Tanzania – the great migration Serengeti safari
Enjoy a classic East African safari, following one of the world’s great wildlife spectaculars, the migration of millions of grazing animals.
The centrepiece of this holiday will be the three days spent in the Serengeti National Park. Here, with the plains stretching to the horizon, we will watch the annual migration of vast herds of Wildebeest, together with Zebra and gazelle as they move in search of fresh grazing. The herds in turn attract predators, and we should enjoy memorable encounters with Lions and Cheetahs, Leopards and Nile Crocodiles.
Our journey will start in Arusha, in the shadow of two impressive volcanic mountains; Meru and Kilimanjaro. From here we head west, visiting Tarangire National Park, where African Elephants browse beneath bizarre, ‘upside down’ baobab trees. The crater is home to an estimated 25,000 large mammals, including the highest density of Lions in the world, as well as Black Rhinoceros. While an obvious focus of our trip will be the abundant big game, we will also be paying plenty of attention to the smaller fare, including butterflies, reptiles and, of course, the birds, with impressive local specialities including African Pygmy Falcon, Fischer’s and Yellow-collared Lovebirds, Schalow’s and Hartlaub’s Turacos. The ultimate wildlife holiday, a must-see destination.
The crater is home to an estimated 25,000 large mammals, including the highest density of Lions in the world, as well as Black Rhinoceros. While an obvious focus of our trip will be the abundant big game, we will also be paying plenty of attention to the smaller fare, including butterflies, reptiles and, of course, the birds, with impressive local specialities including African Pygmy Falcon, Fischer’s and Yellow-collared Lovebirds, Schalow’s and Hartlaub’s Turacos. The ultimate wildlife holiday, a must-see destination.
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Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.
24 April – 4 May 2017
Mike Symes with local guides
Single Room Supplement – £585
Return flights from the UK. Local transport on excursions as specified in the itinerary. Ten nights’ accommodation, full board basis.
Refreshments. Entrance fees for optional sightseeing (e.g. museums). Gratuities. Travel insurance.
This holiday is suitable for anyone with a general interest in wildlife or a particular love of Africa – the spectacular scenery, luxurious lodges and wonderful, approachable wildlife makes this a real trip of a lifetime.
Day 1 – Our flight takes us from London to Amsterdam and on to Kilimanjaro, where we will meet our local guides and transfer to our lodge nearby, where we will catch up on sleep in preparation for the forthcoming excitement.
Day 2 – After some morning birding, we travel towards Lake Manyara, where our luxurious tented camp gives us wonderful views across the lake, with gazelles and Plains Zebra grazing along the shoreline, the perfect spot for a welcome ‘sun downer’.
Day 3 – An early start takes us into Tarangire National Park, home to the greatest concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti, including large herds of African Elephant, all three of Tanzania’s big cats; Cheetah, Lion and Leopard, and locally endemic birds.
Day 4 – We travel into the Serengeti, taking a spectacular journey along the Lake Manyara escarpment, and then climbing to the rim of the famous Ngorongoro Crater. Montane forest and heathland surrounds us, with views down into the caldera, and out across the plains of the Serengeti.
Day 5 – We will spend the day around Ndutu, exploring the short grass plains and nearby lakes.
Days 6 – 7 – We will spend two days out on the plains of the central Serengeti, where the spectacle of the Great Migration is almost impossible to describe – the movement of millions of herbivores, with their predators out in force. A wildlife spectacle, and one certainly not to be missed.
Day 8 – We return to the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, stopping on the way to visit the Olduvai Gorge, the archaeological site where the Leakeys worked for many years, studying early human evolution.
Day 9 – We will spend the day in the famous crater; home to a reputed 25,000 large animals, including the highest density of predators in Africa and the critically endangered Black Rhinoceros.
Day 10 – We return westwards to the escarpment above Lake Manyara where we will enjoy the heathland and look down into the surrounding forests, hoping to catch sight of Blue Monkeys or Silver-cheeked Hornbills, before we must drag ourselves away, with a three hour drive taking us to board our evening flights home, via Amsterdam, arriving back in London early on Day 11.
Please note that the itinerary may be changed to suit the weather or other practicalities at the discretion of the leaders.
We will stay in a mix of comfortable to excellent safari lodges, hotels and permanent tented camps, hand-picked by our guides from Birding Africa. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
Meals are a mixture of local and international cuisine: special diets can be catered for.
We will be travelling by mini-coach and purpose built four wheel drive safari trucks.
The group flights are with KLM from London Heathrow.
24 April depart London Heathrow 06.30, arrive Amsterdam 09.00
24 April depart Amsterdam 10.35, arrive Kilimanjaro 20.10
3 May depart Kilimanjaro 21.05, arrive Amsterdam 07.40 (4 May)
4 May depart Amsterdam 08.40, arrive London Heathrow 09.00
It is also possible to fly from many other UK airports, including Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Bristol and Edinburgh: please talk to us about the options.
Tanzania is two hours ahead of UK time in May.
You must have a valid passport for this trip, valid for at least 6 months after the end of the holiday with at least two blank pages. All British passport holders need a tourist visa to enter Tanzania. These must be obtained prior to travelling, from the Tanzania High Commission (current cost – £40). For holders of other passports it is essential that you check with the Tanzanian embassy or consulate and obtain the necessary documents prior to travel.
The weather is tropical year-round, although May is relatively cool. Temperatures range from 10 to 30 degrees C. Average day temperatures are 20-25 degrees C, lower if there is cloud or mist in the hills.
We can expect the landscape to be very green and lush after the rains of April.
Mornings can be chilly, especially on the Ngorongoro rim, with warm jackets and long trousers needed on early morning game drives!
We will be visiting areas where malaria is present. Anyone entering Tanzania from an area where Yellow Fever is endemic requires a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate – Yellow Fever is not endemic to Tanzania and vaccination is not generally advised, although you should discuss this with your doctor or travel clinic. Other standard travel vaccinations to consider are tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies and cholera. Sleeping Sickness is present, and you should take precautions against Tsetse Fly bites. You should consult your GP for advice on malaria prophylaxis and all other travel health advice at least eight weeks before travelling.
We will be walking for at least some of each day, as well as taking excursions by safari vehicle.