THE GREAT MIGRATION and
TANZANIA’S NATIONAL PARKS
12 Days | 12 – 24 August 2019
ARRIVAL | Monday, August 12
KARIBU! WELCOME TO TANZANIA
Today is arrival day and for those who didn’t arrive a day or two early to acclimate to the time change, this will be your chance. Most arrivals will be in the evening and, once everyone has assembled, we will meet for a welcome drink (or two) and a safari briefing on what to expect over the next twelve days.
DAY 1 | Tuesday, August 13
Tarangire National Park
The adventure begins! We’ll depart early for Tarangire National Park where we’ll spend the next two days. Tarangire is the 6th largest national park in Tanzania and contains the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem. The park is also a mecca for birders where you’ll find over 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in a single habitat anywhere in the world.
Tarangire Park is spectacular for wildlife this time of year – which is why we will be spending two days here.
DAY 2 | Wednesday, August 14
Tarangire National Park
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll spend the second day in Tarangire exploring parts of the park we didn’t see yesterday.
DAY 3 | Thursday, August 15
Lake Manyara N.P.
Lake Manyara National Park stretches along the base of the Rift Valley escarpment and consists of 127 sq miles (330 sq km) of which up to 77 sq miles (200 sq km) is a soda lake when water levels are high.
The varying habitats range from lush jungle-like groundwater forest to grassy floodplain to acacia woodland. In these habitats you’ll find a huge assortment of primates and ungulates including large troupes of baboons, blue monkeys, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffes and elephants among a copious amount of smaller mammals.
More than 400 species of birds are found in the park as well, including large flocks of flamingos.
DAY 4 | Friday, August 16
Wake up to the smell of coffee roasting followed by a knock at the door announcing the delivery of a fresh pot. Another day begins.
Today we’re going to visit two tribes at Lake Eyasi – the Hadzabe Bushmen and the Datoga Blacksmiths. This is an optional excursion and you may wish to stay back and work on your photos or partake in some of the numerous activities Gibbs has on offer.
The Hadzabe are hunters and gatherers, the true African Bushmen, and are of no fixed abode. We’ll be picking up our mandatory guide along the way who will know where to find them. The bushmen welcome us into their temporary camp where we’ll get a chance to see how they live and hunt. You’ll even get the chance to try out some of their survival skills!
The Datoga tribe are pastoralists residing in settlements, living mostly off the land. Men are famous for their blacksmith skills and women for their intricate beaded skirts. We’ll also get to experience their way of life. Here we’ll buy (included in safari price) locally made arrowheads forged from rusty nails as gifts for the Hadzabe tribe who, being bushmen, have no use for money. It is a symbiotic relationship where we enrich our knowledge by contributing to both tribes’ way of life, giving money to one tribe to buy gifts for the other.
DAY 5 | Saturday, August 17
Today we’re heading to the famous Ngorongoro Crater, one of the natural wonders of the world, a 30-minute drive to the gate from Gibbs Farm. The roughly 100 square mile (260 sq km ) Ngorongoro Crater basin is home to an estimated 26,000 mammals and provides us with the best opportunity of seeing one of the crater’s 26 Black Rhino. In addition there are elephants, wildebeests, zebras, eland, both Grant and Thomson gazelles, reedbuck, Cape buffalo, spotted hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, cheetahs and the densest known population of lions.
DAY 6 | Sunday, August 18
Today we have a long drive ahead of us. We’re heading for the jewel of Tanzania’s national parks – The Serengeti! En route, before entering Serengeti National Park, we will visit a Maasai village to experience their culture, traditions and lifestyle.
Established as a national park in 1951, The Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest park, a World Heritage site and was recently proclaimed a 7th Wonder of the World. It encompasses 5,700 sq miles (14,763 sq km), stretching north to Kenya, and borders Lake Victoria to the west.
Best known for its annual migration when six million hooves pound the savannah in search of greener pastures, the park has a healthy stock of other resident wildlife – in particular, the Big Five (Maasai Lion, African Leopard, African Bush Elephant, Eastern Black Rhino, African Buffalo).
DAY 7 | Monday, August 19
We’ll spend today in the Seronera River Valley, the heart of the Serengeti and home to the big cats.
Encompassing much of Central Serengeti, this vast valley teems with wildlife. The valley’s river keeps the vegetation plentiful, supporting herbivores throughout the year. Wildebeest, zebras, elephants, giraffe, gazelle, and many others can be spotted on any given day. The large amount of prey also draws the highest population of predators.
DAY 8| Tuesday, August 20
Balloon Safari / Mara River
What better way to see the Serengeti than from a sunrise hot-air balloon? Flights last approximately one hour followed by a Champagne bush breakfast. Balloon flights are an optional extra. If you wish to partake, please mention it when booking your safari.
For those who have not booked the balloon safari, you have the option of either sleeping in a few extra hours and having a casual poolside breakfast or rising early for a post-breakfast game drive before meeting up with the balloonists at 9:30 in Seronera.
With our feet back on the ground, we’ll be heading the four hour drive to the Mara River bordering Kenya’s Masai Mara. We’ll be spending the next four days at the river in anticipation of the Great Migration crossing from the Masai Mara into the Serengeti.
DAYS 9 - 11 | Wednesday - Friday August 21 - 23
The Great Migration of almost two million wildebeest, zebras and smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, eland and impala is one of nature’s greatest spectacles on earth. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is considered the ‘World Cup’ of Wildlife
Wildlife, however, is unpredictable and there is no set day or time that the wildebeest will cross the Mara. The migration follows the rains and ‘greener pastures’. But, as we all know, the weather is as unpredictable as the wildlife it nourishes, and there is no cast iron guarantee that we will witness the crossing. That being said, we are fortunate to be here during the most likely period based on previous crossings in recent years, and there will be no shortage of wildlife amassing – wildebeest and predators alike (not to mention other photographers!).
Our daily routine will be dictated by the mood of the super-herd. We will intersperse game drives to the river, a few miles away, with drives to the local kopjes – rock outcroppings – looking for lions and leopards.
ACCOMMODATION | SERENGETI NORTH WILDERNESS CAMP
DAY 12| Saturday, August 24
Mara River / JRO Airport
We’ll start with an early, but casual breakfast. With luggage packed and a picnic lunch, we’ll depart for an morning game drive along the Mara River before catching our flight from the Kogatende Airstrip back to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight home. You’ll have time for dinner or a snack in one of the food outlets while reminiscing about your time spent in Africa and the marvels you saw. You already want to come back!