When we ask our younger clients what first inspired them to take an African safari, often they tell us that it was watching Disney’s The Lion King. Some of the film’s most memorable scenes include the parading and stampeding of hundreds of animals, so it’s no surprise it makes quite an impression. But watching the Great Migration for real is an incomparable experience. Migrating wildebeest number 1.5 million alone, and on top of them you’ll see zebra, giraffe, and antelope all on the move. It is, with no exaggeration, the single greatest wildlife spectacle on earth.
Asilia Naboisho Camp, Mara Naboisho Conservancy
The private Mara Naboisho Conservancy borders the Masai Mara and has the same concentration of predators but is far less busy. Here you can experience solitude, enjoying the wilderness but still being able to retreat to the comforts of your tented camp each evening. One of the reasons we love Naboisho Camp and recommend it so enthusiastically is that you can take to the skies in an early morning hot air balloon ride and see the migration from above. This is the best way to appreciate the migration’s scale, and you get a unique bird’s eye view of the herds.
Sanctuary Serengeti Migration Camp, Serengeti National Park
The whole point of the Great Migration is that the animals are on the move. When you stay at Sanctuary Serengeti Migration Camp you’re guaranteed to be in the perfect location as the camp moves too! The migration viewing is therefore not restricted to a particular season. You can take your meals out in the bush, eating and drinking surrounded by thousands of zebra and wildebeest. When the sun goes down there’s no finer place to be than amidst the migration in Tanzania.
Mbono Tented Camp, Maswa Wildlife Reserve
The Maswa Wildlife Reserve borders the Serengeti, so you get all of the wildlife and none of the human crowds. Here there are only six tents in total. The peak of the migration is in January and February, when lion and leopard come hot on the heels of the buffalo, zebra, antelope, and gazelle. Night drives offer the opportunity to see the wildlife when the temperatures are cooler and the big cats are at their most active. If you keep your eyes peeled you will spot the shy nocturnal creatures, too.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Grumeti Reserve
Competition is fierce to get a booking at the Singita Sasakwa Lodge, but understandably so. The historic house evokes the elegance of a bygone era, and it has a superb vantage point overlooking swathes of northern Tanzania. Wildlife in the Grumeti Reserve is abundant, and the guided safari walks are a highlight of any trip. The lodge’s Singita Grumeti Fund financially supports a 120 ranger strong anti-poaching team, and hearing firsthand about their work is truly inspiring.
Bateleur Camp, Masai Mara National Park
Bateleur Camp overlooks the plains of Masai Mara and is directly in the path of the Great Migration. Guests can fully appreciate the romance of a Kenyan safari with vintage-style safari tents and the chance to wander through the original film set of Out of Africa. You won’t forget the bush walks, the spot-lit night time game drives, or your interactions with the local Maasai community. The wildlife here is extraordinary, but it’s just one aspect of a trip you’ll never forget!
It’s time to tick “seeing the Great Migration” off your bucket list and instead be able to recall the spectacle and regale others with your stories.
Laura Burdett-Munns is Managing Director at Africa Exclusive. Africa Exclusive has been creating the finest tailor-made safaris since 1990, specialising in luxurious accommodation in beautiful remote places.
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