Wildlife, like zebra, drink at the river near Klein’s Camp.

Tanzania | Serengeti Vistas, Tented Bliss, Crater & Island | 13 Nights Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area & Mnemba Island Zanzibar

Tanzania is the complete luxury safari destination, with pristine game reserves where animals roam freely, and, in the case of the Great Wildebeest Migration, en masse. Add some post-safari rest and recuperation at the palm-fringed, white sandy beaches of the warm Indian Ocean, and you have it all.

Three nights at Klein’s Camp

Our overnight at Arusha Coffee Lodge left us refreshed after our international flight, and ready to start our luxury Tanzania safari with vigour.With its views across both the Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara from the crest of the Kuka Hills, Klein’s Camp could just be the fulcrum of the East African safari experience. As our afternoon game drive descended into the green Grumeti Valley, the first herd we encountered was not wildebeest, but buffalo. They took a while to decide to let us pass, which gave us time to observe them from our open safari vehicle, and to gaze across the rolling grasslands dotted with lone acacia trees. In the distance, inevitably, we spotted clusters of wildebeest slowly coalescing into larger and larger groups as the shadows lengthened.Our first full day was dedicated to experiencing the Great Wildebeest Migration in all its glory. Wildebeest ran along a dry gully, their hooves kicking up dust that reflected the rays of the sun slanting through the trees – an unforgettable sight. Ours were not the only eyes on the antelope; Waziri, our guide, pointed out vulture soaring above us, and we spotted hyena running along the fringes of the herd with their distinctive rocking-horse motion. Surrendering to safari hunger, we diverted to the riverbed. Chef awaited us there with a ready smile and delicious finger food displayed on a swing hanging from an acacia branch.Night drives and walking safaris were just some of the advantages of staying in a private concession, but we decided to save those for our next trip. Instead, we chose to visit the Maasai whose land this still is. Waziri drove us to the village where his parents live; he joked that as a herdboy his job was to avoid lion, whereas now it was to find them! His mother was delighted to see him, and us too. We drank sweet, smoky tea from enamel mugs as kids (of both varieties) played around us and the inoffensive odour of tamped-down cattle dung from the boma reached our nostrils.

Our overnight at Arusha Coffee Lodge left us refreshed after our international flight, and ready to start our luxury Tanzania safari with vigour.

With its views across both the Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara from the crest of the Kuka Hills, Klein’s Camp could just be the fulcrum of the East African safari experience. As our afternoon game drive descended into the green Grumeti Valley, the first herd we encountered was not wildebeest, but buffalo. They took a while to decide to let us pass, which gave us time to observe them from our open safari vehicle, and to gaze across the rolling grasslands dotted with lone acacia trees. In the distance, inevitably, we spotted clusters of wildebeest slowly coalescing into larger and larger groups as the shadows lengthened.

Our first full day was dedicated to experiencing the Great Wildebeest Migration in all its glory. Wildebeest ran along a dry gully, their hooves kicking up dust that reflected the rays of the sun slanting through the trees – an unforgettable sight. Ours were not the only eyes on the antelope; Waziri, our guide, pointed out vulture soaring above us, and we spotted hyena running along the fringes of the herd with their distinctive rocking-horse motion. Surrendering to safari hunger, we diverted to the riverbed. Chef awaited us there with a ready smile and delicious finger food displayed on a swing hanging from an acacia branch.

Night drives and walking safaris were just some of the advantages of staying in a private concession, but we decided to save those for our next trip. Instead, we chose to visit the Maasai whose land this still is. Waziri drove us to the village where his parents live; he joked that as a herdboy his job was to avoid lion, whereas now it was to find them! His mother was delighted to see him, and us too. We drank sweet, smoky tea from enamel mugs as kids (of both varieties) played around us and the inoffensive odour of tamped-down cattle dung from the boma reached our nostrils.

