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Serengeti Lodge Safari + Zanzibar Island

Tanzania - Trip code TLZ Wildlife
Days 12
Price from Call us
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

Combine a safari adventure across Great Rift Valley with a relaxing stay on the palm-fringed, tropical island of Zanzibar; a perfect combination of exhilaration, wildlife and paradisiacal moments on this bucket-list trip in welcoming Tanzania.

  • Explore the Serengeti - Sleep under canvas in comfortable safari tents inside this prolific national park and wake up with the sunrise to go in search of Africa's Big Five
  • Relax in Zanzibar - Unwind on this exotic Spice Island, snorkel among shawls of tropical fish and wander around the charming, colonial Stone Town
  • Great Rift Valley and Olduvai Gorge - Learn more about this spectacular geological feature and the 'Cradle of Mankind'
  • Included meals

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader / Driver

  • Transport


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    Trip pace:

    Full on

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    Group Size:

    10 - 16


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join tour in Arusha

Join the group in Arusha, a small town at the foot of Mount Meru. Depending on your arrival time you may wish to take a taxi into the town or to relax by the pool after the long journey before meeting your Explore Leader this evening.

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Drive to Manyara National Park; Afternoon Game Drive

This morning we head south-west to Lake Manyara National Park for our first game drive. This drive takes us through villages and towns, where busy markets and locals in traditional, bright dress line the route. On arrival at our lodge we will have lunch and a short while to take in the view over the floodplains below, before heading out on our first game drive.

Lake Manyara is nestled at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley and for a national park only 330 sq km, it is the perfect introduction to a variety of habitats, ecosystems and wildlife. The various habitats of lush forests, acacia woodlands, grassy floodplain and volcanic peaks are home to prey and predators, as well as over 400 species of birds! After our game drive, we return to our lodge to enjoy a sundowner and watch the changing lights on the plains below.

Please note that drones are not permitted in any Tanzania National Park without a permit, please refer to the equipment section of the trip notes for more information.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 3 - Olduvai Gorge; Game drive in the Serengeti National Park

Today we have a long but rewarding journey into the world famous Serengeti National Park. The scenery and views are spectacular as we travel around the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater and transit through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We pass several Masai homesteads before arriving at Olduvai Gorge, where in 1959, anthropologists Dr and Mrs Leakey discovered the remains of an almost intact human skull named 'Nutcracker Man'. It was here at this important prehistoric site, together with other startling discoveries, that have contributed to the furthering understanding of early human development. Olduvai Gorge and the fossils that it contains give a unique insight into the role this part of the world played in human evolution. We'll enjoy a packed lunch in the courtyard of the Olduvai Gorge visitor centre, before walking around the interactive, timeline museum to learn more of this fascinating place. A local guide will then talk us through the ages of the gorge whilst we look out over the valley below.

Later today we will enter the Serengeti at Naabi Hill Gate. Serengeti is a Masai name that means the 'endless grass plains' and it is through these plains interspersed with granite outcrops that we travel to our lodge. Once in the Serengeti we'll move slowly through the park, keeping a close eye out for game as we head to the central Seronera area. Our Serengeti camp provides a warm welcome and a true sense of adventure. Sleeping under canvas, the sounds of nature filter through ensuring a true Serengeti experience.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4 - Full day game viewing in the Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti covers almost 15,000 square km in area and is Tanzania's oldest, and arguably, greatest park. Famed for the awe-inspiring spectacle of the annual migration, it offers some of the best game viewing in Africa. We will travel through various different habitats from dry, dusty savannahs to long grasses and mud pools. Prey and predator can be found in the park, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, giraffe and buffalo, as well as over 500 species of bird. This day is guaranteed to be exciting, and binoculars and cameras need to be at the ready! We'll take a packed lunch with us but timings and location will depend on the wildlife movements for the day. We'll return to our accommodation this evening in time for 'Bush TV', also known as a bonfire and the opportunity to enjoy a local beer whilst watching the sun go down. The sheer vastness of space, under a starry sky, generates a liberating feeling of being in the wild that would be difficult to find anywhere else.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 5 - To Ngorongoro Conservation area and Karatu

We'll make one last early morning game drive as we retrace our route back to Naabi Hill Gate and back into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We will pass various settlements en route and the Masai can often be seen herding their livestock or working the land in the surrounding fields.

