President’s Pick: Private Conservancies in Tanzania

“When a country struggles for tourism the way many in Africa have in the last 18 months, there is something special that comes out of that journey – innovation. Over the last decade, the resistance to poaching and the need to preserve indigenous cultures became so strong that the notion of community-based conservancies was born. It was pioneered in countries like Namibia and Kenya. That same idea spread like wildfire into Tanzania, where the commitment to the conservancy model of safaris is now thriving. We hope that the cliché of the mass of tourist buses surrounding animals and Maasai villages that are more like gift shops become a thing of the past. This safari is an example of what the future of safaris in Tanzania will look like in the years to come. Why wait for the future when it can be your present.”

Country Information

Tanzania including Zanzibar

President's Pick: Private Conservancies in Tanzania President’s Picks

(Countries Visited)

Tanzania including Zanzibar

(Interest Type(s))

Romantic Getaways


Sustainable Travel


Safari Tours


Adventure Travel

(Tour Length)

11 Days

Tour Highlights

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  • PP FINAL web smDiscover some of the next generation of private wildlife conservancies in Tanzania, where the wildlife, the local communities and guests all benefit from your visit
  • In Burunge Wildlife Management Area, experience a “slow safari” that allows you to look beyond the limits of a vehicle, where you go into the wild on foot to see, feel, touch and smell the African bush
  • Explore one of the most priceless ecosystems left to us – the Serengeti Plains in depth, tracking Africa’s famous five – Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo
  • Be one of the few to stay in a beautiful region of the Serengeti that has been closed to tourism for more than 20 years in order to create a safe haven for cheetah breeding and research; and consequently becoming one of East Africa’s best locations for observing cheetah
  • Stay in exquisite tented camps and enjoy bushwalks, bush meals, star gazing, cultural visits, sundowners, painted caves and more

Day 1: Kilimanjaro / Arusha, Tanzania
This evening you arrive in East Africa. After exiting the Customs & Immigrations Hall, our Big Five Tours & Expeditions driver/guide assists you with your luggage and transfers you to Arusha Coffee Lodge. In the northern highlands of Tanzania, Arusha rests beneath the twin peaks of Mt. Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha is the safari capital of the country. The dramatic crater of Mt. Meru stands over the town, its crater strewn with thick clouds, its slopes dark with verdant forest. Arusha is an ideal location near the major national parks. Built by the Germans as a center of colonial administration in the early 20th century, Arusha was a sleepy town with a garrison stationed at the old boma and a few shops around a grassy roundabout. From its rural beginnings amidst the farmlands and plantations of northern Tanzania, today Arusha is one of the country’s most prosperous towns. The site for the United Nations Criminal Tribunal on the Rwandan genocide and the headquarters for the Tripartite commission for East African Co-Operation, Arusha is a major center of Tanzanian diplomacy and international relations. Arusha Coffee Lodge – Plantation Room 

Please Limit Luggage While On Safari To One (1) Per Person, Max. 32 Lbs, Plus Reasonable Carry On Camera Equipment.

Day 2: Arusha / Burunge Wildlife Management Area
After breakfast, you are met and transferred to the local airport for your morning flight to Kuro airstrip in Tarangire. You are met by camp staff on arrival at the airstrip and transferred to camp. Known as the sunrise camp, Little Chem Chem is situated on the edge of an acacia forest. It is surrounded by the characteristic landscape of the Tarangire River, with its impressive baobab trees and the freshwater Lake Burunge. The Babati Mountain Range offers a magnificent backdrop to the southwest, with the distant hills of Tarangire visible to the northeast. The atmosphere is welcoming, elegant and radiates the spirit of a bygone era. Little Chem Chem has just five exquisitely decorated tents, each with a large bedroom (three have king-size beds, two offer twin beds), rocking chair and study desk, a vanity area with dressing room and an en suite bathroom with a shower and flushing toilet. Embracing an ‘Out-of-Africa’ atmosphere, each tent also offers a private fire pit with flames that mesmerize you as the sounds of an African night come to life all around to you. Little Chem Chem offers you an intimate, elegant and authentic atmosphere. It is the ultimate setting to explore Africa on foot. Slow down and indulge in a sensual vintage safari. Little Chem Chem – Tent (B,L,D)

Days 3/4: Burunge Wildlife Management Area
The concept of a “slow safari” was born at Chem Chem out of a deep passion for the African bush. In essence, a slow safari allows you to experience Africa at its most raw – it is a tangible, sensual experience beyond the confines of a vehicle, where you go on foot, see, feel, touch and smell the African bush. It is easy to get caught up in the 4×4 ‘rush hour’ in a fevered quest to spot the ‘Big Five’, however, true safari aficionados understand it is what you discover yourself – and sometimes about yourself – outside the vehicle that counts. Some experiences that form part of Chem Chem’s slow safari ethos include walking safaris with a private guide in the camp’s private wildlife concession, learning to read wildlife tracks and spoor, savoring wilderness picnics, visiting true Maasai villages, dining under the stars or simply taking the time to sit and absorb the expansive Tanzanian landscape with a glass of Pinot Noir in hand. In the Chem Chem Wildlife Concession, the action simply never stops, especially at the watering holes – from majestic elephants, agile tree-climbing lions, to giraffe, wildebeest, warthogs, zebras, impalas, aardvarks, hyenas, each taking their turn. The Tarangire Valley is famous for its large density of elephants and its giant baobab trees. You can track down groups of giraffe in the palm forest, or listen to the husky chatter of baboon and other primates. Lions roam around the Little Chem Chem at night; cheetahs hunt on the plains facing the Lake Burunge; leopards, eland and lesser kudu can be seen in the more dense woods in the inner part of the concession. And with over 300 species of birds, including pelican, storks and of course, lesser pink flamingos, the bird life is abundant and colorful. Little Chem Chem – Tent (B,L,D)

