African Spring Photo Safari | The Best of Kenya and Tanzania

Spring in East Africa, A Wildlife Photographers Paradise

2 openings

African. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.

On this special trip, you will have the opportunity to photograph the best of East Africa. From the Ngorongoro Crater through the Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conservation Area then flying to the Private Mara Conservation Area and flying to Amboseli you will be in the heart of the great gatherings of wildlife birthing. Of course with the massive birthing of wildebeest and the other plains animals comes the local and nomadic predators. This spectacle will all be before you lenses in areas that will have a lower impact than the normal Safari circuit but you and read more about that later. This trip in addition to great locations for the plain wildlife birthing season which brings the secretive African Predator more into the open for photography than any other time of the year will have special pre and post-trip add ons which will make this the ultimate for the wildlife adventure photographer.

This will be three trips or one depending on how deep you want to go into the best of Africa.

Pre Trip Extension Ngorongoro Crater Day 1-5. $4900

Main Trip.Serengeti-Ngorongoro Cons area- Masai Mara + Mara Cons Area Day 4-17 $ 15500.

Amboseli Post-trip extension Day 17-20. $3900

Including in-country flights Extra Luggage allowance, Luxury camps and lodges. Max 3 people in each Safari Vehicle give you a full row with both sides for your photography and gear.

Deposit $3000.

March 5 arrive Arusha

March 6-8 Ngorongorp

March 9-14 Ndutu

March 15-20 Mara

March 21-23 Amboseli

March 24 Depart

DETAILS BELOW




Itinerary at a glance

Pre Trip Extension Ngorongoro Crater

African. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.


Day, Location, Accommodation, MealPlan, Transfers

1 Arusha, Tanzania Dik Dik Hotel - Standard Room DBB Trsf

2 Ngorongoro Crater Lion's Paw Camp - Ensuite Tent L-DBBL

3 Ngorongoro Crater Lion's Paw Camp - Ensuite Tent DBBL

4 Ngorongoro Crater Lion's Paw Camp - Ensuite Tent DBBL

5 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conser

L-Lunch, D-Dinner, BB-Bed and breakfast, LDBB-Lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast.


Main Trip

Serengeti & Maasai Mara

African. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.


Day, Location, Accommodation, MealPlan, Transfers

4 Arusha, Tanzania Dik Dik Hotel - Standard Room DBB Trsf

5 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conser Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB Trsf

6 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conser Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

7 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conser Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

8 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conser Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

9 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conser Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

10 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conser Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

African Migration

Black and White photo of African Wildlife Migrating


11 Mara (Private) Conserv. Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

12 Mara (Private) Conserv. Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

13 Mara (Private) Conserv. Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

14 Mara (Private) Conserv. Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

15 Mara (Private) Conserv. Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

16 Mara (Private) Conserv. Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

17 Nairobi, Kenya Trsf,Trsf

L-Lunch, D-Dinner, BB-Bed and breakfast, LDBB-Lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast.

African. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.


Amboseli Post-trip extension

17 Amboseli National Park Ol Tukai Lodge - Standard Room L-DBBL

18 Amboseli National Park Ol Tukai Lodge - Standard Room DBBL

19 Amboseli National Park Ol Tukai Lodge - Standard Room DBBL

20 Nairobi, Kenya Trsf

L-Lunch, D-Dinner, BB-Bed and breakfast, LDBB-Lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast.

Elephant Details

African elephant details. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.



Day by Day, what to expect

Pre Trip Extension to Ngorongoro Crater

Day 1 JRO Kilimanjaro Int. Airport - Arusha, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro airport arrival transfer by private vehicle

Dik Dik Hotel - Standard Room DBB

Day 2 Arusha, Tanzania - Ngorongoro Crater

Picnic lunch in Lake Manyara National Park

A three to four hour drive westwards takes you across the Great Rift Valley past Lake Manyara to the Karatu Highlands. Aftercompleting conservation entry formalities we continue one hour up the forested shoulder of Ngorongoro Crater to the spectacular crater rim. In the maa language, Ngorongoro means cold place, which probably explains why early German settlers referred to it as the Winter Highlands. The same fault that formed the eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley some two to three million years ago also formed Ngorongoro Crater. Its floor is at some spots 14 miles across, its walls more than 2,000 feet high. Often called the eighthwonder of the world, it is a veritable microcosm of African ecology, and it appears suddenly, in the middle of the forest, like a lost world.

Lion's Paw Camp - Ensuite Tent L-DBBL

Day 3 Ngorongoro Crater

Full day game-viewing on the Ngorongoro crater floor, the world's most famous wildlife amphitheater.

Lion's Paw Camp - Ensuite Tent DBBL

Day 4 Ngorongoro Crater

Full day game-viewing on the Ngorongoro crater floor, the world's most famous wildlife amphitheater.

Lion's Paw Camp - Ensuite Tent DBBL

A bumpy, dusty two to three hour drive westwards takes you towards the endless short grass plains of the Serengeti, where Serengeti National Park and Ngoro both merge.

Meet the main party arriving at lunchtime.

Hanging out

African Lion resting the fork of a tree. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.


Main Trip

Serengeti & Maasai Mara

Day 4 Arusha, Tanzania

Kilimanjaro airport arrival transfer by private vehicle. VIP Airside meet & greet. Dik Dik Hotel - Standard Room DBB

Day 5 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conserv. Area

Departure transfer to Arusha Airport for onward flight 0755/0920 hrs schedule flight Arusha to Serengeti South. Fly for approximately ninety minutes westwards, over Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater and onto the endless short grass plains of the vast Serengeti National Park / Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Met on arrival by your guide for an exploratory game drive en-route to camp arriving in time for lunch and a further afternoon game drive.

Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

Day 6 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conserv. Area

Full day game-viewing in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, and the adjoining short grass plains of The Serengeti National Park. Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

This Leopard Rocks

Black and White photo of African Leopard on warm rock as nigh falls.

