October is a wonderful time to visit Tanzania. This year we have arranged many combination safaris with gorilla trekking and game viewing and the locations combine easily with direct flights from Rwanda into the Serengeti National Park or easy connections from Uganda’s Entebbe Airport to Kilimanjaro.
Where to go…
Tanzania is home to a diverse / rich offering of National parks with Africa’s most alluring destinations. The famous migration and the Swahili culture and history of Masai warriors provides a fascinating cultural experience as you travel by road or light aircraft flight between parks.
With so much to see in Tanzania it can be overwhelming trying to plan a safari, so it helps to have an expert (like us!) to guide you with the right itinerary to make the most of your time and ensure you are in the right place for the season in which you are travelling to maximise game viewing.
Last month we toured a group of properties owned by Maasai Wanderings. This family-run business employs local staff and perfectly captures the essence of Tanzania with camps in all the best locations. Travel Director Donna shares her experience of their properties and the national parks:
Tarangire National Park – Tarangire Ndovu Camp
The Tarangire national park is typically at its best between June and September and has one of the highest concentrations of wildlife. You can expect to see large herds of elephant, as well as plains game such as zebra, giraffe and wildebeest. This is also a haven for birdwatchers and the park is dotted with giant baobab trees which offer a dramatic backdrop.
Our stay in Ndovu Camp was delightful. The authentic nature of the camp and rustic style perfectly complimented the scenery and staff were friendly and welcoming. Our room was comfortable with plush bedding and seating outside from which to watch the sunset as the canopy of stars unfolded above us – Bush TV the manager called it! Next year this camp is upgrading to a permanent luxury camp complete with swimming pool but the awesome location remains unchanged.
Despite arriving late in the season, we still saw large herds of elephants as well as zebra, giraffe, big families of mongoose, ostrich and plenty of antelope including the tiny bushbuck. A visit to the Maasai village was also a highlight.
The park is close to Lake Manyara National Park which is well worth a visit. Aside from the famous tree-climbing lions the park is home to large numbers of pink flamingos from November to January and there is a wonderful tree-top canopy walk leading you through the trees eye-to-eye with the birds and butterflies.
Northern Serengeti – Kaskaz Camp
A scenic light aircraft flight from Lake Manyara took us over the Ngorongoro Crater into the Northern Serengeti where we were greeted with a smile and coffee and cake as we make a plan for the mornings adventures with our guide Hauss.
What would you like to see he asked? Well a cheetah would be awesome I said (worth a try). To our delight he said he knew a good spot for cheetahs and off we set. Driving over rivers and stopping to look at animals on the way we found a cheetah within two hours and there she was, my first cheetah sighting, elegantly relaxing under a tree within touching distance!
Our stay at Kaskaz Camp was exceptional. A perfect blend of authentic accommodations with luxury trimmings and friendly staff. There are no mosquitoes in this particular location (a big bonus) and the camp is well positioned to reach each of the 11 migration crossing points situated around half way between them all. We went in search of the migration herds finding them and waiting for them to cross for hours before retreating only to discover the crossed the next day as we flew out! Such is the adventure of wildlife viewing. Nevertheless the experience of being amongst the huge herd and seeing them filing almost in a straight line to the water was unforgettable.
Central Serengeti – Ehlane Plains Camp
Without a doubt the central area of the Serengeti is home to more visitors especially budget travellers so it is particularly important to pick the right location if you want to beat the crowds. Ehlane Plains Camp is perfectly located in a peaceful concession with just 8 luxurious tents. Basically this gives you a head start on the properties located further away so if you set off early like us, you get to the animals first and can also linger longer at the end of the day.
This camp should be known as ‘lion camp’ because of the huge prides of lions in the area and sightings of lions and also leopards are regular. One pride has an incredible 18 members!
In June and December/January this location comes alive with the migration herds arriving. At this time 8000 wildebeest calves are born within a two-week period. The animals have a talent for synchronizing the births so that the Hyena and other predators are drawn to the placenta and birth products rather than the new-borns. Of course this attracts large numbers of predators but our stay off-season in October proves that year-round this area offers exceptional game viewing.
Our time at Ehlane Plains was punctuated with long game drives in the vast Serengeti plains in search of the big cats. We were treated to close encounters with lions mating, a lioness calling her pride on from a termite mound, a cheetah with four cubs and one of the largest leopards I have ever seen. Aside from the game viewing, the scenery was stunning. Endless plains and wide space full of hidden gems to be discovered.
The food, service and views were exceptional and if you are looking for an authentic property with a touch of luxury you need look no further. Several of the tents boast a star-bed platform where you can sleep out under the stars at night if you wish. The main area was sumptuous and airy. At night we dined both inside and outside with the staff putting on a fantastic dance show as we dined by the fire and bid farewell to this magical place.
Planning your perfect Gorillas & East Africa safari combination…
We are currently adding combination safaris with gorilla trekking and game viewing in Tanzania and Kenya to our website. Each package is as unique as our clients but if you would like a little inspiration check out this itinerary link for a:
USD $7,155 per person based on July-October 2019 / (2 people sharing staying 3 nights at Kaskaz Camp).
*Special offer* Add a 4th night at Kaskaz Camp in *September* or *October* for just $125 per person including park fees. Amazing value!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.