Three nights at Serengeti Under Canvas

Such is the impetus of the migration that we also felt called to be on the move – right on time for our flight across the Serengeti. Inspired by the herds, Serengeti Under Canvas is a mobile camp that moves several times each season to optimise viewing. We were sited at Kogatende, in the northern Serengeti.The designers of the camp had done a superb job. It felt entirely authentic, and although there was nothing superfluous about it, we had every comfort. Eating lunch in the open-sided mess tent, the gourmet food competed for our attention with the panoramic vista of the plains. After a siesta on the daybed in our luxury tent, we headed out for a shorter drive that culminated in sundowners at the foot of a small kopje. Wildebeest continued to file by in the rosy sunset light, and my partner ended up with two G&Ts as I needed both hands to capture the incredible scenes with my camera.Didas, the head guide, told us at breakfast that he was certain that lion had hunted very early that morning, not far from the camp. He was right (of course) and we drove out to find them. It seemed that they’d already eaten their fill – we could see their swollen bellies and hear their heavy panting. During the migration food is plentiful, of course, but they were still not prepared to share. One young male made a half-hearted run at a pair of nervous jackal who were looking for scraps, but they easily evaded him. We left too, and spent more time watching the herds graze.We spent our third day simply mooching around camp. After catching up on some reading, we went through our safari snaps together, amazed at how much we’d already seen on our trip. Following a lazy lunch, we decided to play cards with some of the other guests. I lost several raucous rounds of Canasta before giving up and sipping on G&Ts while my partner played on. Afternoon drinks turned into sundowners, and an early dinner.

Such is the impetus of the migration that we also felt called to be on the move – right on time for our flight across the Serengeti. Inspired by the herds, Serengeti Under Canvas is a mobile camp that moves several times each season to optimise viewing. We were sited at Kogatende, in the northern Serengeti.

The designers of the camp had done a superb job. It felt entirely authentic, and although there was nothing superfluous about it, we had every comfort. Eating lunch in the open-sided mess tent, the gourmet food competed for our attention with the panoramic vista of the plains. After a siesta on the daybed in our luxury tent, we headed out for a shorter drive that culminated in sundowners at the foot of a small kopje. Wildebeest continued to file by in the rosy sunset light, and my partner ended up with two G&Ts as I needed both hands to capture the incredible scenes with my camera.

Didas, the head guide, told us at breakfast that he was certain that lion had hunted very early that morning, not far from the camp. He was right (of course) and we drove out to find them. It seemed that they’d already eaten their fill – we could see their swollen bellies and hear their heavy panting. During the migration food is plentiful, of course, but they were still not prepared to share. One young male made a half-hearted run at a pair of nervous jackal who were looking for scraps, but they easily evaded him. We left too, and spent more time watching the herds graze.

We spent our third day simply mooching around camp. After catching up on some reading, we went through our safari snaps together, amazed at how much we’d already seen on our trip. Following a lazy lunch, we decided to play cards with some of the other guests. I lost several raucous rounds of Canasta before giving up and sipping on G&Ts while my partner played on. Afternoon drinks turned into sundowners, and an early dinner.

Two nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Northern Tanzania really is teeming with safari hotspots – the fabled Ngorongoro Crater being one of its more famous ones. Perched on its rim, combining traditional Maasai designs with old-world opulence, was Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.We were both struck by how a long-extinct volcano was now offering sanctuary to endangered species, and as we gazed down into it, we began to understand that this was Tanzania in microcosm. Enclosed within its 600m depths were savannah, swamps, forest and sodic lakes. Our guide, Patrick, took us on a walk along the rim, pointing out some of the key features, like Lake Eyasi and the Lerai Forest. At a particularly scenic point, we were greeted by Maasai warriors bearing flaming torches. Their singing and unique leaping dance left us so happy we almost floated back to the lodge for our chandelier-lit dinner.On Patrick’s advice, we were up bright and early for our game drive down into the crater. As usual, his recommendation was spot on: for an exquisite hour we had the crater floor to ourselves. Our punctuality was rewarded with lovely views of flamingo on the lake, and best of all, a leopard reclining in a yellow-barked acacia. She was keeping one eye on a herd of elephant that were stripping bark from neighbouring trees, but they left hers alone. Later, with the smell of woodsmoke from our chimney mingling with the scent of rose petals, we enjoyed a private dinner in the wine cellar.

Northern Tanzania really is teeming with safari hotspots – the fabled Ngorongoro Crater being one of its more famous ones. Perched on its rim, combining traditional Maasai designs with old-world opulence, was Ngorongoro Crater Lodge.

We were both struck by how a long-extinct volcano was now offering sanctuary to endangered species, and as we gazed down into it, we began to understand that this was Tanzania in microcosm. Enclosed within its 600m depths were savannah, swamps, forest and sodic lakes. Our guide, Patrick, took us on a walk along the rim, pointing out some of the key features, like Lake Eyasi and the Lerai Forest. At a particularly scenic point, we were greeted by Maasai warriors bearing flaming torches. Their singing and unique leaping dance left us so happy we almost floated back to the lodge for our chandelier-lit dinner.

