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Day by Day

9-Day Migration Tour

Follow the Migration through the Serengeti

Comfort
Highlights

A 9-day midrange tour has a special focus on the incredible migration in the Seregeti Plain. Experience a unique combination of stunning nature and an exceptional variety of wildlife! All lodges have self-contained rooms and are selected for their great location and comfort.

Highlights:

  • Annual migration of 2m ungulates in Serengeti N.P.
  • Amazing wildlife in Lake Manyara or Tarangire N.P
  • Explore the Ngorongoro Crater
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Day by Day: 9-Day Migration tour mid-range

 

Day 1: Welcome to Tanzania!

Your driver/guide will pick you up from Kilimanjaro airport and transfers you to Ilboru Safari Lodge. This is a pleasant lodge with a beautiful garden and swimming pool, nestled on the lower slopes of majestic Mount Meru. The Ilboru Safari Lodge has been welcoming mountain climbers and safari travelers to northern Tanzania for decades. This beautiful Swahili sanctuary is ideally located and tucked away beneath ancient trees on the outskirts of Arusha town. Harmoniously woven into the surrounding African landscape, you will comfortably stay in your private bungalow reminiscent of a traditional Swahili ‘boma’. This version of the boma features a round layout with thatched rooftops while still providing you with the western conveniences for ultimate comfort.

 

Journey Time 45 minutes
Accommodation Ilboru Safari Lodge
Meal Plan No meals inclusive today

Tours departing between January - May or in November - December, will visit Lake Manyara National Park on Day 2.

Day 2A: Lake Manyara National Park

After an early breakfast you game drive out of the park and travel to ‘Mto wa Mbu’. The bustling farming community here is home to around 18,000 people. On this walk you’ll discover a side of Tanzania many visitors miss out on. A melting pot of cultures; Mto Wa Mbu is thought to be one of the only places in Tanzania where there are representatives from all 120 tribes living happily side by side. During your visit you’ll get a good feel for the social side of the village – the farms and the milling machines, the schools, markets and churches. You’ll likely visit the village banana plantation as well as a youth art project, and a wood workshop where you can watch skilled Makonde tribe members carve intricate figurines, masks and household objects. Maybe you also like to visit to a local ‘bar’ so you can try mbege (traditional banana and millet beer). Of course you also visit the bustling local market where you can wander around stalls selling fruit and vegetables, spices and meat, a treat for the senses! Your guide is from the village, giving you the opportunity to see the community through his eyes and ask questions. The length of the tour is very flexible but generally takes around 2–3 hours. After the village walk, you have a delicious local Swahili meal which you (can) prepare together with the highly respected Miss Bibi.

 

You then continue your way to Lake Manyara National Park. This is one of Tanzania’s smaller parks. While it may lack the size and variety of other northern-circuit destinations, its vegetation is diverse and very beautiful. There are 11 ecosystems in all, ranging from savannah to marshland to the only evergreen rainforest in Tanzania. In the forest you can find baboons and other interesting animals where by the lake you can find flamingos (outside the rain season), pelicans and other water birds. The big lake provides opportunities for observing over 300 migratory birds and the park supports one of the highest biomass densities of large mammals in the world. The high chance to see elephant families moving through the forest as well as Lake Manyara's famous population of tree-climbing lions are reason enough to visit this park.

 

In your accommodation for the night you can expect comfort and delicious cuisine. This semi-luxury tented camp is set in the heart of nature and designed to look after you while you get to enjoy the sounds, the scents and the views.

Journey Time 2 hours to Mto wa Mbu
Accommodation Lake Manyara Tortilis Camp
Meal Plan Breakfast, local lunch & dinner
 

Tours departing between June and October will visit Tarangire National Park on day 2.

Day 2B: Tarangire National Park

Today, after an early breakfast, you will be traveling to the first national park of this trip: Tarangire National Park. Let the game drive begin!

Tarangire is best known for its many gigantic baobab trees and its large herds of elephants; it is a home to approximately 2,500 individuals and large herds are regularly viewed. Elephants gathering at the Tarangire River to drink make for a perfect panoramic picture! You can also spot many different animals like leopard, zebra, impala, warthog, eland, buffalo, waterbuck and lion. Also the birders will have so much to see; more than 500 different bird-species are present. This park hosts the biggest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti. Also it is the only place in Tanzania where the oryx and gerenuk are regularly spotted.

 

Your driver/guide will have a lunch-box for you so you can picnic at a beautiful spot in the park. After your lunch your safari continues.


At the end of the safari you head for Sangaiwe Tented Lodge. The safari tents all have views over Tarangire National park and are a comfortable base for the safaris in the park. The safari-tents have a thatched roof, verandah, and en-suite bathrooms with solar heated showers. Take a refreshing dip in the inviting outdoor pool and enjoy the fantastic sunset with a cold drink on the veranda!

