It is a classic photographers' quest - to capture the annual Wildebeest migration as they crisscr the plains in search of grazing.
Numerous rivers act as natural barriers to the moving herds. As the numbers grow the pressure at the front gives in and the crossings start.
With predators hunting on each bank, crocodiles lurking in the water and strong currents, it's a treacherous journey.
• Photographing wildebeest river crossing
Imagine finding yourself under the vast African sky in the middle of one of the last expanses of true wilderness left on our planet, possibly listening to the haunting and mysterious sounds of night predators and their prey as the drama of their interactions unfold.
Nights are spent mostly under canvas, and we plan to host you at our seasonal camp as well as spending time in our ‘Explorer’
Inside your spacious safari vehicle you will find a selection of reference books on Tanzania’s parks, history, its flora and fauna, and a cool-box for drinks. In our specially customised extended land cruisers the windows are enlarged and the roof height extended to allow ease of photography and game-viewing, with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Our standard land cruisers are also very comfortably customised for safari and both types of vehicles have game viewing hatches that allow 360 degree views.
Your guide and their assistants are experienced professionals who will prioritise your comfort and safety as well as ensuring optimal game-viewing opportunities throughout you safari with us.
Kigongoni Lodge is located on an historical 70-acre coffee farm near Arusha, amid natural forest. Sitting on a hilltop with lush gardens, the lodge offers breathtaking
Days 2 and 3 – Saturday and Sunday 4-5 August 2012 - Tarangire
We will set off this morning, after breakfast and a short briefing, to TARANGIRE National ParkThe Tarangire ecosystem is the third largest in Tanzania (20000 square kilometres), ofwhich the park occupies a mere 13%. During the dry season, the park has the secondlargest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania.
The unique acacia and baobab vegetationprovides a home for over 550 bird species, as well as lion, leopard, buffalo and largeherds of elephant; also species such as gerenuk, oryx and eland, rarely seen in the otherparks in the north.We will enjoy the balance of the day exploring the park, with a picnic lunch.You will spent two nights here, at the Tarangire Safari Lodge, in one of the permanent tents, which is perched on the edge of a river bank – with lovely views.
There is also a swimming pool at the lodge. Game drives will generally be taken in the early morning, and late afternoon to enjoy the softer light and heightened activity of the animals and birds in the park.
For those interested, we can include a visit to a local village/community on the edge of the park.
Day 4 (6 August) – From Tarangire to Ngorongoro
Today we head early up the Rift into Ngorongoro Conservation area, and after driving steadily down the steep 610 metre sides ofthe crater, we enjoy the balance of the day game viewing in the crater – which is almost guaranteed to turn up four of the Big Five,as well as a rich variety of birds, all viewed against the backdrop of the thickly forested crater walls. Picnic lunch in the crater.
Remember it’s cold on the crater rim at night, so bring some warm clothing!
Ngorongoro Crater is one of the natural wonders of the world. A large volcanic caldera, with an area of 259 square kilometres, itcontains a huge variety of game and birds and is often referred to as a microcosm of Africa with its dramatic weather changes andvaried terrains consisting of forest, grasslands and both freshwater and soda lakes.
All meals included. Overnight Ngorongoro – Serena Lodge or similar.
We have selected one of the lodges on the crater rim, in order to allow photography from the top of the crater…. during sunrise/sunset.
Day 5 & 6 (7 & 8 August) – Ngorongoro – Central Serengeti
This morning, a more leisurely start to the day – and we head off to the famous Serengeti plains.
We will stop en route at Olduvai Gorge, as well aspossibly visiting a Masai Village (optional). At Olduvai Gorge we will stopfor a short visit at the museum to find out more about the history of theregion. It is at Olduvai Gorge where, in 1959, Mary Leakey made hergroundbreaking discovery of a hominid (human-like) skull dating back 1.8million years.
Since then other hominid species, possibly our earlyancestors, have been found in the area dating as far back as 3.7 millionyears. The whole area is often referred to as the ‘cradle of mankind.’We will slowly meander our way toward the central region of the Serengeti, to overnight in our seasonal camp – Serengeti Wilderness Camp.
Two nights will be spent here, allowing time to photograph some of theresident game, and possibly enjoy a balloon safari (must be pre booked).Our ‘seasonal’ camp – Serengeti Wilderness Camp is designed in the safari style of olde – simple, but comfortable with every needbeing taken care of. Each camp comprises of only 10 tents, each comfortably furnished with proper beds, duvets, eco friendly toiletand shower en suite.
A picnic lunch will be enjoyed today, under a shady tree! The Serengeti is unequalled for its beauty and contains more than three million large mammals spread over the vast endless plains.It is here, at certain times of the year, that we may encounter the breathtaking spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration,where one and a quarter million wildebeest trek in columns of up to forty kilometres long in search of grazing, drawing with themtheir predators and numerous other species of game.
From January to March the herds can largely be found in the southern area,proceeding north through the centre and Western Corridor during June and July before entering Kenya’s Masai Mara. They returnsouth in November to repeat this amazing instinctive procession all over again.Africa’s most famous national park covers an area of almost 15000 sq km and is world-renowned for its dense predator populationand the annual wildebeest migration.
The park is part of the much large Serengeti eco-system, which includes Kenya’s Masai MaraGame Reserve, and encompasses more than double this area. The greater park of the park is open grassland, patches of acaciawoodland and isolated areas of granite rock outcrops called koppies. Animal migration is linked to the annual rainfall patterns andits effect on their feeding habitats.
