2023 Tanzania Safari, with Steve Taylor

13 Days

Overview

Hosted by Sarah & Steve Taylor

February 28 – March 12, 2023

$ 9,460 (Minimum 12 Participants)

Steve and Sarah invite you to join them in Tanzania during the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, the Great Wildebeest Migration of around 2 million animals in the Serengeti national park!

The migration of wildebeest and zebra through the massive Mara/Serengeti/Ngorongoro ecosystem is a mostly continuous, circular movement following the rains. They bunch up into groups of sometimes 100,000 animals feasting on the nutrient grasses of the southern Serengeti plains, and the only time these 1-2 million animals stop moving is to calve.

Of course every animal migration is very weather-dependent, but no matter what the weather is Tanzania provides the most exciting wildlife safari in the world. The concentration of big game in its four famous northern game parks simply isn’t found anywhere else.

This intense safari is designed for the most dramatic game viewing possible, every single day! Steve and Sarah will show you all four big game parks using a mixture of lodges and first-class tented camps.

You’ll also visit Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater. The awesome crater is the most visited game park in all of East Africa.

This is also an exceptional time for birding, too! More than 300 migrant species spend their winters here from the northern hemisphere, raising the area’s avifauna to one of the highest in the world!

Despite this being the perfect time for seeing the great migration it’s considered a low tourist season. The lower prices make some of East Africa’s truly over-the-top accommodations reachable.  The price of this safari is based on the number of participants, so bring your friends!

Cost Sharing Single
Min. 12 $ 9,460 $ 11,130
Min. 10 $ 10,420 $ 12,090
Min. 8 $ 11,200 $ 12,870
Min. 6 $ 13,370 $ 15,040

 

About your hosts . . . . SARAH & STEVE TAYLOR

Sarah & Steve Taylor host for EWT around the world.  Steve is Director Emeritus of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, retiring in 2012 after serving the Cleveland community for 24 years. Prior to that he was the Director of the Sacramento Zoo.  Of his many awards and credentials, Steve is particularly passionate about those earned by the Cleveland Zoo’s popular “Elephant Crossing” which he shepherded from its inception.  Steve’s unique life experience was founded on presenting the great wildernesses and animals of the world to wide and varied public audiences, and this has allowed him to craft an interpretative skill generally lacking from many natural history guides.

Sarah is the controller for the Cleveland Indians baseball team.

Steve & Sarah have more than 35 years guiding experience, having led hundreds of enthusiastic travelers to Africa and beyond. When not traveling, they live in Ohio.

