EACH YEAR MILLIONS OF WILDEBEEST & ZEBRA MIGRATE SOUTH THROUGH THE SERENGETI TO GIVE BIRTH EN MASSE IN FEBRUARY. COMBINE THE MIGRATION ACTION WITH INCREDIBLE GAME VIEWING AWAY FROM THE CROWDS IN THE NORTHERN SERENGETI.
THIS TRIP COMBINES SUPERB SMALL LUXURY CAMPS, A PRIVATE GUIDE AND VEHICLE THROUGHOUT AND OUTSTANDING WILDLIFE VIEWING. YOU CAN ALSO EXPECT TO LEAVE THE CROWDS FAR BEHIND AS YOU HEAD TO THE NORTHERN SERENGETI.
The safari begins in the Ngorongoro Highlands where you’ll experience game viewing on the crater floor as well as the chance to explore the secluded northwestern rim of the Crater from a beautiful luxury camp.
From here you’ll head into the thick of the wildebeest migration where millions of animals - including attendant predators -gather on the short grass plains of the Serengeti.
Next you’ll head to the Northern Serengeti close to the Mara River where low season prices combine with superb wildlife viewing and few other tourists. This area is one of the few areas in Tanzania where you have a chance of seeing the Big Five and at this time of year one of the best places to avoid the crowds.
Travelling with your own private guide and 4X4 ensures that you can take the game viewing at your own pace, stopping when it suits you, watching and waiting while a scene unfolds and returning to camp only when you’re ready. A mixture of boutique lodges and luxury tented camps makes for variety and safari authenticity.
NO REPRODUCTION CATCHES THE 3,000FT DEPTH OF THE CRATER, ITS PEACE AND MIGHT, AND THE ROCK AND ROLL OF THUNDER. A STORM WAS TRAPPED INSIDE, ITS DETONATIONS ECHOING OFF GREEN WALLS. GREY DOTS BELOW WERE ELEPHANTS. THE BLACK MITES WERE BUFFALO. WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN ON ANOTHER PLANET AND IT WAS ONLY MONDAY MORNING.”
Begin your safari in Arusha. You’ll be collected from the airport to spend the night in a small family-run lodge close to Arusha National Park. Depending on your arrival time this will either be a day to relax and catch up after your flight, or – if you’re feeling perky – a chance to get an introduction to the region’s wildlife in Arusha National Park. This small park is seriously underrated, sitting as it does under the shadow of the 15,000 ft Mt Meru, with sensational views of neighbouring Mt Kilimanjaro. Expect to see a number of the major wildlife species including buffalo, giraffe and if you’re lucky, elephant.
The Ngorongoro Crater & Highlands
Today you’ll meet your private guide and travel by private 4X4 across the floor of the Great Rift Valley to the Ngorongoro Highlands. While it’s possible to short-cut this journey and fly to Manyara, we’d recommend you consider the overland route; once through the chaos that is Arusha’s traffic, you quickly emerge into the beautiful open plains and dormant volcanoes that are typical of this area of Maasailand. By late morning you’ll reach the impressive escarpment at Manyara and from here it’s a steady climb to the dramatic Ngorongoro Crater Rim at 7500 ft above sea level. Your luxury camp is perched in a remote corner of the Northwestern rim with breathtaking views down to the Crater floor and – looking the other way - the Serengeti.
The Ngorongoro Crater & Highlands
The Ngorongoro Crater has a well-earned reputation as a microcosm of East African habitats, bursting with wildlife. However, this is only half the story. While you’re staying here you’ll have the chance to take an extensive drive down to the Crater floor - and you can expect to notch up plenty of major species while you’re there. But as importantly this is a chance to discover the Crater rim and highlands, meeting the Maasai that live in this part of the world. Half of the employees at your camp are from the local area, so staying here brings a unique opportunity to see the area from their perspective. Take walks from camp, visit local Maasai manyattas and learn about projects supported by the camp that work to improve the health and well-being of the local community.
Day 4 & 5
Southern Serengeti – the migration
Today takes you out of the Highlands and down into the sweeping open spaces of the Southern Serengeti – the calving ground for some half million female wildebeest in mid February. At this time of year the plains are alive with young animals, predators and wildlife as far as the eye can see. You’ll be staying in a luxury tented camp based in the mature acacia woodland close to Lake Ndutu, one of the Serengeti’s soda lakes and a magnet for flamingos among other things.
From South to North
Today is a game drive of epic proportions. You’ll leave the carnival of the migration behind you and travel the full length of the Serengeti to your lodge in the Kogatende area, close to the banks of the Mara River. You could choose to fly this section, but the rewards of travelling slowly through the park, stopping for drinks and a picnic lunch are immense. You gain an excellent understanding of how the park terrain changes from the short grass plains of the south to the valleys and woodlands of the north. Along the way you have a good chance of encountering any of the main species from lion, leopard and cheetah to elephant and buffalo, not to mention the countless other species of bird and mammal that live in this park.
Day 7 & 8
Two days exploring this beautiful area at your leisure, including the beautiful Lamai Wedge that lies to the north of the Mara River, tucked under the border with Kenya. This area is famous for the crossings of the Mara River by the wildebeest migration between July and October each year. However when the herds head south, so do hundreds of seasonal camps, leaving only a small number of lodges and consequently few other tourists. Resident wildlife remains excellent. Elephant graze the lush grasses that fill the wide valley floors, leopard and lion warm themselves on the smooth rocks of kopjes and rhino are regularly seen in the area.
What’s more your lodge is one of the most beautifully positioned in the Serengeti, tucked - almost to the point of invisibility – into amongst the boulders of a large rocky outcrop with views over the surrounding area. Expect superb food and service and rooms so comfortable that you’ll not want to leave.
Our experienced travellers include:
It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.
All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.
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