Day 7 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conserv. Area Full day game-viewing in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, and the adjoining short grass plains of The Serengeti National Park. Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

Day 8 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conserv. Area. A bumpy, dusty two to three hour drive westwards takes you towards the endless short grass plains of the Serengeti, where Serengeti National Park and Ngoro both merge.Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

Day 9 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conserv. Area. Full day game-viewing in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, and the adjoining short grass plains of The Serengeti National Park. Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

Day 10 Serengeti-Ngorongoro Conserv. Area Full day game-viewing in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, and the adjoining short grass plains of The Serengeti National Park. Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room LDBB

African. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.

Day 11 Mara (Private) Conserv. 1015/1115 hrs schedule flight Serengeti Ndutu to Tarime. Fly for one hour westwards towards Lake Victoria. On arrival at the Tarime Airstrip you shall be transfered by road the short distance to the Kenya/Tanzania border town of Isebania to clear customs and immigration formalities for your entry into Kenya, before continuing onto The Migori Airstrip. 1215/1245 hrs schedule flight Migori to Mara. Drive the short distance to the Migori Airstrip on the Kenya side of the border, before flying for approximately thirly minutes onto the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Met on arrival in Mara by your guide and enjoy an afternoon game drive into camp. The Mara/Serengeti eco-system is perhaps the only region left in Africa where the visitor may see animals inexcess of the super-abundance as existed a century ago Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

Day 12 Mara (Private) Conserv. A full day of game-viewing in the private conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara Game Reserve - and pioneering community based conservation effort. Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

Day 13 Mara (Private) Conserv. Full day of game-viewing in the private conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara Game Reserve - and pioneering community based conservation effort.

Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

Day 14 Mara (Private) Conserv. Full day of game-viewing in the private conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara Game Reserve - and pioneering community based conservation effort.

Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

Day 15 Mara (Private) Conserv. Full day of game-viewing in the private conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara Game Reserve - and pioneering community based conservation effort.

Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

Day 16 Mara (Private) Conserv. Full day of game-viewing in the private conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara Game Reserve - and pioneering community based conservation effort.

Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent LDBB

Day 17 Mara (Private) Conserv. - Nairobi, Kenya
Game Drive the short distance into the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. 1100/1215 hrs schedule flight Mara to Nairobi. After an early morning game drive you shall be transferred to the nearby airstrip for your one hour flight back to Nairobi.

Wilson arrival transfer by private vehicle Day room at Tamarind Tree - Standard Room.

JKIA departure transfer for onward flight

VIP Airside departure assistance.


Lounge at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Elephant Baby and Mom

Black and White photo of African elephant baby and Mom

Accommodation Information

Dik Dik Hotel - Standard Room

Dik Dik is a boutique hotel ideally located beside the Usa River in Arusha on the foothills of Africa's highest mountain, Mount

Kilimanjaro. Dik Dik is the perfect place to begin and end your safari: Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, the Serengeti and

Ngorongoro Crater are just a short drive away. Welcome to Dik Dik - your safari starts here.

All rooms at Dik Dik are large en-suite doubles or twins and all verandahs come with a hammock where you can lie back and enjoy the sounds of the surrounding forest. For larger groups, a private villa offers a lounge, dining area and secluded garden. At Dik Dik your total comfort is our goal. Enjoy a local beer, wines from our extensive cellar or a nightcap by the open log fire. Meals can be enjoyed either indoors or al-fresco, prepared by our Swiss-trained chefs using natural ingredients freshly grown on our organic farm. You will never forget our outstanding cuisine or the famous Dik Dik hospitality.

The hotel is located 33 km (45 min drive) from Kilimanjaro International Airport and 20 km (30 min drive) from Arusha. Take a walk and photograph the spectacular scenery, enjoy a cocktail by the pool or lie back and watch the Black and White Colobus playing in the trees above - your time at Dik Dik is yours. In the evenings you can enjoy live entertainment, a drink at the bar or even a game of pool in the lounge.

Fact file:

* 23 double rooms (8 twins)

* One interconnecting family room

* Private balcony with hammock

* Mini bar

* Hairdryer

* Phone

* Room service

* Swimming pool & pool bar

* Bar & lounge

* Restaurant & dining terrace

* BBQ & viewing platform

Activities:

* Enjoy a tailor-made day trip around Arusha

* Visit the Cultural Heritage Centre & the Old Boma Museum

* Take a walk in Arusha town with an expert guide

* Visit Meserani Snake Park, coffee plantations & the Children's Orphanage Centre

* Excursions to Lake Duluti & Arusha National Park

* Hiking trip to Mandara Huts (altitude 2700m) on Mt Kilimanjaro


Lion's Paw Camp - Ensuite Tent

Nestled beneath a quiet grove of red thorn acacia trees, high atop the eastern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater is Lions Paw Camp. One of a only a few tented properties located in the Ngorongoro Crater Area, this camp was carefully selected for its sense of privacy and intimacy with nature, its panoramic views of the Crater Highlands, and its proximity to the crater floor, a mere 10 minutes!

Throughout the year Lions Paw Camp provides the opportunity to view lions, cheetahs, elephant and Buffalo, but even more exciting is the chance to see the rare black rhino.

The Lions Paw Camp offers an authentic safari experience without sacrificing the luxuries of home. The camp has 8 ample sized heated canvas tents with large sleeping quarters. The Family tent is comprised of two separate bedrooms and a shared bathroom.

The Karibu Camps & Lodges offers an authentic safari experience without sacrificing the warmth and comforts of home.

Fact file:

* En-suite hot shower

* Flush toilet

* Bathrobes

* Mosquito netting

* Laundry service (extra charge)

* 24-hour electricity

* Power strips for charging electronics

* Separate dining area

* Beverage supplement available

* Special dietary considerations

* Sundowner

* Nightly campfires

* Radio communication in each tent

* Space heaters for cold nights


Main Trip Serengeti & Maasai Mara

Arrival if you do not take the pre rip extension

Dik Dik Hotel - Standard Room

Dik Dik is a boutique hotel ideally located beside the Usa River in Arusha on the foothills of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Dik Dik is the perfect place to begin and end your safari: Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater are just a short drive away. Welcome to Dik Dik - your safari starts here. All rooms at Dik Dik are large en-suite doubles or twins and all verandahs come with a hammock where you can lie back and enjoy the sounds of the surrounding forest. For larger groups, a private villa offers a lounge, dining area and secluded garden.

