Tanzania Great Migration, when to go

Old Oct 22nd, 2016, 07:29 PM
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Tanzania Great Migration, when to go

I posted this before, forgot about it, and can't find it now. Must not have gone through.
I've been on safari twice before in Africa and loved it. But I have one more trip on my bucket list. I would love to experience the Great Migration and have never been to Tanzania. Particularly Ngorongoro Crater. I know it is a hit and miss thing. Hard to know when it will move through that area. But if anyone has any advice, suggestions, etc., as to a more likely time to catch it and a reliable company to go with, I would really appreciate any input from you.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2016, 08:56 AM
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We had a fabulous time with EASY TRAVEL. They were a pleasure to deal with at every step of the process and I recommend them most highly. We always felt that their primary goal was to give us a wonderful experience, which they did.
We went in late July-early August, 2014. Were lucky enough to see the Great Migration crossing the Mara Rover twice!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2016, 12:00 PM
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This calendar will get you started...

http://www.eyesonafrica.net/migration.htm
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Old Oct 23rd, 2016, 03:21 PM
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Thanks very much, both of you. I'll look into Easy Travel and that calendar is really helpful.
I went with O.A.T. for a tented safari a number of years ago and had a really wonderful trip. But I've seen bad reviews for O.A.T. recently. Quite surprised to see them because our trip couldn't have been better.
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 04:02 AM
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We have enjoyed seeing huge numbers of wildebeest during several trips to Tanzania. We prefer to travel during late April thru mid May particularly as rates are lower, crowds are less, roads are less dusty and scenery is great. And, plenty of wildlife to enjoy. Yes, considered the "long" rainy season but we have yet to encounter major rain for any length of time. certainly not 24/7.

We have never experienced a gnu river crossing nor have we been disappointed at not seeing this spectacular event. Simply too much else to enjoy to sit parked along the river in case wildebeest decide to cross.

The map provided by an earlier poster is a good one although I would defy anyone to predict where major herds will be months ahead of a trip. Much depends on rainfall and response of grasses. And, wildebeest are certainly an interesting creature. We have seen a herd moving in one direction in the am and see the same group reverse course 180 degrees by afternoon. Or, see one group moving in one direction and on the horizon here come another in a different direction.

On our last trip in May, 2015 we encountered vast numbers of wildebeest on two separate days and could see them as far as the eye could see with nary another vehicle in sight! Our guide of the past four safaris (Roy Safaris) mentioned some companies have a limit on mileage driven each day so sometimes this hinders finding numbers of gnu.

Enjoy the research! It will add greatly to your safari.
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 07:29 PM
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Thanks, rsnyder. I appreciate the detail of your input. What camps did you visit during April and May? To give me an idea of what part of Tanzania you were in.
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Old Oct 25th, 2016, 04:13 AM
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For more details trip report at http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...-Tanzania.html

https://snydertravelpictures.shutterfly.com/pictures

Each trip we try a new area, a different lodge/camp, etc. So I decided on area outside of Moshi for a day to unwind from the flights and to be able to take walks on our own and possibily see birds. Thus, the one night stay at Mt Kilimanjaro View Lodge.

then, as we were going to Arusha NP for a day trip to save backtracking a bit one night at Mt. Meru Game Lodge.

then onto Arusha with one night at the African Tulip Hotel. This might be considered the beginning of a typical safari to the northern circuit arriving in the evening from Amsterdam and leaving early next morning for Tarangire NP.

Nights at Tarangire Safari Lodge
Night at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge (first time at this lodge but on next trip would reconsider Kirurumu Tented Lodge as it being more intimate and in better habitat for birding)
Lake Ndutu Luxury Tented Lodge for two nights while in the Ndutu area. First time stay at this rather new lodge. Very nice, am sure pricey in regular season.
Nights at Serengeti Serena Lodge
2 nights at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
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Old Oct 27th, 2016, 04:59 AM
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Hello Travellingtish,
I recently wrote a blog piece about the Great Wildebeest Migration, which may be helpful.
I think the line '... the wildebeest movement is ongoing, if you plan well, and with a bit of African luck, the continuous wildebeest crusade can be intercepted at any number of junctures along their migratory way.', is rather telling.

