Tentative Tour Schedule
Travel Dates: May 12-31 2011
Thu - May 12: Amsterdam - Arusha, Tanzania
Depart on group flight from Chicago (ORD) to Amsterdam, where we will connect with flight to Tanzania.
Fri - May 13: Arusha, Tanzania
Amsterdam – Kilimanjaro: Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by your hosts and transferred to the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge located in Usa River on the outskirts of Arusha’s main town. Snack upon Arrival. Overnight Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge five evenings– Standard Rooms. (D May 20; B,L,D other days). www.ngurdotomountainlodge.com
Sat - May 14: Adventist College Visit
After breakfast, we will drive to the University of Arusha, an Adventist college (www.universityofarusha.ac.tz) to attend an outdoor church service. We’ll drive back to the lodge for late lunch and afternoon back to the Arusha University College for afternoon program.
Sun - May 15: Guest Lecture/Poli Village
This morning we will have a guest lecturer at the hotel by an Arusha Official. Discussions include social/political life in East Africa, history of independence, tribal, religious and racial tolerance, privatization of economy and important daily issues of poverty and health. These themes will be carried throughout the safari.
In the afternoon visit nearby Poli village, meet local community leaders, and learn about development projects going on in this village.
Mon - May 16: Poli Village Visit and Service Project
After an early breakfast we’ll return to Poli village for a morning service project. We work alongside villagers to assist them in accomplishing a much needed improvement to their village (project: to be determined)
We’ll return to the lodge for lunch, and perhaps return to the village if necessary. We’ll also visit the Usa River Primary School, where Andrews planted bushes during its last visit.
Tue - May 17: Lecture / Mosque and School Visit
This morning we will have lecture/class time at the hotel. After an early lunch we’ll make a special visit to the Islamic Mosque in Arusha and the Moslem school which is nearby. This evening we will need to separate our luggage, taking a smaller bag with us on safari, and leaving our larger suitcase behind at the hotel in Arusha.
Wed - May 18: Lake Manyara / Ngorongoro Crater
After an early breakfast, we’ll drive directly to Lake Manyara National Park. Arrive with enough time for game drives in the park with picnic lunch.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK is 135 km [81 miles] from Arusha town. It is a small park and is bordered by the Western Wall of the Great Rift Valley and lies at 3,150-feet altitude. It is noted for its elephant population and tree-climbing lions. Actually, it is quite hard to see tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara, due to the brush and woodland. The behavior of lions climbing trees was first observed in this park, but lions do climb trees in Tarangire and the Serengeti as well. The park is 123 square kms in area, 88 square kms of which is surrounded by ground – water forest, with wild fig, palm, tamarind and baobab trees. You will see hippo, giraffes, elephants [the highest density in Africa – 7 elephants/sq.km], tree climbing lion, zebras, monkey and profusion of birds [more than 380 species]. Note: Manyara Park is one of the best areas for the bird watching. The park is opened at 6:00 AM in the morning and ends at 6:00 PM in the evening. This park was damaged by the El Nino rains in 1995-6 and has been slow to recover due to the underground springs that make it more difficult for water to be absorbed through the ground. The soda lake is high in salt and the overflow of the lake caused damage to the surrounding area, forcing some animals into more remote areas of this park.
After lunch, we’ll proceed to Karatu, where we will visit a clinic founded by Dr. Frank Actress, an American physician. Dr. Frank, as he is affectionately known, has opened the clinic in an area that was previously without reliable medical care. We’ll be shown around the by his assistant (Dr. Frank will be in the States fundraising during our visit), and we’ll learn about the primary medical needs and obstacles facing people in rural Tanzania. Afterwards we’ll leave behind the donations (school and medical) we brought with us from home.
We then move on to our accommodations for the next two evenings. Nestled on the brink of Ngorongoro Crater's soaring eastern rim, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge offers comfortable accommodations with especially convenient access to the Crater. It’s also the only lodge on the eastern Crater rim offering sunset views, Generously sized picture windows are abundant throughout the Lodge; the dining room, bar; lounge, swimming pool, gardens, and guest rooms are all situated to take maximum advantage of the stunning Crater vistas below. Overnight Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B, L, D) two evenings. www.sopalodges.com
Thu - May 19: Ngorongoro Crater
We depart after breakfast for an early morning game drive, taking a picnic lunch with us so we can spend a full day in the Ngorongoro Crater.
