Kukuletwa Hot Springs;
The Kukuletwa Hot Springs have a history with foreigners going back to around end of 1800. Early explorers were impressed with the incredible bio-diversity of the area which included innumerable numbers of big game. Later the area became a popular hunting ground for wealthy Europeans. During the past few decades much of the game has migrated further south to the Maasai Steppe and the Blue Mountains. However the area is still a haven to animals such as lesser kudus, gazelles, crocodiles, baboons, Sykes and Vervet monkeys, banded mongooses, and the shy nocturnal animals like porcupines, aardvarks, striped hyenas, serval, genet and civet cats. The variety of colourful birds is also impressive. Possibly the best thing about this place is that it remains largely unknown to most tourists so we usually have it to ourselves!
Safari Game Drives; View the Big Five on game drives in our open-top safari vehicles in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater – great for photography!
Enjoy an African Sundowner: Experience authentic African safari “sundowners” at exclusive Tanzanian game reserves.
We do not place groups together. This way you are ensured the full attention of our guide, but with the added knowledge of our guides’ experiences. It also means that we can start the tour on the day you prefer.
Day 1: – Arrive, Tanzania
Welcome to Tanzania; arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to Makoa Farm. You will arrive late afternoon on Makoa Farm, the starting point for the safari. The 358-acre coffee and horse farm is nestled into the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro. The house and rooms are situated to take in spectacular views of this impressive mountain, Africa’s highest peak.
In the afternoon we will introduce you to the horses, help you to choose one to match your skill and start on a ride so you can become familiar with horses, tack and riding style.
The ride follows the boundary of the farm through grass and bush land which is used for grazing horses and cattle. Wild animals also inhabit the area, and unlike on other farms, we welcome them. These include Sykes monkeys, yellow baboons, duikers, bushbucks, reedbucks and bush pigs as well as nocturnal animals like aardvarks, porcupines and jackals.
Day 2: - Ride to Hot Springs
After breakfast we start our horseback riding safari, making the most of the cool morning hours. On our way we pass farm- and bushland and dry riverbeds with rough but beautiful vegetation. A long valley offers many good possibilities for canter. A picnic lunch is served along the way.
We reach Kukuletwa Hot Springs in the afternoon. This is an amazing place where a river literally bubbles out of the ground, under the roots of a giant fig tree. The local name for them translates to “Water that boils”, which perhaps explains how they became known as “hot” springs, even though the water is perfectly refreshing. A dip in the springs will wash the dust away and afterwards there is time for relaxing in the shade of huge, ancient fig trees.
Later, a sumptuous bush meal is served under the stars. Tonight you sleep surrounded by the unforgettable sounds of the African bush!
Day 3: – Kukuletwa Hot Springs
Awake to the gentle cooing of the African dove, and to a cup of steaming tea or coffee served in your tent. Then we head out on horseback for an early-morning ride to explore an area further downstream around the Sanya River. The terrain here is perfect for invigorating long canters.
Afterwards a brunch and a long siesta with enough time for a refreshing plunge into the spring. Late afternoon we take a guided walking tour of this unusual ecosystem, comprised of numerous springs and small streams. As we retrace the footsteps of Dr. Livingstone, keep alert for exotic birds, different types of monkeys, and for crocodiles!
Enjoy the warm colors of sunset, with Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru silhouetted in the distance. We return to camp for dinner.
Day 4: - Return to Makoa-Farm
After a last plunge in the spring and breakfast we turn our horses back towards Makoa-Farm. We will take another route, passing through areas shaded by indigenous palm trees and riverine forest. A picnic lunch is served in the deep valley of Kikafu River (if the water levels are not too high, otherwise circumventing it) After lunch break and maybe another dip into the Kikafu River we continue our ride and reach Makoa Farm in the late afternoon.
Refreshments are served on the veranda. With luck Kilimanjaro will emerge from the cloud to bask in the evening light
Day 5: - Makoa Farm to Tarangire National Park
This morning after breakfast you depart Makoa Farm in safari vehicles for wildlife viewing. Your destination today is prehistoric-looking Tarangire National Park, where you’ll see the African wilderness as the early explorers did – without crowds! One of the best parks on the northern circuit to see elephants, Tarangire’s wildlife population includes herds of zebra, jackal, giraffe, gazelle, and buffalo. Arrive at your safari lodge in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive into a landscape dotted with baobab trees and umbrella-thorn acacias. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner at Tarangire Sopa lodge or similar tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Day 6: - Tarangire Game Drives
Spend a full day in Tarangire National Park on morning and afternoon game drives that reveal an honest glimpse of an unspoiled Africa. Home to over 550 species of birds (one of the highest number of bird species of any world habitat), and thousands of game animals, Tarangire boasts one of the highest concentrations of African wildlife during the dry season. Your open-top safari vehicle provides you with intimate viewing of this natural wilderness, considered one of Africa’s finest. You will spend the night at Tarangire River Camp or similar (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Day 7: - Lake Manyara National Park
Observe gazelle, waterbuck, impala, leopard and other year-round inhabitants of Tarangire National Park on a morning game drive. Depart Tarangire and travel to Lake Manyara National Park, considered a birdwatcher’s delight for the pink flamingos and great birds of prey; it is world-renowned among ornithologists. On the way, stop at a local school, where you’ll have an opportunity to interact with students and their teachers. Arrive at your lodge, set on the Rift Valley escarpment overlooking the park and valley below. Look for tree-climbing lions on an exciting afternoon game drive. Overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge or similar. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Day 8: - Nature and Village Walk at Manyara - Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Encounter Lake Manyara’s flora and fauna this morning on a nature walk throughout the tranquil grounds of your lodge, whose interesting architecture was inspired by the area’s renowned birdlife and the geometric patterns of traditional Masai encampments. Visit the village of Mto wa Mbu, set on the banks of the river of the same name, for an in-depth look at tribal life in the African bush; take a look inside a typical home. After lunch, travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to Ngorongoro Crater – one of the largest concentrations of permanent wildlife in Africa. Overnight at Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Day 9: - Ngorongoro Crater
Experience the true spirit of Africa, the Africa of bygone days, when you explore wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater, long regarded as Africa’s “Garden of Eden.” Within the walls of the crater lie short grasslands, swamps, forests and a freshwater lake, inspiring continual migration of animals in and out of the crater. From the comfort of your four-wheel drive vehicle, you’ll have an opportunity to spot the Big Five – buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black maned lion and the rare black rhinoceros – as well as hyenas, baboons, and flamingos. Enjoy a delightful picnic lunch in the heart of this ancient volcanic crater; it is sure to be a memorable highlight of your safari. Overnight at Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Day 10: - Journey Home
In the morning after breakfast transfer to Arusha, where your safari ends; a day room has been reserved for you at Serena Mountain Village, Arusha, set within the lovely gardens of a tree-shaded coffee plantation overlooking Lake Duluti. Join us for lunch at the hotel. After lunch transfer from Serena Mountain Village, Arusha, to Kilimanjaro International Airport. (Breakfast and Lunch)
- Accommodation in the Makoa guest accommodations and on the Hot Springs in fly-camp (dome-tents) and at the lodges in National Parks on safari,
- All meals, snacks, tea and coffee, non-alcoholic beverages
- All activities and horse riding, horse including all equipment
- English speaking guides
- Wine with dinner at Makoa only
- Transport on safari and all airport transfers using 4WD vehicle with pop up roof
- International flights
- Spirits, tips and gratuities
- And all not mentioned on the itinerary above