9-Day Migration Safari – Mara River Crossing Luxury
In these 9 days of unforgettable and awe-inspiring safari experience, you will spend 8 nights in the northern Tanzania parks visiting the renowned Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara National Parks and the Ngorongoro Crater. The best-developed tourism routes in Tanzania allow the chance to see the “Big 5” (Elephants, Lions, Buffalo, Rhinos and Leopards).
Additionally, the program has been crafted to maximise your chances of seeing and experiencing the Great Migration. You will visit the northern part of Serengeti, where most of the wildebeest migration can usually be found from July to October, particularly the high drama of a river crossing at the Mara River to reach the famously Maasai Mara in Kenya. The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of over two million Serengeti’s wildebeest, accompanied by numbers of zebras, and smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelles, Thomson’s gazelles, elands, and impalas. They move in an annual pattern that is relatively predictable. They migrate constantly seeking fresh grazing and, it’s now thought, better quality water. With our knowledgeable and experienced driver guide, you will experience encounters beyond your fantasies.
- This tour starts and ends in Arusha.
- You’ll visit Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Serengeti National Parks and Ngorongoro Crater.
- Activities: Game drives
- Game drives: Pop-roof 4×4 vehicle
- Private tour – This tour will be organised privately and won’t be shared with others.
- Can start any day – If availability permits, this tour can start on any day.
- Can be customised – You can request changes to this tour.
- Suitable for solo travellers – Solo travellers can book this private tour.
Day 1: Arrival Day: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport, you will be warmly welcomed by our professional and personal driver guide. You will be transferred to your hotel in Arusha for overnight relaxation and preparation in keenness of the coming safari adventure. Arusha is the pounding heart of the wild – the last port of civilisation before heading out into dense jungles and rich savannah plains. It is located below Mount Meru on the eastern edge of the east branch of the Great Rift Valley. The town’s temperate and calm climate is exciting. It is close to the infamous Tanzania National Park, which lures visitors to explore the fantastic Maasai culture and unique flora and fauna.
Today you can relax in Arusha, enjoy a quick briefing about your upcoming safari, recover from your journey, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Africa.
Day 2: Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park
After breakfast, your driver-guide will pick you up and starts your adventure drive towards the Lake Manyara National Park, one of the Rift Valley’s most renowned lakes and home to impressive concentrations of birds and large mammals. Even though the park is small in size, 325 sq. kilometres, it has awe-inspiring scenery and is well-known for its growing population of baboons, tree-climbing lions and elephants. The game drives along the lake provide spectacular photo chances of giraffes and buffaloes in the foreground and the lake and its flamingos in the background. Moreover, the park is a bird watcher’s paradise where over 350 species of birds, including the lively flamingo, pelican, sacred ibis, grebe and stork, can be spotted. A short visit to this tranquil park will diversify your African safari experience.
You will enjoy a picnic lunch, then proceed with game watching and late in the evening, drive to your accommodation for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Lake Manyara to Central Serengeti
After breakfast, your exploration journey continues heading to the renowned Serengeti National Park, home of the Great Migration, driving through the beautiful high-lying farmland of Karatu and spectacular views of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will have multiple stops to enjoy the beautiful scenery, including stopping at the great Ngorongoro Crater rim. You will enjoy a picnic lunch, then an afternoon game watching in Central Serengeti, and later in the evening, drive to your accommodation for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
The park has 14,763 sq. km, and more than 4 million large mammals live in total wilderness freedom. The park is unquestionably one of the best-known wildlife national parks globally. It is renowned for its annual wildebeest migration of 2 million wildebeests, hundreds of thousands of zebras, and antelopes. As for the big cats and large predators, it’s the place to look out for lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas, with many television scenes like the famous River Crossings filmed in this park.
