Welcome to Africa!
Touching down in the shadow of the continent’s highest mountain is quite the arrival: welcome to Africa. We’ll fast-track you through Kilimanjaro Airport to Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge, voted one of the Top 5 Hotels in Africa 2020 by Travel + Leisure, where the stresses of travel will lift as soon as you’re shown your elegant suite, tucked into this leafy and aromatic working plantation.
Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge
- Set in the lush grounds of a working coffee plantation
- Insider bean-to-cup coffee tours
- Home of Shanga, an inspiring social enterprise run by Tanzanians with disabilities who produce arts and crafts using recycled materials
- On-site Traders Walk, the place to browse African arts and artefacts
- Relaxing pool and spa
Arusha & Tarangire
You can be sure the breakfast coffee will hit the spot here
After you’ve savoured a brew with breakfast, take a private tree-to-cup tour around the grounds, to find out how they make it so good. As well as producing coffee, the lodge is home to Shanga, a wonderful social enterprise that employs people with disabilities to create quality handmade products – watch the artisans at work, sewing, painting, weaving and glass-blowing, and perhaps pick up a souvenir or two.
There’s time for a lovely lunch on the lawn before we whisk you off on your SkySafari flight to Tarangire, Tanzania’s unexpected awesome. Often overlooked for the north’s better-known parks, Tarangire bursts with great game – especially in the dry season, when animals flock to its perennial river – but sees few other tourists. That means safaris crammed full of wildlife, but blissfully crowd free.
The action starts immediately: you’ll be scouting for game on the drive from airstrip to Elewana Tarangire Treetops. Elephants are a particular speciality – more than 3,000 (one of the largest populations in East Africa) roam here.
The lodge itself is like something from a fairytale: its scatter of suites teeters amongst the branches of the baobab and marula trees; each has a huge balcony, looking either to the sunrise, the sunset or over the camp’s waterhole. Tear yourself away for dinner, though – a candle-lit feast served in a Masai boma, surrounded by acacia trees.
Elewana Tarangire Treetops
- Best-of-both location in a private conservancy bordering Tarangire National Park
- Magical ‘treehouse’ suites
- Well-frequented waterhole, right in front of the lodge bar
- Bush walks and night drives
- Sundowners on sunset hill and traditional Masa boma dinners
Treetops is tucked into a private conservancy adjoining the national park
The lodge has been pivotal in driving the development of community-owned wildlife conservancies, which has seen more wildlife being preserved and more local people benefitting. It also means it can offer the best of both worlds: guests here have easy access to Tarangire’s animal-dense pastures, but being in the conservancy means a greater variety of activities is allowed.
Start the day traditionally, with a glorious game drive in custom-designed jeeps, looking for a whole host of species – from zebra, buffalo, eland and kudu to lion, leopard and hyena. Then, after lunch back at camp, walk out with a Masai guide. There’s nothing more electrifying than exploring the bush on foot, getting up-close to the flowers, insects and animal tracks you might miss from a vehicle. You can also visit a Masai village to find out more about the custodians of this land.
As the afternoon cools, there’s only one thing to be done: sit on Sunset Hill, Sundowner in hand, the classic way to toast a day on safari. A delicious dinner will follow, though you might want to squeeze in another adventure: night drives (permitted within the conservancy) are a chance to see the after-dark shift, from prickly porcupines to elusive leopards.
Tarangire & Ngorongoro Crater
Enjoy breakfast among the baobabs …
… before packing a picnic and heading off for the airstrip – a wild ride that once again doubles as a game drive. With Treetops’ keen-eyed guides you might glimpse the park’s wild dogs (this is a great place for sightings), a tiny pancake tortoise or even Tarangire’s tree-climbing lions.
It’s a scenic flight to Manyara airstrip, and a lovely drive through the highlands to reach the epitome of elegance that is The Manor. Quite possibly the most enviable address on the safari circuit, this handful of Cape Dutch-styled cottages sits within the lush gardens of a working coffee farm, near the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. You’ll arrive in time for high tea, taken with views over the rippling forest, while your butler sorts the luggage. Then soak in your Victorian bathtub, cosy up by your suite’s open fire, enjoy a delicious dinner, maybe have a game of billiards and retire for the night.
