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Situated in northern Tanzania, the Serengeti ecosystem spans approximately 12,000 square miles across the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The Serengeti Migration Safari explores the area of Piyaya, a remote and little visited part of the Serengeti ecosystem to the east within the Loliondo Controlled Area, where the landscape is rugged with open, sweeping grasslands interspersed with striking granite kopjes.
Adjoining the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Loliondo Controlled Area is teeming with magnificent wildlife on the eastern corridor of the Serengeti and offers an adventurous horseback safari; an incredible opportunity to indulge your sense of adventure off the beaten track.
You will be riding through Maasai territory, where these nomadic tribes have been hunting and herding for thousands of years. Influenced by the Maasai lifestyle, which focuses on animal and environmental protection, these areas are amongst the wildest in Tanzania and Kenya.
For the last four years, the migration has been passing through the Piyaya area between January to the end of March. The safari has been timed to give you the best chance of seeing the migration of wildebeest from the Maasai Mara back to the grassy plains of the Serengeti. However, not all animals participate in this migration, and so the game is plentiful all year round.
Game sightings can never be guaranteed, but along with the possibility of seeing the wildebeest migration there should be plenty of other game spread across plains with zebra, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles and impala all following the grass in the wake of the rainy season. You may also see small herds of elephant, Cape buffalo, topi and waterbuck, as well as Masai giraffe, eland and hartebeest, jackal, caracal, and primates including baboons, vervet and colobus monkeys.
There is incredible bird life; imposing ostrich and Secretary birds, colourful bee-eaters and rollers, many types of raptors, and the ‘Go-away bird’ with its distinct call.
The area is particularly known for sightings of cheetah, drawn by the prevalent plains game, as well as other predators such as such as hyena, leopard, and lion, often heard calling at night as you relax around the campfire.
As well as at least one game drive into the Serengeti National Park, night game drives with a spotlight are also included on safari. It is an excellent area for nocturnal game such as bat-eared fox, bush babies, hyrax, genet cat, porcupine, and perhaps aardvark, aardwolf and civet.
Please note that the precise day by day itinerary may vary according to movements of the game and weather conditions.
You are transferred from Kilimanjaro airport to the Polo Safari Club for the first night, a journey of about 30 minutes. Your guide will join you for dinner at the Club and introduce the itinerary for the next week.
An early start to catch your morning charter flight from Arusha to Ndutu airstrip in the South Serengeti. On landing, you are transferred by vehicle through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, passing through sweeping grass plains intersected with impressive rocky outcrops known as “kopjes” and river courses. Leaving the National Park, but still within the wider Serengeti Ecosystem, you arrive at camp in the shade of the acacia trees in time for lunch.
After lunch meet the horses and grooms and, time allowing, a short introductory evening ride. The day ends around the campfire and before dinner the safari briefing takes place to prepare everyone for the next day’s adventure.
You are woken from your slumber with a welcome cup of tea or coffee before breakfast in the mess tent. Set off in the cool of the morning, exploring the area with its gently rolling grasslands, interspersed with granite outcrops and valleys of acacia trees, you should have a good chance of seeing the wildebeest for which the area is famous, gathering on the vast grassy plains.
Depending on the weather and movement of game, you may ride out for a long morning ride, returning to camp for lunch and then either another ride in the afternoon of perhaps a game drive in the late afternoon. Alternatively you could be out all day, meeting the support crew for lunch in the bush.
An early start as you move to a new camp. Ride through areas that have rarely been visited on horse, perhaps passing Maasai herdsmen or their small settlements, where tribesmen live off the land as they have done for centuries.
Stop for an al fresco lunch in the bush, resting in the heat of the day, before setting off again to get to your camp, set up in a new location in advance by your support team.
Days Five to Eight
Four more days to explore, including riding to one more camp in another new area. The route and arrangements each day will vary with the movement of the game, and you may even have one night out in a lightweight ‘flycamp’, sleeping under mosquito nets. You will also spend one day on a game drive into the Serengeti National Park, famous for its huge concentration of wildebeest - a wonderful chance to see these migratory mammals at close range. This is also a great opportunity to go in search of the big cats such as cheetah, lion and leopard.
Wake early for breakfast and say farewell to your horses and support team. Drive back through the Serengeti National Park to Ndutu airstrip for your return charter flight to Arusha. Lunch is in Arusha, with the chance to purchase some last minute souvenirs. Later you are transferred to Kilimanjaro airport in time for your flight.
SERENGETI MIGRATION SAFARI (8 nights)
2019: $6,795 per person sharing
INCLUDES Accommodation; meals; most drinks; guides and riding; day room on last day; National Park fees; Wildlife Department fees; Wildlife Management Area fees; Village fees; Flying Doctor insurance; return transfers from Kilimanjaro/Arusah airport (on set days).
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT There is no single supplement for solo travellers. If you are travelling with a friend (even on separate bookings) and wish to have a single tent then a supplement is payable of $400
PAYABLE LOCALLY Gratuities; imported wines and spirits
NEAREST AIRPORT Kilimanjaro
TRANSFERS Included by road from/to Kilimanjaro/Arusha airport on the first and last days of the ride. The return light aircraft transfer from Arusha to Ndutu is $500 per person, and we will arrange this transfer for you.
NOT INCLUDED International flights to Kilimanjaro
In The Saddle Gallery
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