• info@greatmigrationcamps.com

Great Migration ’22: Where to cross the Mara River?

Part 1: Where to cross the Mara River?

The Mara River Crossings of the wildebeest & zebra, of the annual Great Migration in Tanzania & Kenya is an event like no other in the natural world.  It’s not a single event, nor a single herd, nor a single stretch of river, nor a specific date or time.  Wildebeest crossing the Mara River is a visually magnificent 3-D, confusion of tangible adrenalin with stereo sound.  In the animal history world, these dramatic & chaotic river crossing scenes must rank at the top due to the raw visual, auditory & sensory intensity.  It will take your breath away.  The 2022 Mara River Crossings are the next event in our part of the planet.

In case you missed it: The Great Migration Explained 2022 

Things to consider when crossing a river

As kids we were taught various bush survival skills which included river crossing techniques for our safety.  We knew if the river was too wide, flowing too fast or was too high & discoloured, the crossing point was not acceptable. Acceptable crossing places had shallow water, easy banks to get out on the other side and a nice gravel or boulder river bed.  Deep, slow water was okay if it wasn’t too wide.  As humans we had to remove loose clothing, belts & backpacks.

  • Watch the far bank
  • Don’t fight the current
  • Don’t grab logs or rocks
  • Try to move side on to the current

Where to cross a river

Where to cross a River? Crossing points

The first question was whether we had to cross or not. Was there an alternative option?

It we had to cross, the second question was where to cross the river. What is the best river crossing point?

  • The nature of the river bed (is it sand, gravel, rocks, boulders?)
  • Speed of river flow
  • Depth of the water
  • Turbulence of the water
  • Temperature (coldness) of the water
  • Capabilities of the group
  • Entry and exit points
  • Run out

Where to cross the Mara River?  Crossing Points for the Great Migration 2022

  • The Mara River is almost 400 km long and is wide, craggy and treacherous.
  • It is home to Africa’s largest crocodile population.
  • The Mara River represents the end of a long challenging journey for the wildebeest.
  • It makes logical sense that the wildebeest are hesitant to cross the river when they arrive, making them seem aimless and indecisive.
  • Despite facing the same river risks as humans, such as drowning in strong currents, or breaking a leg on rocks or river bank entries – the wildebeest must also contend with predators (crocodiles & carnivores)
  • The wildebeest cross the Mara River on instinct, in a bi annual ritual- what goes north, must return south. The herds cross the Mara River at least twice, sometimes more.
  • Humans have spent decades documenting the wildebeest movements to make it easier for ourselves to witness this river crossing event. The most commonly used geographical areas of the river have been named or numbered as Crossing Points.
  • Each point is a stretch of river not a single GPS location and is used as a guideline for finding the wildebeest
Mara-River-Crossings-2022
Tanapa-Crossing-Points-Mara-River-2022

Mara River Crossings 2022: What to expect from the wildebeest?

  • NOTHING! They are unpredictable.
  • When a herd of wildebeest arrives on the banks of the Mara River, they usually search for a place to cross where the banks are not too steep and the water not flowing too fast.
  • The buildup is tense. Hours or days can be spent waiting near a crossing point before they get enough numbers and courage to leap into the Mara River.
  • Triggers can cause many false starts for the wildebeest.  The ultimate trigger starts an adrenalin charged surge into the water and a race to the opposite river banks & perceived safety.
  • They are in the zone seemingly oblivious to the known dangers- they swim frantically, grunt loudly and move as a mass of nervous energy.
  • Exiting on the opposite bank, can be gentle and gradual or often tragically a near vertical slope where any good foothold changes to a slippery mudbank, with every passing hoof.  The glistening bodies fight against each other to get out and avoid sliding back to the watery nightmare.
  • Unbelievably, within ten minutes the wildebeest can be seen calming grazing with little or no indication of their ordeal – for them it’s just another day.

Mara River Crossing Points 2022:  Human behaviour at the crossings 

  • The main objective is to observe the river crossings but not alter or impact the outcome of a crossing.
  • Wildlife always has right of way, don’t obstruct.
  • Waiting for a river crossing, vehicles should be stationary and out of sight of the animals.  It is common to see safari jeeps hiding behind the tree line to avoid windshield reflections or other distractions.
  • There are parking areas at the crossing points – designed to stop the vehicles frightening or blocking a river crossing.
  • ONLY when the wildebeest have started to cross the river, may safari vehicles approach the river slowly.  (In reality there is a race to the river for the best viewing spot of the greatest animal migration in Africa along the river bank.)
  • Do we even need to say it?  Stay in the vehicle (we are not the only animals watching the wildebeest)

Part 2:  Where Wildebeest Cross the Mara River

Book now to see the Great Wildebeest Migration:  info@greatmigrationcamps.com
Contact us now for River Crossing availability 2022 season.
Follow our migration updates from the Serengeti National Park here:  Great Migration Updates 

Great Migration Serengeti, Wildebeest Update May 2022

Serengeti National Park, Great Migration Update

May 2022

Migration Update from the Serengeti, things are picking up speed now with the western herds reaching Seronera valley. The wildebeest herds have moved quickly across the plains  the last few weeks. The Eastern herds are also on the move north, so the migration is still a bit scattered, with some small pockets still in the south.  Great Migration Camps is following them best we can on a daily basis!

