Travel Program

The Zoo sponsors regular trips on safaris of wonder and adventure. If you are interested in travel to Africa or other wildlife rich areas of the world, please contact the Zoo’s travel coordinator.

Read below to learn more about our next exciting safari to Tanzania in June of 2015.


Including: Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, Olduvai Gorge & the Ngorongoro Crater. Extension to Zanzibar available.

Escorted by: Conrad Schmitt, Assistant Zoo Director

Dates: June 1 – 12, 2015

Cost: approximately $7,400  Per Person, Double Occupancy, all inclusive from Salt Lake City.

Departure City: Salt Lake City
(Other Departure Cities Available Upon Request)

For more information call (801) 584-1737.

We also have another safari with Zoo Director, Craig Dinsmore to Botswana May 30 – June 9, 2015. You can call (801) 584-1737 for more details about this exciting safari.


Day 1/2 ~ Monday/Tuesday ~ Juner 1/2

Salt Lake City / Washington D.C./En Route

Catch your flight from Salt Lake City to Washington D.C. Stay overnight at your airport hotel before departing the following morning to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia en route to Arusha, Tanzania. (Meals Aloft)

Day 3 ~ Wednesday ~ June 3

Addis Ababa / Arusha
Arrive in Addis Ababa and connect with your onward flight to Arusha.. Upon arrival you will be welcomed by your Classic Escapes expert driver/guides and naturalist and escorted to your hotel, the Olasiti Lodge where your afternoon is at leisure.

This lodge is located just minutes from downtown Arusha and an hour long drive from Kilimanjaro Airport, is a more tranquil location for your first evening in Tanzania. In one of its 16 guest rooms, you’ll find all many comforts of home, including en-suite bathrooms and large beds, with neutral décor that focuses on African style, with carefully selected materials and light management.
Overnight at the OLASITI LODGE. (Meals Aloft,D)

Days 4/5 ~ Thursday/Friday ~ June 4/5

Tarangire National Park

Begin your adventure today as you drive to Tarangire National Park, the third largest national park in Tanzania. It is the vast number of baobab trees that first capture the eye as you enter Tarangire. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them. The park is spectacular in the dry season when many of the migratory wildlife species come back to the permanent waters of Tarangire River. Huge herds of wildebeest, zebra, elephant, eland and oryx gather to stay in Tarangire until the onset of the rains when they migrate again to good grazing areas. Over 300 bird species have been recorded in Tarangire. Endemic bird species include Ashy Starling, Yellow-collared Lovebird and the Rufous-tailed Weaver. Other species include Yellow breasted Apalis, Slender-tailed Nightjar, Lilac-breasted Roller, Black-faced Sandgrouse, Coqui Francoline, Magpie Shrike and the Red and Yellow Barbet.

Your accommodation for the next two nights is a permanent safari camp built close to the shores of Lake Manyara in a wildlife rich area with impressive views of the Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Highlands and is a 25,000-hectares concession area set aside for conservation by the local Maasai Community. The 10 spacious tents and public areas of the camp are built on raised decks and have en suite bathrooms with built-in showers and mosquito netting and private verandahs overlooking the valley and Lake Manyara. There is a lovely swimming pool with beautiful views located at the end of the main decking area attached to the bar and dining area, overlooking the plains. Enjoy delicious indoor or outdoor dining at the camp’s restaurant, accompanied by lovely wilderness views.
Overnights at the MARAMBOI TENTED CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)
Approximate driving time from Arusha to Maraboi tented camp: 2 ½  hours

Days 6/7/8 ~Saturday/Sunday/Monday ~June 6/7/8

Serengeti National Park

Get set for a long, but scenically spectacular, drive to Serengeti National Park (3,646,500 acres); the jewel in the crown of Tanzania’s protected areas with over 3 million large mammals roaming its plains. It lies between Ngorongoro and Lake Victoria and adjoins Kenya’s Maasai Mara. The Serengeti has come to symbolize paradise to all, including the local Maasai, who have grazed their cattle on the vast grassy plains for generations. To the Maasai, it is Siringitu – “the place where the land moves on forever.” Today, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maasai Mara Reserve across the border in Kenya, protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact. More than a million wildebeest, accompanied by hundreds of thousands of zebras and other herbivores, descend upon the short-grass plains of the southeastern Serengeti at the start of the rainy season around December. After calving in January and February, they scatter over the southern and central plains. By May the rain ends, the grass has been reduced to stubble, and the animals begin their long march to dry-season grazing grounds near the permanent waters of the Serengeti’s northern woodlands and Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Reaching these destinations by July or so, they remain until October, when they head back to the southeastern Serengeti. This struggle for survival continues unaided and unaltered through the millennia!

The Serengeti is incredible to visit any time of the year. In the Seronera Valley towering yellow fever trees and palm thickets line the Seronera River and its hippo pools. This is a superb area for seeing predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah, and their prey – giraffe, topi, Bohor reedbuck, Defassa waterbuck, buffalo and impala. The kopjes (prehistoric rock outcroppings) host hyraxes, dwarf mongooses, and red-headed agamas, while patience might reward you with a sleepy black-maned male lion or leopard. The open grassland is home to large groups of Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, spotted hyena, jackal, and such birds as the Double-banded Courser, Yellow-throated Sandgrouse, Red-capped Lark, Fischer’s Sparrow-lark, and Capped Wheatear. Your twice-daily wildlife drives will allow ample viewing. As an optional excursion, you can take a balloon safari for an exhilarating experience over the Savannah as the early sun rises and the animals are more active.