At Dik Dik your total comfort is our goal. Enjoy a local beer, wines from our extensive cellar or a nightcap by the open log fire. Meals can be enjoyed either indoors or al-fresco, prepared by our Swiss-trained chefs using natural ingredients freshly grown on our organic farm. You will never forget our outstanding cuisine or the famous Dik Dik hospitality.

The hotel is located 33 km (45 min drive) from Kilimanjaro International Airport and 20 km (30 min drive) from Arusha. Take a walk and photograph the spectacular scenery, enjoy a cocktail by the pool or lie back and watch the Black and White Colobus playing in the trees above - your time at Dik Dik is yours. In the evenings you can enjoy live entertainment, a drink at the bar or even a game of pool in the lounge.

Fact file:

* 23 double rooms (8 twins)

* One interconnecting family room

* Private balcony with hammock

* Mini bar

* Hairdryer

* Phone

* Room service

* Swimming pool & pool bar

* Bar & lounge

* Restaurant & dining terrace

* BBQ & viewing platform

Activities:

* Enjoy a tailor-made day trip around Arusha

* Visit the Cultural Heritage Centre & the Old Boma Museum

* Take a walk in Arusha town with an expert guide

* Visit Meserani Snake Park, coffee plantations & the Children's Orphanage Centre

* Excursions to Lake Duluti & Arusha National Park

* Hiking trip to Mandara Huts (altitude 2700m) on Mt Kilimanjaro

Ndutu Safari Lodge - Standard Room

Welcome to Ndutu Safari Lodge, our traditional and authentic safari lodge. Steeped in history and famous for our homely warmth and generous hospitality, Ndutu offers peace, tranquillity and exceptional wildlife viewing throughout the year.

We have built a reputation over the past 50 years as consistently being the choice of expert guides, professional wildlife photographers, film-makers and biologists alike. The reason? It is simply the best place in the Serengeti eco system to watch and enjoy predators and prey, herds and hunters and is one of the finest locations to witness the extraordinary speed and spectacle of cheetah hunting their prey.

Ndutu Safari lodge is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area on the edge of the Southern Serengeti plains filled with acacia trees and wide views across Lake Ndutu. Our Lodge comprises thirty four comfortable stone and thatch en-suite cottages beside a relaxed convivial dining, sitting and bar area all overlooking the ever-changing view of Lake Ndutu. We are a family at Ndutu and immensely proud of what we do and our dedicated team is key to the success, they are what make staying with us a very special experience.

We have thirty four en-suite cottages at Ndutu which range from double, twins, triples and a quad room and all are built from local materials. Our stone and thatch cottages are naturally cool due to the thick walls and they provide simple and comfortable accommodation. Each room has an en- suite bathroom with hot showers, sink and flushing toilet. All of the cottages have a private veranda overlooking the natural unfenced landscape of indigenous trees and shrubs outside your cottage door ensuring you are never far from the host of birds and mammals who call the Ndutu area home. The cottages extend from a warm and welcoming central dining, seating and bar or mess' area which has long been a gathering place for friends old and new.

Here at Ndutu we are committed to our guests feeling refreshed and nourished during their stay. After a restful night set yourself up for the day from the wealth of freshly prepared options for breakfast. If you are opting for an early game drive we can arrange for a tasty bush breakfast on the move.

All dining at the Lodge is in the central seating, dining and bar area which is the heart of the lodge, with views over the broad vista of the plains onto Lake Ndutu in the distance. Lunch and dinner are served at your table with a generous three-course menu of deliciously tempting options for lunch and a hearty four -course dinner served each evening. Our central bar serves mean cocktails which is a great way to start off your evening.

The evening campfire is a legendary part of life at Ndutu. For decades, this has been the time and place where after a day's adventures wildlife photographers, trackers, safari guides, filmmakers and natural history experts have gathered in the evening calm after day's exploration. Sit as the sunset fades across the plains and enjoy a drink or two in the firelight of the daily campfire, share some tasty pre-dinner nibbles and absorb the silence descending around you as night falls before heading inside for your four course dinner allowing more time for conversation and relaxation.

But don't expect to lose weight on safari with us. The homemade cookie jar is on offer all day along with complimentary hot drinks!

Masai Mara Karen Blixen Camp - Ensuite Tent

Karen Blixen Camp is an eco-friendly luxury camp that gives a sense of the exiting explorer days when the savannah was seldom visited and elaborate and comfortable camps were set up providing a luxurious and stylish retreat after each day's adventure.

Karen Blixen Camp encompasses 22 large luxury canvas tents - each set on a beautiful wooden platform with a spacious veranda. On the cushion daybeds one can enjoy an afternoon siesta, taking in the wonderful surroundings. Each tent is en-suite and furnished with a large comfortable bed, Persian rugs and a cozy armchair giving you the ultimate in camping luxury. The private bathroom has a flush toilet, twin wash hand basins and a romantic outside shower with amazing view to the sky. The water is heated up by gas burners to avoid any use of firewood and thus conserving the Mara Woodlands. Electricity is provided in all tents 24-hours a day by extended solar panel system and battery storing bank.

Tents can be configured for either double or twin occupancy, where under prior arrangement a 3rd and even 4th bed can be added for children below the age of 12 years. The family unit consists of two tents with a shared veranda. All tents are placed with undisturbed view along the Mara River giving unique and private game viewing to the Oloololo Escarpment and its rich wildlife.

The open plan mess' area, built on a raised wooden deck, is beautifully located on the banks of the Mara River overlooking a resident hippo pod providing our guests with endless entertainment. The mess area comprises the reception, the restaurant and the lounge area with a home-style bar. Comfortable sofas give a welcoming and cozy retreat for the weary traveler while enjoying a before-dinner drink. Around the campfire one can share the safari adventure of the day, listen to the sounds of the night and look at the magnificent African starlit sky.

