Boundless Journeys - vacations and travel

Tanzania: Migration Safari

Tanzania
,  East Africa
,  Serengeti
,  Safari
,  Tarangire
,  Lake Manyara
,  NGO Crater
,  Ngorongoro
,  Kilimanjaro
,  Zanzibar
,  Arusha
,  Karatu
,  Great Rift Valley
,  Wildlife Safari
,  Africa
,  Africa Safari, Tanzania, Africa

from $6,795* per person 10 Days March, December
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Boundless Journeys 12 people max
  • Kilimanjaro airport, arusha, tanzania
  • Family & Friends trips
The mountains and plains of Tanzania - the Great Rift Valley, the Ngorongoro Crater, and of course, the Serengeti itself - are vibrantly alive. Here, everything that is Africa converges in a beautiful display, from the remarkable variety and sheer numbers of wild animals, to the epic landscapes that inspired the writings of Isak Dinesen, to the rich culture of the Maasai, who live a predominantly traditional lifestyle to this day. Our Tanzania migration safari takes in the wonders of these places at a relaxed pace, allowing us plenty of time to come to understand what has drawn travelers to East Africa for generations. We plan our safaris carefully to correspond to important times in the annual Serengeti migration, and no matter when you go, our tented camp allows us to be close to the action. Whether you come for the wildlife, the scenery, or the culture, it is the things that are impossible to predict – a pride of lionesses on the hunt, or a rainbow breaking over a herd of elephants, or the thrilled grin of a child for the simple gift of a pencil – that will stay with you long after you leave Tanzania.

Locations visited/nearby

Tanzania , East Africa , Serengeti , Safari , Tarangire , Lake Manyara , NGO Crater , Ngorongoro , Kilimanjaro , Zanzibar , Arusha , Karatu , Great Rift Valley , Wildlife Safari , Africa , Africa Safari, Tanzania, Africa

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3 testimonials about the provider, Boundless Journeys:

  • Reviewer: located in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL USA
    "My praise for the experience I had on my Boundless Journeys adventure in the Canadian Rockies is¦well, boundless! The trip was meticulously planned and implemented with the utmost professionalism. The guides were truly superb and every facet of the trip was outstanding. I expect to be on another Boundless Journeys trip very soon!!"
    5
  • Reviewer: located in El Paso, TX USA
    "One of the best managed and most enjoyable trips I've ever taken!"
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Andover, MA USA
    "The trip was everything we hoped...beautifully planned and even better than your advertisements! Nicky herself is an absolute jewel! She is simply amazing in her knowledge of the natural world, as a tour leader and as a group leader. She is simply superb in every way! One of the most memorable human beings I have ever met."
    5

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Special information

  • Family oriented trip.
  • Centered around activities for grandparents and their grandchildren.

Itinerary

DAY 1 
Arrival to Arusha

Upon arrival of your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport, you are met by a Boundless Journeys representative who will transfer you to our lodge, set quietly aside Lake Duluti on the grounds of a former coffee plantation on the outskirts of Arusha.

Upon arrival to the lodge, you are greeted by a friendly staff, offering refreshments before turning in to rest after your travels.
Mountain Village, Arusha

DAY 2 
Lake Manyara

Game drive through Lake Manyara National Park.

After a pre-safari briefing, we drive through Arusha, entering the Great Rift Valley, where the Earth’s plates are separating. This geologic phenomenon allows for the formation of the volcanoes in the region – one reason the Serengeti supports such a unique ecosystem. On the far side of the valley we reach Lake Manyara National Park.

Even though Lake Manyara is one of Tanzania’s smaller national parks, its jungle-like forest and immense “soda lake” support a great variety of wildlife. As we slowly make our way along a dirt track through the park, we may encounter pools of water full of hippos and see countless pink flamingoes, dainty gazelles, and graceful giraffes meandering through tall grass. We enjoy lunch at a viewpoint overlooking the lake, spying on animals through binoculars and scanning the trees for elusive tree-climbing lions.

Upon leaving the park, we drive to Karatu and our home for the evening, a comfortable lodge featuring private bungalow accommodations and the best restaurant in the region.
Bougainvillea Lodge, Karatu

DAY 3 
Ngorongoro Crater

Game drive through Ngorongoro Crater.

This morning we drive to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, and then descend into the 100-square-mile caldera that is home to a huge concentration of wildlife –  including the “big five” –  elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros.

One of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites designated in Tanzania, Ngorongoro is the world’s largest unflooded caldera. While only 100 square miles in area, the crater is home to six distinct habitats: acacia forest, swamp, short grass plains, long grass plains, rivers, and woodland. Each habitat attracts a variety of animals. The rim of the crater reaches 7,800 feet in altitude and the crater floor rests at 5,000 feet. Home to almost 30,000 animals in an area naturally enclosed by the slopes of the volcano, this is the best location for viewing black rhinoceros and huge, old bull elephants. There is not enough vegetation to support the large cow and calf herds, but the old males “retire” to the crater for the wonderful swamp grass and acacia forest. The only animals we will not see in the crater are the impala and giraffe. It is not known why impala do not inhabit the crater, but giraffe are unable to descend the steep grade without lowering their heads, which raises their blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Later this afternoon, we arrive at our home for the next two nights, the only lodge on the eastern rim of the crater.
Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater

DAY 4 
Ngorongoro Crater

Full day game drive on the crater floor.

