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The Great Tanzania Migration Safari

8 days with Natural Habitat Adventures   Rating: Deluxe

Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania
Arrive in Tanzania's safari capital of Arusha and transfer to Arusha Coffee Lodge, a luxury boutique hotel tucked among evergreen trees on Tanzania's largest coffee plantation. Here in the rolling foothills of Mount Meru, relax in the ambience of a classic colonial farmhouse and gardens, and enjoy a sundowner in front of the open log fireplace before we gather for a welcome dinner this evening.
 
Days 2–4: East Central Serengeti—Namiri Plains
The legendary Serengeti derives its name from a Maasai word meaning “endless plains.” We fly to Serengeti National Park, where a vista of golden savannas stretching to the horizon under a deep blue bowl of sky provides an iconic image of Africa. Meeting our safari vehicles and drivers, we set out on our first wildlife drive. Our destination is Namiri Plains, a newly accessible area located in a remote sector of the Serengeti that has previously been off-limits to visitors for two decades during a period of habitat rehabilitation to increase the cheetah population. Surveying open grasslands and kopjes—rock outcrops— the camp offers fabulous wildlife viewing in diverse habitats, particularly of the abundant feline predators that live and hunt in this area. In fact, Namiri means "big cat " in Swahili. 
 
Namiri Plains Camp provides exceptional seclusion—the next camp is a half-hour's drive away. Our isolated location ensures that we experience this natural setting away from tourist crowds. Evoking the classic atmosphere of an earlier safari age, the camp's eight canvas tents, shaded by giant acacia trees, offer surprising comforts in this remote setting. Enjoy 360-degree views of wildlife traversing the savanna, plus the river with its perennial vegetation and dense green reed beds that attract birds and smaller animal species. Thrilling animal encounters are in store on wildlife drives—and discover a more intimate view on a walking safari with one of the resident specialist guides. We also  glean exclusive insight from our Expedition Leader on research conducted by zoologists and cheetah researchers in the area. 
 
Days 5–7: Southern Serengeti—Nat Hab's Migration Base Camp–Serengeti
Depart this morning for the southern Serengeti with a wildlife drive en route. The days of heavy canvas hunting camps set for the likes of Roosevelt and Hemingway were nearly over until photo safaris gained popularity. Nat Hab's Migration Base Camp–Serengeti is redolent with that vintage character, with silver-service dinners presented on white linen by candlelight. While home to a profusion of wildlife year-round, there is nothing like the Serengeti during the phenomenon of the Great Migration. We spend three full days among the sea of mammals, following them in open-topped 4-wheel-drive vehicles that offer superb photography access.
 
The vast herds of wildebeest trek annually from Kenya’s Maasai Mara to the southern Serengeti in search of new grass during the short rains, then back again. The wildebeest migrate with thousands of zebra, whose superior vision and hearing serve as an early-warning system for predators. We are in the region just as the three-week birthing season is typically beginning, when the herds are mostly stationary. We'll hope to see infants (though timing on the calf drop is weather-dependent), as well as prey interactions. Predators seek out the most vulnerable members of the herds, and we may behold a lion taking down a sick wildebeest or a cheetah overtaking a newborn. Leopard, hyena and jackal also prey on the migrating herds while vultures hang in the air, waiting to feast on carrion. While the spectacle is at times grim, its primal drama is a wonder to behold. 
 
Day 8: Arusha or Ngorongoro Extension / Depart
Today our safari concludes, leaving us with a slate of memories to treasure forever. After breakfast at camp, transfer to the nearest airport. In Arusha, a day room awaits before a transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for international departures this evening. Guests continuing on our Ngorongoro Crater extension will say farewell to their fellow travelers in the Serengeti, where they will remain in pursuit of further remarkable wildlife encounters.
Map
All This Included
On Africa's Great Plains, our mobile camp is a tiny island in a vast, grassy sea. But we are not alone in the wilderness: our camp sits among thousands of wildebeest and the zebra and gazelle that trail them. Each year, the great herds traverse the Serengeti in search of new grass, and to birth their young. Lion and cheetah lie in wait, finely tuned hunting machines ready to stalk and take down the weakest members of the herds. In the center of the world’s greatest ancient migration route, we are subsumed in a primal spectacle as the drama of predator and prey unfolds before us. Witness it in rare seclusion from our remote private camp, immersed in the wonder of one of the world's truly epic wildlife events.
 
