Northern Tanzania: The River Crossings

Late July is river-crossing primetime on the Mara River and this itinerary will get you into the heart of the action.
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Combine stylish safari camps off the beaten track with first class game-viewing in the height of the wildebeest migration.

Northern Tanzania in the dry season is hard to beat, offering superlative wildlife and excellent small safari camps and lodges

This itinerary takes you from the floor of the Rift Valley at Lake Manyara, where you’ll stay in our wonderful light tented camp at the base of a waterfall, through the Ngorongoro Highlands and up to the remarkable Lamai Serengeti – a hugely stylish small lodge just a few miles from the action on the Mara River.

Day 1: Arusha 

Day 2 - 4: Lake Manyara National Park 

Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater 

Day 5 - 8: Serengeti National Park 

Day 9: Departure

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Day 1: Arusha

Arrive in Tanzania

Arrive into Kilimanjaro Airport before a private road transfer to Meru House Lekisalai, conveniently located a short distance from the airport. Surrounded by coffee trees, acacia and the most astonishing flowers and birds. Meru House has an unrivalled view of Mount Meru, swimming pool and beautiful gardens allowing you to relax before you head off-grid into Lake Manyara on day 2.   

Day 2 - 4: Lake Manyara National Park


This camp is located on the banks of the Endabash River in the southern area of Lake Manyara National Park. It is at the bottom of a huge seasonal waterfall flowing off the Great Rift Wall. Huge crystalline quartz rock makes up the falls and an easy climb up them is rewarded with stunning views over the park down to the lake. During some periods of the year pools in the rocks provide the perfect retreat for a cool (safe) swim on hot African afternoons.

Day 2 - 4: Lake Manyara National Park


At just 330 square kilometres, Lake Manyara is small, but rewarding. Perhaps best known for its elephant and tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara holds impressive populations of game, including hippo, buffalo and giraffe and over 380 species of birds.

Day 2 - 4: Lake Manyara National Park


In the dry season the pool at the bottom of the waterfall is the only source of water for miles around and draws animals from far to drink. During the day there is a constant stream of baboons and various antelope while elephants are nightly visitors and guests can enjoy viewing these wonderful creatures while sitting next to a campfire. Large buffalo herds and lion are late night visitors. 

Click here to see some wonderful recent footage of elephants drinking from the waterfall in camp. 



Head north on an early morning drive to the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the greatest natural spectacles on the planet. With a 600m drop from the rim to the crater floor the African panorama unfolds in front and below you; the 25km diameter flat bottomed caldera contains a microcosm of East African safari, with forest, plains, soda and freshwater lakes and virtually the whole range of game except for giraffe. It's hard to escape the crowds here but with 30,000 animals in a 100 square miles you have the chance of seeing all Big 5 in one game drive!

You'll spend 1 night at the Ang'ata Camp situated on the northeastern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater ready to catch your lunchtime flight the next day into the heart of the action in the Northern Serengeti. 

Day 5 - 8: Northern Serengeti

Lamai Serengeti

Nomad Tanzania's Lamai Serengeti is located in the Kogakuria Kopjes, a stunning spot with huge views of the Serengeti below and just a few miles from where the Serengeti wildebeest migration crosses the Mara River between July and October each year.

Day 5 - 8: Northern Serengeti

Room with a view

Each room has been carefully located with the elements in mind, to take maximum advantage of the view, the sun, the wind and even the rain, (welcome when it comes). It is all designed such that to the casual eye you won't see that there is anything there. The rooms are a clever blend of canvas, plaster and natural poles.

Day 5 - 8: Mara River

The River Crossings

Mara River crossings are frequently seen from July through to December and staying at Lamai you will be in pole position to capture the action as it unfolds. It is undoubtedly one of the most dramatic wildlife spectacles anywhere in the world and with a little luck we can get you right into the middle of it. Sitting in a vehicle surrounded by tens of thousands of wildebeest and all the accompanying noise is an experience you won't quickly forget.

Day 8 - 9


On your final day, you will fly from Kogatende Airstrip to Kilimanjaro Airport with your last night close to the airport ready to catch international flights home. 


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+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Catherine Ronan
Catherine Ronan
Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme
Vanessa Janion
Vanessa Janion

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.



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"Vanessa from Natural High Safaris provided a very responsive,personal and bespoke service which in turn led to a perfect trip, that was without fault! From our pack mules all the way up to our guide, Oulaid, it was outstanding. We were guided through the most beautiful and remote countryside to camp sites with the most awesome views. Oulaid had really thought about our route and request to be off the beaten track. It was a delight that we did not see any tourist for the whole trek. Our team were professional,hospitable and friendly, delivery a very well prepared and comfortable camp each evening.The camp chef did an amazing job bearing in mind the remoteness of our location, conjuring up very tasty and varied meals each day. If I could book another trip tomorrow I would.Next year beckons!Well done all!!"


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"They promptly provided an itinerary in response to our desires. Feedback on the plan was well received. Closer to the time we were connected with our guides to further hone our trip. A group of 5 women, arriving from various destinations, camping and lodges in the desert with extraordinary guides. Yes, the cliche works here...a trip of a lifetime."