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tanzania serengeti northern circuit self drive

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Hi everybody,

I find this thread fascinating.

Four of us are planning a 21 day safari in the northern circuit with a 4x4 with roof tents in Jan/Feb. We have done this kind of thing before in Namibia and Botswana.

We hope to include Lake Natron and wonder if we can drive in a circle arriving at Lake Natron from Arusha and leaving going NW back into the Serengeti perhaps via Lobo camp. Are there other top places we could stop at? We are looking for wildlife of all kinds ( birds, plants, spiders to elephants) but also the remote wilderness as well.

What would your suggestions be for a route and places to stop?

So far we've been unable to find a good detailed road map. Which one would you suggest we get?



  • Report Abuse strange nobody replied to your post...
    I assume you will start from Arusha, right? Considering the season, here follows the rough itinerary I suggest:
    If you are interested in authrntic Maasai culture, go to Longido and if Saturday stop at Oldonyo Sambo where a weekly open market is held. On Wed there's a nice market in Kisongo. Avoid the touristy stop at the so called "cultural maasai bomas" along the roads leading to the parks.
    From Arusha you can reach Lake manyara National Park in less than 3 hrs.
    From Manyara you go up the Rift Valley escarpment to Karatu. A good diversion to south west is Lake Eyasi, where you can meet the Hazdabe hunters/gatherers, one of the last communities who don't know agricolture, pottery, metals, the purest example of anarchic society with no chief, no rules, no dont's.
    Karatu is just on the doorstep of Ngorongoro Crater.
    From Ngorongoro being January you have to stop in the Ngorongoro Plains, the southernmost sector of the Serengeti, where the big migrant herds of wildebeests and zebras congregate for the calving season.
    Next stop will be Seronera, Central Serengeti. From here you reach Lobo in north eastern Serengeti then start the dramstic descend to Natron. From Natron you cross the scenic Engaruka road through the Crater highlands and in Mto wa Mbu you are on the tarmac again. From here you reach Tarangire which is worth a visit. From Tarsngire you csn go snd visit Kondoa Rock paintings...
    These are my suggestions, i have done this trip uncountable times and it' always great fun! You can easily make it in 12 days, but you can take your time with no rush.
    Safari njema/enjoy your safari!

  • Report Abuse

    Hi, the four of us are planning on doing the same route in August and a German friend of mine is leaving Wednesday and they will do that same route as well. The latest info I have that there are three roadblocks before Lake Natron about a five hour drive, and that each person (tourists only) needs to pay between $10 or $15 dollars in order to pass the barrier. So ask for an official receipt, so the money will not just go into the man's pocket! We chose Lake Natron for the scenic drive and in order to make a loop into and out of the Serengeti. It sounds as though there may be some flamingos visible, but the lake itself is not so scenic, rather the scenery around it with the volcano is worth seeing. There are also ancient footprints, as well as a guided visit to a waterfall you can do from Engaresso village(fee). We will be staying at Lake Natron Tented Camp in a cottage since this will be day 5 of our camping with roof tent trip, so it will be welcome to sleep in a real bed and eat a local dinner. The next day, we may do the waterfall hike, or not, and then continue to Klein's Gate (7 hr drive) where we will enter the Serengeti and camp at the Lobo public campground. I have read on different forums that the roads to and from Lake Natron are quite corrugated and it is slow going. Some people also do a sunrise climb up the sacred volcano O.L. again prearranged or arranged at Engaresso village. As far as wildlife goes, in my opinion, any animal sighting on this stretch I will consider a bonus, but there are supposed to be herbivores around and the scenery goes from plains to hills to jungles. Should be interesting. My friend will be back After the middle of December, and she will have the most current information regarding the Lake Natron area. Hope this helps you somewhat.

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