The Great Migration

When is the best time of year to see the Migration in Tanzania?

Typically, December to May is considered the green season and the migration can usually be found on the plains in the southern and eastern Serengeti. By late May when the plains start to dry up, the migration will head westwards to the Western Corridor and remain there until around July before heading to the Northern Serengeti. The dry season from late June to October offers the best wildlife viewing in general with the wildlife migration as its absolute highlight. This is when the famous river crossings take place. During the height of the dry season from August to October a portion of the migration herd will spill across the Kenyan border into the Masai Mara. Usually by November, the rains will have commenced on the southern plains starting the migration cycle all over again.

The best time to visit the Serengeti is from June to September being the dry season; it’s better to be equipped for cool or cold temperatures at night, especially at higher altitudes. In September the temperatures begin to increase, and it can get a bit hot at lower elevations. During the month of October, the short rains season begins.

In June, the herds of wildebeest are located in the northwestern park of the park, in the area of the rivers Grumeti and Mara (Mara Region) where you can watch them when crossing rivers, while in July they move to the Masai Mara. At the end of October or in November, the wildebeest return to the Serengeti, when, the short rain season begins. As for other seasons you can choose.

January and February, in the “short dry season”; when they are in the southern part of the park or in nearby Ngorongoro, and are in breeding season.

Day 1

Arusha to Lake Manyara

Estimated non-game-viewing travel time is two and a half hours, covering a distance of 130 kilometers.

You will be picked up from Moshi and get transferred to the Lake Manyara National Park. You will arrive in time for lunch at the lodge, and after lunch, you will head into the Lake Manyara National Park for an afternoon game drive. This national park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park), located at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Lake Manyara’s unique tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos attracted by the algae in the lake. Dinner and overnight stay will be provided as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested. 

Day 2

Lake Manyara National Park to Serengeti Plains

Non game-viewing travel time: 6 hours Distance: 205km

After breakfast, you will head towards the Serengeti National Park, via the beautiful high lying farmland of Karatu and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Leaving the highlands behind, you will descend into the heart of wild Africa, the Serengeti National Park, with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. You will then head to the central park area, known as the Seronera area, one of the richest wildlife habitats in the park, featuring the Seronera River, which provides a valuable water source to this area and therefore attracts wildlife, well-representative of most of the Serengeti’s species. You will arrive in time for lunch and enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Serengeti National Park. Dinner and overnight will be provided as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Day 3

Serengeti Plains

After breakfast, you will have a game viewing drive along the Sogore River Circuit, which loops into the plains south of the Seronera River, and which is good for possiblelion, Thomson gazelle, topi, ostrich, and cheetah sightings. The visitor’s center, not far from the Serengeti Seronera Lodge and public campsites, is well-worth a visit after the morning’s game drive. This nicely designed center, offers some interesting wildlife displays as well as a gift shop selling information leaflets and maps of the area. The center also has a shop where cold drinks and snacks can be purchased, as well as a picnic area and information trail up and around a nearby kopje. You will enjoy a relaxed picnic lunch at the center in the shade of the giant acacia trees. In the afternoon, you will follow the Kopjes Circuit, which goes anti-clockwise around the Maasai Kopjes, which usually attract a number of lions and some formidably large cobras. Kopjes are weathered granite outcrops, scattered around the plains, most of which are miniature ecosystems, providing shade and drinking water in pools left in the rock after the rains. This makes the kopjes particularly good for spotting wildlife in the dry seasons, including lions, which like to lie in wait for animals coming to drink. Dinner and overnight will be provided as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Day 4

Serengeti Plains - Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast at the lodge, you will depart to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will have a stopover at Olduvai Gorge, boasting with a history dating back to the dawn of time. It was here that the anthropologists Doctors Lois and Mary Leakey discovered the skulls of the “nutcracker man” and “handy man,” both very significant links in the chain of human evolution. You will arrive in time for lunch at the lodge and spend the afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight will be provided as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested on the crater rim, but there will be no accommodation available inside the crater.

Day 5

Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast, you will descend 600 meters into this magnificent crater for a full-day game drive. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most densely crowded African wildlife areas in the world and is home to an estimated 30,000 animals including some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro National Park supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park is its huge population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard. You will enjoy a picnic lunch on the crater floor. Dinner and overnight will be provided as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested on the crater rim, but there will be no accommodation available inside the crater.

Day 6

Ngorongoro Crater - Tarangire National Park

After breakfast, you will depart for the Tarangire National Park. The park runs along the line of the Tarangire River and is mainly made up of low-lying hills on the Great Rift Valley floor. Its natural vegetation mainly consists of Acacia woodland and giant African Baobab trees, with huge swamp areas in the south. Both the river and the swamps act like a magnet for wild animals, during Tanzania’s dry season. The Tarangire National Park is reputed to contain some of the largest elephant herds in Africa. This African National Park is also home to three rare species of animals, the greater kudu, the fringed-eared oryx, as well as a few ashy starlings. After a picnic lunch, you will have an afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight will be provided in the Tarangire National Park area, as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Day 7

Tarangire National Park - Moshi

You will enjoy an early morning game drive in the Tarangire National Park, followed by breakfast at the lodge or campsite. You will then transfer back to Moshi or to the airport for connection flight back home / Zanzibar optional. 

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