Travel confidence is building and in March 2022, a travel advisory from the Govt of Tanzania reduced travel restrictions for travellers.  That’s good news for those hoping to visit the Serengeti to see the great migration river crossings on the Mara River, this season.  If you plan to visit – book soon- people are starting to travel & the great migrations is a bucket list item.

Tanzania Entry Requirements (Covid-19) for visitors to the Great Migration

  • Online Health Surveillance Form within 24 hours prior to arrival.
  • Travelers should follow airline protocol for travel to and from Tanzania.
  • Fully vaccinated – exempt from both RT PCR and Rapid Antigen Test requirements. Present valid vaccination certificate with QR code for verification.
  • Not fully vaccinated or unvaccinated, ineligible for vaccination for visitors to the Great Migration
    • A negative COVID-19 Rt-PCR or NAATs certificate with QR code within 72 of departure.
    • Health screening procedures are in place at airports and other ports of entry- with Rapid Antigen Testing on arrival. ($10 – for your own cost). Those eligible should are advised to book and pay online to avoid queues
    • There are no quarantine measures, curfews or restrictions on movement in place.
    • If found positive, there will be a PCR confirmation test & self-isolation required (own cost)

Covid  Travel Security:  if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 within 14 days, and up to 24 hours prior to departure, you will get a travel credit.

Book now to see the Great Wildebeest Migration:  info@greatmigrationcamps.com
Follow our migration updates from the Serengeti National Park here:  Great Migration Updates 

“Seasons” of the Great Wildebeest Migration 2022

The Great Wildebeest Migration happens 365 days a year but we’re the only ones that can guarantee you’ll see it. We don’t wait for the herds to come to us, we take you to them – leaving no trace.  We follow the wildebeest in our small pioneering camp according to the wildebeest and their movements.  Great Migration Camps is headed north for crossing season 2022.

Calving Season (January- March)

  • Almost 2 million wildebeest gather on the southern plains of the Serengeti for calving season. The herds don’t all arrive at the same time in January.
  • Females synchronize their birthing, so about 500,000 wildebeest are born in a 3-week period (early Feb)
  • Sheer numbers give them a level of protection whilst the calves are still young. This many creatures need a lot of food. The southern plains have the most nutritious grass to sustain the numbers.
  • Despite significant predator action, the wildebeest stick around for as long as possible, as the grass is good & the calves gain strength.
  • As the grass dries out, the wildebeest start moving north- the timing of which is unpredictable and sadly doesn’t correspond with any fixed dates.

The Long Rains (April- May)

April – May is the long rainy season so the wildebeest move to locations where it has rained. They can scatter & almost disappear which seems crazy as there are hundreds of thousands of wildebeest in the great migration

  1. North to the Seronera area
  2. North-West via Kusini to the western corridor.
  3. Eastern border of the Serengeti.

Rutting Season (June)

  • Breeding season for the wildebeest takes place in June.
  • Birthing is synchronized so it figures that rutting is also synchronized.
  • In June, smaller family herds gather (often in close proximity) dominated by one male.
  • The lone male spends a great deal of energy protecting his females from males without their own harem,

River Crossing Season (July- October)

  • The Mara River starts in Kenya and runs north -south and then east to west in Tanzania
  • River Crossings generally start from mid-July (earliest).
  • Generally peak season is August & September but depends on the weather and rainfall.
  • The northern Serengeti (Tanzania) and Masai mara (Kenya) have more permanent water & grass attracting the wildebeest to the north. To get there they need to cross the Mara River.
  • It’s probably the most dramatic time of the migration as a river crossing is dangerous for the wildebeest. Hungry crocs & predators await, it’s easy to break a leg jumping into the river or drown during a crossing.
  • The crossings themselves generally involve a buildup of wildebeest numbers. The wildebeest can move up and down the Mara River looking for good spots to cross or to simply wait for more wildebeest to join the growing herd. The micro movement up and down the river with multiple hesitations and disruptions can and does drive people crazy! They just won’t cross until they decide.
  • The wildebeest can cross northwards but a little rain or fresh grass can bring them south again. Ultimately, they could cross the Mara River multiple times.
  • Book early as supplemental services get full (flights etc)
  • When it comes to river crossings – you have to have patience.  You can be at a great spot, with a large mass of wildebeest waiting to cross. The wildebeest can do nothing for 2 days …yet the moment you wake up late, they will all cross over in 20 minutes and you’ll find them standing on the opposite bank, with only a few fat crocs to show where they were!!!!

Waiting for Rain (November- January)

  • We call this final period “waiting for rain”! The short rains are usually in Nov-Dec but this can vary a lot.
  • In general, the wildebeest move southwards through the Serengeti to the southern plains… following water and rivers.
  • They can move in large herds or as small family groups as they make their way back towards those plains where the journey started in a seasonal yet variable repetition of events.

For human mortals – here is the month-by-month calendar version

  • January-February-March
    Dry months of the year. Wildebeest move south for calving season on the southern plains.
  • March
    Usually dry and before the long rains. Wildebeest start moving north as plains dry out.
  • April-May
    Long rains. Wildebeest on the move – mostly headed north and north-west. Access can be difficult, getting stuck is common. Interesting sightings and beautiful as very green with no dust.
  • June
    The transition to dry season. Can have dramatic clouds. Wildebeest rutting season, big herds in the west and NW. Some herds move up the eastern border of the Serengeti.
  • July-August-September
    Dry season and it coincides with northern hemisphere summer holidays. River crossing season of the migration in the northern Serengeti.
  • October
    The good conditions last into about mid-October when the buildup for the short rains begins. Can be spectacular and not particularly crowded. An untraditional “spring” brings new wild life.
  • November
    Tanzania’s short rainy season starts & continues until the beginning of December. Afternoon rains are common so be prepared for a shower. Uncrowded. Wildebeest location unpredictable.
  • December
    Rains can extend, and the mountain becomes popular over Festive Season and for new year goal setting trips. Wildebeest start moving south for calving season.