The Manor at Ngorongoro
- Elegant cottages oozing old-world glamour
- Breathtaking location, near the edge of Ngorongoro Crater
- Exclusive picnics away from the crowds on the crater floor
- Sundowners and spa treatments
- Highlands horse rides and trips to Lake Manyara
According to Ernest Hemingway, Lake Manyara is the ‘loveliest in Africa’.
It’s certainly varied, attracting an astounding mix of life, from bushbuck and blue monkeys in the forests to tree-climbing lions in the acacia woods; from cheetah stalking antelopes on the grasslands to hippos wallowing in the mud. Most dazzling, though, is the flamboyance of flamingos – hundreds of the blushing birds flock here, along with more than 400 other avian species. Join a game drive after breakfast and stay until lunch, so you can picnic by the water’s edge.
Back at The Manor, the afternoon is all yours. Take a dip in the pool, book a treatment in the spa or join a guided walk around the coffee estate. Or you could head out on horseback, to get a different perspective on these verdant highlands, finishing with a Sundowner, of course. Top they day off with dinner in the elegant dining room, always a culinary delight.
Your alarm will ring at the crack of dawn today – but you won’t mind a bit.
It’s well worth the early breakfast when you’re about to head into the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. Measuring over 20km wide and 600m deep, Ngorongoro Crater is a natural volcanic amphitheatre, a geological marvel, a festival of wildlife. Its acacia thickets, riverine forest and glittering lakes throng with around 30,000 animals: one of the highest densities of wildlife in Africa. Safaris here can be overwhelming, in the very best way.
Spend a full day in Ngorongoro – our expert guides will introduce you to its vast cast of characters: lions, elephants and buffalo, cheetah and serval cats, hyena, jackal and black rhino. Plus The Manor has special permission to host beautiful bush lunches in a private part of the crater, away from the crowds. You can picnic in exclusive style without missing a wildlife-packed minute.
Sundowners and dinner back at The Manor will be abuzz, as you exchange stories with your fellow travellers about what you’ve seen on this once-in-a-lifetime day.
Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti National Park
Enjoy your last lavish Manor breakfast …
… before we whisk you off for your SkySafari flight to another African icon: Serengeti National Park.
Simply, it’s huge. An endless-seeming swathe of short-grass plains, braided with life-giving streams, speckled with rocky kopjes, riffled by occasional hills, rich in Masai culture, absolutely teeming with life. And while you can revel in the bigger picture, it’s also the place to embrace the individual moments: the will-they-won’t-they tension of a lion pack on the hunt; the shock of a crocodile bursting from the river; the white-knuckle charge of an angry bull elephant; the dazzle of the sun subsiding into plains with no end.
We’ll deliver you to your lodge in time for lunch, though the exact lodge depends in part on the season. We might introduce you the bygone-luxe tents of Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp, perched on a kopje in the south of the park. As well as being renowned for its immense wildebeest herds, the area is rich in prehistoric paintings while nearby Lake Magadi is popular with flamingos.
Alternatively, we’ll take you to the sophisticated stilted tents of Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp, further north. This peaceful part of the park sees few other visitors; you’ll feel you’ve arrived in your own private wilderness. The variety of wildlife here is remarkable, the drama intense – especially when the Great Migration passes through: the camp is perfectly placed for watching the herds run the gauntlet of the Mara River.
Either way, your first afternoon’s game drive will be a wildlife revelation.
Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp
- Sublime spot in the central Serengeti
- Pioneer-luxe tents, deep in the bush
- Excellent wildlife-watching year-round, plus spectacular wildebeest calving in season
- Top-class Maasai guides and rock art sites
- Exclusive access to the best picnic spot
Serengeti National Park
Game drives in the Serengeti are always a surprise.
You never quite know how the drama might play out. Most dramatic of all is to witness the pinnacle of the Great Migration, when more than a million animals cross the northern rivers. The Serengeti Migration Camp sits on their route, so you barely need travel at all to catch a life-or-death crossing. Also nearby are hippo-filled pools – you can hear their grunts and chortles from camp.
To maximise your wild time, we’ll dish up a delicious lunch on the go, while, come nightfall, dinner will be served out under the stars, to a backing track of the sounds of the bush.
Serengeti National Park
Another early breakfast before another action-packed day – a whole day, with lunch in the bush, so you don’t waste a minute.
