Jim’s Great Migration ’19    (12 Days)


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March 25 – April 5, 2019

$12,020

 

Read a personal letter from safari guide Jim Heck addressed to you.

This will be Jim’s 43rd consecutive year of guiding a Great Migration Safari in Tanzania. No one has his length of experience or vibrancy of knowledge. The nearly half million readers of his AfricaAnswerman blog, the awards to his novel and other writings, and his unique credentials (including being made one of the few non-native honorary Maasai elders by the Kenyan community) assures you of a safari experience second to none.

Traveling with Jim means you’re traveling in the optimum safari style possible! The finest and most luxurious properties in Tanzania are included. This extraordinary mixture of top luxury, perfect location and authentic tented camping maintains the perfect atmosphere for a constantly exciting but always comfortable trip!

According to Jim this safari gives you the best chance of the entire year of seeing the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, the great migration. This is when more than two million animals congregate on the great southern grassland plains of the Serengeti. Of course the migration goes on throughout the year, but at this time of the year the herds are calving and usually most concentrated.

This is also Jim’s favorite time of the year. The veld is blossoming with spectacular wild flowers and lush nutrient grasses. Predation by hyaena and lion becomes intense and the drama over hundreds of miles of veld is incredible.

For many years Jim has nicknamed this safari “The Most Animals Ever,” and while nothing can ever be guaranteed in the wild, there’s a wonderful chance this will prove true again, as it has from year to year in Jim’s long 43 years of guiding!

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Dates & Pricing

Details

*Contact EWT for the best international air fares and for recommendations on how to use your frequent flyer miles.

Day 1: ARUSHA

RivertreesCountryInn.RH01Monday, March 25, 2019

Arrive anytime, today.  Whenever you arrive you’ll be personally met and privately transferred into Tanzania’s third largest city, Arusha. Overnight at the Four Points by Sheraton. Nothing further is planned, today.

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Day 2: TARANGIRE

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Tuesday, March 26

Jim’s safari briefing is after breakfast at 8:30a this morning. At 9:30a the group transfers through Arusha town where there will be time to buy any last-minute items before continuing to the local airport for the late morning flight into our first game park, Tarangire National Park. Jim’s professional drivers and specially designed safari vehicles will be waiting for the group at the park airstrip. It’s a short drive from the airstrip to the camp for lunch. Enjoy the first game drive this afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Kichuguu Camp.

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Day 3: TARANGIRE

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Wednesday, March 27

Jim spends as much time as possible on the veld, often taking a picnic breakfast or lunch so that the safari can roam far afield.  Sometimes the schedule is determined by known animal events, such as the location of the migration or a recent kill.  Many stops are made during which Jim recounts stories of past safaris or retells the exciting history of earlier days in Africa.  With multiple vehicles it means that not everyone necessarily has to do everything together, so if you wish an afternoon off to enjoy the marvelous surroundings of the camp, no problem!  Return to lodge for sundowners and hors d’oeuvres around the camp fire during which Jim debriefs everyone on their exciting day!  Meals and overnight at Kichuguu Camp.

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Day 4: LAKE MANYARA

Thursday, March 28

Game view through the remote western interior of Tarangire and exit its far western gate. A few minutes later you’re in very rural Tanzania countryside, a prosperous farming area. Rice, corn, beans and much more is grown here at the southern end of Lake Manyara National Park. Continue a short way into the park to arrive at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge for lunch. In the afternoon enjoy a game drive in this remote southern end of the park where millions of flamingoes are often found. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

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Day 5: KARATU

Friday, March 29

The morning is spent driving the entire length of the park before exiting the northern gate and heading up the dramatic Great Rift Valley into the agricultural areas of Karatu. Arrive at Gibb's Farm, a lovely resort farm for lunch, a free afternoon with many options, then dinner and overnight.

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Day 6: KARATAU

GibbsFarmGarden-garden-walkSaturday, March 30

The day is free at Gibb’s Farm for a variety of exciting options.  (Jim's vehicles will spend the day driving north into the Serengeti to be in position to receive everyone tomorrow). Many people spend the morning on a guided tour of the local town and school.  There are free tours of the organic vegetable and flower farm, walks with park rangers into the beautiful forests of Ngorongoro, mountain biking and a variety of spa treatments.  Many travelers rate Gibb’s among their favorite spots, often comparing the beautiful cottages and scenery to Tuscany.  Meals and overnight at Gibb's Farm.