Karen Blixen was passionate about cooking and found her inspiration in the French, English, Italian and Danish kitchens. Through historical books we have found many of her original recipes, and dining at the Camp brings back the days of the early 1920-30's.

Modern day's love for cosmopolitan food with clear notes from the Far East, India or Africa's own traditional cooking is also served at our table alongside a comprehensive selection of the continents finest wines. Breakfasts lunches and dinners are served in the restaurant or bush garden from where one has an incredible close view of the Mara River and the wild animals coming to drink.

Being out in one of the world's most beautiful places one should really relax and enjoy a comforting wellness treatment or a therapeutic body massage whilst listening to the rich birdlife and the sounds of the Mara River flowing by. Going on a safari in the beautiful Masai Mara is all about appreciating the wonderful and amazing wildlife. And about slowing down and taking time off to truly pamper yourself and the one you love. The beautiful laid swimming pool offers relaxation and even a little exercise in-between game drives.

Karen Blixen Camp has the most amazing location for relaxed armchair game viewing. The camp gives undisturbed view to the abundance of wildlife coming down for a drink at the Mara River. Karen Blixen Camp encourages exquisite safari experiences. Guests are truly able to relax, read their favorite books and get revitalized in these beautiful and peaceful Masai Mara surroundings.

The camp is carefully located opposite a much favored drinking spot. The Mara River bank curves gently down in an open sandy bed and gives the wild animals an easy access to the mineral rich soil and the river water. And allow guests endless entertainment.

Fact file:

* 22 large luxury canvas tents each with a spacious veranda

* En-suite bathroom with flush toilet, twin wash hand basins & outside shower

* Open plan 'mess' area on a raised wooden deck

* Undisturbed view along the Mara River

* Campfire

Activities:

* Day & night game drives

* Game walks

* Nature walks

* Balloon safari (optional)

* Birding

* Cultural visits

* Eco camp walks & reforestation project



Mara (Private) Conserv. to

- Amboseli National Park Post trip add-on

1100/1215 Scheduled flight to Nairobi.

brief lunch, connect with onward flight to Amboseli

African. Bring home the power and beauty with this limited edition African Wildlife photography print. Picture this one of 300 prints on your walls.

1400/1430 hrs schedule flight Nairobi to Amboseli. Fly for approximately fourty minutes southwards across "maasailand" to the Amboseli National Park. Met on arrival by your local guide for an exploratory game drive en-route to camp arriving in time for lunch and a further afternoon game drive. The Amboseli ecosystem is unique. No other place in Africa combines the special hydrology, topography, geological and cultural history of Amboseli. Despite modest rainfall, a system of swamps fed by the Kilimanjaro mountain forest catchment supports a spectacular array of birds and mammals, dominated in terms of biomass and visibility by a population of some 1,400 African elephants. In recognition of Amboseli's special combination of ecology and culture, UNESCO and the Government of Kenya designated the region a Man and the Biosphere reserve in 1991 to conserve its biodiversity, contribute to the development of the local human population and improve the local infrastructure in support of education and research.

Ol Tukai Lodge - Standard Room L-DBBL

Amboseli National Park

Full day of game-viewing in Amboseli National Park lying below the most famous symbol of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro.

Ol Tukai Lodge - Standard Room DBBL

Amboseli National Park

Full day of game-viewing in Amboseli National Park lying below the most famous symbol of Africa, Mt Kilimanjaro.

Ol Tukai Lodge - Standard Room DBBL

Amboseli National Park - Nairobi, Kenya

Ol Tukai Lodge is one of the best spots in the world to watch elephant with the backdrop of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Writers have described Ol Tukai and the surrounding Amboseli National Park as a home for the Gods'. A place of rugged beauty, abundant water, lush grass and forest, set like an oasis in surrounding savannah scrub. To crown it all, the Gods look upon one of the world's most awe-inspiring sites - as dawn breaks and the sun sets from the 19,000 foot snow capped dome of Africa's highest mountain.

Ol Tukai Lodge is a high-class tourist resort situated in the heart of the Amboseli National Park, which is one of East Africa's most fascinating wildlife and nature parks. The lodge has eighty guest bedrooms and was opened in April 1996. The property has received overwhelming response from the international and local tourism market.

The buildings are spaciously laid out and the property has well maintained flat lawns, gardens and wide-open spaces. It is an idealspot for star-gazers in the African tropical nights. The property overlooks Africa's highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Amboseli plain to the south and the eastern boundary is home to several families of elephant known to be amongst the best spots in the world to watch elephant.

The design concept of the property was inspired by the beautiful topography to take full advantage of the flat plains on one side and the lush Acacia tree forest on the other. The buildings are designed to give an open generous atmosphere with a blend of traditional

African flavour yet having all the modern conveniences. The buildings have covered terraces built in gum pole and timber structures,with changing views and interests throughout the whole scheme. Ol Tukai is one of the most modern lodges in East Africa havingextremely well developed and equipped servicing and operational facilities, far superior to any of its main competitors.

Our mission is to conserve the environment through the effective and efficient running of our eco-friendly lodge. To uplift the living standards of the local community provide quality service and value for money to our valued clients. And our vision is to be a recognized brand and the leading tourist destination in Amboseli and the world over.

Fact file:

* 80 Chalet-style en suite Twin Rooms

* 3 bedroomed Kibo Villa

* Uninterrupted views of the wetlands or Kilimanjaro

* Spaciously laid out buildings

* Manicured lawns, gardens & wide open spaces

* Ideal spot for star-gazers

* Conference Facilities

Drive four hours to Nairobi, Kenya's colourful capital city.

Day room at Tamarind Tree - Standard Room.

JKIA departure transfer for onward flight

VIP Airside departure assistance.