Formerly the home of the Maasai tribe who displaced the Datoga pastoralists in the 17thcentury, the name Serengeti is derived from the Maasai word serengit, meaning ‘endless plain’. The national park was created by the Tanzania Government in 1951 and became famous through the work of Professor Bernard Grzimek (in particular his book‘Serengeti Shall Not Die’).
Huge herds of wildebeest and zebra can be found here along with smaller concentrations of Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle,impala, kongoni, Kirk’s did dik, klipspringer and small numbers of roan, oryx, oribi, eland and waterbuck. There are also significantnumbers of buffalo, giraffe and warthog. Elephants are relatively scarce on the open plains, more common in the northern areasand the western corridor.
The few remaining black rhinos are restricted to an inaccessible part of the park. But the most popularanimals to be found here in greater abundance than elsewhere on the northern circuit are the cats. Lions, cheetahs and leopardmay all be seen here along with other predators, such as the spotted hyena, golden and black-backed jackals, wild cats and servals.
Day 7-10 (9-12 August) – Northern Serengeti
From the central area of Serengeti, we start to head north – toward the Masai Mara boundary, and rivers… in search of themigration.Four nights will be spent here, in a private tented camp – set up with good access to the area we expect some of the river crossingsto take place.
On our “Explorer Mobile Safaris’ we offer a style of travel which is comfortable, whilst still mobile camping, allowing our guests toget off the beaten track and away from the main safari thoroughfares. On this style of safari we book a private wilderness campsiteto keep you away from the crowds and as close as possible to the wildlife action.Our support vehicle and camp crew travelahead of the group and set up the camp. Weprovide 3.5m x 6.5m en-suite dome tents,which are extremely spacious and we providecamp beds, mattresses, warm bedding (linens,duvets and pillow). Sumptuous meals areprepared by our friendly safari chef(s), andare either served in the mess tent, or directlyunder the stars if you prefer.
Outside yourtent and at the meal table you will have theuse of large, comfortable, foldaway chairs andwe provide washstands and a large towel for each client. A bush shower and porta-loo toilet are provided and are accessed fromwithin the rear of the tent (en-suite).Recharging facilities will be available for camera batteries etc, via inverters from batteries charged by solar panels.
Day 11 (13 August) – Serengeti – Arusha.
This morning, we say farewell to the Serengeti and enjoy a scenic flight back to Arusha – over the Rift Valley and possiblyNgorongoro highlands… on a clear day you may be lucky enough to see Oldonya Lengai – an active volcano, or possibly theshimmering pink of Lake Natron in the distance.
Arrive in Arusha, you will be transferred to Kigongoni Lodge or similar to overnight. Dinner for your own account this evening,there are a great many restaurants to choose from around Arusha.
Day 12 (14 August) – safari ends
Breakfast at your lodge, and a transfer to the Kilimanjaro Intl Apt, ends your safari.
Dates and Cost
03 – 14 August 2012
Scheduled Departure – as above
LAND ONLY PRICE PER PERSON SHARING BASED ON FOUR GUESTS IN ONE VEHICLE WITH GUIDE: USD 6540
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT: USD 825
Private Group/s based on above itinerary – any day
LAND ONLY PRICE PER PERSON SHARING BASED ON FOUR GUESTS IN ONE VEHICLE WITH GUIDE: USD 6540
LAND ONLY PRICE PER PERSON SHARING BASED ON SIX GUESTS IN ONE VEHICLE WITH GUIDE: USD 5390
Please note that the above includes ONE photographic guide in the same vehicle as the guests... we do not however recommend six guests per ‘guide’ – rather 4 being optimum.
Should we have more than 6 guests, we would use two vehicles and two Photographic Guides – to be quoted on request.
We can assist you with flight bookings to the region, or if you prefer – book your own and advise us of your arrival / departure times.
If you would like to go on an early morning balloon safari over the Serengeti, this will be possible.
Please note that balloon safariscan only be organised by PRE-ARRANGEMENT and there is an additional cost for this, shown below.
• airport transfers from Kilimanjaro, or Arusha, return
• bed and breakfast in Kigongoni Lodge (or similar)
• all meals on safari
• game viewing activities as indicated
• services of our Professional Photographic Guide, as well as our local Tanzania guides (based on four guests per vehicle asoptimum)
• services of support crew and cook as appropriate
• bedding, pillows and towels supplied on the mobile camp nights
• bottled water for game drives / in vehicle (not at hotels/lodges)
Excludes – visas, travel insurance, health requirements, gratuities, drinks, international / regional airfares, all items of a personalnature and any service not specified.
There is a cash bar at the Serengeti Wilderness camps, but for the MOBILE CAMP nights, drinks will need to be organised in advance.
Balloon safari – must be pre booked USD 500 per person (2011 rates, subject to change)
Masai Village Visit USD50 per vehicle, payable in cash
Yellow Fever inoculations are necessary if you are travelling from or via another endemic area, or into South Africa afterwards.
This must be done no later than 10 days prior to departure.
Anti-malaria tablets are also necessary.
Please enquire for details of travel clinics operating in your area.
Are required by most citizens for entry into Tanzania.
Visas can generally be organised on arrival. Please enquire for further details.
Travel insurance is compulsory for the duration of your trip.