Spend time on the savannah | Travel x Ten


Ditch cold weather for Tanzania and the greatest wildlife show on Earth.

If the thought of the cold has you running for the hills, escape to the wide, open plains of Tanzania instead. This East African beauty is prime wildlife territory, with almost a third of its vast lands protected for game viewing. We introduce you to a few highlights of this fascinating home of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara.

Explore diverse wildlife at Lake Manyara National Park

Our lifestyle managers will book a scenic flight from Arusha, your arrival city in northern Tanzania, to acacia-dotted Lake Manyara National Park. Apart from a diverse setting – from its Great Rift Valley soda lake to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides – the park is famous for its unusual tree-climbing lions, and the vast elephant herds it was established to protect.

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Wildlife adventures include stopping on the lakeshore to admire some of the park’s more than 350 bird species, notably large flocks of flamingos, as well as herds of buffalo, cheetah, Masai giraffe, and impala. While traversing the mosaic of acacia woodlands, grassy floodplains, and tall forest, you’ll encounter the lions, as well as baboons – the park is home to the world’s largest concentration of the primates.

Where to stay

As the only permanent lodge in the remote southern region of the reserve, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is a great safari base, with your wildlife viewing unlikely to be disturbed by vehicles from other lodges.

Going green

Swap the safari vehicle for two wheels and take a guided bike ride through the nearby Mayoka community – you may even cross paths with the nomadic Mang’ati tribe. Once you’ve left the village behind, you’ll peddle along a picturesque route to the lakeshore, where you can admire the region’s famous powder-pink flocks of flamingos.

Search for the Big Five in the Ngorongoro Crater

A short onward road transfer takes you to one of Africa’s most iconic areas for viewing the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo) – also a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Surrounded by Tanzania’s highlands, the Ngorongoro Crater’s flat floor is covered in nutritious grasses and is home to more than 25,000 protected animals, including an unrivalled number of black rhinos, as well as black-maned lions and majestic tuskers.

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Descending into the crater through a lush highland forest, you’ll spot magnificent birdlife among the varied tree species, followed by a range of grazing herbivores once you reach the grassy crater floor. Predators are not far behind, considering the abundant supply of prey on offer.

Where to stay

Base yourself at Cape Dutch-style farmhouse The Manor at Ngorongoro, not far from the world-famous crater. Surrounded by verdant gardens, the 10 family-friendly cottages are positioned to have stunning views of the distant hills.

Going green

As part of andBeyond’s experiential portfolio, a stay at The Manor at Ngorongoro can include a guided visit to the Hadzabe people – the descendants of ancient hunter-gatherers who inhabit the land near Lake Eyasi. You’ll have the opportunity to engage with these indigenous people, and learn about their time-honoured hunting techniques, survival skills, food preparation, and cultural traditions.

Witness the Great Migration in the Serengeti

Move on to one of the Singita Grumeti safari lodges in the Grumeti Game Reserve, adjacent to the Serengeti National Park. An integral part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, the reserve encompasses 350,000 acres of pristine wilderness, with the Grumeti River a major crossing point during the Great Migration. While Christmas is not the usual time for this dramatic natural spectacle, the chances of spotting large wildebeest herds are still high, as rain might trigger them to move south and into the Serengeti.

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Rolling grasslands, where elephants meander; riverine woodlands, where the rare colobus monkey might suddenly appear from lush foliage; rocky outcrops favoured by big cats; and hidden valleys where antelopes roam: each game drive traverses landscapes that are as rich in scenery as they are in wildlife. For a different perspective, board a hot-air balloon at sunrise and watch as tiny dots rove across the varied tapestry below.

Where to stay

Get comfortable at Singita Sasakwa, a stately Edwardian-style manor house with unrivalled savannah views, or the contemporary Singita Faru Faru, set in front of a busy waterhole alongside the Grumeti River. Alternatively, ‘rough it in style’ with Singita Explore, an authentic tented offering that combines the thrill of wilderness camping with the service of a lodge stay. In the Serengeti park, a network of raised walkways leads to rooms, suites, and villas at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, their private balconies and plunge pools overlooking a waterhole and shimmering plains beyond – perfect for cooling off between Maasai-led expeditions.

Going green

Singita took over management of the Grumeti Game Reserve in 2003 to enhance low-impact luxury tourism – the Grumeti Fund ensures the reserve’s long-term sustainability through conservation and community partnerships.

Words by Verena Neumayr-Howes

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