Bookings are open for River Crossing Season 2022 of the Great Wildebeest Migration.  info@greatmigrationcamps.com

The Great Migration Explained 2022

For many people, the aim of a trip to Tanzania is “to see the Great Migration“.  Not everyone realizes that the migration is not a once-off event, but rather a continuous year-round process. Each part of the cyclical journey provides uniquely different experiences. It’s coming up to the dramatic river crossings of the Mara, which is just one part of the migratory cycle, though what many think IS the great migration. It seems there is a good crossing season ahead – book early for the 2022 wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

What is the great migration?

  • The seasonal movement of wildebeest from one habitat to another in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
  • The migration involves a return journey.
  • The herds move backwards and forwards across the park (or out of it!), sometimes over 40 km overnight.
  • It is not one huge herd of animals, but numerous large & small herds, all with their own agenda.

Why do the wildebeest migrate?

  • The simple answer is for food and water. Other factors include reproduction, predation & protection.
  • The southern Serengeti plains are ideal for reproduction. Wildebeest have synchronized birthing and the plains are the only place that can sustain the sheer numbers and provide enough nutrition.
  • If the wildebeest could stay all year, they would! The plains dry out, and the wildebeest are forced to move north to permanent water sources and sufficient grazing.
  • Weather influences the quality of water and grazing – thus the timing, intensity, location and duration of rainfall plays a crucial role in the wildebeest movement.

When is the great migration?

  • Calving Season (Jan-Mar).
    Most calves are born in early Feb, the wildebeest stay as late into March as possible for the mothers & calves to get enough strength to move north.
  • Long Rains (April-May)
    Rainy season gets thr wildebeest on the move
  • Rutting Season (June)
    Breeding season – fascinating interaction with males protecting their harems
  • Crossing Season (July-Oct)
    Peak period of the river crossing season is August and early September.
  • Waiting for Rain & Short Rains (Nov-Jan)
    Rain brings fresh grass to the southern plains, and the wildebeest follow for calving.

 

NEXT EVENT:  Book Now for Great Migration River Crossing Season 2022

Book Now: info@greatmigrationcamps.com

Coronavirus Safari Blog 03

Serengeti Show Live – Coming soon

Great Migration Camps has temporarily closed our mobile camp until June 2020 in efforts to ensure the safety of our staff, guests and to be part of the global solution in containing the spread of coronavirus. Great Migration Camps refuses to take any risks. When travel is safe, we are ready to welcome you and take you on a Serengeti safari.

We have coronavirus-free safaris in place, for when the situation changes. With fewer tourists this season, the river crossings should be spectacular and we’ll be ready when the globe is ready. #StayHome #StaySafe #TravelLater

Covid-19 Virtual Safaris

Travel bans have restricted tourism across our planet. Coronavirus has shut down the travel industry. Tanzania and the Serengeti National Park are no exception.

There is a high demand for wildlife shows and virtual safaris at home as millions of people around the globe are in lockdown. Nature makes people feel better.  The desire for good news, knowledge and wildlife content has never been greater for those confined to their homes.

Coronavirus Safari Lockdown in the Serengeti

Open natural spaces are the anecdote to cabin-fever. Our lockdown is the Serengeti National Park. What is life like in lockdown in the Serengeti National Park during Covid-19?

Life in the bush is a daily adventure and we will bring it to living rooms across the planet from the Serengeti. 40 episodes of Serengeti Show Live safari broadcasts will be produced during April and May 2020 by our film crew in lock down in the bush.

Each episode will feature the wildlife sighting of the day in HD video – spectacular videos of animals in the wild and their interactions.

Life in the bush goes on without tourists, so we will continue to follow the wildebeest herds and bring you great migration updates and videos of the herds and migratory patterns.

Parents can take a break with the Kids’ Corner – a fun and interactive segment of each show will be dedicated to entertaining and educating our future conservationists.

Behind the scenes we will share interesting facts, great footage and real-life adventures from life in the bush.

Conservation Through Tourism during Covid-19

We are fascinated to research the impact this Covid-19 enforced tourism break will have on the Serengeti.  How it will recover from tourism-induced stress?  Over tourism can disturb breeding patterns, feeding habits, and migratory movement. It can pollute landscapes and destroy habitat. There is some good news.

  • Satellite images from NASA’s Earth Observatory show significant drops in pollution across countries and cities since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, as travel restrictions in those countries halt industrial production as well as air, train and road traffic.
  • Venetian canals have cleared with a reduction in tourist numbers, & although the reports of dolphins playing in the deserted canals, was actually in Sardinia – the good news from the natural world is captivating those in quarantine

Will the landscape in the Serengeti Eco-system change in the next few months? A tourism break could be good – but for how long?

Educating future generations and staying top of mind with potential travelers will be critical to tourism recovery. Tourism is extremely important to Tanzania. The industry accounts for half a million jobs in direct employment and more than double that in jobs that indirectly support the industry. Tourism funds conservation – park authorities rely heavily on tourism for routine operational funding including guards and rangers. There will be fewer eyes to protect against poaching, due to the reduced number of tourist vehicles and daily presence in the park.