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Day 7: SERENGETI

Sunday, March 31

Leave Gibb’s around 7:15a for an early charter aircraft flight into the Serengeti where Jim’s vehicles will be waiting to take the group game viewing.  Jim normally finds the migration at this time of the year near Ndutu, but the whereabouts of the great herds is very weather-dependent.  If it turns out to be drier than normal, the herds could move into the center.  Depending upon the information at the time, Jim may take the entire day moving through vastly remote areas of the park.  There are also several fascinating Maasai historic sites in the area including the magical Ngong Singing Rock and nearby Morani cave paintings.  These provide perfect locations for Jim’s story of the Maasai who were relocated from this area to expand the park in 1972.   Regardless of the migration, expect lions and buffalo, impala, cheetah, topi and much more – even hippo in the few streams Jim knows how to find in this vast prairie.  Meals and overnight at Kiota Camp.

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Day 8: SERENGETI

Monday, April 1

The morning is spent driving from the central into the southern Serengeti, technically known as the great Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The group will stop at the Naabi Hill main gate where Jim will lead you up this massive kopje for some spectacular views of the Serengeti plains. Continue to the beautiful lakes region of the Serengeti to Ndutu Lodge for lunch, followed by afternoon game viewing around Lakes Masek and Ndutu. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

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Day 9: SERENGETI

2lions.restingonkill.563.maraTuesday, April 2

Another day in this spectacular southwest lakes region at exactly the right time.  Jim hopes to find the great wildebeest migration, currently about two million white-bearded gnu (wildebeest), zebra and assorted other gazelle, feasting on the nutrient grasses of the Serengeti plains in preparation for the great trek north.  Sometimes Jim takes picnic baskets for longer excursions if the information suggests the longer drive is worth it.  Often shorter drives right around the lakes find all sorts of cats, giraffe, hartebeest and lots of impala.  Recently wild dog has been regularly seen in the area, a wonderful bounce back from near extinction hardly a few decades ago.  Meals and overnight at Ndutu Lodge.

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Day 10: NGORONGORO

Wednesday, April 3

A spectacular and very unusual day as Jim takes you into a remote area of the southeastern Serengeti that few if any visitors enter. There are no roads and few tracks, and few guides and drivers are capable of navigating into these remote but wondrous lands. Depending upon the weather Jim might stop at the sacred Maasai site of Shifting Sands and enjoy lunch on the Lemuta Kopjes with outstanding views of the plains! Often these roadless plains are saturated with game: hundreds of thousands of gazelle and with luck, even the fractional millions of the migration. After lunch Jim will take you to one of his favorite attractions, Olduvai Gorge, where so many precious finds of early man were found. He'll give you a short lecture and update you on the exciting current knowledge about early man before a bit of time to visit the museum. Afterwards it’s a spectacular finish to the day as the road ascends the great Ngorongoro revealing breath-taking views of the crater below. Arrive at Tanzania’s most famous and luxurious lodge for your last two nights. Dinner and overnight at Crater Lodge.

 

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Day 11: NGORONGORO

Thursday, April 4

Dawn descent into Ngorongoro Crater National Park, when the light is best for photography, when the animals are most active, and before the large number of tourists descends. The 102 sq. miles sit in a volcanic caldera that is one of the most spectacular sites in the world, and the crater floor is dense with animals, including Africa's greatest density of cats and its largest number of free-ranging black rhino. Enjoy a special lunch on the crater floor before returning to Crater Lodge for dinner and overnight.

 

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Day 12: ARUSHA / KILIMANJARO

Friday, April 5

Leave Crater Lodge after breakfast and drive back to Arusha. Stops will be made at a large curio center/museum for last-minute shopping. Everyone will have a private room at the Four Points by Sheraton with occupancy guaranteed until 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. Many departures, however, leave Kilimanjaro at night. Whenever you need to be returned to the airport, you’ll be privately transferred there for your departure.

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