The Great Tanzania Migration Safari Itinerary
Arrive at Tanzania's Kilimanjaro Airport and transfer to a peaceful country lodge in the rolling foothills at the base of Mount Meru. Relax amid the
Days 2–4: East Central Serengeti Plains
Early this morning we depart the lodge for Arusha's domestic airport and our flight to the Serengeti. This legendary savanna derives its name from a Maasai word meaning “endless plains.” We fly to Serengeti National Park, where a vista of golden grasslands stretching to the horizon under a blue bowl of sky provides an iconic image of East Africa. Meeting our safari vehicles and drivers, we set out on our first wildlife drive. Our destination is a remote sector of the Serengeti previously off-limits to visitors for two decades during a period of habitat rehabilitation to increase the cheetah population. Surveying open range and kopjes—large granite outcrops that dot the plains—the camp offers fabulous wildlife viewing in diverse habitats, particularly of the abundant feline predators that live and hunt in this area.
Ehlane Plains Camp provides exceptional seclusion to experience this natural setting away from tourist crowds. Ehlane is a Zulu word meaning "wilderness," which is exactly what we experience in this isolated location. Evoking the classic atmosphere of an earlier safari era, 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 reed beds that attract birds and smaller animals. Thrilling encounters are in store on wildlife drives, while walking safaris offer a more intimate view of the landscape in the company of a resident specialist guide.
Days 5–7: Southern Serengeti—Nat Hab's Private Mobile Camp
Depart this morning for the southern Serengeti with a game 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 beginning in the 1970s. Nat Hab's private mobile camp is redolent of vintage character, with fine 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 days among the sea of mammals, following them in 4-wheel-drive vehicles with pop-top roofs that offer superb photography access.
During the short rains each year, some 2 million wildebeest trek from Kenya’s Maasai Mara to the southern Serengeti, then back again, in search of new grass. The wildebeest migrate with hundreds of thousands of zebra, whose superior vision and hearing
Day 8: Arusha or Ngorongoro Extension / Depart
Our safari concludes today, leaving us with a slate of memories to savor forever. After breakfast at camp, we transfer to the nearest airstrip for our flight back to Arusha, where we have lunch on arrival. A day room awaits, offering a chance to relax 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, then continue driving on to the crater in pursuit of further exciting wildlife encounters.
Physical Rating: Easy to Moderate
To participate in this trip, you must be able to walk unassisted at a steady pace for at least one mile over uneven terrain, climb steps to get into and out of our raised safari vehicles, and be able to tolerate daily outdoor excursions that may last 4-5 hours or even a full day at a time, sometimes in hot, windy and/or dusty conditions. Wildlife drives pose a particular type of physical demand on the body, as they require long hours of sitting and take place over terrain that is often very rough and bumpy, including dirt roads with many ruts and potholes. Travelers with back or neck problems, or other health issues that could be exacerbated by such conditions, should take this into consideration. While any walking safaris are considered optional, travelers must be able to walk unassisted to and from the vehicle to our camp accommodations, sometimes walking over uneven ground or on boardwalks. Days spent on safari are often long, as mornings typically start before daybreak and evening meals are served after sundown. Safari accommodations and vehicles are not climate-controlled and, depending on the season, temperatures can range from quite cold to extremely hot, so it is critical that travelers come prepared.