Itinerary

Whenever you arrive Kilimanjaro airport in northern Tanzania, a private vehicle and driver/guide will meet you and take you into the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro for your overnight at Ndarakwai Ranch Camp. [b- - ]
The day is free in this extremely scenic location around 6,000' on the western slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Weather permitting you can get fantastic views of both Kili and its sister mountain, Meru. For those who just need to recover from jetlag, the wonderful private tents, each with its own sitting and writing area, are perfect for doing so. The tents are located along a small stream in deep forests that are filled with sykes and colobus monkeys. Activities included are game drives on this enormous ranch where you’ll get your first introduction to zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, warthog and elephant, and probably a lot more! Game walks are also safe. Meals and activities at Ndarakwai Ranch Camp. [b-l-d]
Drive to the nearby airstrip for the quick private charter flight into Tarangire National Park. This is the land of baobabs and anyone who has read the Little Prince will immediately be transported into the fantasy worlds that Tarangire emulates so well! This is Africa's best elephant park and includes a huge resident population of very wild elephant. Game view to a famous picnic site overlooking the Tarangire River. The scene usually is filled with elephants, zebra, waterbuck and giraffe and all sorts of other game. After lunch continue game viewing to Mpingo Ridge for dinner and overnight. [b-l-d]
Tarangire is a huge park! Beautiful landscapes of rolling hills, deep valleys and intriguing swamps are all near the lodge. With its formidable sand rivers Tarangire is actually more like a southern African park than East African, and actually gives you the chance of finding some unusual wildlife like kudu and roan antelope. But no matter where you drive in Tarangire the feature of your day will be elephants. Meals and overnight at Mpingo Ridge. [b-l-d]
Game view to the northern gate via the Tarangire River and the Little Serengeti. At the gate enjoy a picnic lunch before continuing to the nearby town of Mto-wa-Mbu for some shopping at the popular "Maasai Market." Afterwards the spectacular drive climbs up the Great Rift Valley. The Rift is one of the few geological features that is easily spotted from outer space, a huge cleavage in the continent. Leave the park in the afternoon and continue through Tanzania’s rich agricultural farmland around Karatu to Gibb’s Farm for dinner and overnight. One of the most famous farms in the area, Gibb’s is an historic coffee and vegetable estate that has become a beautiful tourist resort. [b-l-d]
Dawn game drive in nearby Lake Manyara National Park. Known for its 'lions-in-the-trees" there is an enormous variety of wildlife and an even greater variety of plants making it one of the prettiest parks on the circuit. Early visitors often get multiple glimpses of the great black-and-white hornbill, the “dinosaur” bird of the park! The great variety of habitats sustains an enormous variety of wildlife from hippo to giraffe to zebra and much more. After a picnic breakfast return to Gibb’s for lunch, and in the afternoon relax in the surroundings which many veterans compare to Tuscany, or enjoy any of a number of tours of the farm and surroundings. Meals and overnight at Gibb’s Farm. [b-l-d]
Checkout is at ten o’clock and we recommend that this morning you book any of a number of trips, including the most popular, a guided walking tour of the nearby town and school. This is your only chance on safari to see everyday Tanzania on the free guided tour of the nearby town and school. There are also tours of the vegetable gardens, birding tours and several with nominal costs such as the ranger-led walks into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. After lunch at the farm the safari drives to nearby Ngorongoro. Stop for some of the spectacular rim view pictures before arriving at Lemala Camp for dinner and overnight. [b-l-d]
Dawn game drive in the amazing Ngorongoro Crater National Park. The 102 sq. mile crater is a volcanic caldera that is one of the most spectacular sites in the world, and the crater floor is dense with animals including Africa's greatest concentration of cats and its largest number of free-ranging black rhino. There’s a reason to get down early! Enjoy a special picnic breakfast on the crater floor before returning to camp for a late lunch. Relax this afternoon in camp or take an optional hike up nearby Olmoti Volcano! Dinner and overnight at Lemala Camp. [b-l-d]
Leave the crater after breakfast for what many consider the most exciting drive of the safari into the remote southeastern lands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. All civilization is left behind! First stop is Olduvai Gorge where so many precious finds of early man were found. Afterwards navigate to the sacred Maasai site of Shifting Sands, where a hill walks across the veld! After that it’s strictly off-roading! Spectacular scenery as you enter the Lemuta Plains, a domain of the few remaining traditional Maasai people. Few safaris attempt these remote and wondrous lands. Sometimes it’s wall-to-wall animals, including the hundreds of thousands of Thomson’s gazelle which don’t migrate. From time to time you’ll game view around a pond resting on the plains as your vehicles slowly search for the hyaena in wait. Lunch is taken atop one of the billion-year old kopjes, or rocky outcrops, that is the trademark of this ancient, fecund land. The views leave people breathless. By the end of the afternoon the safari reaches the southwest lakes, a relatively small area in the middle of the vast Serengeti, and it appears on the great grassland plains like a mole on someone’s smooth face: It looks out of place, but in fact has an incredibly strategic value for the great migration, and that’s what brings you here. The two large lakes, Masek and Ndutu, are an important watering station for the great herds. Meals and overnight at Ndutu Lodge. [b-l-d]
The entire day is spent game viewing. The lakes are surrounded by thick acacia woodlands filled with leopards and lions, and the plains outside the forests are one of the finest places in Africa to find cheetah. Normally on these plains at this time of the year is where large sections of the great migration are seen. Calving normally begins the end of February and by March nearly a quarter million wildebeest are born. It takes them 3-4 months to grow strong enough to start running. The particularly good nutrient grasses of these specific southern Serengeti plains provide their best fodder. Ndutu is perfectly located for exploration of the great Kusini plains, or into the Kekesio Valley where wild dog are often found! Meals and overnight at Ndutu Lodge. [b-l-d]
Leave early as you continue north. A quick stop for formalities is made at the main entrance to the Serengeti at Naabi Hill. Continue over the fabulous plains into the Moru Kopjes area of the Serengeti which many believe is its most beautiful area. Weather-permitting you’ll visit ancient Maasai cave paintings and the mysterious Ngong Singing Rock in this area thick with wildlife. This is also one of your best chances to see rhino outside the crater. After a picnic in the area you continue even further north into the center of the park for dinner and overnight at Ewanjan Camp. [b-l-d]
Hopefully by now the great herds have been found, although nothing in the wild can be guaranteed. Unusual rain patterns in particular can massively disrupt the migration. So today is entirely available for continuing the search if necessary! But normally your wide-ranging game drive today searches for resident leopard, elephant and buffalo. Seronera is the most popular and most visited part of the park, precisely because its game is so great! It’s one of the few areas with a serpentining river that draws all sorts of wild animals. There will be time this afternoon around the camp fire for Steve and Sarah to debrief your incredible journey as the stars of the Serengeti above you displace another spectacular sunset! Meals and overnight at Ewanjan Camp. [b-l-d]
Morning flight from the Seronera airport back to Arusha town. New vehicles will collect the group and take you shopping and for a visit to the Cultural Center, where you can enjoy your picnic lunch. In the afternoon continue back to Kilimanjaro airport for your overnight at the Airport Planet Lodge. Many flights, however, depart late in this evening returning you home, tomorrow, Monday, March 13. [b-l- ]

Cost Includes

  • Accommodations and meals as indicated in brackets at the end of each day’s description
  • Government fees for all attractions such as entry to national parks
  • Private transportation in specially outfitted, 8-passengers 4x4 safari vehicles with pop-top roofs driven by professionally-trained driver/guides and into which no more than 5 participants are placed
  • Two local flights: west Kilimanjaro to Tarangire and Seronera to Arusha
  • All taxes, fees and training levies

Additional Expenses Not Included

  • All international air fares
  • Tipping (Steve & Sarah do not accept tips)
  • The costs of obtaining requisite inoculations and documentation including Covid testing
  • Insurance
  • Some meals and beverages