Accommodation


Tamarind Tree - Standard Room

Tamarind Tree Hotel is ideally located just 5 kms to the southwest of Nairobi within the spacious Carnivore grounds and its iconic Carnivore Restaurant. The hotel offers easy access to all parts of the city, its national park, as well as to the country's many diverse attractions via the neighbouring Wilson Airport and Southern Bypass. The nearby Langata and Karen suburbs are among the liveliest and most popular in Nairobi with world-class shopping malls and excellent restaurants. Tamarind Tree Hotel is perfect for both the business and leisure traveller. Our world-class amenities will ensure your meetings are effortless and successful, whilst our outstanding leisure facilities and genuine service ensures that all our guests experience the verybest of Tamarind hospitality. The comfort of our guests is of paramount importance and our commitment is reflected in the quality and finishing of our rooms. Eachof the 160 guest rooms and suites has been exquisitely designed using modern fittings whilst expressing an authentic earthy feel. Allrooms are air-conditioned, have complimentary Wi-Fi; a 43-inch flat-screen television with international satellite channels;complimentary in-room tea and coffee facilities and double-glazed windows to ensure you have a peaceful night's sleep. We have 4rooms for the physically challenged.

Standard Rooms

Our spacious Standard Rooms are an impressive 32m2 - the largest of this room type in Nairobi. The rooms are modern with a charming earthy d cor and are bathed in natural light to create a relaxing ambience. Maximum 3 Adults.

The Tamarind Tree Hotel offers a variety of wining and dining venues. Whether relaxing over afternoon tea in the Dawa Lounge, sipping your favourite cocktail by the pool, or dining at the iconic Tamambo Restaurant, there are opportunities to indulge your every taste. For light bites, our 24-hour Duka Coffee Shop offers an impressive selection of fresh and healthy snacks.

The Tamarind Group's restaurants are famous across the region. Just a short nature walk from the hotel is the world famous Carnivore Restaurant home of dawa renowned for its Beast of a Feast all-you-can-eat meat experience and entertainment. An evening at the Carnivore and adjoining Simba Saloon is a true African dining experience and an essential part of your stay in Nairobi.

At Tamarind Tree there are a host of leisure options at your disposal so you can enjoy your free time being as active (or inactive) as you please. Chill by the pool, burn off your holiday calories in the gym, or enjoy a book to the sound of birdsong in our tropical gardens. We're here to help you enjoy every moment.

Fact file:

* King-size bed or twin beds

* Double-glazed windows

* Blackout curtains

* 43 inch flat screen TV with international sports & news

* Work desk with comfortable chair

* Complimentary tea, coffee & water

* Rain shower

* In-room safe

* Hairdryer

* Independent air-conditioning

* Complimentary High-speed Wi-Fi

* International plugs and USB charging plug

Attractions:

* Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage

* Karen Blixen Museum

* Nairobi National Park

Flights and Other Information

Lake Manyara National Park.

Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Lake Manyara National Park is well worth a stop in its own right. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobob strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds.

The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoops and graze by the thousands, colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.

Lake Manyara's famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay this park a visit. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world- a fact that makes for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.

In his famous book " The Green Hills of Africa" Hemingway describes Lake Manyara National Park's magnificent surroundings:

"Mahogany, sausage tree and croton are alive with blue monkeys and vervets. Elephants feed off fallen fruit, while bushbuck, waterbuck, baboons, aardvark, civet, the shy pangolin and leopard, as well as the black rhino, all make their home in the forest. Manyara is sanctuary to massive herds of buffalo, impressive hippo pods, giraffe, impala, zebra and is famous for its tree climbing lions.

The Lake itself is a magnet for birdlife and a kaleidoscope of different species can be found around its shores, including huge flocks of flamingos as well as white and pink backed pelican.

The park is ideal for a day trip. It is possible to leave the lodge or camp early in the morning and spend the day observing the distinct and different eco-systems, from ground water forest at the entrance, to the open savannah, the lake itself and the high rock cliff along the western rim of the Rift Valley - each area supporting a variety of animal and bird species.

There is only one entrance/exit so the Park has been designed with loops and circuits which eventually bring you in a full circle.Thought has been given to picnic areas and this park is a joy to visit, perfectly placed for a stopover between Arusha and Ngorongoro.

Fact file:

* Area: 325 square km

* Manyara : Maasai name for the endemic Euphorbia tirucalli which grows abundantly in this area

* Located 124 km South West of Arusha

* Originally famous for hunting, gazetted as a National Park in 1960

* En route to Ngorongoro & Serengeti

* Administered by TANAPA the Government Wildlife & Parks Department

* Excellent nature trail & story boards at main entrance

* Spring-fed Rift Valley lake)

* Good road/circuit system, ideal for day-trip

* Massive buffalo herds

* Famous for tree climbing lion

* Distinct & diverse eco-systems

* Over 380 bird species recorded

Serengeti & Maasai Mara

Coastal Aviation

The majority of schedule flights are operated by The Cessna Grand Caravan C208B, is a Twelve-seat, single engine Cessna, which through determined efforts to improve safety result in peace of mind and confidence when you take to the skies. Durable landing gear means you can count on smooth landings. The main gear is a massive steel tube linked directly to the fuselage. Its flexible design is perfect for grass, gravel and even unimproved airstrips. The nose gear is engineered to absorb both vertical and lateral force by transmitting it to the fuselage. And large, rough-field tires contribute further to the Caravan's rugged flexibility. The Garmin G1000 glass cockpit integrates all primary flight, engine and sensor data to provide intuitive, at-a-glance situational awareness, in a paperless cockpit. Standard baggage allowance limited to 15 kgs (33 lbs) per person in soft sided bags. Please note this is a scheduled flight service which may stop to pick up/drop off passengers at others camps en-route. In so being flight scheduled times can vary quite significantly.

The Maasai

Each Maasai male passes through three main life stages: boyhood, warrior-hood and elder-hood. Young children tend the calves, sheep and goats near the settlements. Older youths go out daily with the cattle herds in search of good grazing. Before becoming warriors (il-Murran) the youths are circumcised. Girls, too, traditionally undergo female circumcision at puberty, making them eligible for marriage. After becoming il-Murran traditionally the warriors protected the herds against predators and cattle raiders - and went on raiding forays themselves. They also help to herd cattle. Approximately every seven to ten years a Maasai L'0iboni or priest announces the induction of a new generation of warriors.

