From December through to March, watch the world’s greatest migration unfold before you in what is described as one of the 10 natural wonders of the world.
During February the wildebeest spend their time on the short grass plains of the south eastern part of the Serengeti ecosystem, grazing and giving birth to approximately 500,000 calves within a 2 to 3-week period: a remarkably synchronised event. Both the sight and the sound is something quite extraordinary to witness!
The migration moves to the western corridor in June, crossing over the Grumeti River. The Grumeti region has its own resident wildlife so that in fact, throughout the year, wildlife viewing is always excellent here – especially for predators. There is even the opportunity of riding amongst the migration for those that wish to horse ride.
The herds then move over the border to the Masai Mara in Kenya from June through to September. The migration very much depends upon the rains and if they are early or late which is why it is slightly a moveable feast. You can ride amongst the migration in Kenya too.
However, if one spends time in the northern reaches of the Serengeti from July through to September, there is the overspill of the migration and the wildlife viewing is second to none.
There are also some wonderful walking safaris on offer in the southern region of the Serengeti during this period. These are completely private and tailored around you and your own fitness levels. Safety is paramount! Or you can have a combination of walking and game drives which offers you the best of both worlds!
Private tented mobile camp
First choice for the ultimate safari in Tanzania must be to stay in a luxury, private, tented mobile camp, erected just for you and your party.
One such operator that does this very well is Legendary Expeditions, who have a number of private mobile tented camps which follow the migration, allowing guests to be as close to the animals as humanly possible whilst witnessing one of Africa’s greatest phenomena!
This allows one complete flexibility and freedom each day. To spend the day amongst wildlife and return to your very own tented camp is the way that all safaris were conducted in the early 20th century and beforehand.
Sit around an open fire, the stars glistening above and listening to the sounds of lion roaring in the distance. This is what memories are truly made of!
Your private mobile comprises of a tented camp, with all the comforts such as en suite hot water showers and toilets, beds with comfortable mattresses, quality linen, Persian rugs, ice cold drinks, good food and excellent guiding.
The camps are positioned to be in the best locations for wildlife movement. This is preferable to the lodges which are static and wildlife could have moved onto another area.
The days are spent doing exactly as you wish - perhaps going out for a full day on safari with a picnic lunch under an acacia tree, or perhaps having a morning walking and an afternoon game viewing.
Having your own vehicle on any safari is crucial to its success – it means that you get to say how long you spend with your sightings and which sighting you spend time at - allowing you complete flexibility, freedom and exclusivity.
Then in the evening, sit on your veranda looking out across the plains, watching the sun set, perhaps with your journal, a glass of chilled wine and a bird book.
After a hot shower beneath the stars, walk with your guard along the hurricane lamp lit path, to join your guide and family sitting around a glowing fire, before sitting down for a wonderful meal by candlelight and reflecting on the day’s excitements.
Being in a tent means you hear the night sounds so much more clearly – and you smell the scent of the wild plants wafting through the gauze windows. It is simply magical, knowing that you are safely tucked up in your comfortable tent!
Apart from the Serengeti, these camps can also be erected in the Ngorongoro Highlands (which is also a fabulous walking area), Tarangire (known for its elephant population), Lake Manyara and Lake Natron which are wonderful birdlife areas.
But there is so much more, too.
I enjoy the benefits that come with the very best guides when out on a private mobile safari – they have so much experience and knowledge to impart. This is a part of the safari that I highly recommend and an option I urge you to consider.
Perhaps you might be interested in photography? A professional photographic guide can be arranged for you, or a film maker, or somebody who specialises in your own interests – from walking and horse riding, to geology, botany or anthropology.
Other wildlife migrations in Africa are also magnificent, from zebras in Botswana, wildebeest and bats in Zambia, to whales and sharks in South Africa. Visit our migrations page for more information.
Pictures courtesy of Legendary Expeditions