8 Days great migration fly in safari
8 Days great migration fly in safari
This 8-day private safari is designed to get you as close to the Great Migration as possible, from both the Kenyan and Tanzanian sides of the border! Starting in the Mara, you’ll stay at the classic Bateleur Camp, before flying south to the Serengeti for 2 nights bush camping at the fabulous Serengeti Under Canvas, a luxury mobile camp that moves in conjunction with the migratory herds. A 2-night stay on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater follows.
Arrive Nairobi International airport, where you will be met by your driver and transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to the Masai Mara.
On arrival at the Mara airstrip, meet with your safari driver & guide for the short transfer to Bateleur Camp, where you stay three nights.
Situated in the shadow of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, Bateleur is a well-established Mara Camp which in 2018 received a stunning makeover.
Aiming to evoke the classic safari era of the 1920s and 30s, Bateleur Camp features 18 canvas suites and two separate mess areas, all set on raised decks with polished wooden floors, soft worn leather furnishings, and paraphernalia appropriate to the era, from the grand freestanding copper bathtubs and sumptuous four-poster beds in each guest tent, to the antique lanterns, vintage safari trunks and Old World safari maps that adorn the mess areas.
Complementing its classic, ‘Out of Africa' trappings, Bateleur Camp also features lots of modern touches, both in terms of its design and its amenities. Sunken lounge seats, cut into a recess of each tent’s viewing deck, could have been lifted out of a stylish bar or coffee shop, while the deep pearl-shaped lap pool and gin bar are decidedly trendy. Inside, the rooms are equipped with both outdoor and indoor showers, in addition to standing bathtubs. Electricity is available in all the tents.
Bateleur makes the most of its location. Situated in the Mara Conservancy, on the edge of the main Masai Mara National Reserve, it enjoys dramatic views of the Mara plains in one direction and of the Great Rift Valley escarpment in the other. Positioned within the Mara triangle area and close to the Mara river, it is also superbly placed for witnessing the wildebeest migration between July and October.
The next 2 days will be spent exploring the Masai Mara on twice-daily game drives, returning to Bateleur Camp midday to lunch and rest.
The Masai Mara is quintessential East Africa, a landscape of windswept savannah plains interspersed by pockets of acacia woodland and rocky kopjes; and all of it simply teeming with wildlife. During your stay at Bateleur, you’ll travel in a sturdy 4WD with a knowledgeable guide who will endeavour to show you the best that the region has to offer. The highlights are likely to be many and varied; huge herds of grazers, the big cats, elephant, warthog, hyaena and buffalo are just some of the wildlife highlights that you might expect to see on a typical game drive.
Seasonally, during the Great Migration, one can witness vast herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. This is a natural phenomenon and the timing is never precise. The herds will typically cross into the Mara in July and August, before migrating back to the Serengeti plains between September and October. These are the best months to view the famous Mara crossings, though this does not have to dictate the timing of your visit; for general game-viewing, the Mara heaves with wildlife all year round.
You will be transferred to the airstrip after breakfast to catch the morning flight to the Serengeti. On arrival in the northern Serengeti, you will be met and transferred to Serengeti Under Canvas, your home for the next two nights, with game drive en route.
Serengeti Under Canvas
Serengeti Under Canvas is a semi-permanent mobile camp that shifts location throughout the year in order to track the Great Migration. The camp, or rather camps (there are two main sites), offers a classic bush camping experience but with many of the comforts and amenities that one would expect from a top-end permanent camp. This is a luxury bush camp, then, but with lots of fine touches, from the brass fittings in the bathrooms to the luxury linens that make up each bed. The mess areas are furnished with the same attention to detail, with heavy Indian rugs and deep leather sofas. There is a strong emphasis on service at Serengeti Under Canvas, with each tent assigned a dedicated butler.
This being a bush camp, there are some traditional touches! The guest tents are equipped with double bucket showers (which can be filled on demand) in the absence of running water, and there is no electricity – lighting is from battery-powered lamps, paraffin lanterns and torches. But what it lacks in modern amenities, Serengeti Under Canvas makes up for in rustic charm and in wildlife-viewing opportunities.
Today, embark on a full day of game viewing in the Serengeti, with an emphasis on tracking the great migration.
Staying at Serengeti Under Canvas, you will have reliable sightings of the wildebeest herds at all times of year; highlights include the calving season in late Jan and Feb, which takes place in the southern Serengeti, and the famous Mara River crossings, between July and October.
If travelling July to October, as we would usually suggest for an itinerary combining the Mara and Serengeti, your game drive will focus on the northern Serengeti and the Mara river area. Geographically closer to the Masai Mara, the northern Serengeti is a beautiful region dotted with rocky outcrops and massive boulders (kopjes). The vast savannah plains, for which the Serengeti is famous, are still apparent here, but they are interspersed with hills and outcrops that give the land a different character.
After breakfast, bid farewell to the camp team and transfer to the airstrip for the morning flight to Manyara (09:45-11:50), with game drive en route.
On arrival in Manyara, you will be met and transferred to Crater Lodge, in the Ngorongoro Highlands, for 2 nights.
This charming lodge perches on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, boasting perhaps the best location of any lodge in the region. From its high perch, the lodge enjoys marvellous views to the floor of the Crater, whilst also providing a perfect base from which to explore the surrounding Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has a truly unique look and feel. The rooms and public areas have been designed to resemble traditional Maasai homesteads (manyatta), incorporating mud, sticks, thatch and banana leaf in their construction. The theme is also carried across in much of the decor, such as the traditional fire bowls that flank the entrance to the dining areas, a contrast to the more familiar 'colonial' furnishings of the lounge area and guest rooms. Though traditional in its appearance, Crater Lodge is very much a luxury retreat - the rooms are beautifully furnished and the food is exceptional
Set off early this morning in a 4x4, descending 2,000 feet to the floor of the crater for a six-hour safari with picnic lunch.
The Ngorongoro Crater is perhaps the greatest self-contained wildlife sanctuary in the world. A huge, fully intact caldera (collapsed volcano), the crater stretches for some 18 kilometres between precipitous slopes—the 2,000ft high walls at the crater’s rim. On its floor – a landscape of golden savannah plains and shimmering soda lakes fed by freshwater springs – is found a huge diversity of wildlife, including species not present in the neighbouring Serengeti plains. This combination of dramatic scenery and prolific wildlife creates in Ngorongoro a spectacle unlike anything else in Africa.
The Crater is over 100,000 square miles in size and its walls form a natural sanctuary. The animals that populate the Crater have survived in it for many millions of years, protected by the high crater walls and the moderate climate. With plentiful water and grass for grazers to feed on, and ample game for the lion, leopard and hyena to hunt, the crater provides the perfect conditions for life—and for game-viewing.
Late afternoon, return to Crater Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Depart Crater Lodge this morning and transfer to the Manyara Airstrip for the morning flight to Arusha.
In Arusha, you will be met and transferred to the international airport for your homeward flight, unless overnighting in the city or continuing with a beach extension.