During the breeding season in February/March the animals migrate back to the lower part of the Serengeti. This is a different and wonderful time to visit. The Zebra and Wildebeest and many other animal calve their young during this short period. Of course all of the predators follow, so all of the animals are concentrated in the one area.
Most people associate a Safari with the dry season, but at this time of year, the landscape is generally more lush and abundant.. The scale of this event puts most other wildlife spectacles in the shade.
There are few lodges in these areas, but there are plenty of mobile tented camps and February should be seriously considered as an option for your Safari.
Dates are not booked in at this stage at pricing for 3019 has not yet been released. But the expected departure is Sunday February 17th.
Proposed Itinerary is as follows
Possible Itinerary – February 2019
Day 1 – Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport. Transfer to Arusha
Day 2 – Organic Coffee Tour including orphanage visit. Home Visit
Day 3 – Cultural Heritage and Maasai Market
Day 4 – Maasai Boma – some free time to prepare for Safari. Dinner at Khans
Day 5 – Safari day 1 - Lake Eyasi
Day 6 - Safari 2 – Tarangeri National Park
Day 7 - Safari 3 – Drive to Serengeti, afternoon in Serengeti
Day 8 - Safari 4 - Serengeti
Day 9 - Safari 5 - Serengeti
Day 10 - Safari 6 - Serengeti
Day 11 - Safari 7 – Serengeti to rim of Crater, visit Olduvai Gorge
Day 12 – Safari 8 – Ngorongoro Crater and back to Arusha
Day 13 - St Jude, optional activities
Day 14 – Zanzibar 1 - Fly from Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar, afternoon tour of Stone Town
Day 15 – Zanzibar 2 - Morning free and transfer to Beach Resort
Day 16 – Zanzibar 3 - Beach Resort
Day 17 - Zanzibar 4 - Transfer from the beach to Stone town for flight home
5 days in Arusha at The School of St Jude
Safari planned for mid February 2019
Whilst in Arusha, we will stay in visitor accommodation at The School of St Jude. Accommodation will be a private room with an en-suite, located within the grounds of the Primary School Campus.
A cook will be employed while we are at St Jude’s, who will cook breakfast and dinner. Organising our meals is fairly flexible here, and if we decide to eat out, we just let the cook know. We usually can catch up on the meal for a lunch. It is possible to have lunch with the children. The meals are very basic and part of the traditional diet.
Grounds of the primary campus at St Jude’s
Day 1 Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport. I will meet you here for your transfer back to Arusha and The School St Judes. Nothing planned for the rest of the day. Most people like to have a short sleep and a wind down. We can go for a walk around the school grounds, and have a talk about our upcoming activities. We will have a drink at “The Hole” a little bar just outside St Judes. Dinner will be organised for you in the Rotary Kitchen.
Day 2 Today you will be collected from St Jude’s by a local organic coffee grower. You will drive into the mountains for a tour of their coffee plantation. You will see how the coffee is sorted, ground and cooked. The owner will cook you a traditional lunch of Ugali (ground corn maize), green bananas, goat stew and a selection of amazing local fruits, it is very tasty.
After lunch there is an optional visit a local orphanage. This orphanage is run by the local Nuns, with the help of volunteers. You will need to purchase some sugar or other staple to donate to the sisters.
Photographs here are permitted. The children crave cuddles and attention, so don’t be afraid to pick them up if they come up to you. This is good opportunity to give the children some gifts, make sure you have enough to go around. Something like colored pencils (make sure there are sharpeners) or crayons and paper/coloring books, socks, beanies, small toy trucks (matchbox?) or stuffed toys would be a huge hit.
You will return to St Judes around the middle of the afternoon in time for your home visit with a student of St Jude’s. A “home pack” will be organised (I will talk to you about this). The St Jude’s Wageni Wagon (visitors’ bus) and an interpreter will take you to the home of a student. The student may meet you at the school (depending upon his/her) age and make the trip with you. This is an opportunity to see how the students actually live, and learn about the difference a good education will make to the students and the lives of their families.
