Guided by Tumaini Meisha
February 3-11, 2018
$6,280 (including local flights)
A February Great Migration 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 2 million animals congregate on the great southern grassland plains of the Serengeti. Of course the migration goes on throughout the year, but this is the only time of the year that traditionally the great herds are not fractured all over the place.
This is also our favorite time of the year. The veld is blossoming with spectacular wild flowers and lush nutrient grasses. The wildebeest and zebra traditionally calve at this time of year as well, so that the mothers have access to the fresh grasses for the special sustenance they need now as they begin to raise their newborns. Predation by hyaena and lion becomes intense and the drama over hundreds of miles of veld is incredible.
This tour remains entirely in Tanzania. Virtually all of the wildebeest and zebra comprising the great migration are in the southern portion of the Serengeti at this time of the year. Combined with the rest of the northern wildernesses included, from Manyara through Ngorongoro, you are guaranteed of the most comprehensive Tanzanian program possible. [To really complete your East African experience, consider joining the Kenyan pretour: click here.]
Tumaini (“Mr. T”) Meisha has a life-long knowledge of the great wildernesses of East Africa that gives him a privileged perspective of how things are changing and an acute ability to predict wild animal events. Guests who’ve traveled with Tumaini refer to his almost uncanny ability to find special situations of memorable drama on the veld.
For many years we have 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!reserve now
|Price||Single Supplement||under 12||12-16||local air|
The prices include:
** Tumaini Meisha guiding the safari from start to finish;
** Guaranteed window seating in Landrovers & Landcruisers with pop-top roofs;
** Professionally-trained, English-speaking driver/guides with each vehicle;
** Meals as detailed in brackets following each day's description below;
** All park entrance fees, VAT and other government taxes;
** Comprehensive pre-trip material with discount coupons for travel gear and equipment.
Additional expenses not included:
- Meals not included;
- Some beverages;
- All international, regional and local scheduled flights;
- Requisite visas and other travel preparations like inoculations;
- Tipping (Tumaini Meisha does not accept tips).
Whenever you arrive in Kilimanjaro you’ll be personally met and privately transferred to the Lake Duluti Serena Hotel, nestled in the wooded slopes of Mount Meru. This unique hotel in Arusha Tanzania stands amid coffee plantations on the shores of tranquil Lake Duluti. You'll be offered a broad range of attractions such as walking, mountain biking, canoeing on the lake, and trips to the nearby Arusha and Mount Meru national parks. The evening is free. Overnight at Lake Duluti Serena Hotel.[d]
After a leisurely breakfast, you'll travel up the slopes of Mt. Meru to the Arusha National Park - one of the most beautiful national parks in East Africa! The entire ecosystem is alpine and forest with draping moss and flowering lianas, and this provides habitat for a remarkable amount of big game. Locals refer to it as “Giraffic Park” because it has so many giraffe. You can also expect to see waterbuck, zebra and a variety of gazelle and duikers, with good chances for buffalo as well.
After a picnic lunch on Mt. Meru, you'll continue into the nearby farming community of Karatu where you’ll now spend two nights at one of Tanzania’s most loved properties, Gibb's Farm. Gibb’s is a proper working farm famous for its coffee. The setting reminds many visitors of Tuscany. Enjoy an afternoon talk on herbal medicines, or sit on the large verandah of your luxury suite overlooking the beautiful hills. Then it’s time for Gibb’s dinner prepared entirely with the natural products grown on the farm. Dinner and overnight at Gibb's Farm.[b-l-d]
Dawn game drive in Lake Manyara National Park with a picnic breakfast. This is when the light is best for photography and the chances for encountering the park’s famous lions-in-the-tree are very good! Enjoy breakfast along the lake shore which often includes a view of millions of flamingoes! Return to the farm for a late lunch and free afternoon. Gibb’s offers a variety of options including a walk with an armed ranger into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Meals and overnight at Gibb's Farm.[b-l-d]
This morning Tumaini takes you onto the floor of Ngorongoro Crater National Park, the most visited national park in East Africa. Hardly 100 sq. miles, it’s famous for its cats and rhinos and at this time of the year, upwards of 20,000 herbivores including thousands of wildebeest that normally calve here. The steep 1500-foot sides of the crater provided safe sanctuary for the wildlife since the earliest days, and so much of the game here is considerably more approachable than on the great plains. Enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking a lake usually filled with hippo. At the end of the afternoon the safari ascends the opposite side of the crater for a night at the spectacular Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge set right below the rim. Be warned: it’s cold tonight! You’ll enjoy the robust camp fire before the hearty dinner![b-l-d]
After a picnic breakfast in the crater, the safari continues around the crater over the lip of the rim into the great Serengeti. You'll have your picnic lunch at Olduvai Gorge, where so many precious finds of early man were found. You'll hear a short lecture and update on the exciting current knowledge about early man. The rest of today is a gigantic adventure as Tumaini heads overland onto the great plains. There are few guides and drivers capable of navigating into these remote but wondrous lands! Depending upon the weather, we might stop at the sacred Maasai site of Shifting Sands with landscapes stretching for 60-70 miles in every direction! 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.[b-l-d]
Another day in this spectacular southwest lakes region at exactly the right time. Tumaini 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. You may take picnic baskets for longer excursions if longer drives are appropriate. 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.[b-l-d]
We normally find 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 further north in the park. Depending upon the information at the time, Tumaini 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. 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 Tumaini knows how to find in this vast prairie. Arrive at a beautiful setting for the group’s final two nights at Kiota Camp.[b-l-d]
Camp is located in the center of the park, near the Moru Kopjes and Seronera River. 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 Tumaini will review the trip and help you frame your exciting memories! Meals and overnight at Kiota Camp.[b-l-d]
After a final morning of game viewing the group begins its journey home with a quick flight back to Arusha. In Arusha new vehicles take you shopping and to lunch, then to KIA Lodge where you’ll have a private room to relax until the lodge shuttles you to the terminal for your return flight home. There are many well-planned trips that travelers worldwide remember fondly, but none as fondly and with as much excitement as EWT's Great Migration Safari!
[If you've liked what you so far have reviewed, consider really making your East African experience totally comprehensive by including the unique animals, scenery and ecosystems of Kenya! Tumaini is leading a pretour for 5-days before this safari begins. Click here for complete information.][b-l]