Planning a migration safari in Kenya and Tanzania? Then set off on the trail of wildebeest migration in Kenya and Tanzania on a Kenya safari or Tanzania safari circuit, or a combination of both countries. Follow migration of herds of wildebeests from Serengeti to Masai Mara and witness the plunge at The Mara River crossing with Skyview of Africa Ltd.
The migration safari is the most popular attraction in Masai Mara and Serengeti between in July, August, September and October each year as thousands of wildebeests cross crocodile-infested The Mara River in Masai Mara in search of pasture. The Mara River snakes across the northern tip of Serengeti on its westward flow into Lake Victoria.
The Mara River is most famous for the legendary wildebeest crossing, a dramatic event, which is featured in countless wildlife documentaries. Hippos abound in these dark waters, along with massive Nile crocodiles looming just below the murky surface.
In search of greener pastures, large herds of wildebeests, buffalo and zebras migrate from Serengeti plains to Masai Mara. The herds graze on the verdant vast plains and occasionally plunge into The Mara River to access greener pastures across the river. A giant crocodile emerges to pick off a host of the herds of wildebeest making their way across a river in Kenya’s Masai Mara during their annual wildebeest migration.
The sight of wildebeests, zebras and other creatures being grabbed are a common sight on many a nature programme – but the sheer ferocity of the gigantic crocodile striking under your watch is more terrifying. The unsuspecting wildebeest are no match for the deadly jaws and superior strength of this huge crocodile.
The killing machine slaughters several, but strangely, leaves them to float down the river uneaten. As the crocodiles strike, other animals are trampled under the feet of the surging herds and they get swept by the fast-flowing waters. And other predators like the lion, cheetah and the shy leopard lie in wait for the herds that make their way across a stream during their mass migration in the Masai Mara, waiting to make a kill. Some of the terrified animals that did their best to escape the clutches of the ferocious crocodile end up in the razor-sharp teeth of waiting lions, cheetahs and other predators. This breath-taking episode is best known as the survival of the fittest.
Follow the migration safari in Tanzania and Kenya with the full itinerary below:
Day 1: Nairobi
A driver/guide of Skyview of Africa Ltd will receive you at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transfer you to Panafric Hotel where accommodation will be based on bed and breakfast only. Meals: Bed and Breakfast Accommodation: Panafric Hotel
Day 2: Nairobi-Amboseli
After breakfast, depart for Amboseli National Park. Enjoy a game drive en-route, as you arrive in time for lunch at Amboseli Sopa Lodge. Afternoon game drives in search of herds of elephants, giraffes, lions, and a variety of other animals and birds. Beautifully situated beneath the foot of Africa’s highest mountain Mt. Kilimanjaro (5895m), Amboseli National Park is well renowned for its huge herds of elephants and various types of other Savannah wildlife such as Giraffes, Bushbuck’s, Kudu, Warthog’s, Zebra’s and over 425 species of birds recorded here.
The snowcapped peak of Kilimanjaro rising above white clouds dominates every aspect of Amboseli and forms a backdrop to an impressive display of wildlife attracted to this location by swamps and springs fed by underground rivers from Kilimanjaro melting snow. Amboseli was the location around which such famous writers like Sir Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark tailored their stories of big game hunting in the wilds of Africa. Enjoy a game drive en-route, as you arrive in time for dinner. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Amboseli Sopa Lodge
Day 3: Amboseli
A dawn game drive will be the perfect time for photographing the humbling and magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. You return to the lodge for breakfast and some R&R “rest and relaxation", sunbathing, swimming or for those of you reading enthusiasts, you can read the day away in the well-stocked library with a relaxing view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. After lunch, set out for afternoon game drives till sunset. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Amboseli Sopa Lodge
Day 4: Amboseli-Tarangire
After breakfast, drive to Namanga – border point Kenya and Tanzania. After being helped with immigration formalities, you’ll be handed over to our Tanzania driver/guide and drive to Arusha Town collect lunch boxes from Impala Hotel. Drive to Tarangire National Park. After checking at Tarangire Sopa Lodge, set off for afternoon game drives till sunset.
Tarangire National Park, one of the hidden jewels of Tanzania. This park measures 2,600 sq km’s and boasts a concentration of wildlife second only to Ngorongoro Crater. It features an impressive amount and array of bird life and plant life. Situated only 160km’s from Arusha, the park is nestled to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasai land. It is named after the Tarangire River, which runs directly through the center of the park and is the only permanent water source for the animals. Along the banks of this river you will find herds of wildebeest (or gnu) and zebra, followed by Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle and many others.
Lurking in the background, the lions and leopards keep a watchful eye on a possible meal of gazelles and other wildlife while grazing. The park offers views of grass and floodplains with impressive baobab and flat topped acacia trees scattered throughout. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Day 5: Tarangire-Lake Manyara
After breakfast, drive to Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its rare tree-climbing lions and bird life. After check in at Kirurumu Tented Lodge, set off for game drives. Lake Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Kirurumu Tented Lodge
Day 6: Lake Manyara-Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, drive to Ngorongoro Crater carrying lunch boxes from Kirurumu Tented Lodge. Descend into the crater for game drives. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro Crater supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park is its dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard. Return to the lodge in the evening for overnight. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Day 7: Ngorongoro-Serengeti
After breakfast, drive to Serengeti National Park, via Olduvai Gorge archaeological site, with game viewing en route in the Serengeti. Lunch at Kirawira Luxury Serengeti Tented Camp, situated on a hilltop overlooking the vast plains of the western edge of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp is close to the Grumeti River, famed for its giant crocodiles, and the surrounding vegetation is home to a wide variety of game including the Big Five. If you are there between July and October, you may witness the impressive annual wildebeest migration. After lunch, set off for afternoon game drives till sunset. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp
Day 8: Serengeti
Full day in Serengeti with morning and afternoon game drives. Serengeti National Park, undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world is a large national park in Serengeti area, Tanzania. It is most famous due to annual migration of over one million white bearded wildebeest and 200,000 zebra to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve in search of pasture. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp
Day 9: Serengeti-Masai Mara
After breakfast, depart for depart for Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya via the Isabenia border, carrying packed lunch. After being helped with immigration formalities, you’ll be handed to our Kenya driver/guide and continue with safari to Masai Mara Game Reserve, the unspoiled Savannah. Game drives en route Mara Sopa Lodge.