Exploring from Elewana Serengeti Pioneer might mean witnessing the replenishing of the Serengeti’s mighty herds: each year, 400,000 wildebeest calves are born in the park’s south, a staggering number, which draws many predators…
Indeed, big cats are a particular pleasure around the Pioneer camp. Lions love to sun-bask on the rocks of Moru Kopje (where Masai paintings can also be seen). Also, the camp supports the Serengeti Cheetah Project, and talks by experts will introduce you to the local cats, and help you identify them when you’re scanning the plains.
After a full, fabulous day, it’s time to raise a final Sundowner to the Serengeti, as the light softens, the earth cools, the horizon glows. Enjoy dinner back at camp, then sit out and listen one last time: to the eerie call of the nightjar and the whoop of a hyena, to the hippos’ belly guffaw and the lion’s nerve-trembling roar…
Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp
- Prime position for the Great Migration – dramatic river crossings on the doorstep
- On the banks of the Grumeti river, with resident hippo’s making their presence known
- Opulent stilted tents
- Away from the crowds, in an exclusive, secluded spot
- Brilliant Big Five game drives year-round
Serengeti National Park & Arusha
Eke out every last second.
Your drive to the airstrip gives you a final chance to soak up the sights, smells, sounds and sensations of the Serengeti. Just one more elegant giraffe, one more elephant charge. Once airborne, keep your eyes out the window, to see the Serengeti slide out of view and, perhaps, Kilimanjaro peeping through the clouds.
There’s no need to hang around at the airport – we’ll deliver you back to Arusha Coffee Lodge’s oasis of calm so you can relax in a day room amid the birds and the beans before we take you back for your flight home, head, heart and soul full of African magic.
"Excellent host...superb guide. Accomodation was stellar. Good game viewing every day."
Traveller from Canada
"SkySafari’s private plane safari itineraries in Kenya and Tanzania help you maximize your time—so more of it can be spent out in the wild"
"It’s bound to be love at first flight. SkySafari is designed specifically to make it simple for you to book and enjoy an African safari holiday to Kenya and Tanzania, leaving you with time to relax and watch the never-ending circle of life unwind against the backdrop of East Africa’s iconic parks and timeless landscapes"
"SkySafari Kenya bypasses most of the normal difficulties and inconveniences of travel, allowing you to experience the magnificent variety of Kenya’s wildlife in an intense, yet totally non-stressful, way"
"I have seen so much, in such quality, with such ease, that I feel I’ve racked up enough bucket- list wonders to keep me smiling for years"
"It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be on everybody’s bucket list"
Country and Townhouse magazine
"The variety of animals, landscapes, and luxury overnight options is what can make a safari such a special experience, but having the entire plane to yourself is a hallmark of the SkySafari"
What is the best time to come on a SkySafari?
There is no best time, each season has its own special features. Travel in the rainy season (April-May and Oct-Nov) and the landscape is beautifully green, the dust has settled and there are fewer visitors on safari. The grass is fertile and tall which makes spotting game more challenging but rewarding. The rain will mainly fall during the night.
The remainder of the year is called the dry season, when there is less water available so animals tend to congregate around the water sources, making game spotting easier. This season also attracts more visitors on safari.
Is there Wi-Fi on the SkySafari?
The main areas of all the lodges and camps offer free Wi-Fi. Please bear in mind that the Wi-Fi in East Africa is not lightning fast.
Are park fees included?
Park fees are not included in our rates but they are a mandatory supplement and will reflect on your invoice separately.
Is there a minimum or maximum age for travelers on SkySafari?
No there isn’t, we welcome people of all ages.
Children of all ages are allowed; we do suggest that children of the ages of 5 years and up seem to get the most out of their experience. For families with young children we suggest that you book Exclusive Vehicle Use so that you have the flexibility to enjoy your safari activities at your own pace.
There is no upper age limit. We do ask you to let us know in advance if your guests are physically challenged or less-abled.
Tanzania safari extensions
Why not stay a little longer?
We know that Africa is apt to get under your skin; you probably won’t want to leave. So we’re happy to help you extend your stay beyond our regular SkySafaris, in whatever way you choose.
More time in the bush
Whether you want more time in the bush or on the beach, we can make it happen.
Rest and Relaxation on a beach
After all those early starts on safari, you might fancy a few days – or weeks – simply lazing on the beach. And we know just the spots.