The migrations in Tanzania

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Feb 16th, 2012, 09:57 AM
  #1
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The migrations in Tanzania

When is the best month to safari in Tanzania to see the migrations?
I get different answers from different tour companies.
A & K says the best time is December through March.
Any experiences and opinions will be greatly appreciated.
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Feb 16th, 2012, 10:55 AM
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The migration is a living thing... it moves.

The 'calving' of the young takes place in the Ndutu area, just south of the southern Serengeti - when people visit between Dec-Mar

The herds then move north to the central Serengeti around May, then into the west for June thru early-July; at the same time some of the herds move north

from mid-July thru Oct, the migration (those herds that didn't make it into Kenya's Masai Mara - where they stay thru end-Sep/early-Oct) are in the northern Serengeti.

... and then from Oct-Nov the herds move out of the Mara and northern Serengeti, down south to the Ndutu area, and it starts all over.

So, any time is a good time for the migration, depending on when visiting is best where you stay.

When do you wish to visit?
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Feb 17th, 2012, 12:47 PM
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A & K's tour stays at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge.
Which month would be best in that location for seeing the migration in the Serengeti?
Thank you
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Feb 18th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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A&K should be ashamed to be staying at the Sopa Serengeti, especially for the price they charge for the entire safari.

While this Sopa is probably the nicest of the many they have in Tanzania and/or Kenya... sure wish this very expensive 'group' tour would select different lodgings representative to what they charge.

Know that's not what you asked... but felt I should add my 2-cents when it comes to these rather expensive safaris, besides A&K, also Micato or Tauck that use mid-priced lodgings.

The Sopa Serengeti is located in the Central Serengeti, but the southern part of Central... which is good for the period between Jan-Mar. This lodge is just a bit north of Ndutu (mentioned above) where the wildebeests 'calve' their young.

Molly - have you look into booking a private safari where you can choose the areas to visit, the number of days at each, select your own accommodations (including tented camps)... price will likely be 1/3 lower than A&K.

You'd have your own guide/vehicle, can pretty much set your own schedule and not have decisions made by committee which often happens with a 'group' - you have interest in cats or ellees or giraffe, where others are into 'birds.' Or those who after seeing the 5th ellee are ready to move on, while others in the group want to hang around; or watching a pride of lions who in a second might decide to hunt, only to miss a possible 'kill' as others wish to depart. Something to consider.
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Feb 18th, 2012, 09:36 AM
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Sandi is right, Molly23. For the price, you can do better than what A&K offers. Are you traveling alone? With family and/or friends? Look at doing a private safari that can be tailored to your wishes and so that you can stay in the proper areas to see the Migration.
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Feb 19th, 2012, 11:49 PM
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I'm assembling a safari itinerary to Tanzania as well, at this very moment. Have learned quite a bit.

If you want to see the migration in Tanzania...

- you can go around February to lake Mase (Ndutu area). Plenty of places to stay there; Lake Masek Camp, Nomad Masek Camp, Ndutu Safari Lodge, Olakira Ndutu Camp, Lemala Ndutu Camp, Olaado Camp, ...). Wildebeest are dropping foals at that moment. Be prepared for rain though.

- you can go around June. Then the migration is in the west of the park (Grumeti area), where it crosses the Grumeti river. That crossing is not as spectacular as the Mara crossings though. You could opt for camps/lodges in the park (Mbalageti, Kirawaira, Soroi Serengeti, Serengeti Serena, Ronjo Camp, Lemala Ewanjan Camp, Kati Kati Camp, Grumeti Rive Camp...) or take a lodge in Grumeti Private Reserve (Eco Lodge Africa, Sabora Tented, Faru Faru, Sasakwa, ...). The latter are bette as you can off-road and do night drives, but are more expensive, especially the Singita places.

- you can go around September to the northern part of Serengeti. Then the migration crosses the Mara. Places to stay; Mara River Camp, Nomad Lamai Camp, Lemala Mara Camp, Sayari Mara River, Olakira MAra, Serian Serengeti North, Nomad Wogakuria Camp, or the Thomson "Nyumbas" camps.

Sun Safaris is working on my itinerary. Trying to get the right lodge at the right time is important. Their Tanzania specialist is called Celeste.

Happy Travels!

J.
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Feb 20th, 2012, 06:20 AM
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Hi Molly,

Very difficult to decide what time of year is best - they are different.

For me its got to be either December through to March as A&K say (for calving and certainly not for the Sopa!!!)....or August through to late October (for the river crossings). I would not go in June because the road network is too small, and there is no real selling point of that time (ie calving or river crossings). Singita is an exception - it is a phenomenal reserve and June/July is VERY good here.

But, as good as they are, the Singita camps are wallet destroying.....so leaving them aside for now, the question is Dec-March or Aug-Oct.

Dec-March gives you calving and off road driving which is a huge plus....but the negative is that the Ndutu area can be very busy. However staying outside Ndutu can sort this. Avoid Christmas.

August through to October, especially in Kogatende area, is quieter.....and the river crossings are superb. Plus this time of year sees other parks such as Ruaha and Tarangire in their peak seasons....so the rest of your stay in other parks will be very good. If you are looking at going to other parks then that’s definitely worth considering. Don’t go too late into October.

Hope that helps!

Julian - Director, Africa Odyssey
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