Hills of Africa

A Taste of a Private Guided African Safari Vacation

Featuring Arusha, Ngorongoro Highlands, The Serengeti

Utilizing some of Africa’s most highly acclaimed and well-seasoned private safari guides, Hills of Africa travel ensures that you experience the ultimate in personalized safaris.

Your guide will be with you every day, providing personal interaction and guidance, teaching you about the mysteries of Africa and its fascinating wildlife, and entertaining you, all while keeping your specific interests in mind. By the end of your trip, not only will you feel fulfilled in mind, body, and soul, but you’ll also have a newfound lifetime friendship with your guide.

Day 1 - Arusha

Welcome to Africa! Once you have landed at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by your Hills Of Africa representative and assisted in clearing customs. You will then be driven to your over night guest lodge, Shangazi House.

NOTE: All travelers to Tanzania are required to have a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate (issued at least two weeks before travel). Please keep your Yellow Fever Vaccinnation certificate with your passport. You will also need to have a tourist visa for your stay in Tanzania. Tanzanian tourist visas cost USD100 per person and can be obtained on arrival.

On arrival at Kilimanjaro you will be met by your private guide. Safari guiding involves anything from primarily "spotting" wildlife, to an in-depth immersion course in animal behaviour, cultures, languages, history, paleontology and many other fields, and most importantly topped with ample humour. The difference in overall experience between one safari and another can be phenomenal depending on your guide. The guide assigned to your safari begins his role by being involved in the design of your itinerary, then meets you at the beginning of your safari and accompanies you throughout, sharing what is so special about the places he has recommended with his knowledge, views, ideas and sense of fun.

Shangazi House

Originally built as a private home, the main house is spacious and comfortable with a verandah that overlooks a sweeping landscape of flower beds and huge native trees. The four garden cottages sit just to the east of the main house with tranquil views not only of the gardens but also of distant Tanzanian landscapes. The interiors are all done in a traditional African colonial style with many pieces designed and created by local artisans.

Rooms: 2 doubles and 1 single for 1 night on a full board basis

Day 2 - Ngorongoro Highlands

Today your guide will drive you to Lake Manyara National Park. Here you will do a half day game drive before driving up into the Ngorongoro Highlands.

Although Lake Manyara National Park is only 125 square miles, the shallow, alkaline lake consumes the majority of this area. The land portion of the Park is situated between the lake and the sheer rock walls of the Rift Valley escarpment that tower 2 000 feet above. The Park is home to three distinct habitats including a lush groundwater forest, open floodplains and acacia woodlands. In just a two-hour round-trip foray into the Park, it is possible to see all the main highlights, offering the ideal quick safari for travelers who are short of time.

From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.

Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes - some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.

Lake Manyara National Park is a birding paradise, especially for waterfowl and migrants. Its lush green forests are one of the best places to see leopards. Lions hunt on the grassy shores of the lake and are known for their habit of climbing trees. Superb game viewing is offered throughout the year, but is at its peak from December to February and from August to September.

Plantation Lodge

Like a green oasis, Plantation Lodge rests on the soft, red-rown hills amidst the vastness and silence of East Africa. The individually furnished rooms and suites melting harmoniously into the flowering garden offer comfort and relaxation. Everywhere you look, you can see and even feel the personal atmosphere of this owner-run lodge with furnishings that were selected with great attention to detail. Plantation Lodge's cordial service leaves no wish unfulfilled. The lodge's location promises maximum safari enjoyment: a stone's throw from the entrance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a short hop from Lake Manyara national park, and just a short journey from the Serengeti.

To stay at Plantation Lodge is to immerse one's self in a world of rest and relaxation. The lodge's 16 rooms lie generously distributed throughout the flowering garden, some with verandas and direct access to the garden. Individuality is a major feature of Plantation Lodge, where each room has its own style, choice accessories and bouquets of fresh flowers from the garden that put the cherry on the cake. The lodge's room-maids care conscientiously for the rooms and are happy to see to our guests' needs.

Fresh variety is the motto of our kitchen. We grow our own vegetables, salads, herbs and fruit. This means that the products from our kitchen are healthy, untreated and particularly tasty. In our restaurant we pamper our guests every evening with a fine multicourse meal in a stylish, comfortable atmosphere. A good wine from our cellar rounds off the culinary pleasure. At lunchtime you can enjoy our dishes al fresco. We'll be happy to serve you lunch or afternoon coffee and cake at one of our garden tables.

Bougainvillea, frangipani, jacaranda: our garden will pamper all your senses: with the scent of tropical plants, with its colorful flowers, with the song of exotic birds. Here you can be spoiled by the culinary delights or simply watch the geese grazing.

Room: 2 x Doubles, 1 x single on all inclusive basis for 2 nights

Day 3 - Ngorongoro Highlands

Today you will go for a full day game drive into the Ngorongoro Crater

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is an extensive highland area along the eastern arm of the Rift Valley, with the world-renowned Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. Not a national park in the strict sense of the word, the NCA was established to conserve wildlife and other natural resources, as well as to safeguard the interests of indigenous people and promote tourism. Thus, guests on safari have the unique experience of seeing Maasai herdsmen whose cattle graze side by side with the tremendous variety of wildlife found in the area.