Day 4: Central Serengeti – Northern Serengeti
After breakfast, your unforgettable journey continues towards the northern reaches of the Serengeti National Park, famous for the Great Migration, where wildebeests cross the mara river. That means you will be as close as possible to the Great Migration. Although the movement of the herds is unpredictable, and nothing is guaranteed, generally, northern Tanzania has much more to offer. You will enjoy the enroute game drive towards the northern Serengeti region, which offer slight action from resident games. It provides a variety of resident games, such as zebras, topi, gazelle, buffaloes, leopards and lions. Late in the evening, you will arrive at your accommodation for relaxation, dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Northern Serengeti
Today, after an early breakfast, you will depart for a morning game driver until noontime, whereby you will drive back to you for hot Lunch and a little leisure. Then another afternoon game viewing around Mara River late in the afternoon. You will begin a journey to explore the northern Serengeti, the prominent Mara River, where large numbers of hippos and Nile crocodiles and the Hundreds of thousands of desperate wildebeest and Zebras fold together on the banks of the river and wait to cross. Witnessing the river crossing takes patience and a little luck, as the herd will often take hours to decide whether or not to travel, weighing the risk of crocodiles and the strength of the river’s current. The Mara River is the last major obstacle between the Wildebeest Migration and the relative safety of the Maasai Mara; the animals that successfully avoid the awaiting crocodile jaws and make it over the river are rewarded with the green pasture of the renowned Masai Mara National Reserve.
Moreover, the northern Serengeti has many resident animals, including hippos, lions, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, cheetahs, and Leopards, and if you are lucky, you may see the endangered black rhino.
Day 6: Northern Serengeti – Central Serengeti
Today after a morning game drive, an afternoon drive to Central Serengeti for dinner and overnight. The Central Serengeti offers excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year; however, in April-June and November, you may have a chance to see thousands of zebras and wildebeest attributed to the great migration as they pass through this area. However, the herds tend to be more spread out as there are moving between locations.
Day 7: Serengeti to Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Wake up early in the morning for breakfast, followed by departure for a morning game drive, spot the animals when they are more active and have a fantastic sunrise. The sun-up in the African Savannah is one of the most excellent stunning, unforgettable experiences. After lunch, it’s time to drive eastwards to visit another spectacular setting for Tanzania’s wildlife, the famous Ngorongoro Crater. Upon arrival late in the afternoon, settle for dinner and overnight.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a pioneering experiment where people (the Maasai), livestock, and wildlife co-exist and share the same protected habitat. The stunning spectacle of the Ngorongoro Crater, its steep walls falling some 610 meters to the floor, is undoubtedly one of the highlights of a safari tour in Tanzania. The crater floor is home to thousands of everyday animals, including the rare black rhinos, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, hippos, elands, elephants, and a large predator population of lions, hyenas, and jackals.
Day 8: Ngorongoro Crater to Tarangire National Park
Today there will be plenty of time to enjoy another actual show – Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as a wonder of the world. After breakfast, descend into the crater floor for an incredible morning of wildlife viewing in one of the most splendid places exploring Africa’s Garden of Eden, the Ngorongoro Crater.
The crater is the grasslands, forests, and freshwater lake that inspire the migration of animals and makes for the perfect chance to catch a glimpse of Africa’s notorious Big Five (buffalo, elephants, leopards, black-maned lions, and the rare black rhinoceros). After some exploring, enjoy a lunch picnic in the crater’s heart before we take in some more sights and drive up the steep road out of the crater, heading to Tarangire National Park for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Tarangire to Kilimanjaro International Airport
After breakfast, head for early morning game viewing through the famed Tarangire National Park, home of Tanzania’s largest concentration of elephants. Tarangire is vividly beautiful and has a diverse ecosystem, boasting one of the largest concentrations of elephants in East Africa. During midday, you will have a stop for a picnic lunch; the picnic area is fascinating, boasting an observatory with amazing views of the Tarangire river and wildlife (with good chances of seeing a hunt while having your picnic). After the game viewing, your guide will drive to Arusha or the airport for drop-off.
- Pick up and drop off at Arusha/Kilimanjaro International Airport
- English-speaking driver-guide
- Park fees
- All activities as specified in the itinerary
- Evacuation insurance (AMREF – Flying Doctors)
- All accommodation – (Unless listed as upgrade)
- All transportation – (Unless labelled as optional)
- 4×4 Customized safari vehicle
- All meals
- Water in the car
- International flights – (From/to home)
- Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
- Tips – (Highly recommended)
- Personal items – (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
- Government-imposed increase of taxes and park fees
- Meals not specified
- Hot air balloon safari US$ 599 per person
- Drinks and beverages
- Laundry services