WHAT IS THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION?
The Wildebeest Migration is an annual migration of wildebeest from the Ndutu region of the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in southern Kenya.
Tanzania has been lucky to receive recent rain which leaves the caldera reserve with an abundance of grass for zebra and wildebeest to feast upon and it’s also the time of year that the wildebeest calving season begins! What does this mean for you? This is the time predators like lions, hyenas, leopards and cheetahs make the most of the food available and pick off the young calves.
When the rains end in April/May, the zebra begin the process of heading north towards the Maasai Mara, and where the zebra go, the wildebeest follow.
These massive herds cross the Grumeti River in June/July and the Mara River between August and November. This is the time the you are slotted into a Sir David Attenborough documentary so have your cameras ready! While crossing the rivers, quite often members of the herds are swept away and the Nile crocodiles are hanging in wait to feast on the animals attempting to cross. It is a confronting, real and authentic experience of the circle of life.
Once the survivors have crossed, the herd settles in the Maasai Mara in southern Kenya. They stay in the fertile Maasai Mara for the extent of the dry season before migrating south again ready for the next calving season early in the new year.
You choose whether to visit Tarangire National Park or Lake Manyara National Park. Depending on the time of year, each of these parks offers a different safari experience. Your guide will advise you which option is best depending on the time of year.
If Tarangire National Park
You’ll depart from Arusha after breakfast for the approximately two hour drive to Tarangire National Park. Along the way you’ll pass bustlingMasai villages and the vast, open plains that have become synonymous with images of Africa.
Once you’ve entered Tarangire, you’ll begin your game drive across a rich vista of endless golden savannah that surrounds the Tarangire River. The river itself runs throughout the year and is a vital source of water for the animals of the region during the dry season. Lined with acacia and Baobab trees, the river is regularly visited by the park’s large elephant population as well as other herbivores such as zebras and antelopes.
A picnic lunch with a view of the river is a great way to take it all in, but you’ll have to keep on your toes as the local monkey population does its best to separate you from your lunch!
Driving through the park you’ll also have the opportunity to see lions, leopards, cape buffalo, and a huge variety of antelopes. If you’re particularly lucky, you might even see endangered animals such as the Greater Kudu or the Fringe-Eared Oryx.
After your day’s drive is done, you’ll retire to your accommodation at Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge.
If Lake Manyara National Park
You’ll depart from Arusha after breakfast for the drive to Lake Manyara National Park. The journey takes approximately two hours, but we’ll pass through the market town of Mto Wa Mbu along the way. This agricultural and fresh produce market is a melting pot of local cultures and a souvenir hunter’s paradise.
After a brief stop at the village market, you’ll enter Lake Manyara National Park. The park is truly a photographer’s playground and offers some of the best game viewing in the world. You can expect to see many of Africa’s most well-known animals, with the tree-climbing lions a particular treat. These proud predators lounge in acacia trees practically begging to be photographed.
Bird-watchers will find Lake Manyara is an absolute delight, with a huge variety of birds on display in the park. Even the novice can expect to be amazed by large flamingo flocks, circling birds of prey, and the brightly coloured lilac breasted roller.
You’ll then retire to your accommodation at Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge. (L, D)
Note: Dependent on the time of year and the location of the Wildebeest Migration, your accommodation and precise location within the Serengeti National Park may vary. The itinerary may change slightly to accommodate this.
We’ll take an early breakfast, as we’ve got a big day of exploration and adventure ahead of us!
We’ll begin the day with the scenic drive towards the Serengeti. Along the way we’ll pass through the mist-shrouded rainforests of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where you might be lucky enough to glimpse cape buffalo, baboons, or even elephants and leopardsin the dense undergrowth.
It’s a nearly four hour drive to the Serengeti park gates, but you can choose to break up the drive with one or both of the below optional activities:
Both of the above activities attract an additional cost. Speak with us about adding them to your itinerary.
After a delicious lunch at the Serengeti National Park picnic area, it’s time to explore the Serengeti itself. Witness Africa’s iconic savannah landscape and be amazed by the sheer number of animals that roam these grassy plains.
Dinner and overnight in the heart of the Ang’ata Serengeti. (B, L, D)
You’ll wake before dawn to take part in a sunrise game drive. As the sun sets fire to the savannah, you’ll have the best opportunity to see predators in action as they take advantage of the low light and cooler temperatures to look for an early meal. It’s an ideal time to see lions, leopards, and cheetahs in action as well as the early morning movements of the wildebeest, zebra, and other herbivores.
Alternatively, you may wish to take to the skies with a sunrise hot air balloon safari and champagne breakfast. Speak with us about adding this once in a lifetime experience to your safari.
