Jim’s Great Migration ’19    (12 Days)


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March 25 – April 5, 2019

$9,300

 

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: Mt. MERU

RivertreesCountryInn.RH01Monday, March 25, 2019

Whenever you arrive, today, you’ll be personally met and privately transferred to a lovely retreat in the foothills of Mt. Meru approximately 40 minutes from the airport.  Overnight at Rivertrees Country Inn.

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Day 2: TARANGIRE

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Tuesday, March 26

Jim’s safari briefing is over breakfast this morning.  The safari departs the hotel at 11 a.m. and visits Arusha town enroute to its local airport for the early afternoon flight into Africa’s best elephant park, Tarangire National Park.  Jim’s specially designed safari vehicles and professional drivers will be waiting at the airstrip to begin an afternoon of game viewing that ends early this evening at Oliver's Camp in time for sundowners around the campfire!

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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 Oliver's Camp.

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Day 4: MTO-WA-MBU / KARATU

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The morning is spent game viewing in the northern sector of Tarangire National Park.  Enjoy a picnic lunch before leaving the park and driving through the interesting town of Mto-wa-Mbu where there will be time to browse the local Maasai markets.  Right after leaving the town the safari heads up the dramatic Great Rift Valley into the agricultural areas of Karatu for dinner and overnight at Gibb's Farm.

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Day 5: KARATAU

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The day is free at Gibb’s Farm for a variety of exciting options.  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 6: NGORONGORO

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Saturday, March 30

Dawn game drive in Lake Manyara National Park with a picnic breakfast.   This is when the light is best for photography and the chances of encountering the park’s famous lions-in-the-tree are very good!  Enjoy breakfast along the lake shore usually with a view of millions of flamingoes.  Return to the lodge for a late lunch and in the afternoon continue on a spectacular drive into the great Ngorongoro Conservation Area and proceeds around the rim of Ngorongoro Crater with endless breath-taking views!  Dinner and overnight at Sanctuary Camp.

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Day 7: NGORONGORO

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Sunday, March 31

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.  Return to camp for a late lunch, free afternoon, dinner and overnight.

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Day 8: SERENGETI

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Monday, April 1

Morning drive around Ngorongoro Crater with its spectacular views.  First stop is one of Jim's 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.  As the other vehicles at the museum return on the road, Jim twists his vehicles virtually in the other direction going overland onto the great plains.  There are few guides and drivers 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.  By the end of the day you arrive at Ndutu Lodge in the great southwest lakes region for dinner and overnight.   

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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.  Meals and overnight at Ndutu Lodge.

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Day 10: SERENGETI

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Wednesday, April 3

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.  So the next two days will be spent in the center of the park.  Depending upon the information at the time, Jim may take the entire day moving through vastly remote areas of the park.  There are several fascinating Maasai historic sites along the way, 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.  Whatever is decided, and whether you’ve already seen the great herds or not, rest assured the Serengeti is packed with resident game that doesn’t migrate!  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.  Arrive  beautiful camp Kiota Camp for your final two nights.   

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Day 11: SERENGETI

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Thursday, April 4

Your last camp is located in the Seronera area of the park, named after one of the very few rivers found in this ecosystem.  It’s a small river but enough to provide potable water for the research centers and park headquarters which are located here.  It draws a lot of game year-round, including thousands of resident zebra.  Croc are often found on its shores and the acacia woodlands that follow its embankment are famous for leopard.  There may be time as well to go even further north, to the Grumeti River with its famous hippo and giant croc.  This evening around the campfire before dinner Jim will review the trip and help you frame your exciting memories!  Meals and overnight at Kiota Camp.

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Day 12: ARUSHA

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Friday, April 5

Your journey home begins with a spectacular charter flight from the center of the Serengeti, back over Ngorongoro and the Great Rift Valley into Arusha town.  New vehicles will be waiting to take the group shopping before continuing to the airport where you’ll have private rooms to freshen up and repack before the evening departures to Europe.  The lodge will transfer you to the airport for the overnight departures to Europe.

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