On Patrick’s advice, we were up bright and early for our game drive down into the crater. As usual, his recommendation was spot on: for an exquisite hour we had the crater floor to ourselves. Our punctuality was rewarded with lovely views of flamingo on the lake, and best of all, a leopard reclining in a yellow-barked acacia. She was keeping one eye on a herd of elephant that were stripping bark from neighbouring trees, but they left hers alone. Later, with the smell of woodsmoke from our chimney mingling with the scent of rose petals, we enjoyed a private dinner in the wine cellar.

Four nights at Mnemba Island

Our light aircraft flew us past towering mountains and over endless plains, then suddenly the land below us ended, and we were out over the Indian Ocean, heading for Zanzibar – the Spice Island.We loved the arrival at Mnemba Island Lodge – wading ashore in the warm, shallow water with tiny jewelled fish darting around us. The island itself was picture perfect – we walked up a powdery white beach towards a line of dark-green tropical vegetation, within which were nestled makuti-thatched bandas. The seafood platter for lunch was impossibly fresh, and the couples’ massage under a rippling awning on the beach put us completely in island mode. Walking on the beach at sunset, cocktails in hand, we saw a school of dolphin leaping, and debated adding our return air tickets to the driftwood campfire!Delighted to have found a place where doing nothing but relaxing was a perfectly legitimate activity, we nevertheless wanted to try out some of the slightly more energetic options. My partner had fly-fished on three continents, but never before in Africa; I watched the flick and swish of the rod from my stand-up paddle board … Which of course meant I fell off several times, but a tumble into warm, azure water was no hardship. The fish and my sense of balance both proving elusive, we took a late afternoon stroll in search of tiny suni antelope, before sundowners resting against seats made from scooped-up sand.Having seen the triangular sails of the fishermen’s dhows out to sea, we wanted to experience this ancient method of transport for ourselves, and decided on a sunset dhow cruise. As our boat slipped through the swell, we imagined we were transporting cloves across the ocean. Loading our cargo of spices gave us a thirst, and we relaxed in the shade with a beer, until the captain called us to see dolphin cavorting just under the prow. Perhaps they were the same ones we’d seen on our first evening. As the sun sank below the horizon, the crew expertly steered the dhow back to Mnemba and we splashed up the beach.A lazy last day was very much in order – lounging on soft pillows under a makuti-thatched roof, sampling platters of tropical fruit and watching the world go by. As the day cooled, we borrowed snorkelling equipment and swam out to the reef, delighting in the dazzling display of shapes and colours below us. Walking back up the beach, we met the chef, about to wade out to the dhow (in his whites!) for the day’s catch. He pointed out the tiny tracks of a newly hatched turtle. Even in this place of stillness, there was movement.

Our light aircraft flew us past towering mountains and over endless plains, then suddenly the land below us ended, and we were out over the Indian Ocean, heading for Zanzibar – the Spice Island.

We loved the arrival at Mnemba Island Lodge – wading ashore in the warm, shallow water with tiny jewelled fish darting around us. The island itself was picture perfect – we walked up a powdery white beach towards a line of dark-green tropical vegetation, within which were nestled makuti-thatched bandas. The seafood platter for lunch was impossibly fresh, and the couples’ massage under a rippling awning on the beach put us completely in island mode. Walking on the beach at sunset, cocktails in hand, we saw a school of dolphin leaping, and debated adding our return air tickets to the driftwood campfire!

Delighted to have found a place where doing nothing but relaxing was a perfectly legitimate activity, we nevertheless wanted to try out some of the slightly more energetic options. My partner had fly-fished on three continents, but never before in Africa; I watched the flick and swish of the rod from my stand-up paddle board … Which of course meant I fell off several times, but a tumble into warm, azure water was no hardship. The fish and my sense of balance both proving elusive, we took a late afternoon stroll in search of tiny suni antelope, before sundowners resting against seats made from scooped-up sand.

