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Day 4 - From Arusha to the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem: Guided bush walks, Giraffes & Maasai culture

Grab your hats and cameras as we begin our safari today. We will depart Arusha for the Serengeti after a luxurious breakfast at the Coffee Lodge. Northern Tanzania is a relatively small area, so it only takes a brief scenic flight to bring you to a whole new world of striking natural beauty. Take in the breathtaking views of Lake Natron and the Maasai "mountain of god", Ol Doinyo Lengai, which is an active volcano, as we fly above the savannah. Our guides will come to welcome us upon arrival at the airstrip at the Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem, and quickly become our trusted advisors and travel companions (and probably new best friends). These trusted locals have been working with Thomson for decades and will accompany us throughout every minute of our safari adventures. They will serve as a tremendous source of knowledge offering cultural insights, wildlife spotting expertise and in-depth understanding of wildlife behavior.

Keep your ears open and your eyes peeled as our head guide will brief us on our day-by-day itinerary, safety measures and get you excited for what’s ahead. Our guides will start by giving us a brief tour and history of the stunning 10,000-acre refuge as we make our way to the camp. We’re guaranteed wildlife viewing along the way, thanks to important conservation efforts in the area. Giraffe, eland, dik dik, ostrich, leopard and even wild dog can be spotted in this unique wildlife haven, affectionately dubbed “Giraffic Park” with its bachelor herd of 100+ giraffes. Fire off questions as they come to you and you won’t be disappointed!

Upon arrival to our local Nyumba, or eco-friendly glamping tent, a delicious lunch will be served, and we will have a few hours to relax at our new home for the next two nights. This afternoon, we will discover the extraordinary semi-nomadic culture of the Maasai by visiting a boma: a traditional settlement of circular mud-and-dung Maasai homes. Many Maasai still roam the plains of northern Tanzania with their herds of cattle, maintaining their traditions while adapting to new ways of life.

Afterwards, we will have the chance to stretch our legs on a brief but scenic walk in the nature refuge, a wonderfully peaceful haven. There's really no better way to experience it than on foot. Fear not: a local wildlife scout will accompany us and our guide on this walk, pointing out nearby wildlife. Dinner is served at your nyumba, followed by a good night’s sleep under the stars.

EASTERN SERENGETI NYUMBA (B, L, D)