For now, we need to protect the wildlife and habitat that is the Serengeti National Park. We need to monitor the environmental changes. We need to talk about sustainable tourism. We need to educate the future custodians. We need to share our Serengeti Stories to a world that desperately needs good news. We need to entice travelers to return when it is safe to do so.

#conservationthroughtourism

How you can help the Serengeti during Covid-19?

If you’d like to be part of the coronavirus solution, people need to stay home now.

Join us to help deliver unique edited daily Serengeti Show LIVE episodes to your inbox ready for distribution via your channels.  Help save Africa’s National Parks and tourism sector NOW!

We are the only film crew in the Serengeti and able to provide new original content from a wildlife destination and broadcast the great migration and 4K wildlife content on a daily basis during Coronavirus Lockdown.

Tune in to the show, share it with your colleagues and clients, watch it with your kids. If you are in a position to contribute towards local operating costs, sponsor production costs, or connect us with a broadcast partner – we’d love you to hear from you.  Let’s save the Serengeti together.  Get involved.  Contact us via email:  info@greatmigrationcamps.com

Follow us on your favourite Social Media platform.

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Coronavirus Safari Blog 02

Coronavirus-free Safaris – Coming soon

The coronavirus pandemic has forced approximately one third of the global population into quarantine. Millions more are following recommendations to stay at home to contain the spread of Covid-19. Staying home is the right thing to do.  Coronavirus is spread from person to person, often unknowingly as the carrier can be without symptoms.  By limiting the number of people, you are in contact with, the risk of infecting or passing on the disease to someone else is reduced.

Travel Restrictions will lift after Coronavirus

Coronavirus has been a safari stopper. Government restrictions, travel bans and grounded planes will lift, and travel will resume – slowly at first and tentatively.  After being stuck indoors for weeks or months, the desire for endless open skies, the smell of the bush, open savanna, incredible wildlife and few crowds is a lure only in the imaginations of adventurers at the moment. When it is safe to do so, we welcome those who are able to join us on a coronavirus-free safari.

8 Day 7 Night Coronavirus-Free Private Safari

To all the lovers of open space and the African bush, we have created a coronavirus free safari – taking responsible healthy travellers to ridiculously remote safari destinations for a week of wildlife. Our coronavirus free safari avoids hotels, public transport and other travelers. It’s a private safari with no other guests – interacting with only 3 people.

Corona-free Virus Safari: Reduced contact, reduced risk

Exclusive use of a private villa, a private charter plane to get you to the Serengeti and back and a private mobile safari camp – exclusively for your own use.

Your 3 human interactions:

  • Private chauffeur for all airport transfers in Arusha
  • Private pilot on your charter flight
  • Private safari guide in the Serengeti National Park.
  • * There will be a small support crew of 2 or 3 at the bush camp – out of contact with clients.

Group Size for a Coronavirus-free Safari

  • Best for small groups of 6 – families, close friends, people known to you.
  • Maximum 10 clients.
  • Please inquire for smaller groups.

Coronavirus-free Safari and the Great Migration

GMC mobile camp follows the wildebeest herds, guaranteeing migration experiences.  As travel opens up, the national parks are unlikely to be crowded, so with fewer visitors and vehicles, the migration should be spectacular. If travel opens up in time for crossing season, Carel Verhoef predicts some crossings could be many hours in duration. Resident game in any area is likely to thrive with a reduction in tourists during April – May and very likely June and beyond, so plenty of uncrowded sightings.  We have no idea when travel will start again, but the herds are moving and we will be with them.

Coronavirus-free Safari Itinerary

Exclusive use of private villa, private safari camp & charter flight

DAY BY DAY ITINERARY

DAY TRAVEL EXPERIENCE ACCOMM AREA MEALS
1 Private transfer to exclusive villa Private villa Kili Villa Arusha FB
2 Charter flight to Serengeti Private Serengeti flight GMC_mobile Serengeti FB
3 Full day Migration Safari with private guide Migration Quest GMC_mobile Serengeti FB
4 Full day or 2 x Half Day game drives Serengeti National Park GMC_mobile Serengeti FB
5 Safari game drives – migration Migration 101 GMC_mobile Serengeti FB
6 Game Drives – Full or Half Day x 2 Big cats GMC_mobile Serengeti FB
7 Charter Flight & Private transfer to KiliVilla Private Serengeti Flight Kili Villa Arusha FB
8 Private transfer from KiliVilla to JRO Private driver Tour ends

Tour Summary – Coronavirus-free Safari 

Country:            Tanzania, East Africa

Tour Start:        Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) – Arusha, Tanzania

Tour End:         Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Highlights:        Exclusive use of private safari camp in remote area of the Serengeti

Private villa accommodation in Arusha at the beginning and end of the safari
Return Private Charter Flights to Serengeti

Accommodation:

  • Private Villa: Kili Villa, Kilimanjaro Golf Estate, Arusha (2 nights)
  • Canvas Tents: Great Migration Camps Mobile, Two-man Canvas Dome Tent, Serengeti National Park (5 Nights)

Meals              3 Meals per day – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Drinks            Unlimited tea & coffee, drinking water. Excludes alcoholic beverages

Transport      Game Drives in Toyota 4×4 Land cruiser

Private Vehicle transfers to Kili Villa

Return flights    Auric Air Services Private Charter from Dolly Airstrip – Serengeti National Park

Term’s and Condition’s

  • Flexible confirmation,  confirm when you are ready to travel
  • Flexible Payment terms
  • Free cancellation and refunds
  • Subject to availability

Rates                $3950 per person all inclusive (based on 6 – 10 people)

Excludes

  • International Flights, Visas, Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature, drinks, gratuities

Child Policy:      Children welcome

  • 0-5 years must sleep in a tent with adult guardian.
  • 6-16 years may share with other children. Max 3 kids/tent
  • Children <16 years accompanied by an adult.

