Travel to AWF's East African Heartlands and Experience the Great Migration

Travel to AWF's East African Heartlands and Experience the Great Migration



Monday, February 23


Today board your international flight to Africa. There are a variety of ways to get to Arusha for the start of the safari, and with assistance from AWF's tour operator, we'll help to ensure the travel best suited to you.

Tuesday, February 24


Upon arrival today at Kilimanjaro airport in northern Tanzania, you are met and transferred to Mountain Village. This landmark property beautifully overlooking Lake Duluti in the foothills of Africa's 5th highest mountain, Mount Meru, has been recently refurbished. Mountain Village (1 night, no meals).

Wednesday, February 25


Today, you drive into AWF's Kilimanjaro Heartland area for a first-hand look at the important wildlife conservation and community based tourism programs that are being conducted by AWF in this region. While on safari, you'll travel in well-equipped Landrovers, and you'll be accompanied by professionally-trained, English-speaking driver/guides. On this first day in the field, expect some dramatic game viewing, especially of elephants ... one of AWF's conservation target species in this Heartland overlapping the Kenya and Tanzania border. AWF's work here has helped to establish important corridor areas linking protected areas critical to this species' survival. For the next two nights, you'll enjoy very comfortable accommodations in a special, private tented camp. Each huge private tent includes separate sections for a private toilet and hot-bucket shower. Tents are comfortably furnished and electrified with individual solar panels so that nothing but the camp's central campfire interrupts the excitement and charm of the sounds of the African night. After lunch in camp, the afternoon is spent exploring the area and game viewing. Olmalog Camp (2 nights, all meals).

Thursday, February 26


This vast area of nearly 6 million acres is an important elephant corridor between Amboseli National Park in Kenya and Arusha National Park in Tanzania. The concession land owned by six local Maasai communities has been developed by several local tour companies to provide exclusive, exciting game experiences. Activities from camp include vehicle game drives in open Landrovers, game walks with armed guides and even night drives. Time will also be available to visit the local Maasai village that owns the land.

Friday, February 27


Today, you travel into AWF's Maasai Steppe Heartland for two exciting days in Tarangire National Park. Lunch is scheduled in Arusha town, where you will be joined by staffers from AWF for an informal get-together. In the afternoon, you continue into Tarangire National Park, game viewing through the park to our lodge for dinner and overnight. Tarangire Sopa Lodge (2 nights, all meals).

Saturday, February 28


Tarangire National Park (2,600 km2) shares some of its ecology with wildernesses more to the south, including heavy woodlands and several great sand rivers. Tarangire is known for its large elephant population, and the park also provides good opportunities to observe leopard and a host of other dry savannah mammals and birds. With its impressive sand rivers and massive baobab forests, the Tarangire landscape is unique to our safari. Dawn and afternoon game drives are included today, and you'll also have a chance to visit the park's brand new Interpretive Center - a collaborative project between AWF and Tanzania National Parks that was designed and constructed via funding obtained by AWF.

Sunday, February 29


After breakfast, you take a final game drive in Tarangire on the way out of the park towards the Great Rift Valley, which frames the northern edge of Lake Manyara National Park. En route to Manyara National Pak, you'll visit AWF's Manyara Ranch - a unique land Trust established to protect an important corridor between Tarangire and Manyara National Parks that creatively integrates the needs of wildlife and the Maasai people of the region. After lunch in a lovely permanent camp built right on the lip of the escarpment overlooking Lake Manyara, local Maasai will take you in small groups on a walk this afternoon. On the way to some spectacular views at the edge of the Rift, you'll learn of the special uses of various plants and listen to the Maasai recount some favorite lore. Kirurumu Camp (1 night, all meals).

Monday, March 1


You leave camp before dawn, so that the safari into Lake Manyara National Park can begin as early as possible. Famous for its tree-climbing lions and legendary elephants, Manyara is a relatively small park packed with game. AWF has played an important role here in the development of park infrastructure and staff capacity-building. Here also, AWF has been instrumental in creating an innovative new Interpretive Center. A UNESCO biosphere, there are twenty times the tree species in this national park than in all of North America. Expect to see large numbers of buffalo, zebra, giraffe and much more. The birdlife in Manyara is exceptional, especially along its scenic forested shoreline. You'll enjoy a special treat, as a hot bush breakfast is prepared under a private tent in the park, just for AWF tour members. Later in the morning, you return to Kirurumu for lunch and continue in the afternoon to Ngorongoro Crater. The spectacular drive through a highland rain forest is one of the most beautiful in Africa. The lodge sits right on the lip of the great crater itself, with fantastic views. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (2 nights, all meals).

