The migration : A complete guide to an African Safari

The migration : A complete guide to an African Safari

Posted by Rupal in East Africa, Safaris, Travel Advice

The migration : A complete guide to an African Safari

African Safaris for Indians : A Step by Step Guide



Tierra presents you a comprehensive step by guide for Safaris for Indians

Which location is best for an African Safari:

Lions in Serengetti

Lions in Serengeti

There are 3 main locations for an African Safari; East Africa, Botswana and South Africa:

Each has its own advantages. East Africa is know for its rolling plains of the Masai Mara and Serengeti and the great migration, Botswana is unique for its river safaris especially on the Choebe river and horseback safaris. Kruger is known for its super luxurious accommodation options and the convenience of combining a South African vacation with a Safari. There are also other options like Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda and Kalahari experience in Namibia/ Botswana or South Africa

However accordingly to most traditionalist, a safari in East Africa is the ultimate safari experience. The quality of wildlife viewing, the wide choice of Safari Parks and the different terrains under which the wildlife can be viewed is unbeatable. East Africa is also famous for the rolling plains of the Masai Mara and the Serengeti and the great migration where millions of wildebeests and zebras are visible

East Africa: Should I choose Kenya or Tanzania?

Lions on Masai mara plains

Lions on Masai Mara plains

If it is cost and convenience you are looking for Kenya is the location. However if you are looking for a superior Safari experience, Tanzania wins on most counts. These include lesser and a higher quality crowd, better quality lodges and arguably better safari parks and better viewing.

One of the primarily safari spectacles is the great migration where zebras and wildebeest move in circular fashion over Masai Mara aand Serengetti ( which are one contiguous area) looking for fersh water and newer pastures. Serengetti is 7 times the size of Masai Mara and migration is present is Kenya for only 2-3 months ( Part July, August, September and part October) compared to 9-10 months in Tanzania.

However if you are going to travel in the months of July and August, Kenya would be the preferred destination. This is also the time for the famous animal crossing in the Mara river, when zebras and wildebeest cross the rive evading dangerous river predators

Which is the best time and location to witness the Migration?

As mentioned earlier, the migration is a continuous phenomenon where animals move in a circular fashion over Masai Mara and Serengetti. The below map lets you know where you should be to see the migration,

July to September is the time for the famous animal crossing in the Mara river, when zebras and wildebeest cross the rive evading dangerous river predators.

A guide to the migration patterns:

Migration patterns

Migration patterns in Kenya and Tanzania

What is a typical Kenyan and Tanzania safari  itinerary?

Migration Serengeti and Masai Mara

Migration Serengeti and Masai Mara

A good safari experience starts at 5-6 days. A typical itinerary will look like the below

Kenya Safari:

1 day Mt Kenya, 1 day Lake Nakuru or lake Naivasha and 2 /3 days Masai Mara

However if you are short of time, 3 days Masai Mara would be a sufficiently fulfilling experience

Tanzania Safari:

1 day Lake Manyara, 1 day Ngorogoro Crater, 2/3 days Serengeti

How costly is an East African Safari?

baloon ride masai mara

An acceptable Kenyan Safari starts at USD 990, while a Tanzanian Safari will be set you back by USD 1250. Flights from Mumbai and Delhi start at around INR 26,000 for Kenya and INR 32,000 for Tanzania. As you start adding experiences like a flying safari ( you fly to your safari lodge) , stay in mobile luxury camp often in the path of the migration and add a hot air balloon experience the costs will start to move up.

Please note that that July to September is peak season in Kenya, due to the animal crossing in Mara river. The lodge rates will be at a 30-40% premium at this time

Trip extension:

You can extend you safari by 2/3 nights by staying in the Indian Ocean paradise of Zanzibar


great migration Masai Mara

great migration Masai Mara

Both Kenya and Tanzania are visa on arrival locations. However a yellow fever vaccination is required for both

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