Those who have already served their time as warriors then pass into junior elder-hood in a colorful ceremony called eunoto. This marks a period of greater responsibility, beginning with marriage (which may be polygamous) and the acquisition of wealth and security in the form of cattle and children. Maasai elders are treated with deference by younger persons and have the right to sit in council with other elders to dispense justice and make decisions about important matters. As they migrate in search of fresh grazing, the Maasai build their settlements: often temporary structures, quickly built using wooden sticks and poles, plastered with cow manure. These transient homes are abandoned when the grazing is finished and the herds must move on. Around the Mara it is possible to see many of these dwellings - both occupied and unoccupied. With their long and slender bodies, their proud and hieratic faces, their colored clothes and plaited, red mud-stained hair, the Maasai moran (warriors) are known for their warlike demeanor.

Mara - Optional Balloon Safari

Up, up and away… One of the most incredibly uplifting experiences is to game-view from a hot-air balloon, skimming the treetops and floating above the herds in the safe hands of an experienced balloon.

In the crisp air of dawn you assemble at the launch pad, gratefully drinking hot tea or coffee to ward off the dawn chill as the crew partially inflates the balloon with enormous fans. The gas burners are then ignited and the balloon fills with hot air slowly raising the baskets. Before departing, finalized checks are made, and you climb aboard, settling into the compartmentalized balloon basket ready for a take-off. The balloon lifts off just before sunrise when the breeze on the plains is still cold. Once airborne, you sail across the plains, blown by the prevailing winds, peacefully drifting across the game-studded expanse. Apart from the hiss of the burners, the flight above the Maasai Mara plains is magically silent. The pilot controls the height of the craft by regulating the flow of hot air into the balloon. Sometimes the balloon will descend over the plains for a close up view of the wildlife; on other occasions, it rises to clear a tree canopy and rise over the riverine forest. At the end of the flight, the passengers are treated to a champagne breakfast on beautifully laid out tables in the middle of nowhere - crews in Land Rovers have followed the balloon's flight and raced ahead to set up ready for your landing. The sense of euphoria and weightlessness continues long after the flight is over. The tables are set out under a convenient acacia tree. Your hot and very welcome full breakfast is cooked using the burners from the balloon itself. After breakfast you are presented with your flight certificate and then your guide will take you on a leisurely game drive back to your lodge or camp, and the possibility of seeing the same pride of lions, or herd of elephants that had been viewed while ballooning. Over a dozenballoons depart from sites near six of the lodges and tented camps - we can advise you on the closest launch pad when we book your trip.

Sample Balloon Safari Itinerary:

0500 Wake Up & Drive to launch pad

0545 Tea & Coffee as burners ignite & balloon inflates

0630 Lift off for dawn flight over the herds

0730 Begin descent onto the plains (near the Serengeti/Tanzania border)

0745 Champagne Breakfast on the plains

0845 Game drive back to your lodge or camp

There are no special fitness requirements for a balloon safari however anyone suffering from back pain or injury should seek medical advice first as the landing tends to be bumpy. Children under 12 are not generally permitted to join a flight. Safety: all the balloon companies operate under licence from the Civil Aviation Association and regularly check, test and update equipment as required. Each flight is captained by a qualified and experienced balloon pilot.

Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport

Arriving at JKIA:

Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) please make use of the standard "fly-bridge" or "airport bus service" for the transfer from aircraft to the terminal building. Follow the signs through to " passport control, baggage collections and customs" .

Remember to complete the "a landing card" or "visa application form" (whichever is applicable on your inbound flight in advance). As you exit the luggage hall and walk into the public arrivals area, you shall be met by our Our Safaris Guest Relations Officer who shall assist you from that point onwards.

Departing from JKIA:

You shall be accompanied by an Origins Safaris Guest Relations Officer to the "second security check point at the departure terminal".

It is worth noting that there are currently three layers of security to access and depart from the airport. On approach to the airport, you will be required to exit the vehicle you are travelling in and walk through a security checkpoint with scanners. Once you have cleared the scanners you will need to wait for your vehicle, which is also being screened. On arrival at the terminal, there is a luggage and body scan to enter the airport buildings. After this you may check in your luggage and pass through to document security andimmigration. You will then take an escalator to your departure gate where you will pass through the final security checkpoint.


Reserve and Park Information

Arusha – “The Geneva of Africa”

Located in the northern highlands of Tanzania, beneath the twin peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha is the safari capital of the country. Guests embarking on the popular northern safari circuit all stop in the Geneva of Africa' to prepare for their journeys into the African bush. For centuries a trading town and watering hole for explorers, this bustling town still exudes a great sense of anticipation and excitement. Land Rovers laden with supplies or sprayed with the mud of a recent excursion grumble their way up the streets, and the local airport buzzes with light aircraft heading in and out of the bush.

The name itself is a mystery, believed to be a word of Hindi origin meaning "Rising sun". Arusha's clock tower is supposedly situated at the midpoint between Cairo and Cape Town, therefore representing the halfway point between the two termini of the old British Empire in Africa. However others argue that the term "Arusha" is derived from the word "La' Arusa", meaning "a place of grey cows' in the local Maasai language.

Despite its proximity to the equator, Arusha's elevation of 1,400 metres (4,600 feet) on the southern slopes of Mount Meru keeps temperatures relatively low and alleviates humidity. Cool dry air is prevalent for much of the year.


Just 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) east of the city is Arusha National Park. The park is a multi-faced jewel, often overlooked by safarigoers, despite offering the opportunity to explore a beguiling diversity of habitats within a few hours. The National Park has a rich variety of wildlife, but visitors shouldn't expect the same game-viewing experience they find in other national parks of Tanzania's northern circuit. Despite the small size of the park, common animals include Giraffe, Cape buffalo, Zebra, Warthog, Elephant, and many other African animals. Leopard populations are present, but rarely seen. Birdlife in the forest is prolific. Arusha is definitely more than just a safari town; there are a number of coffee plantations situated around the edges of town that offer spectacular views of Kilimanjaro's unassuming cousin, Mount Meru - the fifth highest in Africa at 4,566 metres (14,990 feet).

