Northern Serengeti Migration Safari

The Northern Serengeti Migration Safari gives you the opportunity to witness of the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet, the Great Migration.

Each year, almost two million wildebeest and 20 000 plains game migrate from Tanzania's Serengeti to the south of Kenya's Masai Mara in search of lush grazing grounds and life-giving water. This treacherous journey is dictated by the seasons and and associated rainfall patterns, and the wildebeest are not far behind. This epic round-trip journey spans almost 3000 kilometres and ongoing.

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is situated in Tanzania's Manyara Region and is our first destination on the Northern Serengeti Migration Safari.  The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses through the area, and is best known for its massive herds of elephant.

During the dry season herds of up to three hundred elephant of all ages and sizes converge on Tarangire’s permanent water source and can be seen digging in the once full riverbed in search of underground springs.

Tarangire’s wildlife is best viewed during the dry months from July to October when zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and the rarer fringe-eared Oryx and Eland gather at the last remaining water holes or shelter from the fierce sun under squat baobab trees. During these months the park boasts the greatest wildlife concentration outside of the Serengeti. Also common in Tarangire are pythons, which with patience and keen observance may be spotted coiled in tree branches.

Tarangire is a beautiful area that covers the southeast corner of Lake Manyara and is often a feature of a northern circuit safari.

Getting there

Although there are scheduled flights available from Kilimanjaro Airport, we encourage our guests to do a road transfer from Kilimanjaro town.  The drives takes you through the local villages and farmlands.  It is fascinating to see this way of life and a real eye opener for new and seasoned travellers alike.  Shortly after passing through Arusha, the third largest city in Tanzania, you will slowly start seeing the farmlands consisting of mainly coffee plantations and cattle.

After approximately a four hour road transfer you will arrive in the magnificent Tarangire National Park and the start of the Northern Serengeti Migration Safari.

Accommodation:  Ndovu Tented Camp

Tarangire Ndovu Tented Lodge is located in the heart of Tarangire, Tanzania’s wild land and landscapes. Tarangire is famed for its massive elephant herds, true sense of wilderness and a gentle backdrop of baobabs. It is the lesser visited but more intriguing park on the northern circuit.

There are 12 permanent tents at Ndovu Camp, made up of nine standard suites, one honeymoon suite with outdoor shower and 2 x two bed room inter-connected family suites.

The camp is open all year around and the massive elephant herds, especially during the dry months, travel through the corridor between Manyara and Tarangire and spend their time in and around the park. This is because of their ability to uncover permanent sources of fresh water.

Each tent is 20m long by 8m wide and framed with wooden logs, metal piping and then wrapped in heavy duty safari rip-stop canvas made locally at Morogoro, southern Tanzania.

By climbing specially crafted stairs, you enter a balcony with a seat and side table for relaxing. The front of the tents has double sliding doors, including a layer of mosquito netting for your comfort.

Once you step into the tent into the bedroom area, you will see an arrangement of unique furniture like a desk and chair, bench seat, side tables, matting and incredible local imagery. Once you walk through the bedroom and into the ensuite bathroom, you will find polished concrete floors with wardrobe, robes, separate shower and toilet cubicles and handcrafted wash stand with carefully created terracotta basins. All the fittings depict colours in natural tones to adhere to the intrinsic area we are located. The camp offers double (and a honeymoon option), twin, single, triple and family tents. The beds are fitted with imported cotton sheets, double pillows, duvets and bed runners for your comfort.

Northern Serengeti

The Northern Serengeti will be our second stop on the Northern Serengeti Migration Safari.

The endless plains of East Africa are the setting for the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle – the 1.5+ million animal migration. From the vast Serengeti plains to the champagne colored hills of Kenya’s Masai Mara over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain ripened grass.

Tanzania’s 5,700 square mile Serengeti National Park makes up 97% of the ecosystem whilst Kenya’s Masai Mara, the northern boundary of the Serengeti, makes up 3% of the ecosystem. The Loliondo private community area borders the Serengeti in the east and the Grumeti Game Reserve borders the Serengeti in the west. The ecosystem can be divided into three areas: the Southern grass plains, the Western corridor and the Northern Serengeti / Mara ecosystem. The southern grass plains have endless, almost treeless, wide-open plains; the Western Corridor has rock kopjes and the Grumeti River, and the northern Serengeti / Mara is largely open woodland and rolling hills.

As things dry up throughout March, the herds might split into smaller groups focused on areas with the best conditions.

