One of the highlights of any safari to the Serengeti is seeing a herd of wildebeest crossing a river. A thousand or more animals line up on the far bank of the river and then all it takes is one or two bold ones to trigger the rush. Dust flies into the air and creates back-lit clouds, the wildebeest plunge into the water, and swim across to climb the other bank. Sometimes the risk doesn’t pay off – a crocodile takes one or a weak one stumbles and gets carried away by the current – but the sheer size of the herd dictates that you will see massive numbers of wildebeest emerge on the near bank, fur appearing black from being soaked in the water.
If you’ve always been excited about a trip to Africa but the price has been out of reach, I have great news. I am able to keep my 2019 safari prices low again with the same high quality guides and lodging. An 11-day safari to Tanzania’s best wildlife spots is just $5,880 in February and $6,075 in July and October. That’s more than 30% off the typical price for safaris of this quality.
You don’t need to be a hardcore photographer to join us on this special safari experience; you just need to want to experience the excitement of watching wildlife up close.
On my February safari, we’ll spend 2 nights in Tarangire, 2 nights at the Ngorongoro Crater, 3 nights in the southern Serengeti, and finish with 2 nights in the central Serengeti. Highlights in February will be new zebra foals and wildebeest calves. Click here for details.
On my July and October safaris, we’ll spend 2 nights in Tarangire, 2 nights at the Ngorongoro Crater, 3 nights in the central Serengeti, and wrap up with 2 nights in the Serengeti’s north. Highlights in July are cooler temperatures and a chance to see the wildebeest herds cross the Mara River. In October, the dry season means the wildlife in Tarangire must come down to drink at the Tarangire River, the only water source in the park which makes it easier for us – and predators – to see them. Click here for details on the July safari and click here for details on the October safari.
If you are at all interested in joining us for an incredible experience, contact me asap at email@example.com.
After our final morning at our Serengeti camp, we hit the road and reached our lodge in Tarangire National Park by nightfall. I always enjoy Tarangire because it has the highest concentration of elephants and baobabs on the northern circuit and those are some of my favorite subjects. It’s chock full of plenty of other wildlife too; I’ve had my best leopard sightings here, lions in trees, large families of giraffe, antelope, and birds. And this time, there were more zebra than I’m used to seeing – we saw plenty of large herds.
If you’ve always been excited about a trip to Africa but the price has been out of reach, I have an amazing steal for you! An 11-day safari to Tanzania’s best wildlife spots with one of the top guides in the country for just $6,500. That’s more than 30% off the typical price for a trip of this quality.
You don’t even need to be a hardcore photographer to join us on this special safari experience; you just need to love watching wildlife. More ›
It was time to leave the northern Serengeti and move on to another camp; this one just south of the central Serengeti. We spent the day winding our way south, making an all-day game drive of it. We saw many of the more common animals – wildebeest, zebra, and giraffe – but as we got closer to camp, we spied a serval in the grass. People talk about the “big cats” – lions, leopards, and cheetahs – but a serval is one of the “small cats” and seeing them is a very rare and special sighting. This is only the second serval I’ve seen myself. The grass was a bit tall but the serval was kind enough to pose for a few shots before it disappeared into the grass. Not the most cooperative subject.
It’s a treat to wake up at a true mobile, tented camp in the middle of the Serengeti. We spent three nights here and I think it’s the most authentic way to experience a traditional safari.
On our first day, we took breakfast with us so we could drive to the river early. I was very encouraged by the massive herds of wildebeest that we drove by. It’s impossible to predict exactly when the herds will be in place to make the crossing so it’s a small gamble when you book your airfare. In other years, I might have missed by a couple of weeks.
We drove north to the Kogatende airstrip then east along the southern side of the Mara River, looking for herds massing near the riverbank. Watching the herds cross is a waiting game because they are unpredictable and get spooked easily. You wait some distance back from the river so the herds don’t get scared away and then, once they look like they are starting to cross, you move forward as fast as you can without spooking them (which means pretty slowly). And as much as you want to be alone while doing this, many other people in the area have the same idea so there’s a bit of jockeying for position as well. More ›
The next morning, we awoke to low cloud cover and a beautiful sunrise. After breakfast, we left Natron and drove up through Loliondo towards the northern Serengeti. The light developed beautifully as we drove north up the west side of Lake Natron. More ›
We stayed at Lake Natron Camp, a beautiful camp set next to the flats of Lake Natron and with an outstanding view of Lengai. It’s a desert-style camp, designed with lots of shady places, a swimming hole, the Rift Valley escarpment behind us, spacious tents with great views of the lake from their front door, and the food was outstanding (special diets handled well too: my gluten-free meals were excellent).
For wildlife photographers, Lake Natron is best known for its high density of flamingos – about 2.5 million lesser flamingos. There were also plenty of zebra and wildebeest around who left evidence that they even came through camp while we slept. The camp was sprinkled with plenty of desert rose which I think of as a Bonsai version of a baobab but with pink flowers on top. More ›
I don’t typically travel to Tanzania in July but when I mentioned to my Tanzanian operator that I wanted to see the migration herds when they crossed the Mara River and also that he had some new camps that I hadn’t seen yet, it seemed like a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.
One of the camps is in the northernmost part of the Serengeti to allow easy access to the herds when they cross the Mara River. There was a bit of a gamble though since you can’t predict when the herds in the area will actually decide to cross. And in the bigger picture, you can’t predict the weather well enough to even know if the herds will arrive and cross in the weeks before or after you’re there.
Another camp new to me was on the edge of Lake Natron, an area I had wanted to see for a long time. The area is known for high concentrations of flamingos, lots of other wildlife, and stunning landscapes. More ›