Coronavirus-free Safari Planning

If you are in Covid-19 lock-down, with time on your hands, please feel free to contact us to plan your coronavirus-free safari.  Contact us via email:  info@greatmigrationcamps.com

Enquire Now

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Coronavirus Safari Blog 01

Great Migration Camps response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Coronavirus. There’s so much attention on one word.  On March 11, the head of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic. And also stated “…we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction.”

Stay Home. Travel Later. Coronavirus

The evidence is overwhelming right now. Except for essential travel and returning home, travel should be on hold for a while. On the ground, physical distancing and staying at home as much as possible is encouraged and, in some countries, is mandatory.

We urge our clients and their families and communities to adhere to WHO recommendations for coronavirus public health guidelines. We appeal to you to follow recommendations and rules imposed by your country during this time of uncertainty and to stay at home now – you can travel later.

Isolation. Coronavirus. Lion cub. Serengeti
Lion Cub, Serengeti. Coronavirus. Isolation. Stay Home. Travel Later. Image: Carel Verhoef, Great Migration Camps   

Great Migration Camps Coronavirus (Temporary) Closure

Great Migration Camps has temporarily closed our mobile camp until June 2020 in efforts to ensure the safety of our staff, guests and to be part of the global solution in containing the spread of coronavirus. For now, we are accepting new reservations, conservatively for travel dates from mid-June. Realistically this may be later, pending the progression and spread of Covid-19.  Travel bans and Government restrictions will determine when safaris will open up again safely.  Great Migration Camps refuses to take any risks, however when travel is safe, we will be ready to welcome you to take you on safari to the Serengeti. We are planning safe safaris with limited contact points, for when the situation changes. With fewer tourists this season, the river crossings should be spectacular and we’ll be ready when the globe is ready.

2021 Safari Price Freeze due to Coronavirus

All Great Migration Camps mobile camp rates stay the same for safari’s in 2021 – a Coronavirus Price Freeze. * 3rd party services, such as hotel reservations, or park fees may be subject to price variation, beyond our control.

Flexible Safari Terms and Conditions due to Coronavirus

All existing reservations are secure and all our terms and conditions are completely flexible – from payment terms, to postponements or cancellations. We are already in communication with every client who is booked and confirmed and would like to thank all of you to an unwavering commitment to travel as soon as it is responsible to do so.

When travel restrictions are lifted or it becomes safe to travel – clients can reschedule at any date (subject to availability only), provided you are cleared and your travel plans are responsible.  Ideally, we will need confirmation and payment 5 working days prior to arrival.  If you would like to stay home and want your deposit back – no problem.

Time for Reflection

Our thoughts are with everyone affected by coronavirus in whatever way, we encourage you to stay healthy, take care of those in need and please be responsible. Thank you to medical personnel across the globe, and those providing essential services.  During this period, many of us are restricted in our movements and have unexpected time on our hands – feel free to chat to us, plan with us, watch wildlife footage and keep your safari dream alive for when some semblance of normality returns to Planet Earth.  Perhaps now, we are being forced to reflect and start making changes for the better – personally and professionally, locally and globally and consider our actions on Planet Earth.

#Stay Home #Travel Later.

GMC Guest Reviews & Testimonials

Tourism is about experiences, but sometimes the gap between expectations and experiences can be vastly different.  Tourism is a mixture of subjective elements and objective requirements  – food, lodging and travel services.  At Great Migration Camps we try to manage our guests’ expectations and try and live up to this quote: “Your smile is your logo. Your personality is your business card. And how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.” ~Unknown.  

Read on to hear from some of our previous guests about their experiences and we’ll leave the jury out for judgement on our trademark. 

Guest Testimonials

 

“What an incredible experience. Highly highly recommend this camp. Great for kids of all ages too. Lovely food, lovely facilities, top quality guides and drivers. And most importantly the most amazing game drives I’ve ever been on in my 30 plus years on this African continent.”
– Robyn Lee, March 2019
Zimbabwe/USA 

“Rick, Robyn, Lincoln and I all had the most wonderful safari with you!!  Superlatives are few and far between to describe it, you treated us so amazingly and looked after us to such an incredible degree. Lincoln cannot stop asking for “Miss Sally” and Elvis and his “Happy Fri-yay” can be heard often!! We wish you and Carel every success with your endeavours and please say a big thank you again to Elvis, Zebediah and Herman – they were wonderful!! “
-Margaret and Rick Kriel, March 2019 USA 

“Thank you for a remarkable 2 days in the Bush at Kogatende. We had a spectacular time. What a wonderful experience. The game drives were truly spectacular (on the last day, we had a remarkable leopard sighting, cheetah, and a lion!!). But for us, it was the care that Carel and Sally took during our time there that truly stood out. I don’t think any of us will forget the 12 hour true Bush experience we had with Carel. And of course just being able to sit out in the camp around a bonfire, see the stars, and see the sunrise in the morning were truly special moments. You have a terrific camp and created a truly spectacular experience. Many thanks again.” – Vik Malhotra, July 2019 NY, NY, USA 

