresco lunch in the bush and time to rest in the heat of the day, before heading off again, aiming to reach the new camp by tea time. Set up ahead by the camp crew, tonight’s camp might be spectacularly situated in the middle of the vast open plains, where, at peak migration time, the air will be filled with the braying and mesmerising grunts of wildebeest. A cup of tea or a cold beer when you arrive in camp, followed by hot showers & dinner, listening to the sounds of the bush (B,L,D)
At one point during the safari (weather allowing) you will spend the night in a lightweight fly camp, sleeping under mosquito nets. This morning you jump into the vehicles (there will be a game drive with a picnic lunch on route, crossing the short grass plains and looking out for cheetah, lion and leopard which thrive here, as well as elephant and flamingo which gather on the area’s soda lakes. Later in the afternoon you will reach the fly camp in time for sundowners followed by dinner under the stars. (B, L, D every day)
An early wake-up call to say farewell to the horses and crew. The drive this morning will be up the Ngorongoro highlands and breakfast will be en-route overlooking the world famous Ngorongoro Crater. After checking out at the gate you head to the African galleria, a great place to buy anything from arts, Tanzanite or just a small Tanzanian gift. Shortly after you head to the Manyara Airstrip followed by a 40 minute flight back to the estate where lunch will be served. There will be showers available to share, however if you like your own dayroom please let us know and we will book this in advanced. Thereafter vehicle transfer back to Kilimanjaro International Airport for onward flights. (B, L)
The adventure has come to its end and reality is waiting around the corner. Safari ends…for this time
Note: The itinerary is subject to change due to movement of game and weather conditions. Routes are designed for the best possibilities of encountering wildlife and to follow suitable terrain for horses. If the itinerary has to change prior to the safari, this would only be to benefit the ride.