Unmatched for its natural variety, there are few places on earth where such a tremendous diversity of landscapes exist inside a region this size. Apart from its wildlife riches, the NCA is also of great archaeological importance, with the remains of some of mankind's earliest ancestors discovered in the area.

The largest intact caldera in the world, the Ngorongoro Crater shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens anywhere. A permanent population of more than 30 000 animals inhabit a mere square 260 km (100 square miles) in the 600 m (2 000 ft) deep crater, making this one of the few places in Africa where guests stand a great chance of seeing the entire Big Five in the course of a single game drive.

Day 4 - The Serengeti

Today your guide will drive you across the Serengeti at game drive speed to the central areas of the Serengeti.

Wilderness Mobile Camp

The Serengeti Wilderness Mobile camp is a private tented camp that moves with you in the middle of one of the best game areas in the world. This little camp, private, simple in design and unassuming quite simply offers one of the richest safari experiences available. There are few props here; no spas, TVs or archery on offer, and the camp relies on those illusive, but definitive ingredients; superb service and guiding, total privacy and most importantly front row seats at a private wilderness experience startlingly at odds with anything you'll experience in the course of your daily life.

It has all the elements that ensure that you are comfortable great food, cold drinks, impeccable service, but it's designed to be lightweight enough to be moved every couple of days. The camp crew seriously know what they are doing, they're great people with whom you'll build up a rapport over your safari and their enthusiasm and professionalism are a great mix that adds enormously to the pleasure of the experience. The camps get you away from most other tourists to a point where you can still feel the soul of the Serengeti. The migration is without a doubt mind blowing and absolutely not to be missed, but it's a real mistake not to see more of the Serengeti than just the area where the wildebeest happen to be.

Rooms: 2 x Doubles, 1 x single on all inclusive basis for 4 nights

Day 8 - The Serengeti

Today you will drive to Nomads Lemai in the northern Serengeti. The iconic Kogakuria kopje in the northern Serengeti is the most commanding vantage point for miles around, with never ending views beyond the Mara River valley across the whole Lemai area to the north. The Serengeti is the last place on Earth where there are still large herds of game roaming the grassy plains. Be on the lookout for wildebeast, zebra and the many other animals you may find in this part of the world.

Nomads Lemai

If you were to visit only one place in the Serengeti, it should be here. This is no half hearted boast; the iconic Kogakuria kopje in the northern Serengeti is the most commanding vantage point for miles around, with never-ending views beyond the Mara River valley across the whole Lamai area to the north.

Its the site where some of Nomads founders Mark & Milly Houldsworth ran their very first safari camp in 1993; where they sat amongst the rocks and planned their wedding and future adventures thereafter. As they headed off to the Selous to join Richard Bonham, another Nomad founder, Richard & Jules Knocker took on the running of this camp and went on to make it their own much-loved home. Over many a star-lit evening these fine safari pioneers, soon to be joined by other like-minded souls, planned and dreamed as they sat on, and within, the rocks and thought if only. During the years since, Nomad has been careful not to stray too far and has kept its feet planted firmly in the area with mobile and seasonal camps operating from this very spot to much acclaim. Now many years later, with thanks to planetary alignment, or whatever you might want to call it, this most special place has been entrusted to Nomad with a long lease from Tanzania National Parks. So with a growing sense of returning home we are developing, within these rocks, what will surely become one of the Serengeti's most iconic camps.

Did we mention the views? And how you can spend an entire day sitting on a rock here, forgetting whatever it was that might have been important before you arrived. Because in this place there is only one thing that is relevent and that is that you are here.

There are just 12 tents in all, split between two entirely separate camps, the Main Camp and our smaller Private Camp. Each tent site has been carefully thought out. Firstly and most importantly, with the elements in mind, to take maximum advantage of the view, the sun, the wind and even the rain, welcome when it comes. This involved much sitting in quiet and careful contemplation, with binoculars, compass and sundowner in hand. But also, and perhaps of even greater importance, each site is designed such that to the casual eye you won't see that there is anything there. The rooms a clever blend of canvas, ferro and natural poles have given our camp designers much debate, thought, and to be honest a multitude of headaches. The brief was simple: to become the guardian of this kopje, we needed to preserve all the things about it that has made it iconic. Nomad understands absolutely the responsibility that comes with this.

Room: 2 x Doubles, 1 x Single on all inclusive basis for 4 nights

Day 12 - Kilimanjaro

Today you will be driven to the airstrip to fly across the Serengeti and back to Arusha on a shared charter flight that may make stops on the route depending on the days manifest.

On arrival in Arusha you will be collected and returned to Shangazi House for Lunch and use of a day room.

In the evening you will be driven back to Kilimanjaro International Airport to connect to your flight home.

Safe travels and we hope you have lived the Magic Of Africa.

Hills of Africa