Day 3 We will catch a taxi to Cultural Heritage Museum and shop. Lots to see here, and this can easily take all day. The museum is amazing, so many unique pieces, and the goods for sale here are top quality. Also the place if you are after Tanzanite, this is home of the worlds’ largest supplier.
On the way back, we will stop at the Maasai Craft Market. Goods here are reasonably prices, but be prepared to bargain.
Day 4 We will again use the Wageni Wagon(visitors wagon), and Felix (head of St Judes Visitors Centre and all around showman) will take us to visit a genuine Maasai Boma (not sure which Boma, but it is always the Boma of one of the students). Along the way we will stop at a local market and bargain for a goat. You ARE NOT able to take photographs at the market, if you purchase something, ask to take a photo, as them will most allow a photograph if you purchase something. We will then be accompanied by the goat on the remainder of our bus journey. The goat will be presented to the Head of the Village, and we will be blessed. We will also give sugar or another staple food to each of the wives. The Boma of each wife must be visited and blessed. We are free to take as many photographs here as you like.
We will return mid-afternoon, nothing planned to allow you time to pack for your safari.
Other activities may include:
A tour of the St Judes Campus’ both primary (where we will be staying), and the Senior Secondary Campus. I have been informed that there will most likely not be children at either campus.
Catch the local transport Dala Dala into town for a walk around, a Dala drive is an experience, can be cramped but lots of fun.
We can go for a walk around outside the school. If you are interested in a long walk, let me know, many of the volunteers go for a walk early in the mornings.
We will have a drink outside the school grounds at the local pub “The Hole” most nights before dinner.
We will have one of our evening meals at the iconic Khans also known as “chicken on a bonnet”. This is because it operates as a mechanical workshop by day, and of an evening rolls BBqs onto the street. We will be served local meats with a variety of salads, warning some are very hot. No alcohol, is allowed at this venue. Not sure which night we will do this, as it is always nice to try to organise this with a group.
8 days Northern Parks
Tarangerie, Lake Eyasi and the Hadzabe Bushmen, Serengeti
& Ngorongoro Crater
This safari is timed to arrive during the “calf drop” when almost 2 million wildebeest have their calves. Zebra, Impala, gazelle and many other animals also give birth during this period. Or course, the predators also are about in numbers, so they will also be likely to have a number of young during this time of plenty.
The “calf drop” is an amazing natural phenomenon, there is nothing else like it in the world. The Serengeti is lush, there is plenty of food.
Day 5 - Safari Day 1
Early morning start, for our first day of safari to Tarangerie National Park. We will be met by our driver outside the gates of the School. The drive is around 3 hours and the road is excellent. Tarangerie is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, it covers an area of 2,850sq km, and is famous for its huge elephant numbers, baobab trees and tree climbing African pythons. The rest of the day will be spent on a game drive. Overnight at Tarangerie Simba Tented Camp or similar.
Day 6 - Safari Day 2
We have a morning game drive, then depart for Lake Eyasi to the land of the Hadzabe Bushmen. Lake Eyasi is an area rarely visited by tourists as it has few animals numbers. But it is the land of the Hadzabe bushmen.
The Hadzabe are the only true hunter gatherers to remain in Africa. They do not build permanent housing and we will have to do a little searching for the Hadzabe and Datoga. The Hadzabe live in exactly the same way as they did 12,000 years ago. This tribe is sometimes known as the Click People, because of the unusual way they communicate. They live entirely off the land and hunt small antelope, birds and baboons. The numbers of Hadzabe are dwindling, and there are only around 2,000 people remaining in this ancient culture. We will spend the afternoon hunting with these amazing people. Overnight at Lake Eyasi Lodge or similar.
Day 7 - Safari Day 3
We will depart Lake Eyasi for Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti covers 14,763 sq km of grassland plains, savanna and woodlands. After entering Serengeti, we will have an afternoon game drive to our accommodation at Serengeti Bush Tented Camp.
Day 8 - Safari Day 4
Today we have a full day of game driving in Serengeti. I prefer to arise early to catch the sunrise, we can take a breakfast pack, then return for lunch. We will then have an afternoon/evening drive returning for dinner. Overnight at Serengeti Bush Tented Camp.
