MIGRATION AND CALVING SEASON IN
NDUTU AREA NGORONGORO AND SERENGETI
Day 1: Arrival and Meeting with Our Team
We will welcome you at Kilimanjaro International Airport, where you will meet your host driver, and following you will be lead to the accommodation for your first overnight in Arusha. The drive takes approximately an hour from the airport. Your overnight stay is at Rivertrees Nestled in the foothills of Mt Meru with a majestic view of the great Kilimanjaro or Arusha Serena Hotel Resort & Spa a great location, a lovely setting with wonderful gardens and cute monkeys on site.
Day 2: Lake Manyara: Birding, Hippos, Elephants, and Tree-climbing Lions
Your adventure starts! You will enjoy an early after breakfast, and leave the lodge with carefully packed lunch for the drive heading to the Manyara National park to experience nature like nowhere else. The park hosts a diverse vegetation and is said to support several ecosystems at once, the best destination for bird lovers as it is the best place in Tanzania to engage in birding with close to 400 different species as the Grey crowned crane, Fischer’s sparrow lark, pink lesser flamingos and the Crowned Plover. The Lake Natron is one of the most serene lakes in Africa, but it’s also the source of some of the most incredible photographs ever captured.
During your game drive there will be plenty of big mammals as well. The park is most famous for its tree-climbing lions , elephants, hippos and three species of primates, and boasts one of the highest concentrations of elephants in Africa and is home to the largest baboon troops ever documented. Giraffes and other ungulates will also be part of your game drive. After the game we head to Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge or another of the same level depending booking dates.
Day 3: Heading towards Ngorongoro Crater
This will be an amazing day. After a succulent breakfast we will drive from Manyara Park to Ngorongoro. The drive will take you through a multiple land use where Maasai and wildlife live in the area, and depending your preferences, it’s possible to visit one of the tribes in Karatu where you can meet a tribal elder who can explain you on site about the tribe and its history. Later the drive will resume through the Ngorongoro rain forest towards the Ngorongoro crater.
The Ngorongoro Crater is an experience you won’t forget! The crater is one of the wonders of nature and is highly recognized by UNESCO, there is a large amount animals and rich vegetation. We will spend the whole day around the crater observing a large number of different species. You will likely have one of the last opportunities to see black Rhinos alive in their habitat. We know perfectly their habits and how to track them, Loserian was the ranger in charge of protecting them from poaching years ago.
After lunch you can enjoy a short hike at the rim of the crater or around the lodge, the overnight is at Sopa lodge or Ngorongoro Serena lodge.
Day 4: Ngorongoro – world’s largest inactive, unbroken and unfilled volcanic caldera
Wake up early, have a coffee and drive to the crater with a breakfast box so you can enjoy the best time in the crater. At morning the crater is full of activity and it’s possible to spot practically all wildlife, you may even have a chance to see the only remaining Black Rhinos.
The Ngorongoro Crater is just 3,200 square miles and because it’s a crater, there are limited places to hide. Regardless, it has over 30,000 animals of different kind and species, and is renowned by the big cats like lions and leopards. Nowadays there is also a large number of hyenas, wildebeest, zebras, and buffalos. The wide-open expanse of Ngorongoro is perfect for game drives, and you can easily see the animals wandering across the valley of the crater. It’s easier to see the big 5 in Ngorongoro than anywhere else in Tanzania. Later you will go back to the lodge for a nice dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Ndutu – The Maasai land.
After a good and warm breakfast, you will head to Ndutu woodland. The Ndutu region forms part of the northern section of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and stretches to the unfenced southern reaches of the Serengeti National Park, a meeting point between these two incredible wilderness areas.
Regardless of the season and depending of our clients’ preferences, we organize cultural visits to ancestral Maasai villages. As we are Maasai, we take you to unique and real Maasai villages, not those overcrowded places that big operators use for their tours.
The evening and early morning are probably the best time to do a game viewing. Depending on schedule you can enjoy a lunch meal in Ndutu lodge and late evening game drive, or directly enjoy a game drive before heading to Ndutu lodge or tented camp (client’s choice) for a dinner and overnight.
