Africa's Premier Mobile Tented Safari Across the Serengeti in Pursuit of the Herds
Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania
Arrive in Tanzania's safari capital of Arusha and transfer to Arusha Coffee Lodge, a luxury boutique hotel tucked among evergreen trees on Tanzania's largest coffee plantation. Here in the rolling foothills of Mount Meru, relax in the ambience
of a classic colonial farmhouse and gardens, and enjoy a sundowner in front of the open log fireplace before we gather for a welcome dinner this evening.
Days 2–4: East Central Serengeti—Namiri Plains
The legendary Serengeti derives its name from a Maasai word meaning “endless plains.” We fly to Serengeti National Park, where a vista of golden savannas stretching to the horizon under a deep blue bowl of sky provides an iconic image of Africa. Meeting our safari vehicles and drivers, we set out on our first wildlife drive. Our destination is Namiri Plains, a newly accessible area located in a remote sector of the Serengeti that has previously been off-limits to visitors for two decades during a period of habitat rehabilitation to increase the cheetah population. Surveying open grasslands and kopjes
—rock outcrops— the camp offers fabulous wildlife viewing in diverse habitats, particularly of the abundant feline predators that live and hunt in this area. In fact, Namiri means "big cat " in Swahili.
Namiri Plains Camp provides exceptional seclusion—the next camp is a half-hour's drive away. Our isolated location ensures that we experience this natural setting away from tourist crowds. Evoking the classic atmosphere of an earlier safari age, the camp's eight canvas tents, shaded by giant acacia trees, offer surprising comforts in this remote setting. Enjoy 360-degree views of wildlife traversing the savanna, plus the river with its perennial vegetation and dense green reed beds that attract birds and smaller animal species. Thrilling animal encounters are in store on wildlife drives—and discover a more intimate view on a walking safari with one of the resident specialist guides. We also glean
exclusive insight from our Expedition Leader on research conducted by zoologists and cheetah researchers in the area.
Days 5–7: Southern Serengeti—Nat Hab's Migration Base Camp–Serengeti
Depart this morning for the southern Serengeti with a wildlife drive en route. The days of heavy canvas hunting camps set for the likes of Roosevelt and Hemingway were nearly over until photo safaris gained popularity. Nat Hab's Migration Base Camp–Serengeti is redolent with that vintage character, with silver-service dinners presented on white linen by candlelight. While home to a profusion of wildlife year-round, there is nothing like the Serengeti during the phenomenon of the Great Migration. We spend three full days among the sea of mammals, following them in open-topped 4-wheel-drive vehicles that offer superb photography access.
The vast herds of wildebeest trek annually from Kenya’s Maasai Mara to the southern Serengeti in search of new grass during the short rains, then back again. The wildebeest migrate with thousands of zebra, whose superior vision and hearing serve
as an early-warning system for predators. We are in the region just as the three-week birthing season is typically beginning,
when the herds are mostly stationary. We'll hope to see infants (though timing on the calf drop
is weather-dependent), as well as prey interactions. Predators seek out the most vulnerable members of the herds, and we may behold a lion taking down a sick wildebeest or a cheetah overtaking a newborn. Leopard, hyena and
jackal also prey on the migrating herds while vultures hang in the air, waiting to feast on carrion. While the spectacle is at times grim, its primal drama is a wonder to behold.
Day 8: Arusha or Ngorongoro Extension / Depart
Today our safari concludes, leaving us with a slate of memories to treasure forever. After breakfast at camp, transfer to the nearest airport. In Arusha, a day room awaits before a transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for international departures this evening. Guests continuing on our Ngorongoro Crater extension will say farewell to their fellow travelers in the Serengeti, where they will remain in pursuit of further remarkable wildlife encounters.
Physical Rating: Easy