Fact file:

* Altitude: 900m - 1,600m (3,000ft - 5,500ft) above sea level

* Climate: Temperate

* Situated between Mt Meru 4,655 meters (14,980 feet) and Mt Kilimanjaro 5,895meters (19,340 feet)

* Centre for agriculture & floriculture

* The world's only known source of tanzanite

* Sprawling town bisected by Naura and Usa Rivers

* Arusha National Park 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) east of the city

Ngorongoro Crater – A breathtaking natural wonder

Ngorongoro Crater - A breathtaking natural wonder of unparalleled beauty & one of the world's most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries

It is impossible to give a fair description of the size and beauty of the Crater, for there is nothing with which one can compare it. It is one of the wonders of the world. Professor Bernhard Grzimek: The Serengeti Shall Not Die'

Pick a superlative: amazing, incredible, breathtaking…they all apply to the stunning ethereal blue-green vistas of the Ngorongoro Crater. But as wonderful as the views are from above, the real magic happens when you get down inside and drive among anunparalleled concentration of wildlife, including the highest density of both lions and overall predators in Africa. This is one of Africa'spremier attractions and this world-renowned natural wonder is deservedly a Unesco World Heritage Site.

The Ngorongoro Crater has steep wall and even though it may be cold and foggy on the rim it is usually warm and sunny in its floor that is 2,000 feet below. During the descent we experience dramatic changes in scenery and temperature. Dark green candelabra trees give way to African plains flora about half way down. During the dry season the pastures look scorched and barren, but when the rains begin they turn into emerald meadows dotted with small white, blue, yellow, red, and pink flowers. At the center of the crater is a soda lake formed by volcanic ash and rain. During the dry season a white desert forms around the shores of the shallow lake. On the southern side of the crater the crystal clear Koitokitok Springs flow into Lake Makat at a rate of more than one million gallons a day.

The vast Ngorongoro Highlands rear more than 3,000 feet out of the surrounding plains 180km to the north west of Arusha in the north of Tanzania. At the centre of this vast elevated highland is Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest unbroken ancient caldera, and surely the most dramatic section of the famous East African Great Rift Valley. A World Heritage Site and dubbed the Eighth Wonder of theWorld, scientists estimate from the impossible size of the crater, that before Ngorongoro erupted 2 million years ago, it's summit sat eye to eye with Kilimanjaro's. The caldera excavated from the explosion is so huge that often you can watch little isolated weather systems skidding across it. To reach Ngorongoro Crater from Arusha, a road winds itself through thick lichen-bearded forests up the long and steep escarpment that forms the Crater's outside walls to a final altitude of 7,000 feet.

Access from the north is through the Serengeti plains, past Olduvai Gorge, and up a more grassy gentler slope where groups of cattleand goats are tended by their Maasai herders. At the top, from whichever direction, where the road flattens onto the crater rim, thedrama unfolds. In front of you, cliffs drop vertically 2,000 feet into the crater floor, a tapestry of pale open grasslands, forests, swamps,fresh springs and soda lakes that spread 20 kilometres to the Crater's far side. Local Maasai pastoralists have retained grazing rights throughout the Conservation area, and in the Crater itself. This brings with it a sense of ridiculous incongruity combined with the humbling reality that man and wild beast have shared these lands for millennia; you may be studying a cheetah stalking an impala from the compulsory safety of your vehicle, and pick up through your binoculars the ubiquitous red billowing blanket wrapped around aMaasai, on foot and leading his herd to water on the Crater floor, just a hundred yards away!

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area's climate is influenced by the time of year. There are two distinct seasons: virtually all rain fallsbetween the months of November to May, making this a fantastic time for bird watching. In the drier months, animals are more concentrated around water areas. The wettest areas are in the east and south parts of the Highlands, facing the prevailing and moisture-laden winds coming from the Indian Ocean. The driest parts are on the plains below and to the north of the Crater, which lie in the mountain's rain shadow. The Crater rim itself is often shrouded in mists but the floor is usually dry and sunny. Bearing in mind the altitude, the temperature can plummet to freezing at nights particularly between June and November and inevitably it takes the sun a few hours to warm everything up in the mornings. Both the rim (about 2,300m/8,530ft) and floor (about 1,700m/5,577ft) are at higher altitudes and are colder than the overall conservation area. Temperatures drop by about 6.5 C for every 1,000m you climb (or 3.5 F per 1,000ft). Daily temperatures are around 23 C/73 F on the crater floor, while night temperatures are around 6 C/43 F.

This is a garden of Eden, packed with some 30,000 animals. The largest herds of animals we see today are wildebeest as they mingle with zebra and Thompson's and Grant's gazelle. Unlike their counterparts in the nearby Serengeti, the wildebeest and zebra living in the Ngorongoro do not migrate because water in the crater is plentiful year-round. We're likely to see large herds of buffalo and sizeable numbers of eland, hartebeest, and waterbuck. Elephants most often browse near the Lerai forest and hippos grunt and snortas they sit out the heat of the day in the lakes. Ngorongoro is one of the few places in Africa where black rhinos can still be seen.

Among the predators, there are five prides of black-maned lions with as many as 18 members in each pride. Cheetahs are often seen alone or in pairs. Hyenas and jackals abound. In the forest, at the crater's rim, we may catch sight of an elusive leopard. Bird lifearound the crater is also prolific. More than a hundred species are found here that aren't seen in the Serengeti. Ostriches, Kori bustards, and secretary birds stalk the grasslands. Pure-white egrets and red-billed ox-peckers scurry along the backs of buffalo.

Crested cranes honk furiously as they launch into flight. Along the shores of Lake Magadi lesser flamingoes feed in the algae-rich waters.