Day 5: Burunge Wildlife Management Area / Serengeti National Park
This morning you are transferred back to the airstrip at Lake Manyara for your early but short flight to Mwiba Airstrip in the Serengeti. You are met by a Mwiba Camp guide on arrival, and enjoy a game drive on you way to Mwiba Lodge in a private wildlife reserve, which lies to the north of the Lake Eyasi Escarpment and within the greater Serengeti ecosystem. Your location in a private concession ensures that you have exclusive access to the camp and the surrounding wilderness. Here, too, you enjoy walking safaris, which are not available in the national parks. The secluded, sophisticated haven is set among massive stone boulders, ancient coral trees and acacias, overlooking a rocky gorge on the Arugusinyai River. In harmony with this idyllic natural backdrop, Mwiba offers an unmatched experience in luxury adventure. The eight double suites all give way to a wide-open layout where each room flows to another. The bathroom brings the outdoors inside with traditional canvas walls accented with copper fixtures, large soaking tubs with private outside showers, all with transporting views from hardwood plank decks. The grey slate-lined infinity-edge pool overlooks three springs where guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of a constant parade of wildlife. This exquisite 6070-hectare/51,000-acre wildlife reserve is vibrantly lush with color-infused botanicals, 33 freshwater springs and a diverse array of wildlife. Game drives, bush walks and cultural excursions to the local tribal village are just a few of the magical experiences that begin at the Mwiba. Mwiba Lodge – Tent (B,L,D)

Days 6/7: Serengeti National Park
Savor the rhythm of each day as you explore one of the rarest and most captivating ecosystems in the world with your private guide on foot or in an open vehicle on the reserve and by 4x4 in the national park. Activities include, game drives, bushwalks, bush meals, star gazing, cultural visits, sundowners and painted cave visits. You’ll enjoy all the unique experiences avaialbe here. Mwiba Lodge – Tent (B,L,D)

Day 8: Serengeti National Park
After breakfast, you are transferred back to Mwiba airstrip for your flight to Seronera airstrip in the remote central Serengeti. Your guide from Namiri Plains Camp is waiting to transfer you to your remote camp, with a game drive along the way to see herds of wildebeest and zebra. Namiri Plains is located where the southern short grass plains meet the acacia woodland. It has the enviable positon of being in a beautiful region of the Serengeti that has been closed to tourism for over 20 years in order to create a safe haven for cheetah breeding and research. Today, the area has an exceptional population of big cats and it is one of East Africa’s best locations for observing cheetah. The Ngare Nanyuki underground river creates pockets of permanent water that support year-round concentrations of wildlife. With easy prey available throughout the year, there are healthy populations of big cats and other predators. The dramatic rocky outcrops that dot the plains serve as excellent observation points for cheetah, lion and leopard on the lookout for prey. With the rains come the Great Migration from October to May when the eastern plains are blanketed with new grass. As far as the eye can see, the plains are filled with wildebeest and zebra. From December to January, Namiri Plains is the center stage for explosive action as the big cats catch and feast on the abundant prey. The camp was created for real safari enthusiasts seeking comfort and exclusivity in secluded surroundings, excellent guiding and a deeper, more intense wildlife experience. Explore the Namiri Plains on daily game drives; enjoy sunrise breakfast picnics on top of Soit Le Motonyi rock or sundowners on top of a kopje. The standard of comfort at Namiri Plains is nothing short of superb. To minimize the impact on the environment, the camp supports just eight tents, each with en-suite bathrooms, flush toilets, super-soaking bucket showers, snug beds and a well-stocked bar. Pitched in the shade of giant acacias, this small and exclusive tented haven offers 360° views of wildlife crossing the surrounding plains, the river area with its perennial vegetation and dense green reed beds that attract birds and smaller wildlife species. Namiri Plains Camp - Tent (B,L,D)

Days 9/10: Serengeti National Park
Continue your safari in this incredible ecosystem during early morning and late afternoon game drives. Enjoy sunrise breakfast picnics on top of Soit Le Motonyi rock or sundowners with a view from a rocky outcrop. You may feel like you are the only humans here, and you may well be with the camp’s closest neighbors more than 45 minutes away, making other vehicles an unusual sighting. Sightings of wildebeest being brought down, voracious feeding sessions as well as the inevitable disputes between the apex and lesser predators, around the carcass, provides fascinating viewing and photo opportunities. In the evenings, guests relax over a drink together around the camp fire to share the excitement of the day’s game viewing. They can also learn more about the academic research happening in this region from the resident cheetah researcher and hear of the various conservation projects supported throughout the region. Namiri Plains Camp - Tent (B,L,D) 

Day 11: Serengeti National Park / Arusha / Depart
This final morning game drive ends at Seronera airstrip, where you catch your flight back to Arusha, where you will enjoy a late lunch and a dayroom. This afternoon you have time to visit the Cultural Heritage center for some last minute shopping. Then say Kwaheri to Africa (a Swahili goodbye) as we transfer to the airport for our outbound flight. Arusha Coffee Lodge – Plantation Day Room (B,L)

Land price, per person, double occupancy: From US$1350 per person per day

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