 

Journey Time 2 hours to the park entrance
Accommodation Sangaiwe Tented Lodge
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
 
 

Day 3: The Serengeti

The Serengeti hosts the most extensive population of wild animals on earth and has a complex and untouched ecosystem. Serengeti means "endless plains" in the language of the Maasai, a description that the Serengeti completely lives up to. Even the (long) drive towards your accommodation is one continuous safari! The park is usually described as divided into three regions: Serengeti plains, Western corridor and Northern Serengeti. The latter is where we can witness wildebeest and zebra migrating in their millions during the Great Migration, following the ancient rhythm of Africa's seasons. This is one of the most impressive natural events in the world. No matter which part of the park and in which season you visit, very few people forget their first encounter with the Serengeti!


You visit the heart of the Serengeti, Seronera Valley. This valley might be termed as the ‘classic’ Serengeti; short grass plains with all different kind of wild animals ranging from the impressive lion to the naughty mongoose.

 

After the incredible impressions of the Serengeti, you drive to your accommodation for a delicious diner and a good night’s sleep. Named after the distinctive Tortilis tree of the Serengeti, this tented camp combines comfort with the real Africa safari experience. With the great comfort of king size beds, luxurious decoration and bathroom facilities in the safari tents, you will feel right at home in the middle of the Serengeti. In the comfortable dining tent the chefs will prepare your bush meal with a bit of magic for extra delight. Before you crawl into bed, take a moment in their lounge or wind down with a sunset at the fireplace. Dine, sleep and relax knowing the best of Africa's natural wonders is gently knocking on your door.

 

Journey Time 2 hours to the park entrance
Accommodation Tortilis Camp
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 4: The Search for the Migration

Early in the morning you leave your accommodation for a full day safari! This is when Africa can sometimes reveal cooler temperatures so you should wrap up warm for the start of your day. Your guide will bring you as close as possible to the wildlife. Few predators hunt during the heat of the day so the early morning is the best time to observe the thrill of the chase. It is also a magical time, with the subtle light dappling the landscape, the birds awakening and the sense of a great adventure beginning to unfurl. These full day safaris are the best way to see the full range of what this magnificent park has to offer.

Then you go deeper into the Serengeti in search of the migration. The Great Wildebeest migration is one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World”. Nowhere in the world there is a movement of animals as immense as this. The principle players are the wildebeest, followed by Thomson’s gazelle, zebra and eland. The lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs and lesser predators await the annual coming of the migration with eager anticipation.

 

The annual 800-km journey is an endless pilgrimage which has no real beginning or end. The precise timing of the migrations changes annually and is an unpredictable and spontaneous natural event depending mainly on the rainfall pattern of each year. Because of the global climate changes, the annual pattern changes but a general trend can be observed.

The ranger will find a nice picnic spot to enjoy your packed lunch and then you continue your safari. Once back at the lodge you will be served an excellent dinner and tired but satisfied, you go to bed with dreams of Serengeti plains!

 

Period Day 4 & Day 5 accommodation
January to March Ndutu Halisi camp
April & May Tortilis Camp
June Simba Serengeti Camp
July Kati Kati Migration Camp
August to October Kati Kati Migration Camp
November & December* Tortilis Camp

 

* In December and beginning of January the migration is hard to predict if it is on the Serengeti or Ngorogoro side of the national park. This might result in starting with 2 nights at Ndutu Halisi camp and ending at Tortilis camp. Your Sales consultant will discuss this with you.

 

Journey Time Dependent on the migration period
Accommodation Dependent on the migration-period
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

 

Note: The migration is an amazing phenomenon and difficult to predict. Especially with the El Niño rains the migration pattern seems disturbed. Please consult your Tanzania specialist at Matoke tours for the best lodge during your specific travel time. 

 

Day 5: Game driving in Serengeti National Park

Another day completely dedicated to the great migration!

With your packed lunch you drive out to find the migrators. There is plenty of time to take in this impressive spectacle! The safari will be completed by also looking for hungry predators such as like lions, hyenas, leopards and cheetahs that move along with the herd hoping to fill their stomachs.

Accommodation Dependent on migration (see day 4 above)
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
 
 

Day 6: Last Day in the Serengeti

Today you enjoy a game drive on your way en-route out of the beautiful Serengeti and continue to the Ngorongoro Crater. In the afternoon, you will have a game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater!


