Great Northern Circuit Highlights Trekking – 8 Days

8 Days Trekking Safari in Northern Tanzania

This is a perfect adventure for travelers who want to combine trekking and game drives and experience the nature of Tanzania through camping.

Day 1: Tarangire National Park Tour

Approx 0800hrs: Drive from your accommodations in Arusha to Tarangire National Park for a game drive in Tarangire National Park; known for its large herds of elephants and ancient baobab trees.

Overnight and dinner at a nearby camp or lodge.

Top Attractions: See giant baobab trees that are hundreds of years old; get photos of zebras, gazelles and waterbuck near the Tarangire River, and of course see the many elephants which live in this incredible national park.

Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive

Approx 0800 hrs: Drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, pause at the viewpoint, and then descend into the world-famous crater for a game drive. Overnight at Nainkanoka Village for a unique cultural experience.

Top Attractions: See endangered Black Rhinos, snap photos of Ngorongoro’s incredible lions and experience for yourself the world’s largest concentration of animals, within Ngorongoro Crater.

Day 3: Trekking Olmoti Crater

Approx 0800 hrs: After breakfast, hike up to Olmoti Crater & Munge Waterfalls (optional) then drive to Empakaai. You will drive through the dry grasslands of the Embulbul Depression and will likely view animals such as zebras and impalas on the way. You will camp overnight.

Top Attractions: Olmoti Crater and Munge Waterfalls are unique and stunning, the trek isn’t very long, but it is worth it for the experience and for this first day to stretch you legs and prepare for longer treks in the days to come.

Day 04: Hike through Empakaai Crater, with donkeys

Approx 0800 hrs: After breakfast, descend to the Empakaai Crater (yes, you descend first and climb out after as you continue on your trek). Start trekking to Naiyobi Village, with the aid of donkeys carrying equipment. Dinner and overnight at a camp.

Top Attractions: Now the adventure begins! Here you will leave the safari car behind and continue on foot, with donkeys helping to carry the heavy loads.

Day 05: Continue hiking toward Lake Natron/Engaresero village.

Approx 0800 hrs: you will continue trekking to the village of Engaresero, also known as Lake Natron. Here the driver will be waiting with the safari jeep, once you finish your climb. Upon arrival at camp, it is advised to rest and eat a healthy meal, for your climb begins at midnight.

Day 06: Climb Mt Ol Doinyo Lengai 

Approx 00:00 (Midnight): You will drive from your camp to the base of Mt Ol Doinyo Lengai to begin climbing Tanzania’s active volcano. The nighttime trek is necessary, so be prepared with a headlamp or flashlight. A well-timed trek will reach the summit just before sunrise (0600 hrs) for beautiful photos and a well-earned sense of satisfaction.

Approx 0630 hrs: Descend Mt Ol Doinyo Lengai and back to camp to rest. In the late afternoon, enjoy a visit to Lake Natron to view flamingoes.

Top Attractions: Climbing Tanzania’s only active volcano and the mountain sacred to the Maasai people. In the evening you can view flamingoes on Lake Natron and possibly see giraffe nibbling in nearby acacia groves.

Day 07: Lake Manyara National Park Drive

Approx 0800 hrs: After breakfast, drive to Lake Manyara National Park (for an afternoon game drive.  Dinner and overnight at a camp/lodge near Lake Manyara.

Top Attractions: You’re likely to view wildebeests and ostriches as you drive from Lake Natron to Lake Manyara, although its outside of an official national park.

Day 08: Game Drive in Manyara National Park 

Approx 0800 hrs: Have your second experience with a game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, enjoy a tree top walk or visit the natural hot springs. After lunch, you will drive back to Arusha.

Top Attractions: Tree climbing lions, giraffes, and excellent bird viewing.

End of tour

Game Viewing

Safari Prices – 8 Days Trekking Great Northern Highlights

Prices valid for 2023- 2024CampingStandardPremium
2 Pax255728232906
4 pax198322492332
6 pax179220582141
Note: Prices listed are per person.
Premium and Standard only refer to the accommodations on days 1 and 7/8, the other days are compulsory camping due to the remote locations.

Experience Tanzania with RA Expeditions Ltd, the Safari Experts in Tanzania

Note the following

  • The accommodations can be on the basis of Basic Camping (public or private), Permanent Tented CampsLuxury Mobile Camping, or Lodges (standard to luxury). The accommodations may also vary depending on the locations of good game viewing from season to season. When we know your travel dates we will advise accordingly.
  • If you wish to fly from Arusha to Serengeti or Serengeti to Arusha this is possible and we will customize the itinerary accordingly.
  • This itinerary can be customized to cover specific parks, as requested. Some guests like to switch the itinerary and visit Lake Manyara first, and Tarangire National Park at the end of their safari. It’s completely up to you!
  • If you would like us to arrange your accommodations for the night (s) before and after safari, please let us know.
  • If you are arriving at Kilimanjaro/Arusha Airport or in Arusha by shuttle bus let us know so we can arrange meeting you on arrival to make things even smoother.
  • You may customize this itinerary. RA Expeditions is a full-service safari operator; contact us to arrange your Tanzania travel plans, including flights and hotel transfers.
  • Click here for packing list. Camping and lodge safaris have almost same packing list but in case you have questions let us know.
  • This itinerary can also be extended (number of days and/or parks/activities) to cover other parks in the northern circuitKilimanjaro trekMeru trekOldongo Lengai trekUsambara MountainsZanzibar/Mafia/Dar beach holidaySouthern parks or western safari parks, and more!