Day 6: The Great Migration – the cycle of life.
A sunrise game drive is probably the best idea, so we pack the lunch and breakfast boxes and continue to enjoy the Ndutu.
A big draw of the Ndutu Region is to see part of the cycle of the Great Migration, the return of the herds to graze in December, the calving which takes place in January and February, and finally the departure of the herds again in April as they start making their journey northwards. Calving season is particularly dramatic: a million wildebeest give birth to 8000 babies every day, and as these newborns take their first steps, they’re targeted by lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena.
The prime game viewing spot in the Ndutu Region is around Lake Ndutu, where enormous herds congregate between December and April to graze and calve. The forests and granite kopjes around Lake Ndutu are also home to lots of game outside of the migration months.
Day 7:The Large Plains
Our last day in Ndutu will depend on your preferences, you can take decision on what to see. It’s possible to go for another great migration experience (if in season), or enjoy a cultural visit to Olduvai Gorge.
Our experienced guides are local Maasai, and this privilege make possible off-road games to follow and track animals out of the sometimes overcrowded paths. As Ndutu has nice and large plains it’s perfect for an off road adventure.
A trip to Ndutu is not just about wildlife and landscapes, there’s incredible cultural heritage to explore too. Lying within the Ndutu Region, Olduvai Gorge (also known as Oldupai – the correct Maasai spelling of the word) is one of the world’s most significant paleo-anthropological sites, thanks to the discovery of the earliest evidence of the existence of our human ancestors.
Later at night we will get back to lodge or camp to have a good dinner and some rest.
Day 8: The natural wonder of Serengeti.
It’s time to change location and head towards the highest concentration of large mammals in the world, the Serengeti. Wide open plains dotted with wildebeest, zebras, and antelope as far as the eye can see. Serengeti National Park is one of the world’s most beloved and recognizable wilderness areas.
There are plenty of options in Serengeti. You will have a chance to finds big cats or elephants in the plains, or other different sceneries with kopjes (big rocks like small mountains) in the middle of the plains, formed by nature during the volcanic activities, more than four million years ago.
Following the visit to Moru Kopjes, you will have the opportunity to mingle with rhinos in the Retina Hippo Pool to watch the chortling of hippos as they wallow in their pools to escape the heat of the midday sun.
These days in Serengeti offer great chances to spot the big 5!
Day 9:The Serengeti in depth
The Serengeti fits well into most people’s dream of an African safari with its abundant wildlife. But the Serengeti is a massive national park, so it can be difficult to cover the entire park in a few days. That’s why we plan beforehand with our clients, so we take into account your preferences and circumstances.
The second day in Serengeti is perfect to explore the area in depth. Professional guides can make a great trip into a fantastic one with their skill for spotting wildlife and explaining the ecosystem and animals.
Our local guides know well the Serengeti and will take you to those hidden gems like the kopjes. There, we know it’s possible to find lions and leopards on top of rocks and trees. The Moru kopjes are the most popular and most often visited kopjes, some are adorned with paintings created by cattle herding Maasai. But there is many more to check.
Day 10: Serengeti – a wildlife hotspot
The Serengeti, as an iconic Tanzanian wildlife hotspot deserves another full day of game drives and activities. The Greatest show on Earth must go on! Whether you visit Serengeti in during migration o not, aside from the migrating herds, the park sustains stable populations of many other species, and you will certainly encounter giraffe, warthog, olive baboon, vervet monkey, and buffalo, as well as elephant
Day 11: Tracking predators
The last day in Serengeti is sometimes used for trying to track and find those species that makes you tick. Normally, in case of great migration season, watching over a million animals moving in herds in the wild with predators on the follow up seems like the perfect scene to keep as the last of your adventure. For the rest of the year, you can decide among the different options like exploring a river area or the kopjes.
Great Migration Itinerary
NOTE: This itinerary can be camping or lodging. Prices may vary with specification of lodges or camping. In some areas there are not possibility for budget lodges. We alway try to give you the best quality accommodation at the best price