If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in a real-life National Geographic show, a safari in the Serengeti of Tanzania and Kenya is the next best thing. Time your safari for the great wildebeest migration, and this trip will be a dream come true. It’s one of Africa’s best wildlife experiences.
Serengeti: Home to Africa’s big five – lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo and leopard – the Serengeti is where a massive migration of wildebeest and zebra occurs annually as the animals follow the rains through the conservation across Kenya and Tanzania. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle to ride along in a jeep and watch the animals that dot the plains as far as your eye can see.
Masai Mara: The great migration also reaches the Masai Mara Reserve, situated in the Great Rift Valley stretching through Kenya. It’s another place for outstanding safari experiences, and also an opportunity to learn more about the Masai people, the traditional nomadic inhabitants of the land.
Ngorogoro Crater: Venture down into this volcanic crater in Tanzania for more extraordinary wildlife viewing experiences. Perhaps an unexpected surprise on this safari is coming upon rivers teeming with pink flamingoes. The great migration also passes through the crater.
Melt your heart: There’s hardly anything sweeter than seeing a line of baby elephants holding one another trunk-to-tail to meet rangers for a bottle of milk or a roll in the mud. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya is one of those magical places on earth where elephants and rhinos orphaned by poaching are cared by loving rangers who help reintegrate these wild animals safely back into their natural habitat.
Spice things up in Zanzibar: Zanzibar Island off the coast of Tanzania, also referred to as the ‘Spice Island’, is a perfect place to get a taste of East Africa. Sample spices common to the region – cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper – in delicious local dishes such as curries, stews and pilau, a rice dish made with meat, raisins, and potatoes.
Wildlife viewing is year-round, but the wildebeest migration usually reaches the Masai Mara in July and remains until October when the animals return to the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Shopping for souvenirs? Look for jewelry hand-made with Kenya’s Kazuri beads. These beautiful ceramic beads are made in a small workshop on a former coffee plantation. Kazuri is the Swahili word for “small and beautiful”.