Adventures in Tanzania: Extend Your Kilimanjaro Trek with a Safari in the Great Rift Valley

A successful summit of Mount Uhuru on our Mt. Kilimanjaro trekking trip deserves a congratulatory “night cap” and what could be better than an African safari to the Great Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Crater?

Our Kili extension itinerary is a full 5-day adventure in and of itself complete with game drives to see wildlife including Africa’s “big five” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, cape buffalo), stays in tented camps to eco-lodges and hot-air balloon rides over the African bush.

The fun begins in the Ngorongoro Highlands, part of the impressive Great Rift Valley which stretches across the Middle East and Africa covering over 3,700 miles, from Lebanon to Mozambique. We begin our first day with an overview from our safari guides and lunch at Gibbs Farm where we’ll stay for the next 2 nights.

Gibb’s Farm artfully blends nature, culture and eco-friendly amenities and the living spaces blur the line between indoor and outdoor, giving you unhindered access to Gibbs Farm’s lush gardens. With newly updated cottages and a gracious and attentive staff who delight in sharing cultural and historical insights about the estate with you, you will soon feel right at home. During the afternoon, you can relax on the verandah with tea, or enjoy a farm or garden tour, bird watching or coffee roasting.

Lush Gibbs Farm (PC: Adam Woodlands)

Inside a cottage room at Gibbs Farm in Tanzania (PC: Gregory Fisher)

The following day, we’re off to Ngorongoro Crater! Native wildlife populations in the crater and seasonal, migratory animals around the Serengeti make this area an epicenter of Tanzania wildlife and ecology. In addition, the abundance of Maasai settlements in the highlands make it a cultural epicenter within northern Tanzania. You will be able to grab your binoculars and/or your zoom lens and spot rhinoceros and big cats, such as lion and cheetah. The diversity of species often inspires awe, from baboons and elephants in the Lerai Forest to wildebeest and impala over the crater’s grassy floor. After our morning game drive, we relax with a picnic lunch near a hippo pool before heading back out by jeep to explore Ngorongoro some more. That evening, you’ll enjoy our nightly campfire at Tembo Fire at Gibbs and share stories about your day with our fellow safari-mates.


Tembo Fire at Gibbs Farm (PC: Adam Woodlands)

Coffee roasting from the organic farm at Gibbs (PC: Adam Woodlands)

Gourmet meals, too! (PC: Adam Woodlands)

On our third day of adventure, after a delicious Gibbs Farm breakfast, we head to Serengeti National Park for a spectacular but totally different wildlife viewing experience from what we saw at Ngorongoro. We make a short stop at the infamous archaeological sites of Olduvai Gorge, a deep ravine containing fossilized remains of animals and hominids that date as far back as two million years. There we listen to a brief lecture and tour Olduvai Gorge’s museum before continuing on to the park. Serengeti National Park covers 6,000 square miles of expansive vistas and is well known for being the home of the largest migration of mammals on earth, including 1.5 million wildebeest.

You spend your entire afternoon immersed in the wildlife of the Serengeti, offering you some of the best wildlife photography in Africa along with a wealth of information about the habitats, mating and pecking order among these beautiful creatures from your experienced naturalist guides. That night we overnight at the Central Serengeti Nyumba tented camp deep in the Africa bush. The rustic luxury of your camp provides you with all the essentials including solar lighting, private en-suite bathroom with safari shower and self-contained, pump-flush toilet, and proper beds with fine linens. You’ll drift off to sleep listening to the calls of hyenas, zebra, and lions. If you’re lucky, by now, you’ll be able to distinguish each of them!

While on safari in Tanzania you’ll certainly see the majestic elephant, another one of Africa’s endangered species of wildlife.

Serengeti Nyumba tented camp

On day four, if you like, you can make an advance reservation to balloon across the Serengeti plains during this morning (or the following) while we are in the Serengeti. You will glide over the plains and acacia treetops, taking in spectacular views of the Seronera River Valley and the surrounding plains. After your descent, you’ll enjoy a magnificent champagne breakfast. Rejoining our group, we head back out on a game drive exploring the pristine landscapes of the Serengeti with your guide’s uncanny wildlife spotting instincts leading the way. We end our day with another magical night at Nyumba camp.

Your Tanzania adventure to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti concludes with your scenic flight back to Arusha the following morning complete with a visit and shopping at the Arusha Cultural Heritage Center.

“Bon Voyage” AdventureWomen!