GMC Guest reviews - Mary Malhotra“Greetings from the wild and crazy east end of Long Island NY. I’ve been home for 5 days but our time with you, is still shining bright. Thank you for an experience of a lifetime (especially for this city girl!). Our time with all of you was a wonderful end to a great two weeks in Rwanda and Tanzania. Despite my initial trepidation about being out in the bush, your welcome and care quickly put me at ease. Our quiet morning time over a cup of tea watching the sunrise, incredible game drives, fabulous coffee (and tea!) stops, lunch watching ostriches courting each other, cocktails around the fire & delicious dinners, all in the bush, left me awestruck. Thank you!” -Mary Malhotra, July 2019 NY, USA 

“Asanteni Sana GMC team for a fabulous week in the bush! Holidays are never long enough but this really was a time to have had extended the trip! The distances to cover may not be huge when seeking out the dawdling plains game – not that it was their fault but the combined abundance of food and water. One forgets that in the bush everything and everyone moves at a different pace… getting up (ha ha!), navigating the road conditions, seeking the illusive spots, stripes and socks or simply getting mesmerised by the smallest to the largest inhabitants of the Serengeti. It takes time and patience with a bagful of humour…you and your staff have it all!” – Pippa Wordie, July 2018 UK

“From someone inside the tourism industry, I was impressed with GMC from the start: they open the Serengti to those who can’t afford the luxuary or fly-in options, their pre-travel documentation and information was detailed and hugely helpful, their camp is so comfortable but lean on excess which makes it mobile, flexible and affordable. Most importantly, they get you into the wild and outside of set lodges and campsites. Their passion for this product drives them and is reflected in their wonderful team of driver-fieldguides (Norton and Armani, take a bow), effective & accomplished camp manager, Zebediah, and ever-eager camp chef.” – Keira Powers, July 2017 South Africa 

“What comes through GMC’s entire operation is a dedication to the wilderness. From their low-impact camp, to their knowledge and partnerships in the region, to their field-guiding, campfire insider-anecdotes and, most of all, their attitude and approach at the Mara River. It was heart-breaking mayhem there amongst the other “jeep jockeys”, but GMC kept their cool and stuck to their principles in respecting the Wildebeest lines and river crossing habits.”
– Gavin Reynolds, July 2017 Cape Town, South Africa

“We spent a memorable 10 days with GMC. Their camp set up was excellent, we slept comfortably, the meals were good and their staffs’ knowledge and experience of the Serengeti was superb, resulting in perfect days and wonderful sightings. Carel and Sally were great hosts.”
– Gail Powers, July 2017 Sedgefield, South Africa 

 

“I am a lifelong camper and explorer and GMC was able to build a mobile camp operation that made me smile. Carel’s years of experience camping there has informed the design of his custom- and self-built safari trailer that is your home-on-4×4-wheels. Carel is your Serengeti version of Crocodile Dundee – you can’t be in better hands in the bush!”
Dudley Powers, July 2017 Sedgefield, South Africa

 

“Finally home with Serengeti memories to last us a lifetime. I really want too congratulate you both for organising a trip which showed off your beloved Serengeti to its most ultimate best. You were the perfect hosts, the meals nutritious and delicious, the camping sites superb, magical days filled to capacity with the most amazing sitings and delightful company, which altogether far exceeded all our expectations. So thank you, thank you for all the long and busy hours you put in to make it so wonderfully successful and may your migration trips go from strength to strength, they only will as you offer the truly real experience.  Thank you again” – Cindie Maxwell, July 2017 Elgin, South Africa

Blogger Reviews

Sally and Pete Shaw travelled overland though Africa from Cape Town and detoured from their self-drive adventures to join Great Migration Camps in the Serengeti in August 2018. Sally wrote a delightful blog of all their experiences – here’s what she documented about their Serengeti Excursion. READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE

 

 

The Shaws persuaded fellow overlanders, to join GMC for the Serengeti part of their trip. Thank you Richard and Susan Gie – August 2018 who arrived in “Klippie” – their own fully kitted vehicle, to experience the Serengeti and great migration with GMC.  READ THEIR STORY

 


Client Videos

Thank you Mike Sowerby, Australia (with a little help from your son) for this amazing video created from your extended Serengeti Safari right the way through the park in March 2017 

Migration Updates – July 2019

Migration Updates – Where are the Wildebeest Herds?

The great migration has been erratic in 2019, with late rains extending into June 2019.  There was significant moisture in the air, especially in the North around the Mara River, causing some early movement northwards of the wildebeest herds.  Patchy rainfall continued throughout June in the Mara region and Ngorongoro district also received out of season rainfall.

Crossing season for the wildebeest, is triggered by the dry season which can run anytime between June and October.   The scattered moisture seemed to confuse the wildebeest herds, who decided to take it easy towards the end of June and early July – hanging out and grazing peaceful, with large numbers north of Lobo, with the exception of some of the eastern Herds, who arrived early at the Sand River and crossed into the Mara Reserve first.

From mid-July, the wildebeest action has leapt into full gear, with almost daily crossings at the Mara River and movement of the herds up and down the banks of the river, forwards and backwards!  Don’t let this apparent confusion, distract you – the wildebeest have a natural instinct to sense rainfall and a survival ability relying on their strength in numbers.