In the late morning, we'll arrive into Karatu where our accommodation is located. The central farmhouse remains a working farm and coffee plantation, built in colonial style and is set amongst beautiful gardens. This afternoon will be free to enjoy the pool or take the late afternoon walking tour of the planation with a local villager to learn more about their life and produce grown on the grounds.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 6 - Game drive in Ngorongoro Crater

This morning we will have a very early start to make our way to the crater where we will we descend from the upper rim, driving down a steep track that drops a staggering 600m to the grassy plain, lake and marshes of the basin floor below. The crater provides a unique wildlife spotting experience and is home to the Big Five. Among the animals to watch out for are elephant, lion, cheetah, buffalo and rhino. The perennial marshes teem with birdlife.

The crater itself, technically classed as a caldera, owes its existence to the violent fracturing of the Rift Valley over a period of some 15 million years. At one time a volcano occupied this spot that then became extinct and collapsed into the empty magma chamber beneath it leaving only the gigantic natural basin which is now considered a veritable 'Garden of Eden'. After our half day game drive in the crater today, we return to the farmhouse in time for lunch and the afternoon will be at leisure to relax after the early start.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7 - Drive to Tarangire National Park; Afternoon Game Drive

Today we leave Karatu and continue our journey to Tarangire National Park. One of the most striking features of the park are the majestic old baobab trees with massive silvery trunks and gourd-like fruit that dominate the skyline. Tarangire has the greatest concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti ecosystem and is part of a larger ecosystem that extends further south into the Masai steppes. The permanent water sources in the park result in Tarangire being home to the largest elephant populations in Tanzania, where during the dry season over 300 elephants can be seen digging for water in the riverbeds. The park is also home to the shy fringed eared oryx and the gerenuk antelope that are not seen in other parks.

Today we will enjoy an afternoon game drive, before travelling to our camp perched on the edge of Lake Burunge. The evening will be spent relaxing in spectacular location and enjoying a traditional evening meal.

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8 - Return to Arusha, fly to Zanzibar and transfer to Matemwe

This morning we will make our way back to Arusha stopping at a coffee plantation for lunch before this afternoon's flight. After a 10 minute transfer to Arusha airport we'll say goodbye to our Explore Leader, before flying to the spice island of Zanzibar, where we will be met on arrival by local representatives and transferred to Matemwe to have a relaxing couple of nights on the coast. Please note, the Zanzibar section of this trip is unescorted and is not accompanied by an Explore Leader.

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 9 - Free day in Matemwe. Optional activities include snorkelling, a dhow cruise and cycling

Your time is free for personal exploration and relaxation. Spend time relaxing by the pool whilst watching the fishermen bringing in their catch and local women collect seaweed in the shallows. Alternatively, take a walk or borrow a bicycle and make your way to the nearby beach. There are also a number of trips which can be booked on to today including snorkelling or scuba diving.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 10 - Free day to explore Stone Town

This morning is left free for you to relax and enjoy the surroundings before transferring to the capital. Stone Town is a patchwork of white washed townhouses, market stalls and narrow cobbled streets. Filled with colourful bazaars and hawkers selling a myriad of goods, it's the perfect place to enjoy on foot and explore the labyrinth of back streets. In the evening there's plenty of choice of places to have an evening meal or head to Forodhani Gardens to try local street food being cooked up fresh for the abundance of locals and tourists who visit.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 11 - Free day in Stone Town or optional Spice Tour

Today those who wish can take a tour of Stone Town followed by the Spice Island Tour (including lunch) and learn more of Zanzibar's history with a visit to the Sultan's palace where we will see clove plantations established by the Sultan in the 19th century. Alternatively, spend a day on the beach or walking around the towns' gardens.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 12 - Tour ends Stone Town