This morning we rise early to be the first on the crater floor. This is a magical time with the sun rising above the rim of the crater and the animals still active. We enjoy an extended game drive, with plenty of time for photography and to simply observe the interactions of the lions, cheetah, hyena, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, buffalo and black rhinoceros. The sheer number of wild animals living in such close proximity is amazing.

Making our way slowly across the caldera floor, which contains sweeping grasslands, lerai forest, a soda lake, and marshy wetlands, people often have the sense of being in another time. The landscape is so primitive, the ecosystems so intact, that it is like taking a trip to prehistory. Coming upon a lone elephant, a beautiful giant with gracefully curving tusks quietly munching on the soft grasses, listening to him breathe, is something one won’t soon forget.

Tonight when we are back at the lodge, sitting comfortably by a crackling fire, our thoughts will be on the crater and the unseen drama unfolding in the darkness below, on the hunters and the hunted, completing life’s circle, as they have been for thousands of years.
Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater

DAY 5 
Olduvai Gorge, Maasai village, and into the Serengeti

Walk – easy to moderate, 1-2 hours on dirt tracks; afternoon game drive from the highlands into the Serengeti.

This morning we have time for another visit into the crater, before beginning our descent to the Serengeti. On the way, we explore the Olduvai Gorge, known to the world as the cradle of humanity, where the Leakeys made their incredible discoveries of the remains of the earliest humans. Known to the Maasai as Oltupai, for a flower that grows abundantly here, we enjoy a picnic lunch and a short walk, literally in the footsteps of history. Further along we have the unique opportunity to visit a Maasai boma, where we meet the village elders and learn about their traditional lifestyle.

We then continue into the short grass plains that define the southern Serengeti, to our exclusive, luxury permanent camp for the next two nights. It is a treat to shake off the dust after a day of walking and game viewing, and enjoy a cool drink on the beautiful kopjes overlooking the Serengeti. Staff rangers escort us through the grounds in the evening, in the event that some of the local animals may have come in close for a look.
Kusini Camp, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

Day 6
The Serengeti

Full-day game drive through the Serengeti plains.

This morning we begin our first full day in the Serengeti. Known as Siringitu to the Maasai, a word meaning “where the land goes on forever”, the Serengeti covers 5,700 square miles of open grassland, acacia-dotted rolling hills, and rocky outcrops known as kopjes. It is home to millions of earth’s most impressive land animals, and one of the last great migratory ecosystems on the planet. Throughout the year, huge herds of wildebeest and zebra make their way from the southern plains, through the grassy woodlands, and into Kenya’s Masai Mara, before returning to the south to begin the cycle again. By now we each have favorite animals – for some it is the unflappable giraffe, standing with noble grace at up to 18 feet tall. For others it will be the herds of elephants, always protective of their young. Of course, for many it is the lions, confidently gazing from their sun-warmed kopjes, quietly planning what will be on the menu tonight.
Kusini Camp, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania

DAYS 7-9
The Serengeti

Full-day game drives through the Serengeti plains.

We continue our exploration of the Serengeti on our final three full days, now making our home in a deluxe seasonal tented camp. Using our camp as our base, we spend these unforgettable full days game viewing. As the bush is always changing, we make our plans on the night before based on information gained as to where the best wildlife viewing will be. Depending on the day’s plans, we may take a picnic breakfast, lunch or both. Game drives often begin early in the morning when the animals are most active and the lighting is best for photographs.

The location of our private camp will depend on where the best game-viewing opportunities lie. Boundless Journeys has exclusive use of our camp, far from the lodges, and we have chosen the best sites based on migratory patterns of the herds at each specific time of year, so we can always be close to the action. Even during moments when we are not in the midst of the migrating wildebeest and zebra, we will be getting to know the Serengeti’s other resident wildlife, including giraffe, buffalo, topi, hartebeest, waterbuck, impala, hippopotamus, elephant, crocodile, warthog, hyena, lion, cheetah, and leopard (to name a few).

After a cocktail by the campfire while the sun sets, we enjoy a delicious meal prepared by our personal bush chef. Each evening we drift off to sleep in the comfort of our safari tents, in full-size beds with hotel quality linens, soaking in the Serengeti – with distant roars of lions and a sky full of stars.
Private Luxury Seasonal Camp (three nights), Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

DAY 10 
Serengeti fly-over and Arusha

After breakfast we drive to a nearby airstrip, where we say good-bye to our naturalist guide and board our flight to Arusha. Seeing the Serengeti from above is an experience few others will ever have, and it is unforgettable. We arrive to Arusha’s domestic airport in time for your flight to Zanzibar (if you have reserved Boundless Journeys’ Zanzibar: The Spice Island trip extension). If you have not reserved the trip extension, you will be met by a Boundless Journeys driver who will transfer you to KIA Lodge, just a few minutes from Arusha International Airport, where you will have a day-use room to rest and prepare for your evening international flight. On the way to the hotel we will stop at an indoor market where artisans from throughout Tanzania sell their work. This is a great place to purchase batik fabric, fine wood carvings, and even tanzanite. A transfer to the airport in time for your flight will be provided by the hotel.
KIA Lodge(day-use), Arusha, Tanzania

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