Guided by Jim Heck
March 5 – 19, 2023
Jim’s signature “Great Migration Safari” has operated annually for more than 45 years. There’s no more perfect itinerary or experienced guide!
The great migration (mostly wildebeest and zebra) is a continuous, circular movement that follows the ebb and flow of the rains. Rains grow grass and that’s all the wildebeest eats. The unique sub-ecosystem south of the Seronera River, east of the Moru Kopjes, west of the Lemuta Hills and north of Olduvai Gorge has a topography, mini-climate and an altitude perfect to grow the unique grasses that deliver a powerful whack of nutrition and protein into the mother’s milk. That’s why 1-2 million wilde congregate in February-April to calve. It’s the only way to turn a helpless little 40-pound baby wildebeest into an awesome 175-pound running machine in a ridiculously short four months. (By the end of its second year, the wildebeest weighs 350 pounds.)
Jim has seen groups of 100,000 animals on these plains. Lions and cheetah constantly menace them. Hundreds of vultures soar in funnels above the kills. Giraffe and eland wander among the herds. Hundreds of thousands of beautiful gazelle are popping all over the place. The ghostly cries of the jackal and terrifying whoops of the hyaena never stop. It’s a 24×7 gargantuan battle for survival with sunrise a sudden, magnificent call to arms and sunset a cold warning that the cats are coming. Jim has traveled all over Africa and the world and reports that nothing anywhere is as dramatic, beautiful or revealing of nature’s struggle for perfection!
The trip starts in Kenya where amazingly different terrain is home to very rare and beautiful animals found nowhere else: the reticulated giraffe and Grevy’s zebra on the stunning semi-arid landscapes of the Great Northern Frontier. And you’ll see a host of heavily furred animals like the colobus monkey and giant forest hog in Kenya’s cold highland jungles.
The trip ends at the most famous geological and wildlife site in Africa, Ngorongoro Crater. Once the largest natural structure on earth, the volcano blew its stack about 3 million years ago eventually becoming a wildlife paradise.
If this is your first trip to Africa Jim hopes that all of your expectations and dreams will come true! If like many of Jim’s travelers you’re coming again, you already have goose bumps wondering what new and wondrous stuff is going to happen this time! Jim is honored to be able to interpret the power of wild Africa to you, so certain in this peculiar beauty lies not just inspiration for ourselves but a roadmap to a more lasting and better world.
About your guide . . . . JIM HECK
At a 2016 surprise sunset ceremony along the Mara River, Maasai elders associated with the legendary Governor’s Camp pronounced Jim an “honorary elder.”
While not a singular honor it’s quite rare and affirmed how grateful the local Maasai are for Jim’s contribution to Kenyan development and tourism.
Few people know East Africa as well as Jim Heck. For nearly a half century he has worked, lived and guided in sub-Saharan Africa. His popular blog, Africa-Answerman, includes investigative journalism of some of Africa’s most critical news stories as well as anecdotes and features of daily African life. His award-winning novel, Chasm Gorge, will soon be followed by a second one, The World by Ole Sarut.
Jim was the first westerner allowed to leave Addis after the Red Terror; had canoes overturned among crocs and hippos on the Zambezi; been charged by an elephant that he hit with a plate of waldorf salad; lost in the jungles of Cameroun; marooned in the Ituri Forest and rescued by Rhodesian sanction busters; and was among the few outsiders to travel through Uganda during the rule of Idi Amin. Jim has never lost a client or fired a gun.