Your tour ends today after breakfast.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Country information



The climate is tropical but varies greatly with altitude. Coastal areas and islands are hot and humid, while the central plateau is dry and arid. Tanzania can be visited all year round and its seasons can be defined as green and dry. The dry season is generally from June to October and January to February, with most days being fine and sunny weather with temperatures and humidity rising throughout the day. It can be cold at night, particularly in June & July. The green season includes the rains of March to May (with the peak in April – generally during the afternoon) and November to early December. This pattern can be unpredictable. The weather system during these periods refreshes the landscape creating luscious green scenery which is not witnessed during the dry season. The Zanzibar archipelago is a year-round destination but does have dry and rainy seasons. The dry season is between June to October and January to February. The ‘short rains’ are between November to December, when a short, afternoon rainstorm can be a daily occurrence. The ‘long rains’ occur between March to May, when days can be humid and rainy, however, sunshine is still often frequent. The changing weather patterns does mean the ‘rainy’ season is becoming less predictable. Weather at altitude can vary to the above seasons, with the evenings being cold. Kilimanjaro features its own array of climates and biomes; between 1,800 to 2,800 metres is a rainforest climate (humid and hot), from 2,800 to 4,000 metres is dry mountain vegetation – please note night time temperatures can fall to below 0 degrees from this level. A cold desert climate with a strong equatorial sun during the day but cold nights is found between 4,000 to 5,000 metres. The summit generally has clear days though the evenings can be very cold featuring snow.

Time difference to GMT



3 Pin (as per the UK), best to travel with an adapter as some lodges have 2 pin sockets.


Christian, Islam


Swahili, English

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Tarangire N.P - Walking safari US$ 25

Zanzibar -
Guided tour of Stone Town from Stone Town US$27-50pp;
Slave market & Spice Tour from Stone Town US$50-95pp, from North Coast Beach Hotel US$60-185pp:
Half Day Spice Island Tour from Stone Town US$27-50, from North Coast Beach Hotel US$43-147pp; Scuba diving (PADI registered dive centre) US$ 150 2 tank, US$ 125 2 tanks. You'll need your diving certificates.
Snorkelling from North Coast Beach Hotel US$100-238pp


Clothing should be lightweight. However, a warm sweater or fleece and a wind/water-proof jacket are advisable for early morning game drives. Take thermal underwear for the occasional very cold night at altitude at places like Ngorongoro (even in summer). A scarf is recommended as protection against dust and dirt on game drives. A waterproof is advisable


Comfortable shoes, trainers or sandals.



Luggage: On tour

A flexible holdall (suitcases are not suitable for vehicle luggage racks) and a daysac.


Bring a small torch, sunglasses, sunhat and sunblock . We also recommend you bring binoculars.

For the Zanzibar extension we recommend you take a beach towel, swim wear, high factor suncream and sandals.

Drones: Are not permitted in any National Park in Tanzania without a permit. Permits cost approximately US$250 per 24 hrs. Please advise us at time of booking if you wish to take a drone with you into the National Park, as permits are difficult to obtain. If you launch a drone without a permit this will be confiscated by the Park officials.

Plastic Bag Ban:
With effect from 01 June 2019, it is illegal to use, manufacture and/or import plastic bags into Tanzania and Zanzibar. Any person found with plastic bags of any type including shopping bags on arrival into the country can receive a heavy fine. Small plastic bags used for hand luggage toiletries are permitted but must be in a reusable condition and not disposed of in the country. Please ensure you do not have any non-permitted types of plastic bag in your hand luggage or luggage. Any plastic bags obtained whilst travelling are disposed of before arriving into Tanzania or are surrendered at the designated desk available at all entry points into the country.


Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. However, you might want to recognise a leader that's done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It's a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we'd recommend between £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, your leader may organise a group's tips kitty for included activities and meals and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.