Having seen the triangular sails of the fishermen’s dhows out to sea, we wanted to experience this ancient method of transport for ourselves, and decided on a sunset dhow cruise. As our boat slipped through the swell, we imagined we were transporting cloves across the ocean. Loading our cargo of spices gave us a thirst, and we relaxed in the shade with a beer, until the captain called us to see dolphin cavorting just under the prow. Perhaps they were the same ones we’d seen on our first evening. As the sun sank below the horizon, the crew expertly steered the dhow back to Mnemba and we splashed up the beach.

A lazy last day was very much in order – lounging on soft pillows under a makuti-thatched roof, sampling platters of tropical fruit and watching the world go by. As the day cooled, we borrowed snorkelling equipment and swam out to the reef, delighting in the dazzling display of shapes and colours below us. Walking back up the beach, we met the chef, about to wade out to the dhow (in his whites!) for the day’s catch. He pointed out the tiny tracks of a newly hatched turtle. Even in this place of stillness, there was movement.

What sets it apart

Our luxury Tanzania safari was a study in movement and restfulness… In Serengeti National Park, we immediately felt the timeless rhythms of nature as the endless tape loop of the Great Wildebeest Migration played itself out around us. The ceaseless wanderings of the antelope and zebra spoke to the yearning to explore in each of us. Standing on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, we could sense a slower motion – change happening on a geological timescale. What had once been a mountain perhaps even loftier than Kilimanjaro was now a rocky basin filled to the brim with life. Lastly, on Mnemba Island, we aligned ourselves with the toing and froing of the caressing waves, and there we found stillness in relaxation and tuning out from the e-chatter of the rest of the world.Highlights of our trip included observing the stubborn courage of wildebeest cantering past waiting lion – surely knowing that some of them would not make it – and the plucky courage of green turtle hatchlings scuttling down the beach to the surf. We’d come determined to have the holiday of our lives, and the charming insistence of our Tanzania safari hosts on attending to our every need made it clear to us that they were equally set on the same goal. On the beaches of the Indian Ocean we found the peace we craved, disconnecting from the world and reconnecting with each other.

Our luxury Tanzania safari was a study in movement and restfulness… In Serengeti National Park, we immediately felt the timeless rhythms of nature as the endless tape loop of the Great Wildebeest Migration played itself out around us. The ceaseless wanderings of the antelope and zebra spoke to the yearning to explore in each of us. Standing on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, we could sense a slower motion – change happening on a geological timescale. What had once been a mountain perhaps even loftier than Kilimanjaro was now a rocky basin filled to the brim with life. Lastly, on Mnemba Island, we aligned ourselves with the toing and froing of the caressing waves, and there we found stillness in relaxation and tuning out from the e-chatter of the rest of the world.

Highlights of our trip included observing the stubborn courage of wildebeest cantering past waiting lion – surely knowing that some of them would not make it – and the plucky courage of green turtle hatchlings scuttling down the beach to the surf. We’d come determined to have the holiday of our lives, and the charming insistence of our Tanzania safari hosts on attending to our every need made it clear to us that they were equally set on the same goal. On the beaches of the Indian Ocean we found the peace we craved, disconnecting from the world and reconnecting with each other.

Day 1

Tanzania is the perfect stage for both epic natural events and intimate shared moments.

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, and assisted through customs and immigration. A private transfer will take you to Arusha Coffee Lodge, where you’ll spend one night.

Day 2–4

The whole family will enjoy walking safaris from Klein’s Camp. © &Beyond

Following a private transfer from Arusha Coffee Lodge to the airport, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to the Serengeti. You’ll then take a transfer to Klein’s Camp, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 5–7

Before dinner, warm yourself by the campfire at Serengeti Under Canvas.

Following a transfer from Klein’s Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to another part of the Serengeti. You’ll then take a transfer to Serengeti Under Canvas, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 8–9

Go all out with a private rose-petal dinner at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. © &Beyond

Following a transfer from Serengeti Under Canvas to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Manyara. A scenic hour-and-a-half-long drive will take you on to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, where you’ll spend two nights.

Day 10–13

Mnemba Island is just 1,5km in circumference. © &Beyond

Following a scenic hour-and-a-half-long drive from Ngorongoro Crater Lodge to Manyara, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Zanzibar. A transfer and boat ride will take you to Mnemba Island, where you’ll spend four nights.

Day 14

Zanzibar is known for its white, sandy beaches and glorious turquoise waters.

A boat ride and transfer will take you from Mnemba Island to Zanzibar Airport, where you’ll be assisted through check-in for your international flight.

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