Your accommodation, Serengeti Kati Kati Camp, is a semi-permanent tented camp located in Central Serengeti, in a campsite known as Makoma, strategically located to cover the vast Serengeti Plains. There are 20 typical A-framed safari style canvas tents with en suite bathrooms and flush toilets. The tents are large, with insect proof windows, comfortable single beds with fresh linens and duvets and private verandahs. You will be brought your morning coffee before your morning game drives. Washbasins are placed outside the tents and filled with hot water to freshen up before you begin another day of adventure. Hurricane lamps are used for lighting. Enjoy your meals in the cozy mess tent located in the center of the camp. The campfire is ready every evening for appetizers and snacks before dinner.
Approximate driving time from Maramboi to Kati Kati: 4½ – 5½ hours


Day 9 ~ Tuesday ~ June 9

Olduvai Gorge/Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Your bumpy and scenic road takes you to Olduvai Gorge, where in 1959 Louis and Mary Leakey uncovered Zinjanthropus and Homo Habilis. You will have the opportunity to trek down the gorge with an expert who will give you an inside look at the area and its history. Olduvai is one of the world’s most important paleoanthropological locations. Thousands of stone tools, some of which have been used by Homo Habilis, have been found at Olduvai; the oldest style is easiest to remember, because it is called Olduwon. In addition to the remarkable human fossils – prehistoric elephant, giant horned sheep and enormous ostrich fossils have been found here while extinct species unearthed include three-toed horses and giant antelope. Since the Leakey’s first began searching the area for clues to our distant past, more than sixty hominid remains have been excavated, belonging to four different hominids, showing the gradual increase in brain size and in the complexity of their stone tools. The gorge itself is a very steep-sided ravine roughly 30 miles long and 295 feet deep. It resembles a small Grand Canyon with exposed strata of different layers where the deposits of rich fossil fauna, hominid remains and stone tools were found. The gray lines are volcanic tuffs; eruptions are used to estimate the age of the fossils. After lunch, enjoy a visit at a Maasai Villge before continuing on to Karatu, a charming little town on the Manyara Escarpment.

Located on a coffee farm and facing the Oldeani Volcano, the Ngorongoro Farm House provides an experience reminiscent of the atmosphere of old times, and is comprised of three separate and intimate camps of 9 comfortable bungalows attractively built in the style of an old colonial farm and rustically decorated with local materials. The huge main building with a thatched roof contains the reception, bar, dining area, library and lounge with a fireplace where you can enjoy a rest during the cool evenings in the highlands. Common areas are completed by a swimming pool with superb views of Oldeani Volcano and a craft shop. There is an organic vegetable and flower garden that covers some acres. You will enjoy excellent homemade cuisine prepared using the dairy and fresh vegetables produced by the farm all year around.
Overnight at the NGORONGORO FARM HOUSE. (B,L,D)
Approximate driving time from Serengeti to Ngorongoro: 4 hours

Day 10 ~ Wednesday ~ June10

Ngorongoro Conservation Ara/Ngorongoro Crater

On your second day here, board your Land Rover for an amazing journey as you descend onto the floor of the crater, a World Heritage site, which is an extinct volcano and the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The cone is believed to have collapsed nearly two million years ago, and while the cone was standing, it could have been as tall, if not taller, than Mount Kilimanjaro. The crater (1,800 feet deep and 102 square miles) is a microcosm of East African scenery with abundant wildlife including more than 25,000 larger animals, mostly zebra and wildebeest. This is also the best place in Tanzania to see magnificent black-maned lions. This area offers an outstanding opportunity to see black rhinos, as they are protected around the clock. Over the years, the floor of this crater has become mostly savannah (grassland), with a soda lake whose size changes depending on the rains that are the lifeline of this amazing land. On this lake, marvel at the colorful flamingos and a variety of other water birds – more than 100 species of birds found here that are not found in the Serengeti. Resident Ostriches, Crowned Cranes, and Kori Bustards are joined seasonally by migrant flocks of White and Abdim’s Storks. Patience may also reward you with glimpses of leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, elephant, warthog, buffalo, impala, buffalo, hartebeest, eland and many other antelopes. As you descend, you might be able to see the local Maasai as they take their cattle down the steep walls of the crater. It is their right, negotiated with the government and parks authority, to graze their cattle in about 75% of the crater floor. The mix of cattle with the wild animals makes for some terrific photographs, and the interaction between domestic and wild animals is almost unbelievable. At the hippo pool, take a rest and enjoy your picnic lunch. Then resume your game-viewing and look for that special photograph, before returning to the rim of the crater of the crater six hours later (regulations now specify that no one can stay longer than six hours daily on the crater floor) and drive to your lodge.

Overnight at the NGORONGORO FARM HOUSE. (B,L,D)

Day 11 ~ Thursday ~ June 11

Ngorongoro/Arusha/En Route
Last chance to photograph the Crater, or an awesome sunrise before driving back to Arusha. Enjoy lunch at Shanga Riverhouse and a guided tour of the charity work being carried out before transferring to the airport for your afternoon flight to Addis Ababa, connecting to your flight home. (B,L Meals Aloft)
Approximate driving time from Ngorongoro to Arusha: 4 hours

Day 12 ~ Friday ~ June 12

Washington D.C./ Salt Lake City
This morning your jet lands in Washington D.C. where you connect with your flights home, bringing with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of East Africa. (Meals Aloft)

2600 East Sunnyside Avenue | Salt Lake City, Utah 84108 | (801) 584-1700