Tuesday, March 2


Before dawn you descend into the crater. Three million years ago this was probably the earth's highest structure, an active volcano which blew its stack in a relatively short hundred thousand years. Today what remains is a wildlife paradise and feast of beauty. The caldera is 102 sq. miles surrounded by an 1800-2000' rim. The caldera has afforded wildlife special protection throughout the millennia, especially during the terrible years of heavy poaching. The area is very rich in wildlife, including some of the last free-ranging black rhinoceros in East Africa. In consort with U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Tanzania National Parks, AWF has established a program to monitor the rhinos of the crater. The crater is also known for its high density of carnivores - the lion prides are magnificent and all three species of jackals can be found here. Ngorongoro's grasslands are filled with zebra and wildebeest and a host of other smaller ungulates. At this time of the year, the very large flocks of migratory storks from Europe sometimes descend into the crater in the hundreds of thousands, and birdlife along the many small lakes in the Crater is spectacular. You will enjoy a picnic breakfast beside one of these lakes, and after lunch enjoy a second game drive in the afternoon.

Wednesday, March 3


After an early breakfast, you take a third game drive in the crater, ascending the opposite side for tea at a different lodge with a different and equally fantastic view. Afterwards, continue into the Grande Dame of African game parks, the Serengeti. First stop is Olduvai Gorge, where you'll have a brief lecture and some time to visit the interesting museum. Then you'll continue overland through Maasailand towards the national park. On the way, stops will be made at mysterious Maasai sites like the Shifting Sands. The next three nights will be in a private, luxury camp with ensuite facilities, that has been strategically situated for best locating and observing the great wildebeest migration. After lunch in camp, you enjoy your first game drive in this vast and fantastic wilderness. Private AWF Camp (3 nights, all meals)

Thu-Fri, March 4-5


The great wildebeest migration is one of the most fascinating and dramatic animal migrations in the world. More than 2 million animals are involved, including 1_ million white-bearded gnu, or wildebeest. From as long as we can determine, this great herd has congregated in the southern Serengeti at this time of year, feasting on the nutrient grasses flourishing in the summer rains. The herds remain here until the rain stops and the grasses dry up. Accompanied by zebra, gazelle, eland, topi, hartebeest and much more, there are many predators, including lion, hyaena, cheetah and leopard. Most permanent lodges are located more than a half day from the traditional position of the migration, but our mobile camp will be perfectly sited. Game viewing on the great plains can occur for as long as you like. With several days here, you should be able to see extraordinary wildlife and many other attractions as well, including the beautiful lakes area, Hidden Valley, and the sacred cave paintings and singing rocks of the Moru Kopjes.

Saturday, March 6


This morning a charter aircraft takes you from the Serengeti back to Arusha, arriving in the late morning. There will be time for shopping and visiting Arusha town, before lunch at a popular local restaurant. You then return to Mountain Village, where you have a private room until the late night transfers to the airport for the overnight flights to Europe and then onward to the US. Mountain Village (day room, all meals).


Land Arrangements:

Per person, double occupancy

Sample airfare from New York

Single supplement

Note: A minimum of ten guests are required in order to operate this itinerary at this price.

Included in the cost of your land arrangements:

All hotels, camps and lodges as indicated in the itinerary

All meals as indicated in the itinerary

All game viewing activities, guide fees and park fees as indicated in the itinerary

All safari transportation in Landrovers and transfers as indicated in the itinerary

Air charters

Water and soft drinks provided in vehicles

Not Included in the cost of your land arrangements:

International air fares (See sample airfare above.)

Personal expenses such as curios; excess baggage fees; travel and personal insurance; phone calls; emails; faxes; gratuities; costs of obtaining passport, visas and other travel documents; airport departure taxes; inoculation fees; drinks; laundry.

Additional benefits to you which are included in the safari costs:

Airline ticketing and travel service, a comprehensive information manual to assist you with getting ready, visa services, and local advice available at any time from Hoopoe Safaris toll-free at 800-408-3100.

Luggage tags

Strong ground support throughout your itinerary in case of emergency