Masai Mara is the northern portion of the Great Plains ecosystem in the neighboring Tanzania called Serengeti. It is a home to the “big five" lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard and elephant as well cheetah, zebra, giraffe and vast herds of wildebeest, plain antelope and numerous and other African wildlife. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Mara Sopa Lodge
Day 10-12: Masai Mara
Spend three full days on the look out for herds of wildebeests crossing the crocodile-infested Mara River and doing game drives in Masai Mara plains in search of the Big Five. Most spectacled birds of the open plains are more easily seen in the Mara than elsewhere in Kenya. Birds of prey are abundant and no less than 53 different species have so far been discovered, secretary birds are a common sight as they stalk sedately over the grasslands, and in the sky there are always vultures and that effortless flier the Bateleur.
After lunch, relax and perhaps take a dip in the pool. Afterwards, depart for afternoon game drives till sunset. As sun starts to edge dip into the horizon it will be perfect time to photograph the beautiful Mara rolling plains. Don’t forget this is the right time to spot the shy leopard.
In the evening, optional visit to Maasai manyatta villages to see a way of life of the Maasai tribesmen as you learn their dance and culture. The Masai tribe boasts of tall and proud race of warriors. Herding cattle and goats, they’ve lived among fierce wildlife for centuries. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Mara Sopa Lodge
Day 13: Masai Mara-Lake Nakuru
After breakfast, drive to Lake Nakuru, with a stopover at Lake Naivasha, the only freshwater lake in the Rift Valley. The lake is home to a large colony of hippos and it’s also a Mecca for bird watchers and researchers since over 400 different species of birds have been recorded here. An optional boat ride will be a good ideal.
Afterwards, travel in a northerly direction to your next destination Lake Nakuru, which is usually dotted with pink flamingoes lining its shores. After checking in and having lunch at Flamingo Hill Tented Camp, you set off to Lake Nakuru for extensive game drives where you can expect to see leopards, lions, giraffes, a million or so of pink flamingoes as well as black or white Rhinos. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: Flamingo Hill Tented Camp
Day 14: Lake Nakuru–Aberdares
After breakfast, depart for Aberdares National Park, with a brief stop at Thompson Falls in Nyahururu. Access to Aberdares National Park by private vehicles is limited to conserve and protect the environment which hosts wildlife such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, bush bucks, giant forest hogs, Sykes monkey, leopard, and bongo. Arrive at the Aberdare Country Club in time for lunch (cost included).
A representative of The Ark Lodge will transfer you to their lodge. This tree-lodge is uniquely shaped to resemble the actual Ark, designed with decks from which numerous balconies and lounges provide superb vantage points for viewing the animals visiting the salt-lick and waterhole. A ground-level bunker at The Ark provides excellent photographic opportunities, and the Yasabara waterhole is floodlit by night to enable all-night viewing of game. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Accommodation: The Ark Lodge
Day 15: Aberdares-Nairobi-Depart Home
After breakfast at your lodge, a driver of The Ark Lodge will transfer you back to The Aberdare Country Club where you’ll reconnect with your driver/guide and then depart for Nairobi through the scenic Central Kenya. You can end your Kenya Tanzania migration safari here or continue with below if you have an evening flight.
1300hrs-1430hrs: Lunch at New Rangers Restaurant: Lunch at New Rangers Restaurant, located at the Nairobi National Park main gate. The restaurant’s Twiga Terrance offers a perfect view of wild animals grazing and drinking water at Kisima water hole just 10 metres away as you enjoy your lunch.
1440hrs-1620hrs: Bomas of Kenya: After lunch, you depart for Bomas of Kenya, a tourist village in Lang’ata suburb, about 12 kms from Nairobi’s capital city. Bomas (meaning homesteads) displays traditional villages belonging to the several Kenyan tribes, aimed at promoting Kenya’s rich cultural diversity of her 42 tribes. You’ll tour traditional villages for a series of tribal cultural shows entertainment.
1630hrs-1730hrs: Giraffe Center: Afterwards, depart for the Giraffe Center located near Hardy Shopping Centre in Nairobi’s Lang’ata suburb. The visit gives you a completely up close and personal interaction with giraffes and you will be allowed to feed them. It’s fun for all who visit the Giraffe Centre. You feed giraffes by hand, take a guided nature walk and see a bull in the wild if you’re lucky, learn about the different types of giraffes. This will definitely be unique adventure experience for your family.
1800hrs-1900hrs: Giraffe Centre-Carnivore Restaurant: Depart for the famous Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi for a complementary dinner (paid by Skyview of Africa Ltd). Later transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to catch your evening international flight home.