We decided to return to Tanzania in July 2014 to see the Great Migration. We had been tracking the herd for a few months.
Thanks to Simon at Intrepid Expeditions we spent the first few days in the Central Serengeti. This is a great place to see a large number of all the animals you’d expect to see on safari. We went to bed to the sounds of lions roaring and hippos grazing on the grass in front of our tent.
When we moved to a camp in the North near the Mara River we arrived just in time to see about a half a million wildebeest cross the river over into Kenya. It was an incredible site. If you want prices and/or assistance on booking any travel in Africa give Simon a call, tell him I sent you.
We spent the night in NAIROBI after landing we spent 3 hours in the immigration line. (you need the yellow and white form, fill them out in line) We had to pay $30 for a transit visa. It was a $30 taxi ride to the Crowne Plaza, a new modern hotel. If you are departing from Nairobi be prepared for long lines. (fill out another yellow form) When you get to your gate inside the terminal you will have to go through security again and past that is the waiting area.
SERENGETI/ THE GREAT MIGRATION / NGORONGORO CRATER
-To exchange dollars bring bills over 2006 series
-Visa to enter country is $100
-The mobile camps aren’t always mobile. The one we stayed in stays in place for months at a time.
-Night drives are not allowed in the park
-If you stay at several places while in Tanzania it is likely that your guide/driver will stay with you the entire time you are in country. The guides are assigned to the tourists and not the camp.
-Guide’s main income are tips!
-See video of the animals on our Facebook Page, “Kim’s Travel Site”
Seregenti National Park: It is about the size of Connecticut. The central area is Seronera Valley which is between the southern plans and northern woodlands anytime of year you will see a wide variety of animals in this area.
TENTS: There are a few lodges in the park. We stayed at the mobile camp, Serengeti Explorer Camp at the Tosoro site. Although we stayed in tents, they had warm water for a shower, a proper toilet and best of all at night amazing stars!! The local staff went above and beyond to make sure we had a nice stay.
Great Migration: Animals as far as the eye can see. You will be in awe; unfortunately my camera did not come close to capturing this incredible sight. Over 1 million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras follow the water. As the park’s website says they, “flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June.”
HOTEL: We went north to follow the herd and treated ourselves to topnotch accommodations at Serengeti BushTops. It was a bit of a ride from here to the Mara River but this place is first class. And finally with an armed guide and a vehicle following us, we were able to get out of the vehicle and take a hike. Warning: if the sun is not shinning don’t put your clothes in the laundry unless you want them back wet.
Ngorongoro Crater: The Ngorongoro conservation area is 8300 square Kilos and has forested mountains and vast open plains. The main feature on the crater floor is open grassland. The food and water on the crater floor attracts a lot of animals. Coming from the Serengeti it was somewhat of a let down, too many cars but the landscape is beautiful. They also have flamingos if you are there in the wet season you will see them. The animals are also use to the cars so you will be much closer to them here. There are large herds of Wildebeest and Cape Buffalo. You should also see Zebras, Lions, Hyenas, Warthogs and if you’re lucky a Cheetah or two.
HOTEL: On the dirt road as we drove up the mountain to the Manor House, I was thinking this place better be worth the drive. Thankfully for all involved it was. The food was great, the staff was exceptional and the views over the coffee plantation are stunning. It is romantic and charming. If you like to horseback ride they have stables on the grounds. A great place to clean off the road dust and spend the day at the pool or reading a book in any the comfy places around the property.