If you'd like to read further, as well as for recommendations of lodges and camps, do have a gander here -
https://www.southerndestinations.com...tion-tanzania/

I do hope this is helpful,
Kind Regards,
Debbi - Southern Destinations
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Old Oct 27th, 2016, 11:17 AM
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I might offer a few comments on the blog piece. Doesn't do credit to the Ndutu area of Tanzania especially as the piece is titled "where to see the wildebeest migration in Tanzania". Did not mention the areas where calving occurs and so forth. And the term "best" might be misleading as to recommended migration camps and lodges. It would seem the gist of the promotion is towards luxury accommodations and while we have enjoyed stays at the Serengeti Serena Lodge I am not sure it is in the same category as the others.
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Old Oct 27th, 2016, 10:56 PM
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Hello rsnyder, very many thanks for your comments, all valid. The topic is so wide however, and the subject from a personal perspective, in view of, unfortunately for purposes of a blog piece, the report could not be all inclusive of all options.
The article is merely an overview of offerings, and really was just intended to highlight the fact that the wildebeest migration is 'ongoing', and can be intercepted along the way ... there isn't always a best time to go.
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Old Oct 28th, 2016, 05:44 AM
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My first safari was in Feb 2013 and included Ndutu and the Serengeti. We hit the Ndutu area perfectly for the migration was right there when we got there, and I was stunned by the sheer number of wildebeest, but also the number of wilde births going on right before our eyes, as it is also calving season. While this isn't the migration of exciting river crossings, it was pretty stunning to see.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 09:14 PM
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I finally got a chance to check out Deborah's article. The camps are beautiful, but I don't need such luxury. My last trip to Africa (11 years ago) we stayed at Wilderness Tented Camp in the Okavango Delta, Lianshulu in Namibia, Linkwasha in Hwange/Zimbabwe, and Baobab Safari Lodge in Chobe. Two of these were tented camps and the other two were little individual houses. Loved it. At Linkwasha I went to bed every night listening to a herd of elephants greeting each other and arguing at a nearby water hole. One of the greatest highlights of my life! This was with O.A.T. Great accommodations, pretty good food. I couldn't have asked for more. And my budget won't stretch to $8,000-10,000. Chandeliers, crystal, personal attendant--not needed. I'm fine with a staff member with a rifle who escorts me to my lodgings after dinner and then goes about his business. Keep in mind it's the migration I am mainly interested in. And I do realize the animals don't have a timetable they follow! So what I need is a tour that hits moderate but comfortable camps in good locations for the migration.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 04:24 AM
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travelingtish, my trip report from Tanzania 2013 is on here if you click my name you'll find it. We were not in luxury camps by any means, a mix of moderate lodgings and tented camps, but we followed a route in Feb that I think will cover what you want to see, as long as you are not expecting river crossings. The herds are in/around Ndutu at that time and the number is mindblowing. Access 2 Tanzania put this together for us, with our set budget in mind. I wouldn't bother with some pre-packaged tour, but instead would find a safari planner who can put together exactly what I want on my timeline and on my budget. You can certainly do better than $8-10k for this type of safari.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 06:54 PM
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Thanks, amyb. I'll check them out.
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Old Nov 20th, 2016, 02:04 PM
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Seeing the migration is a hit and miss thing as you say, but in February it's almost guaranteed that the wildbeests migration will be in the Ndutu area (southern Serengeti's short grass plains) close to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It's usually the season for the wildbeests to give birth to thousands of calvs and it happens in Ndutu area around Dec-March. Here is an example of a February migration itinerary https://www.authentictanzania.se/ser...tion-zanzibar/

The other good time to go is around late July or early August when the migratory herds move into the Grumeti and procees northwards. If lucky, this is when you can witness spectacular migration crossings.
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