As an UNESCO World Heritage Site the crater offers a unique biosphere which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. There are very few places in the world where you can find such a large population of wildlife throughout the year. Approximately 30 000 animals live on the crater floor! The rugged and beautiful Ngorongoro Highlands offers one of the finest blends of culture, landscapes and wildlife in Tanzania. Deep within the crater, enclosed by towering walls, you have a good chance of spotting ‘The Big 5’: Lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. For the latter two you need a bit of luck as they tend to shy away but always keep your camera ready! Other wildlife includes serval cat, cheetah, jackal, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle, flamingo and bat-eared foxes, as well as approximately 400 species of colourful birds

 

Country Lodge Karatu is located on the outskirts of Karatu, a quaint country town on the Great Escarpment, in the centre of Northern Tanzania’s green belt district and farming community. The lodge symbolizes simple country comforts, providing beautiful lodging in the heart of Tanzania’s rich and scenic highlands. The rooms are tastefully furnished with soft lighting, inviting and comfortable beds and mosquito netting. After your safari you can enjoy a refreshing dip in the swimming pool or relax on your verandah. On chilly nights, request your fireplace be lit and return from dinner to glowing warmth, you have never slept better!

 

Accommodation Country Lodge Karatu
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

Day 7: Safari Ngorongoro Crater

In the morning, you will have a game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater! Game drives descend into the Ngorongoro Crater through a lush highland forest, with magnificent birdlife to be spotted among the different tree species. Once on the grassy crater floor, you may discover a large variety of grazing herbivores, as well as the predators that are attracted by this abundant supply of prey. The crater has formed its own ecosystem due to its enclosed nature, and is one place where you can certainly tick all the boxes as approximately 30 000 animals live on the crater floor! Depending on the time of year, you may see flocks of pink flamingo around the shores of the shallow Lake Magadi, while the surrounding swamp is inhabited by hippo. The north of the Crater is where the bulk of the resident game resides thanks to the drier, open grasslands. Keep your cameras ready for the spectacles of African nature often happen suddenly.

In the late afternoon you will go back to Country inn Lodge Karatu.

Accommodation Country Lodge Karatu
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
 
 

Day 8: To Arusha

You stay in the eco-friendly Karama Lodge & Spa, just outside Arusha town, with stunning views of the valley and (depending on clarity) as well as those of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Maasai steppes. Because Karama Lodge and Spa is situated at a slighter higher elevation than Arusha, you will find that here you have much cooler temperatures (and fewer mosquitoes). The cabins offer comfortable en-suite accommodation with a natural design; an excellent combination of unique comfort and style. Furnishings are simple, yet adequate, and include a bed that is canopied with mosquito net, lighting and other basic pieces. For your comfort and lounging pleasure, your private balcony has two chairs and a small natural wood table. The beautiful garden setting is enchanting, and the resident monkeys keep reminding you that you are really in Africa. The spa at Karama Lodge offers treatments to relax your body, mind and soul. They also have a salt-water pool and besides massages they offer yoga classes 3 times a week.

Journey Time 3 hours
Accommodation Karama Lodge & Spa
Meal Plan Breakfast, packed lunch, dinner
 

Optional activity: Ngorongoro Highland walk

This 1,5 to 2 hour activity will be guided by an armed ranger. The rugged and beautiful Ngorongoro Highlands offers one of the finest blends of culture, landscapes and wildlife in Tanzania. The best way to experience the highlands is no doubt on foot. It’s diverse landscapes consisting of elevated volcanoes and craters, forests and vast grassy plains offers a remarkable experience for those hiking through this area. Hikers will experience first-hand how the Maasai people, who inhabit these highlands and the wildlife, coexist. This excursion gets you close to nature in a different way than from a safari vehicle and allows you the chance to get an authentic taste of the local culture at the same time.

Just above Karama Lodge you will find Suye Hill Forest Reserve. This is a protected area of indigenous forest. Karama Lodge assists the Arusha Municipal Council in the protection of this area by sponsoring anti-poaching rangers, ensuring that the natural beauty is around for years to come. In the afternoon you can take a short walk to the top of Suye Hill (about 30-40 minutes) through the forest reserve and further down to Kimandolu village. Many species of birds are seen here and occasionally small animals like dik-diks, squirrels, guinea fowls and monkeys.

Day 9: Departure

Today is unfortunately the last day of your trip with Matoke Tours!
Depending on the time your flight departs, there might be some time left today to take a dive in the pool, have a massage or take a yoga class.
All activities today are at your own expense.

Your driver/guide will take care of your transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport. If you are not ready to go home, you can continue your holiday in Rwanda, Uganda or visit one of the tropical islands with Matoke Tours.

Journey Time 1 hour
Accommodation Not included
Meal Plan Breakfast


Click here, for the rates of this tour. 

 

This is the end of a wonderful tour in Tanzania

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9-day Tanzania migration tour - comfort
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