After your unforgettable morning, you’ll return to your lodge for a late breakfast and to freshen up before hitting the road again with a picnic lunch. Your driver will select the best possible route based upon the time of year and the kind of animals you’d like to see, catering your day so that your opportunities to see the Serengeti’s diverse wildlife are maximized.
Tonight you will overnight again at the gorgeous Ang’ata Serengeti. (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we get right on the road back towards the Ngorongoro Crater National Park.
Our drive takes us back through the Serengeti via a different route, offering plenty of opportunities to spot the animals that eluded you on day two. As far as the eye can see, you’ll spot thousands upon thousands of animals in herds; wildebeests and zebras migrating together, tall and graceful giraffes, jumping antelopes and gazelles, the powerful African elephant and the most respected group of animals: the predators.
You will have the chance to spot lean cheetahs and shy leopards, foraging hyenas, and last but not least, the king himself; the lion.
Dinner and overnight on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater or in nearby Karatu Town according to the standard and the type of accommodation requested from our options.
Dinner and overnight on the rim of the crater at Ang’ata Ngorongoro. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you’ll depart for Ngorongoro Crater; considered by some to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. When you get your first glimpse of this vast, verdant caldera from the panoramic viewpoint, you’ll soon understand why it has earned such a lofty reputation.
Home to over 120 species of mammal including the fabled Big Five, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most sought after safari destinations in the world. It’s a particularly good place to see the endangered black rhinoceros enjoying a lonely meal out on the grass plains, as well as a place to see large numbers of hippopotamus enjoying the cool water.
From the comfort of your open-top vehicle, you’ll be able to observe and photograph some of Africa’s most recognisable faces. The crater is home to a large number of predators including lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, and hyenas, as well as a large population of wildebeest, zebras, antelope, cape buffalo, and more. It is truly one of Africa’s premier safari destinations.
You will have a picnic lunch by the park’s famous hippo pool and later afternoon you will drive back to Arusha.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you are transferred to the airport for your outgoing flight. Breakfast.
Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge is perfectly situated on the very edge of the vertiginous western escarpment of the Rift Valley, offering magnificent views down across the whole of the Lake.
The Wildlife Lodge invites you to an unforgettable safari experience from its privileged location, unrivalled by any other, both for game viewing and scenery. Elegantly designed as a two-level ensemble of buildings, its authentic traditional African style decorations create a unique atmosphere that perfectly combines extreme tranquility with the best of adventure-packed safari experiences. From its privileged position, all the Lodges’s 100 guestrooms have stunning views across the beautiful waters of the Lake.
The spectacular swimming pool, situated in a panoramic setting, is a privileged location to enjoy the invigorating fresh air and the breathtaking views of the Pink Lake.
Ang’ata Camp is located in a beautiful setting with a view on the plains and valleys and surrounded by wildlife.
A large camp with 12 spacious guest tents including a 2 tent family unit, a lounge and a dining tent. Each guest tent has an ensuite bathroom with shower, vanity desk and flush toilets. Depending on request a Kingsize bed or 2 Twin beds are available.
The lounge tent is the place to meet other travelers and share your day’s Safari stories while enjoying a complementary cup of Tanzanian Coffee or Tea.
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served in the dining tent, freshly prepared by our chefs on a daily basis. Bush TV (local name for camp fire) is lit when the weather permits and is fantastic to sit around, mingle with other guests or simply enjoy the serenity and animal calls.
On the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater within 10 minutes of drive down to the crater floor. Set under the Acacia Forest inside the Crater boundaries at 2600m altitude.
A smaller camp from with 8 Guest Tents including a 2 tent Family unit, a lounge and a dining tent.
Each guest tent has an ensuite bathroom with shower, vanity desk and flush toilets. Options of king size bed, twin beds or triples are available.
The lounge tent finds most travelers mixing and having pre dinner drinks while sharing stories of adventure of the days safari. Complimentary local coffee and tea is available.
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are served in the dining tent, prepared daily with fresh produce by the talented chefs. on a daily basis. The camp fire will be lit if weather permits.
– Return airfares, unless specified.
– Visa fees and requirements
– Meals/beverages not stated in the itinerary
– Optional activities/tours
– Personal expenses
– Travel insurance (Mandatory)
* Please Note: A comprehensive travel Insurance policy must be organised BEFORE all details can be finalised with Trailblazers Travel.
By choosing Trailblazers Travel to tour Tanzania to capture the Wildebeest Migration, you are aligning yourself with an organisation that gives our guests real, authentic and life changing experiences, works with responsible travel operators to leave a social impact, and gives you the opportunity to be part of something bigger than yourself.
We believe in contributing to change and making a difference, whether through the use of local staff and guides, or by donating to charities we believe in on behalf of every person who travels with us.