Accordingly, you should allow US$60.00 per person for group tipping.
You will be required to tip independently whilst in Zanzibar


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Tanzanian Shilling.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
US Dollars are preferable. Please be aware that any notes issued before 2006 will not be accepted
Where To Exchange
Banks or 'Forex' offices only in main towns/cities. Your Tour Leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
Major towns and cities will have ATMs available.
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are generally not accepted.
Travellers Cheques
Take some to act as reserve funds.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information


Accommodation notes

During your time at the beach on Zanzibar you will be staying at one of two stylish and comfortable sister properties in the north-eastern resort of Matemwe.

Set back from Muyani Beach, perched on the cliffs, is the Sunshine Marine Lodge; a perfect location where you can unwind, staying in one of the 23 pretty white washed thatched rooms. Relax by one of the three swimming pools or head down (700m) to the private beach area and chill out with a cocktail! There are daily diving and snorkelling trips to the Mnemba Atoll, regarded as the best diving place on Zanzibar, with the Lodge's resident dive school.

Located directly on the beach, Sunshine Hotel is a wonderful place to rest for the final few days of your holiday. Relax in your pretty white washed thatched rooms with views of the ocean or the tropical gardens. The beautiful hotel pool flanks the ocean where you can enjoy a cocktail or take a walk down the palm fringed white sandy beach. If you fancy diving they offer a free shuttle to their sister hotel, Sunshine Lodge, where the resident dive school has daily diving and snorkeling trips to the Mnemba Atoll, regarded as the best diving place on Zanzibar.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Tanzania: A single visa is required by UK, New Zealand, Australian, US & Canadian citizens. Visas can be arranged on arrival, but due to queues at immigration we recommend for the visa to be arranged in advance.

An E-visa for Tanzania can be obtained prior to departure via the e-visa website:
Click on the e-Services tab and then select Online Visa Application, please ensure you read the Visa Application Guidelines before applying for your e-visa. Please refer to the Explore visa letter you will receive for information required to complete your e-visa application.
You will need to print a copy of your e-visa approval letter and present this with your passport and final documents at your entry point into the country. The approval letter takes approximately 10 days to approve if there are no queries on the application. We therefore advise for you to apply at least 15 workings days prior to travelling. Please ensure you have enough validity left on the visa through to the end of the tour before you travel.

American nationals are required to apply for a multiple entry e-visa for all tourism visits to Tanzania; the ordinary single entry e-visa is unavailable for Americans to apply to.

Passports must have a minimum validity of 6 months and at least 1 blank/unused page at time of travel.

Plastic Bag Ban:
With effect from 01 June 2019, it is illegal to use, manufacture and/or import plastic bags into Tanzania and Zanzibar. Any person found with plastic bags of any type including shopping bags on arrival into the country can receive a heavy fine. Small plastic bags used for hand luggage toiletries are permitted but must be in a reusable condition and not disposed of in the country. Please ensure you do not have any non-permitted types of plastic bag in your hand luggage or luggage. Any plastic bags obtained whilst travelling are disposed of before arriving into Tanzania or are surrendered at the designated desk available at all entry points into the country.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.



We strongly recommend protection against malaria, hepatitis A, tetanus, typhoid, polio and yellow fever. Please note you are required to produce a valid yellow fever certificate on arrival in Tanzania if you have spent 10 hours or more transiting through an endemic country. Consult your travel clinic for latest advice on different prophylaxis available against malaria. Travellers may also wish to take immunisation against meningococcal meningitis. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Plastic bag fees

Please do not bring plastic bags into Tanzania as this could incur a fine. etc etc

Additional Information

Why book this trip

This classic Tanzanian safari explores some of the best game parks in East Africa whilst staying in idyllic locations. The Serengeti is the best place in Africa to see every animal you could hope for; including some unlikely candidates such as Honey Badgers, Leopard Tortoise, Wild Dogs and Corey Bustards.

Dates, prices and booking

All trips are subject to availability and prices are subject to change


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