  • Activities
  • Accommodations and internal scheduled light aircraft flights as detailed in the itinerary
  • Airport transfers on Day 1 and final day
  • Meals from dinner Day 1 to lunch on final day
  • Non-alcoholic drinks at camps, with meals, and in vehicles
  • House alcoholic beverages in camps
  • Services of NHA Expedition Leader
  • Local guides and camp staff
  • Some gratuities
  • All permits, entrance fees and taxes
Highlights
  • A small-group safari to witness the astounding phenomenon of hundreds of thousands of animals massed on the Serengeti Plains, during prime calving season.
  • Our expert safari Expedition Leader interprets predator-prey interactions as big felines track the young and vulnerable members of the herds.
  • Enjoy unparalleled seclusion, comfort and vintage safari atmosphere at our private Nat Hab Migration Base Camp, located in a remote sector of the Serengeti.
Accommodations
Arusha: Arusha Coffee Lodge
Serengeti National Park: Namiri Plains Camp
Serengeti National Park: Natural Habitat's Migration Base Camp – Serengeti
Pre and Post Add-ons
Extra Day in Arusha - 1 Day / From $595
Arusha is the jumping-off point for safaris to Tanzania’s famous national parks—a lively city with a temperate climate at the foot of Mount Meru.
 
Ngorongoro Crater Extension - 3 Days / During Migration Season, From $2295
Nothing compares to a wildlife drive across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, home to Africa's densest concentration of wildlife. From rhinos to lions to pink flamingos, the crater's creatures will delight you.
 
Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Extension - 5 Days / Year-Round, From $3295
A 5-day safari extension to track endangered mountain gorillas. Hike through the rain forest and spend rare moments with a habituated family troop.
 
Uganda Mountain Gorilla Extension - 5 Days / Year-Round, From $2795
A 5-day safari extension to track endangered mountain gorillas in the rain forests of Uganda. A once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounter!
Notes
  • Group Size Limit: Approximately 12 Travelers.
  • Not Included: Travel to and from start and end point of trip, premium alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, souvenirs, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes, optional travel insurance, and required medical evacuation insurance.
  • Mandatory Insurance: Since the areas we travel to on this trip are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require medical evacuation insurance for our guests' safety. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat, we request that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We will add the cost of a medical evacuation policy to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, contact number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety.
  • Physical Requirements: Easy. A safari vehicle frequently offers a bumpy ride. Wildlife drives often involve long hours of sitting and sometimes bouncing around. While we don't consider this strenuous, it can be uncomfortable and may pose a particular type of physical demand on the body. All travelers must be able to climb into and out of raised 4x4 safari trucks. They must also be able to walk to and from the vehicle to our camp accommodations, sometimes walking over uneven ground or on boardwalks. Additionally, while any short walks are considered optional, you will get the most out of your safari experience if you can walk a mile or two over uneven ground without assistance. Days spent on safari can be long, as mornings typically start before daybreak and evening meals are served after sundown. Safari accommodations and vehicles are not climate controlled and, depending on the seasonality, temperatures can range from quite cold to extremely hot so it is critical that travelers come prepared. We recommend that all travelers have an adventurous spirit, as they will often enjoy the closest animal encounters.
  • Please plan to arrive in Arusha, Tanzania by 5 pm on Day 1 in order to attend a 7 pm Welcome Dinner. You are free to depart from Arusha after 5 pm on the final day.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Natural Habitat Adventures terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.