NGORONGORO CRATER Although the crater is small compared to other nature reserves, it is truly one of the wildlife wonders of the world, due to the amazing diversity and quantity of animals living on the crater floor, almost 2,000 feet below its rim. All of the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard) and most of the plains wildlife can be seen here. The crater is one of seven World Heritage Sites designated in Tanzania, and it is the world’s largest unflooded caldera. Visiting the crater is a memorable experience; while only 100 square miles in total, it offers six distinct habitats: acacia forest, swamp, short - grass, long grass, riverine and woodland. Each habitat attracts a variety of animals.
This area is also the world’s first multi-purpose land use experiment, combining tourism, research, archeology, wildlife management, grazing rights and farming. The rim of the crater sits at 7,800 feet in altitude, and the floor descends to 5,000 feet above sea level. The crater is home to almost 30,000 animals in an area naturally enclosed by the slopes of the volcano and is a great location for viewing black rhino and huge old bull elephants.
Fri - May 20/Sun- May 22: Serengeti National Park
From Ngorongoro we’ll drive to the Serengeti, via Ol Karien Gorge, or Olduvai Gorge, the world-renowned site of discoveries of early hominids made by archaeologists Mary and Louis Leakey. Afterwards we move on to the shifting sands, where one of our driver guides will provide us with a lecture on local tribal culture.
Proceeding on to Ndutu Lodge, located in the southern part of the famous Serengeti National Park. We’ll see wildlife along the way. Ndutu Safari Lodge is situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the southern Serengeti eco-system. The Lodge nestles unobtrusively under a canopy of giant acacias overlooking a soda lake, Lake Ndutu. The lodge offers a superb base in which to explore the range of habitats that lie within easy reach—swamps, woodlands, soda lakes and the world famous Serengeti short grass plains. Each of the 34 stone cottages are constructed in local materials and have en-suite facilities and a private verandah that overlooks Lake Ndutu. Overnight Ndutu Safari (B, L, D) Lodge three evenings. www.buffaloluxurycamp.com
Thu – May 26: Karatu
We’ll leave the camp, taking a picnic lunch with us as we enjoy an additional game drive back to the trading center of Karatu. After checking into our hotel, we can relax by the pool or in our comfortable rooms. Named for the lush green hedge walls of Bougainvillea shrubs that define its borders, Bougainvillea Safari Lodge is a medium sized lodge with real garden charm. Nestled between verdant farmlands and the highland forests near the little town of Karatu. Overnight Bougainvillea Lodge (B, L, D). www.bougainvillealodge.net
Fri – May 27: Arusha
This morning we will visit the Iraqw Cultural program with Daniel Akweso and learn more about his Cushitic culture. We’ll return to Arusha, stopping at the Cultural Heritage Center. It is a place where the past and present of the Tanzania's 120-plus tribes can be viewed in a single compound. The center boasts of various carvings, gemstones, artifacts, clothing, and books. You can also shop for various gifts to take home. The rest of the afternoon there will be class lecture when we return to our Arusha hotel. Overnight Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge (B, L, D) four evenings
Sat – May 28: Arusha
Today we will enjoy the pool and surroundings of the hotel, as we have a day of rest. This afternoon we may have time to share our experiences and learn more from a few local families in Arusha.
Sun – May 29: ADRA Visit
After breakfast we will return to the University of Arusha, Adventist College where we will be involved in a service work project.
This afternoon we’ll have a lecture with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) about their program in Tanzania: www.adratz.org
Mon – May 30: Arusha - Amsterdam
We’ll have a day room at the hotel. You’ll have time to pack your bags for your trip home. There will be a special farewell dinner, then we’ll go to the airport for our flight. Day Use at Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge (B, L, D)
Tue – May 31: Amsterdam - Chicago
Leave Amsterdam for Chicago, where we arrive midday.