Day 9 - Safari Day 5
Today we game drive in Serengeti Ndutu area where the great migration animals are expected to be. We can have breakfast in camp and depart for the day with a lunch pack. We will have a full day on Safari and arrive at our accommodation late afternoon. Overnight at Ndutu Heritage Tented Camp.
Day 10 - Safari Day 6
We will have a full day in Serengeti Ndutu Area, with an itinerary similar to the other days. We will have a second night at Ndutu Heritage Tented Camp.
Day 11 – Safari day 7
We can breakfast in camp, or have an early start will be a group decision. Today we will visit Olduvai Gorge. Olduvai was the first place where traces of an early stone tool culture were discovered. It is the site where Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the world oldest hominin discovered at that point, dated at 1.75 million years. They later discovered the small skeleton of the Homo habilis, and a number of foot prints proving that the hominins walked upright. A small, but very interesting museum and well worth the visit. We will then continue of safari, spending the night at the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. Overnight at Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge.
Day 12 - Safari Day 8
We will have an early breakfast before our descent into the Crater Gorge for an 8 hour crater tour. Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest “caldera”. It is dominated by cliffs which stand at 600 meters high, and dropping down to a wide open space of 246 sq km. The Ngorongoro Crater contains most animals of the Serengeti, and is the only place in Serengeti where there is the opportunity to see the near-extinct black Rhino. We will end our Safari here and return to Arusha.
All national park fees, Safari vehicle 4 wheel drive, All nights at the lodges/camps on full board (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Safari does not Include
Tipping, Liquors, Items of a personal nature, anything beyond that mentioned above. The generally accepted rate of tipping is $15.00-$25.00US per person per day for the safari driver, aplease leave something in the tip jar at each place we stay.
* Optional Balloon flight = expect to pay at least $499US per person. It is pretty awesome, imagine floating silently over the great migration.
Prices will be quoted in US$ per person on the basis of the itinerary above. The price is valid unless additional government fees & levies are imposed.
Our accommodation is mid level, but excellent. It is not camping, more like “Glamping”
Day 13 – St Judes
Today we will have a free day at St Judes to wash and rest (I can arrange for your washing to be done, and a cleaner for your room for a small charge).
We can have a have a lovely luxury lunch and head off to the Maasai Craft Market, wander around town, visit the local market. Our day here is flexible, and will be a group decision.
4 Days Relaxation in Zanzibar
In Stone Town most people like the freedom to choose where they eat - therefore accommodation in Stone Town is on a Bed & Breakfast Basis, but we will have a guide for our tour as the “fly catchers” (want to be tour guides) are very persistent. You will learn quickly to say “Hapana asante” (no thank you) very quickly.
Zanzibar has a rich and colourful history as the centre of the slave trade. It also boast some amazing architecture, the doors of Zanzibar rival those of Morocco.
It boast stunning white beaches, wonderful seafood, unique animals such as the Colobus Monkey.
Day 14 - Zanzibar Day 1
Transfer from St Judes to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight to Zanzibar. Arrive in Zanzibar and transfer to your motel in Stone Town. We will have an afternoon tour of Stone Town and learn about its amazing history.
Day 15 - Zanzibar Day 2
We will have our morning at leisure, perhaps a visit to the spice market, then a transfer to the coast for relaxation at a beach resort.
Day 16 - Zanzibar Day 3
Full day on at beach resort – activities can be organised. Perhaps a visit to see the Colibus Monkeys, a fishing tour, a trip out to a smaller island?
Day 17 - Zanzibar Day 4
Morning at the beach then transferred to Stone Town for your flight home
Accommodation in Zanzibar is not set, as when possible I like to book an entire Villa. But this is dependant on numbers. There are so many amazing places to stay here, and will be included when the itinerary is finalised.
Prices for 2019 are not out yet, but as a guideline for price, expect to pay around $5,500US for this tour (excluding all airfares, some meals, tipping, gifts and alcohol and optional balloon trip)
If you are not time poor, it is very easy to add an additional night here for as little as $100US per day.