Serengeti Great Migration: River crossings, where to stay?
Where to stay in the Serengeti for the Great Migration River Crossings 2022?
A Mara River migration crossing in the Serengeti is without doubt one of the greatest wildlife experiences on earth (and there are many out there). Navigating your way through the information to figure out how to get to the migration can be overwhelming. It is difficult to distinguish between the types of accommodation and the terminology. It is really hard to figure out where to stay to see the wildebeest cross the Mara River, and I’m not talking safari-style (that’s personal to each camp and guest).
The Serengeti is an extraordinary place, yet it is also very large making it to be in the “wrong” location for the great migration due to the size of the place and the unpredictability of the migratory herds. Remember this Migration Update which illustrates the comparative size of the Serengeti to states and countries?
It is much easier to understand that it is possible to be staying many hours drive from the wildebeest herds, and there is a chance you could miss nature’s greatest show. Where you stay and what type of accommodation you stay in, can affect your river crossing great migration experience.
Where are the Great Migration River Crossings? Northern Serengeti
A reminder that the Mara River Crossings happen annually, roughly from July-October as the great migration passes back and forth through Tanzania’s Northern Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara. The great migration USUALLY moves through Kenya at some point in these 4 months, however the migration is ALWAYS in Tanzania.
In Tanzania, this means you will need to stay in the Northern Serengeti, with the closest airstrip at Kogatende. There is more accommodation on the southern side of the Mara River at Kogatende, making the Lamai side of the river a bit quieter than Kogatende. Get your timing right for the Masai Mara and you will have an incredible migration experience in Kenya, there are amazing places to stay beyond the scope of this blog.
Where to stay for the river crossings, Great Migration – Safari Lodges, Serengeti
Permanent buildings, bigger capacity and all the bells and whistles. Permanent lodges act as a luxury gateway to experiencing the African bush. They have fantastic safari operations, from food, to linen and guiding. Set in exotic locations, with elevated views, private plunge pool, libraries and luxury amenities. Each lodge creates its own signature niche– from interior design to signature activities like spa therapy’s, wine tastings to decadent bush breakfasts (all for additional fee).
Where to stay for the river crossings, Great Migration- Semi-permanent Camps, Serengeti
In theory they can be packed up and leave nothing behind. Many have been in the same place for 10 years or more and don’t move at all. Boreholes have been sunk, and these luxury camps are extravagant tented structures on wooden platforms with draping and safari-style furnishings, East African safari décor, and quality amenities. Great locations and generally have good service and years of experience. We love booking our guests into boutique spots.
Where to stay for the river crossings, Great Migration- Mobile camps, Serengeti
These tend to move move between two set locations in the Southern Serengeti, during the calving season and in the Northern Serengeti for the crossing season. A team and crew will take a couple of weeks to set up camp which stays in the location for about 4 months (sometimes a bit longer) before packing and moving to the opposite end of the park.
These safari camps are “mobile” in that they can move, but it’s not fast nor often! These stylish mobile safari camps are no less luxurious than the permanent camps and lodges, with varying facilities and services according to the particular camp’s style & budget.
Where to stay for the river crossings, Great Migration Camps, Serengeti
Yes that’s unashamedly us! Great Migration Camps operate like a luxury “fly-camp” (a sleep-out adventure in the wild for lodge clients). This is a comfortable, all needs camp that can move in a day following the herds. This is a RAW, real, immersive experience, close to nature, close to wildlife and close to what people are coming to see. The camp location moves, to various special camping sites, which are private as we are fully self-sufficient.
Where to stay for the river crossings, Great Migration- Budget Camping
Basic food and tents in public campsites making use of public facilities – most notably ablutions. Public campsites are in central convenient locations of the park, with variable servicing of public toilets and facilities. Clients travel with the luggage and tents, seldom leave camp before 08h30 as everyone has to eat and pack up before departing camp. Return earlier in the evening for food preparation and camp chores.
There is no public campsite in the Northern Serengeti, where the river crossings take place, so at best you can do a day trip from Lobo or Seronera. (Self-sufficient self-drive campers can get in touch with GMC directly for camping assistance in the northern Serengeti)
Where to stay and how long to stay for? Great migration river crossings, Serengeti?
At Great Migration Camps, we believe you have to be in it to win it. With wildlife, and especially the great migration, there is no quick fix or instantaneous gratification for sightings. Give yourselves as much time as you have available and can afford to spend near the Mara River for the crossings. We recommend a minimum of three nights, which only allows two full days for safari.
There is a lot of distance to cover- some 50km of Mara River, no highways and no traffic reports. Wildebeest herd “building” can take a few days as they gather one by one into big groups. At a certain trigger, they develop herd mentality to think and act as one to cross the Mighty Mara River. This is unscripted, so do yourself a favour if you have made a long journey to Tanzania, give yourself enough time for the show to unfold. You won’t regret it.
Book your stay to the Great Migration River Crossings, Serengeti 2022
We still have tickets available to the Greatest Natural Show on Earth 2022, starring Great Migration Camps, in conjunction with Conservation Through Tourism. Get your 2022 River Crossing tickets now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are selling out fast, don’t delay, book your river crossing migration safari today.
We can book your entire safari- meeting you on arrival, with a full tour itinerary. This includes all the road or air transport, experienced guides, route planning and accommodation bookings. Our camp is not suitable for everyone. There are many safari camps that are much finer & fancier than ours- we would love to put you there. Get in touch via email: email@example.com