Migration Updates – July 2019

GMC Migration Update – 13 June 2019

Herds moving north!!! This was filmed just south of Lobo, north-eastern Serengeti!! Thanks for the update Gabriele Brown from Urth Expedition #Migration

Migration Update – 14 June 2019

Update from andBeyond Travel herds crossing from Triangle to Reserve side. Big herds at Lobo and Klein’s Camp and big herds around the Grumeti side too at Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp Looks like you are covered #Migration #GreatMigration #RiverCrossings2019

Migration Update – 28 June 2019

BREAKING NEWS – Herds turn south from Lobo towards the south west with rain from Bologanja, Lobo and the western corridor #GreatMigration #RiverCrossings2019 #Wildebeest

Migration Update – 07 July 2019

Huge herds gather at Bologonja in the north-eastern Serengeti with lots of rain around Lobo and Kichwa Tembo road…. happy guiding and crossings looking good for end July and August. #Migration #Wildebeest #RiverCrossings2019

Migration Update – 08 July 2019

Nice sighting on the Sand River side at Sand River Masai Mara Camp WOW!! Herds heading north and west!!!

Migration Update – 11 July 2019

Mara River crossing at No 8 this morning, south to north, update from Miraji Gwau from Lemala Camps & Lodges – River crossings have started!! – #GreatMigration #Wildebeest #RiverCrossings2019

Migration Update – 13 July 2019

Update from @Kevin Mlay Naturalist – Mara River crossing from south to north at Makutano #GreatMigration#Wildebeest #MaraRiverCrossings2019

Migration Update – 15 July 2019

Huge herds at Kogatende, northern Serengeti, crossing at No 8 back from the north to the south, Update by superb Lemala Camps & Lodges guide Miraji Gwau, get to the Mara River NOW!! #GreatMigration #MaraRiverCrossings2019 #Wildebeest #SerengetiMigration

Migration Update – 15 July 2019

How is this for a crossing???? WOW update by Asilia Africa guide Emmanuel Qamara #Migration #GreatMigration #Wildebeest #WildebeestMigration #MaraRiverCrossings2019

This post got so much attention, it was featured in USA today!

Migration Update – 18 July 2019

From Adam Bannister Wildlife on the Masai Mara side – “Lots of small crossings yesterday at Lookout Hill. Huge gatherings under Lookout hill on the Mara Reserve side of the river a few kilometres north of Mara Purungat bridge” Thanks Adam! #GreatMigration#WildebeestMigration #MaraRiverCrossings

Image may contain: outdoor Image may contain: outdoor and water Image may contain: outdoor, nature and water

Migration Update – 20 July 2019

Predator follows prey – the drama at the Mara is real! Did you spot the Lioness? Thanks Emmanuel Qamara, guide at Asilia Africa for another action packed river crossing update – wildebeest herds headed north.#MaraRiverCrossings2019 #Migration #Wildebeest #greatmigration #WildebeestMigration

Migration Update: 26 July 2019.

The action started at 6h45am at crossing point No 4. @Miraji Gwau from Lemala Camps & Lodges picked up this huge crossing as the sun rose over the Mara River yesterday morning.#migrationupdates #greatmigration #Wildebeest #mararivercrossings2019

GMC Mobile Location

GMC Mobile camp is currently in the Northern Serengeti, close to the Mara River and almost daily river crossings. Predictions suggest that August will have countless crossings. Great Migration Camps mobile still has some availaiblity for August 2019 – contact us now to experience the greatest natural show on earth and join us on our journey following the great wildebeest migration 2019…. We follow the herds guaranteeing migration sightings all year round.  Make sure you are in the right place at the right time.  That time is right now!

How to book

PLEASE enquire early to avoid disappointment particularly during peak periods as additional services are also busy and booked. GMC books ALL accommodation in the path of the Great Wildebeest Migration and can arrange flights or transport in and out of the National Park.  We recommend 5- 10 days for your migration safari with pre or post-safari tours extensions.
Email your inquiry to info@greatmigrationcamps.com. Kindly provide your name, country, number of people travelling and preferred dates and duration.  Children of all ages are welcome.

Enquire Now

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Crossing Season Special – Wonders of the Wildebeest

Crossing Season is almost here whereby hundreds of thousands of wildebeest head to the northern Serengeti and Kenya in search of succulent grass and water, during the dry season. In the process the mighty Mara River stands in their way.

For many this is the highlight of the great wildebeest migration and there is little doubt that you want front row tickets to this part of the Great Migration Show.  Crossing season is an incredible spectacle – for any wildlife enthusiast it is a lifetime dream.  Take note that the Great Migration is an ongoing event taking place all year round as the herds travel on a cyclical grazing path around the Serengeti Masai Mara Eco-system.

Great Migration Camps recommends giving yourself enough time on your safari, with a minimum of 4 nights to increase your chances of seeing a river crossing. This season our very popular 9 Day Wonders of the Wildebeest package is on special for travel between 1 July – 30 Sept 2019 for those wishing to experience a river crossing.  You could save up to $300 per person travelling!

Wonders of the Wildebeest – 9 Day, 8 Night All inclusive package

Overview WoW crossing season special.

This 9 Day Migration Safari focuses on river crossings near the Mara River. During this period, the wildebeest move towards the northern sector of the Serengeti-Masai Mara eco-system, therefor we suggest you fly directly to the north to spend more time following the wildebeest. You have SIX full days in the Serengeti National Park (northern sector) following the wildebeest herds with all the build-up and action at the river.  Don’t worry, we see plenty of other wildlife in classic safari game drives.  You spend one night in Arusha, fly to Kogatende, enjoy a week of action packed safari, return flight to Arusha to end your tour.

