Go in search of the thundering
herds of the legendary wildebeest
migration on a wildlife safari in Tanzania.
Experience the power of the migration up
close in the vast savannas of northern or
southern Serengeti, depending on the season
(see box at right). Take in extraordinary
vistas of the Great Rift Valley, and descend
into the Ngorongoro Crater to spot lions,
cheetahs, elephants, and much more.
Take a private tour of Olduvai Gorge where
Homo habilis was discovered on a National
Seek out the great wildebeest migration.
Spot spectacular wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater, a unique habitat sheltering almost 25,000 animals.
Join a Maasai chief on a visit to his village, witness a traditional ceremony, and learn firsthand about Maasai culture.
Itinerary - 11 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Arusha, Tanzania
Depart on an overnight flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport via Amsterdam, and arrive the following evening. Arusha Coffee Lodge
Day 3 — Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park
Drive to Lake Manyara National Park, famous for
its elephants, hippos, giraffes, flamingos, and
tree-climbing lions. Set out to discover East
Africa’s legendary wildlife amid the stunning
Rift Valley landscape on our first safari. Plantation Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Lake Manyara National Park
On a morning game drive, observe the wildlife
that congregates on the shores of Lake Manyara.
Visit a coffee plantation to learn about the coffee
production process this afternoon Plantation Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, travel to the Ngorongoro
Highlands, where a nearby Maasai community
welcomes us into their village on a special visit.
Far from the tourist circuit, enjoy a rare opportunity
to view traditional singing and dancing, visit
a school, witness an initiation ritual, and learn
about this fascinating culture from the village
chief and his wives. After lunch, descend 2,000
feet to the base of the Ngorongoro Crater, where
volcanic slopes shelter almost 25,000 animals.
Observe the interactions of predator and prey;
spot colorful birdlife from Marabou Storks to
Crowned Cranes; and track elephants, rare black
rhinos, cheetahs, and more. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Ngorongoro Crater
Return to the crater floor for breakfast and a
morning safari. After an afternoon to relax and
listen to a talk by our expert, watch the sun set
over the crater from the lodge. Tonight, National
Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Louise Leakey
or Dr. Fidelis Masao, co-director of the Olduvai
Landscape Paleoarchaeology Project, joins us for
dinner and a discussion about the groundbreaking
paleontological finds in the region. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Olduvai Gorge/Serengeti National Park
Drive to the Olduvai Gorge where, on a National
Geographic–sponsored expedition in 1960, Louis
and Mary Leakey discovered Homo habilis, one of the earliest members of the human genus. On a private tour of Olduvai Gorge, accompany Louise Leakey and learn about the family’s legacy and ongoing work, or join Dr. Masao on a walk through the site where much of his life’s research has been conducted. This afternoon, drive to our lodge in the central Serengeti, looking for lions, cheetahs, and leopards along the way. Serengeti Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)
Days 8 & 9 — Serengeti National Park
Rise early for a morning game drive before flying to the northern Serengeti, and with luck, witness
the dramatic river crossings of the wildebeest
migration. Great herds of wildebeests and zebras
eye predators warily as crocodile snouts break the
surface of the Mara River. Stay in a luxury tented
camp, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World program, and take in the region’s spectacular array of wildlife on morning and afternoon game
drives. On our last evening, gather for a candlelit
farewell dinner in the bush.
Sayari Camp (B,L,D daily)
Days 10 & 11 — Serengeti/Arusha/U.S.
After an early morning safari, fly back to Arusha. Relax at our hotel before connecting with your evening flight home, arriving the next day. Rivertrees Lodge (B,L)
Biologist and artist David Bygott first came to Tanzania in 1969 to work on Jane Goodall's National Geographic-funded team studying wild chimpanzees. David spent four years as a lion biologist for the Serengeti Lion Project, researching lion behavior in northern Tanzania. He later taught zoology to future wildlife managers at the University of Dar es Salaam. David worked with Dian Fossey sketching gorillas, and has contributed illustrations to numerous East African guidebooks and to National Geographic magazine. David and his wife lived in Tanzania for more 25 than years.
ALT indicates a departure that has a slightly different itinerary than the one shown on this page. Click the ALT icon to see the day-to-day itinerary.
*The December through March departures follow a slightly modified itinerary to provide travelers with the best opportunity to witness the wildebeest migration.
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single
room, add $2,600 in 2015 and $2,700 in 2016. On
the December departures, there is an additional holiday
surcharge of $750 per person for 2015-2016.
to/from Arusha and airfare within Tanzania are not included
in the expedition cost. The group flights within
Tanzania are from $400 to $700, subject to change
depending on the departure date.