February 2019 - Breeding Season in the Serengeti
Please note that this Safari is fully booked - Please contact me if you are interested in a similar tour
During the breeding season in February/March the animals are located in 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 a two week period in the last two weeks of February. 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.
This safari is very popular and is almost full. Please contact me via email as soon as possible if you are interested. I am currently in Africa and will not be contactable on the mobile until August.
Itinerary – February 2019
February 12th – Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport. Transfer to Arusha
February 13th – Explore Arusha and return for a home visit
February 14th - Cultural Heritage, Shanga and Masai Craft Market
February 15th - Masai Boma and dinner at Khans
February 16th Tarangeri National Park
February 17th – Lake Eyasi and the Bushmen
February 18th - Drive to Serengeti, afternoon game drive in lower Serengeti. We will be spending the next few days with the migration herd.
February 19th - Lower Serengeti, Ndutu area
February 20th - Drive to Central Serengeti
February 21st - Central Serengeti
February 22nd - We will drive back down to lower Serengeti and spend the night or or near the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. If interested we can visit Olduvai Gorge
February 23rd - Ngorongoro Crater and back to Arusha
February 24th - St Jude, optional activities
February 25th - Fly to Zanzibar, afternoon tour of Stone Town
February 26th - Stone Town
February 27th - Stone Town
February 28th - Stone Town
March 1st - Transfer to Airport for flight home
5 days in Arusha at The School of St Jude
Whilst in Arusha, we will stay in visitor accommodation at The School of St Jude. Accommodation is located within the grounds of the Primary School Campus. Each room will be a private room with an en-suite, some have a small lounge. I will organise a cook 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 very interesting to have lunch with the children, so we will try to fit that in. The meals with the children are very basic and part of the traditional diet. As our last day falls on an assembly day, we should try to attend.
Day 1- Tuesday
Arrive at Kilimanjaro airport. I will meet you at the airport for your transfer back to Arusha and The School St Judes. On arrival, I will take you to your room, to unpack. There are forms to sign about expectations while staying within the school and a short video. Nothing formal is 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 - Wednesday
After a leisurely breakfast, we will go into town and organise a local sim card so we can keep in touch with each other and home. Then we can do have a short tour of town and do some food shopping. We will have a nice lunch in town (own expense) and return early afternoon for a rest (for those still with a little jetlag) before your visit to the home of a primary student from St Judes. You spend a short time at the home of a family and see how they really live. This can be a very emotional experience, but one I highly recommend.
Day 3- Thursday
We will visit the Cultural Heritage Museum and shop. This is a bit more of a touristy place, but there is lots to see. The museum is amazing, so many unique pieces, and the goods for sale here are top quality. If you are interested in Tanzanite, this is the place to visit, it is the worlds’ largest supplier.
Next we will also visit Shanga, Shanga is a wonderful facility where disabled people are taught a skill to help them earn a living. They produce beautiful glass beads as well as beautiful glassware and much more. We will lunch at Shanga before returning to St Judes for your home visit.
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 4 - Friday
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, many store-holders will 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, there is nothing planned to allow you time to pack for your safari.
Other activities may include:
We can tour of the St Judes Campus’ both primary (where we will be staying), and the boarding facilities with some of the students. It is also possible to participate in an art of music class (lots of fun).
Catching the local transport Dala Dala into town for a walk around, a Dala drive is an experience, can be cramped but lots of fun. I recommend that we do a Dala trip into the Maasai Craft Market, we can then catch a taxi back with our purhases.
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. As the hosts are Muslim, no alcohol is allowed at this venue.
If the schedule allows, it is well worth a meeting with Gemma Sisia, the founder of St Jude’s. She is a wonderful warm and passionate woman, and her story is amazing. It is also worth encouraging Felix (who is the head of the visitor’s office) to tell his story, he is a born showman.
8 Days Northern Parks Tarangerie, Lake Eyasi and the Hadzabe Bushmen, Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater
This safari is timed to coincide with the “calf drop” when almost 2 million Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala, gazelle and many other animals give birth. 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
Expect an 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 something 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 animal 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 to find them. 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 something 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.
We will be staying closer to Central Serengeti and may drive through the migrating herds on our way. This is truly a sight to behold. Central Serengeti contains the amazing wide open plains and rocky kopjes made famous in the Lion King. I feel this is the true Serengeti.
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. We will have a second night 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 will 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. The accommodation here is similar to the Bush camp, complete glampling.
Day 10 - Safari Day 6
Today we will have a full day in Serengeti Ndutu Area, with an itinerary similar to the other days. Overnight 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. We will safari drive on our way to 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 hominids walked upright. A small, but very interesting museum and well worth the visit. We will then continue of safari, spending the night near 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 lunch in the Crater before we end our Safari here and return to Arusha.
Prices include 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, also please leave something in the tip jar at each place we stay.
Optional Extras: * Optional Balloon flight - expect to pay at least $560US per person. It is pretty awesome, imagine floating silently over the great migration.
Prices will be quoted in US$ per person on the basis of the itinerary above. The price is valid unless additional government fees & levies are imposed.
Our accommodation is excellent. It is not camping, more like “Glamping”
Because this is a personalised tour, we are able to have some control over the scheduling, and our Safari driver will join us for dinner and discuss what we are doing the next day.
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 or wander around town. Our day here is flexible, and will be a group decision. Because it will be a Sunday many of the shops will not be opened. It is also an option to have a lovey lunch at River Trees resort, and being a Sunday the St Judes volunteers are able to join us. A nice way to say good-bye.
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.
Zanzibar boast stunning white beaches, wonderful seafood, unique animals such as the Colobus Monkey.
Day 14 - Zanzibar Day 1
Transfer from St Judes to Arusha Airport for your 12.30 flight to Zanzibar. We have a transfer to our motel in Stone Town. There is nothing booked in Zanzibar, and we will set our own itinerary. Today we will have a look around and relax on the beach with a drink. Overnight at Tembo House.
Day 15 - Zanzibar Day 2
We have a full day in Stone Town
Day 16 - Zanzibar Day 3
A second full day in Stone Town
Day 17 - Zanzibar Day 4
Our last full day in Stone Town
Day 18 - Zanzibar Day 5
Time to relax and pack before your transfer to the Airport for your flight home.
Accommodation in Zanzibar is at Tembo Hotel (or similar) on a bed and breakfast basis.
There are many options in Zanzibar depending upon your interests. A tour of the old slave quarters is I think a must, there are fishing, snorkeling and diving tours. A visit to Prison Island to swim (optional) with the turtles is awesome, you can sail on a traditional Dhow, do a spice tour, check out the amazing doors (they rival those or Morocco) or check out more wildlife with a visit to see the rare Colobus Monkeys. Sooo many ioptiuons
This tour is $5,300US (excluding airfares, some meals, tipping, gifts and alcohol and optional balloon trip)
Zanzibar has stunning white beaches, and crystal clear waters. A bit of luxury to complete our tour.