Highlights WoW crossing season special

Flight over the Serengeti National Park, Wildebeest Migration, Mara River Crossings

Itinerary Overview  – WoW Crossing Season Special

Overnight Area Meals
Arrive in Arusha, transfer to hotel and overnight Ilboru Arusha
Flight Arusha to Serengeti Koga, afternoon game drives GMC mobile Mara River B, L, D
Unlimited Migration Game Drives – Full Day or 2 x Half Day Drives GMC mobile Mara River B, L, D
Unlimited Migration Game Drives – Full Day or 2 x Half Day Drives GMC mobile Mara River B, L, D
Unlimited Migration Game Drives – Full Day or 2 x Half Day Drives GMC mobile Mara River B, L, D
Unlimited Migration Game Drives – Full Day or 2 x Half Day Drives GMC mobile Mara River B, L, D
Unlimited Migration Game Drives – Full Day or 2 x Half Day Drives GMC mobile Mara River B, L, D
Unlimited Migration Game Drives – Full Day or 2 x Half Day Drives GMC mobile Serengeti B, L, D
Fly Serengeti Koga to Arusha for onward travel     B

Getting there

Tour Starts and ends in Arusha, Tanzania

Arusha in Northern Tanzania is the start and end point of this tour and is accessed by Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK). Flights from Arusha airport take you directly to the Northern Serengeti (Kogatende Airpstrip) and the heart of the migration.

Accommodation

Ilboru Safari Lodge (or similar). Mid-range accommodation in Arusha.

Great Migration Camps mobile tented camp. Tented accommodation in Serengeti National Park.

Great Migration Camps Mobile               
ACCOMMODATION
2-person canvas dome tent
Memory Foam Mattresses & Pillows
MEALS
Three Meals Daily
Drinking Water – clean, filtered
Great Coffee
TRANSPORT
Pop- up Roof 4×4 Safari Vehicle
Unlimited Migration Game Drives
DRINKS
Alcoholic Beverages & Sodas Excluded
Cash Bar. Unlimited tea & coffee
Cold Beer Chilled Wine Gin&Tonic
CHILD POLICY
Adults to accompany children U16 years
0-5 years must sleep in adult tent
6 -16 years may share with other children
MINIMUM NUMBERS
Minimum 4 persons for packages
Minimum 3 Night stay
Minimum 2 persons in camp
Best Outdoor Hot Showers in the Bush
EMERGENCY EVACUATION
Amref Service
Flying Doctor
SUSTAINABLE
We leave no trace. No single use plastic. Solar Power. Waste separation/management
Great
Bedding
& Linen
LOCATION – MAY CHANGE
We follow the wildebeest herds.
If they move, we move.
GUIDING
We take the road less travelled & avoid the crowds. Leave at dawn for golden hour prepared for full day game drives
Great Migration Experiences Guaranteed

WoW Crossing Season Package Activities

River Crossings and the wildebeest migration are the top priority on our programme, as such we prepare to head out at first light, to capture the golden hour at the start of the day and keep track of the wildebeest herds.  We are always fully prepared for a full day out, taking tea and coffee for a mid-morning break and bush lunch as one never knows what one might encounter.  The days are flexible and depend on the wildlife sightings and migration experiences that we encounter, meaning that some days we will return to camp for lunch and relaxation time in camp, whilst other days we travel far and return at dusk.  We try and stop for an evening drink to watch the setting sun, before returning to camp to freshen up for the evening. Evenings are enjoyed around the camp fire, and meals are cooked over hot coals in the spirit of a truly mobile safari camp following the herds.

WoW Crossing Season Package Includes

1 N Accommodation in Arusha (B&B), 7 N Tented Accommodation at GMC mobile in the Serengeti National Park, three meals daily, teas and coffees, laundry, communal ablutions, emergency evacuation insurance (flying doctor cover), VAT, National Park Fees entrance fees and camping fees, all transfers, return domestic flights to the Serengeti National Park.

WoW Crossing Season Package Excludes

Gratuities, Alcoholic beverages & sodas (cash bar), international flights, visas, travel insurance, all items of a personal nature, any meals not stipulated

WoW Crossing Season Child Policy: Children are welcome

Under 16 of years of age, children to be accompanied by an adult.
0 – 5 years must sleep in adult tent. 6 -16 years may share with other children, however we recommend children should be able to sleep through the night.

WoW Crossing Season Package Rates

9D8N Wonders of the Wildebeest Adult 16+ Child* 0-5 Child* 5- 12 Child* 12- 16
Standard Package 2019 4100.00 470.00 2000.00 2750.00
Fly In Special 2019 3800.00 470.00 1820.00 2540.00
  • Rates are quoted in US Dollars and include VAT.

WoW Crossing Season Package – How to book

  1. Check Live Availability  to see if we can accommodate you at Great Migration Camps.  Send your request.
  2. Email your inquiry to info@greatmigrationcamps.com.
    Kindly provide your name, country, number of people travelling and preferred dates and duration.
  3. GMC will confirm your reservation and assist with any extra services you may require.
  4. Complete your Traveller Registration Form and Sign the Booking Terms and Conditions
  5. GMC will send an invoice, a 30% deposit is payable to secure the reservation. Balance due before arrival.
  6. Confirmation, a summary of services and any travel vouchers will be issued on receipt of final payment.

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