Fact File:

* Altitude 2200m (crater rim)

* Ngorongoro Conservation Area 8,300 sq. kms

* Crater Area: 260 sq. kms

* Distance from Arusha 180 kms

* Average temperatures range from 6 C/43 F to 23 C/73 F

* Originally part of Serengeti, Ngorongoro reclassified as a conservation area in 1956 after conflict over land with Maasai

* Crater designated a World Heritage Site in 1978

* Administered by TANAPA the Government Wildlife & Parks Department

* Highest concentration of large mammals in Africa - 30,000 species

* Traditional Maasai culture

* Half day visits to the Crater only

NCA – “An impressive UNESCO World Heritage site"

Ngorongoro Conservation Area - An impressive UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Tanzania

To the west and north of the vast Ngorongoro Highlands and the famous Ngorongoro Crater is a vast tribal wilderness that adjoins the Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti is Tanzania's most famous Game Park, and arguably the best known conservation area in the world. The subject of many a film, book and Disney block-buster, the Park has become the signature-tune for Africa's wild places.

Taking pride of place on Tanzania's star-studded Northern Safari Circuit, the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area offers one of the world's most unusual safari experiences in the breathtakingly beautiful setting of an ancient volcanic caldera. The incredible three-million-year-old Ngorongoro Crater contains a unique, self-sustaining eco-system complete with an extraordinary variety anddensity of African wildlife.

Forming part of the greater Serengeti ecosystem, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is an impressive UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Tanzania. This pristine expanse of wilderness is comprised of a large area of short-grass plains on the southern border of the Serengeti National Park as well as the exquisite Ngorongoro Highlands region, featuring a range of dramatic ancient volcanoes on thewestern side of the Great Rift Valley.

The jewel in Ngorongoro's crown is a deep, volcanic crater, the largest unflooded, unbroken, inactive, intact volcanic caldera in the world. About 20kms across, 600 meters deep and 300 sq kms in area, the Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtaking natural wonder, offering a unique natural enclosure for around 30, 000 wild animals. The crater is renowned for containing the highest density of big game in Africa including all of the Big Five' as well as cheetah, serval cat, jackal, hyena, Grant's and Thompson's gazelle, and over 400 species of bird. In addition to its astonishing array of wildlife, the crater features the wonderfully scenic Lake Magadi; the LeraiForest, considered one of the best places in Africa for leopard sightings; and the lovely Ngoitokitok Spring area, inhabited by countless hippos, elephants, and lions.

Visitors can look forward to spotting healthy populations of lion, leopard, hyena, black rhino, wildebeest, buffalo and zebra as well some of Africa's largest giant tusker elephants. Other popular activities include interacting with the area's traditional Maasai inhabitants, marvelling at the sight of thousands of pink flamingos in the lake-filled Empakaai Crater known for its exceptionally large flocks of flamingos, enjoying the panoramic views of the spectacularly scenic crater from its impressive 600 metre high rim and thespectacular Olduvai Gorge. This steep-sided, 50-kilometre-long ravine is one of the world's most significant prehistoric sites boasting afascinating museum displaying replicas of some of the hominid and animal fossils unearthed at the site. The magnificent Ngorongoro Crater contains an impressive abundance of resident wildlife, an acacia forest crawling with leopards, a beautiful lake teeming with waterbirds, and the Ngoitokitok Spring area, inhabited by countless hippos, elephants, and lions.

Many people visit more than one part of the Serengeti during a single visit because different areas offer very different landscapes. The south is dry and features short grassy plains. In the central area the savannah is dotted with acacia woodland, and further north the verdant grasslands are concentrated around the tributaries and main waterways of the Grumeti and Mara Rivers. Different again, the western corridor is a region of woods and sticky black cotton soil swamps. There's no pretending that 't a dictionary of clich s! Thevast endless open plains; a million stars pricked out against black skies bigger and more dramatic than any planetarium reproduction; the picture-postcard solitary acacia silhouetted against a horizon; isolated kopjes with big shady fig trees growing impossibly out of the rocks; and of course animals in such absurd numbers that they can only have been spooned out of an industrial jar of hundreds and thousands.

Wildebeest, perhaps not the prettiest animals with their sloping gait and bearded chins, are nonetheless the stars of the Serengetimshow. On a non-stop mission to follow the grass, they trek northwards and south again over a year; a spectacle that culminates between January and March, when the south eastern part of the Park becomes the world's biggest, noisiest mammalian maternity ward. At the other end of their seasonal migration, the wildebeest cross the Grumeti River into Kenya, like endless columns of antsfrantically scrambling up the riverbanks to escape the marauding crocodiles. The grasslands are so rich that they sustain many other herbivores too, a table for the Serengeti's equivalent to meals-on-wheels, a sort of eat all you can buffet for the predators who followtheir grass-eating dinners. Lion, hyena, cheetah, leopard all shadow the migration feasting on the injured, young and old; and during a game drive you will almost certainly have at least one big cat encounter. It is a cruel old world with clusters of hunched vultures sitting patiently around a sick wildebeest just biding their time or a pride of lion exhausting a young buffalo to its knees. But in terms of viewing nature at its prettiest and most ugly, the Serengeti is second to none, capturing the sorts of images that documentaries are made of. The best way to really get a sense of the vastness of the Serengeti is by hot air balloon, floating above the plains with an eagle's eye view of all the action. It's an incredible experience, and since this is the only park that offers such a unique viewing vehicle,it does come highly recommended to anyone visiting the Serengeti.

The Serengeti hosted Bushmen tribes for many centuries. The Ikoma, Ndorobo and Sanawe probably hunted here; the evidence is visible in their rock art, examples of which can be found at the Moru Kopjes en route from the Serengeti to Ngorongoro. The Maasai only moved into the Serengeti some 100 years ago, driving out other tribes, and quickly dominating the grasslands. When the Serengeti was designated a national park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area was created as a separate entity to meet the needs of the Maasai, who are no longer allowed to graze their cattle in the Serengeti.

The weather of the entire Ngorongoro Conservation Area differs from that of the Crater itself. While the area at large features moderate temperatures and high to very low precipitation, depending on the time of year, the Ngorongoro Crater itself features a much higher elevation that has a significant impact on temperature and precipitation.

For the entire Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, the average high temperatures do not drop below roughly 21 C / 70 F, while theaverage lows do not drop below roughly 10 C / 50 F. Precipitation varies a bit more due to rainy and dry seasons. Throughout theentire conservation area, precipitation does not exceed about 5 inch

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