In late March the long rains begin and remain in full effect with regular downpours. It is considered off season for wildlife viewing and many lodges and camps close down.

By May the depleted short grass plains are unable to sustain the endless herds. The migration sweeps west and north, to the Serengeti’s Western Corridor almost as far as Lake Victoria, where there is long grass and more dependable water. Not all the wildebeest and zebra will follow the same route – whilst parts of the migration head to the Western Corridor and Grumeti before proceeding north, significant numbers simply head north via Seronera.

By early June things are drying up. The herds continue westwards, towards the Grumeti River. The riverine forest harbors plentiful buffalo and elephant, while there are many hippo and huge, hungry crocodiles in the river waiting for the wildebeest as they come to drink.

Come July, August, September and October, the wildebeest rapidly deplete the grass and water in the Western Corridor and Grumeti and start to move on. The migration may still be found in the Singita Grumeti Reserve during July but the numbers become slimmer as you move through the month. In a typical year the migration can be spread over huge distances, with the first zebra herds arriving in the northern Serengeti by early July and big herds of wildebeest following later in the month. In a dry year, the first wildebeest could be near the Mara River (the only decent permanent water in the eco-system) by early July. In a  year with greater rainfall, arrival by mid-August. If conditions are very good, i.e. there is plenty of grass and water, the herds will be spread out all the way from Seronera to the Mara River

Typically from late July to mid October the wildebeest reside in the northern Serengeti and Masai Mara. The dry season is well under way and the herds congregate near water, especially the Mara River filled with hungry crocs. Mid to late October dramatic thunder clouds herald the onset of the short rains and call the migration southward. Wherever rains fall the change is dramatic with thousands of animals arriving almost overnight. As the rains continue during November the herds move south and east, and heading into December long lines of wildebeest can be seen moving back to the southern Serengeti in search of it's short, rich grasses. The circle of life is complete as they begin to arrive late December into early January.

Getting there

From Ndovu Camp in Tarangire we will drive towards the airstrip before connecting on a chartered flight to the Northern Serengeti.  The expected flying time is around two hours.  Once we are met by the Guides in the Northern Serengeti we will explore the beauty that the famous Serengeti has to offer before heading to Kaskaz Mara Camp, your home for the second portion of this safari.

Accommodation: Kaskaz Mara Camp

Our second Camp during the Northern Serengeti Migration Safari is Kaskaz Mara Camp.

The ten tented suites are superbly located to provide a indulgent base for optimal migration viewing all throughout the year. With large netted windows and draped roofing in each suite for Serengeti-style air conditioning, cotton curtains dancing on the breeze, oversized beds, indoor and out door furnishings of style, expansive floor space, great hardwood double vanities, handcarved decor with Swahili flair.

Kaskaz Mara Camp proposes style and grace in the far northern Serengeti. The camp is available for drive in or game package clients, all while taking special care to illustrate the unique environment they are welcomed to.

Tailoring the tents to group configurations from honeymooners to families, the camp personnel are on call 24 hours to ensure that everyone is content in their stunning environment. The camp shares an array of meal options, from early morning bush breakfasts to leisurely in camp lunches in the shade to four course delectable dinners. A fireside gin & tonic is never amiss.

Nothing is ever too much to ask for at Kaskaz Mara Camp and the staff are more than willing to go the extra mile to ensure that your experience is an unforgettable one.

There simply is no better place to end of our Northern Serengeti Migration Safari.

Gear recommendations

The vast open plains of the Serengeti lends itself to lenses with a little bit more reach, especially since most of these areas are extremely sensitive and won't allow for off roading.  It is advised that a focal length of 400-600mm is taken with you to ensure you capture those magnificent scenes.  We would highly recommend adding a second lens to your camera bag and a lens that it a little wider would be a great combination.  A lens within the focal range of 70-200mm would be perfect to capture those animals in environment type images and will compliment your larger focal length perfectly.

This is Why travel with Wild Eye

  • Personal attention to each individual client with only 6 guests split in 2 safari vehicles with the presence of 2 Wild Eye Guides.
  • Can easily be combined with the Wild Eye Mara Camp as and add on, which results in 12 days of prime migration viewing.
  • Excellent location of camps ensuring you maximise your viewing time.
  • A chance to enjoy what is known to be the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world.
  • Dedicated guides to assist you in capturing those once in a lifetime moment.

We look forward to welcoming you on the Northern Serengeti Safari in the future and continue to change the way you see the world.

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