About the Mara River Crossing (July to October)
During this period, the herd continues its movement north towards the Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya. There is no tight schedule that these animals follow, and so tracking the herd’s movements becomes a day to day prospect as the meander slowly but inexorably towards the next big obstacle in their path: the Mara River.
The Mara River poses another deadly barrier for the herd, who must again brave swollen waters and the opportunistic predators if they are to find relatively safety on the far side. Photographers and documentarians from around the world gather to witness the death-defying crossing, but the surrounding landscapes are every bit as memorable as the life and death struggle taking place at the Kogatende crossing.
This safari can be done as either a fly-in safari as described below, or as a fly-out safari. In this case, the itinerary would be reversed and you would fly from the Lobo region back to Arusha at the conclusion of your safari.
Day One – Arusha – Serengeti National Park (Lobo Region)
After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Arusha Airport for your flight to the Lobo area of the Northern Serengeti. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Tanzania as you make the short trip, where you’ll be met by your Shadows of Africa driver upon arrival.
The Lobo area is a broad valley of sparse woodland and open savannah, ensuring a large resident population of lions, leopards, and elephants throughout the year. Kopje (small hills) are also a prominent feature of the area, which is bordered to the east by forested hills where the majority of tented lodges are.
You’ll spend your day driving through this distinct and beautiful region of the park in search of the Wildebeest Migration and the Big Five.
In the afternoon, you have the option to extend your game drive until sunset or participate in one of the optional activities available at your lodge. These often include nature walks, village visits, and night game drives outside of the park.
Day Two – Serengeti National Park (Lobo Region)
After breakfast, we’ll start our game drive around the Lobo area, searching around the kopjes looking for carnivores and the large migration groups that will be preparing to cross the Mara River into Kenya.
The Lobo Hills are covered in large acacia trees which support large amounts of elephants, giraffes, antelopes, buffaloes, and the carnivores that prey upon them. It’s a fascinating opportunity to see a large number of Africa’s most iconic animals in a relatively small amount of time. From here we’ll proceed to the Bologonja and kogatende areas where we will eventually meet the Mara River itself. Home to large numbers of hippos and Nile crocodiles, the Mara River is the last major obstacle standing between the Wildebeest Migration and the relative safety of the Maasai Mara. If you’re patient and a little lucky, you may even get to witness the death-defying crossing itself where wildebeest and zebras brave the river’s currents and crocodiles in an attempt to reach safety on the opposite bank.
Day Three – Serengeti National Park (Lobo Region) – Serengeti National Park (Seronera Region)
We’ll start our day immediately after breakfast, driving through the plains of Togoro and the Mbuzi Mawe kopjes on our way to cross the Banagi River into the Seronera region of the Central Serengeti. Along the way, you’ll spot everything from the enigmatic dik-diks to towering elephants, and everything in between.
The Seronera is often known as ‘big cat country’, and its kopjes and acacias provide an excellent opportunity to spot prides of lazy lions, sleek cheetahs out on the hunt, and leopards overseeing everything from their lofty perches. The region’s hippo pools and wide open spaces provide ample opportunities for game viewing.
Dinner and overnight in the heart of the Serengeti National Park according to the standard and the type of accommodation requested from our options.
Day Four – Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro
After breakfast, we get right on the road back towards the Ngorongoro Crater National Park.
Our drive takes us back through the Serengeti via a different route, offering plenty of opportunities to spot the animals that eluded you on day two. As far as the eye can see, you’ll spot thousands upon thousands of animals in herds; wildebeests and zebras migrating together, tall and graceful giraffes, jumping antelopes and gazelles, the powerful African elephant and the most respected group of animals: the predators. You will have the chance to spot lean cheetahs and shy leopards, foraging hyenas, and last but not least, the king himself; the lion.
Dinner and overnight on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater or in nearby Karatu Town according to the standard and the type of accommodation requested from our options.
Day Five – Ngorongoro Crater – Arusha
After breakfast, you’ll depart for Ngorongoro Crater; considered by some to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. When you get your first glimpse of this vast, verdant caldera from the panoramic viewpoint, you’ll soon understand why it has earned such a lofty reputation.
Home to over 120 species of mammal including the fabled Big Five, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most sought after safari destinations in the world. It’s a particularly good place to see the endangered black rhinoceros enjoying a lonely meal out on the grass plains, as well as a place to see large numbers of hippopotamus enjoying the cool water.
From the comfort of your open-top vehicle, you’ll be able to observe and photograph some of Africa’s most recognisable faces. The crater is home to a large number of predators including lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, and hyenas, as well as a large population of wildebeest, zebras, antelope, cape buffalo, and more. It is truly one of Africa’s premier safari destinations.
After the thrills and excitement of the day, you will have a picnic lunch by the park’s famous hippo pool before returning to Arusha air port to catch your flight to Zanzibar or back home after a wonderfully and amazing holiday in Tanzania Don’t forget to come Buck.
- Full board accommodation whilst on safari in the above mentioned lodges
- Private safari guide
- Private 4 x 4 safari jeep with pop up roof for game viewing
- Transfers in both directions between the International Airport
- Park fees
- Ngorongoro Crater fees
- All meals whist on safari
- Game drives
- Drinking water
- All government taxes Â including VAT
- Tips for the drive and any items of personal nature
- Personal effects
- Soft drinks, beer, sodas etc.