The Great Migration
The Great Migration is a spectacular 20-day journey to Mozambique, Tanzania and Zanzibar. It is a remarkable mix of vibrant culture, breathtaking scenic beauty, and perhaps the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth – the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra.
The tour begins in mysterious Mozambique, a little visited country that still moves to centuries-old rhythms of its African, Arabic, Indian and Portuguese influences. Indeed the country’s infectious music, tantalising cuisine and social etiquette are entirely reminiscent of Brazil! We then move to the endless plains of East Africa, a stage that hosts an annual migration of 1.5 million animals. It is a veritable natural film set in the Serengeti, in which 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, travel in a clockwise movement, for nearly 3,000kms each year in search of rain-ripened grass. We also descend into the Ngorongoro Crater, an area of stunning beauty and one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. From here we fly directly to the spice island of Zanzibar and its UNESCO World Heritage-listed capital, Stone Town. Stepping back some 200 years, the heart of Zanzibar remains a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses.
Tour Fitness Level: Active
- Two-night stay on the World Heritage-listed Mozambique Island
- Take a boat ride around the island and also explore it on foot
- Enjoy a cocktail party in the lower gardens of Cardoso Hotel overlooking Maputo
- Explore the extraordinary city of Maputo
- Visit Maputo’s cultural heart, the Mafalala district, and enjoy an exclusive party with the locals
- Two-night stay at Ngorongoro
- Enjoy game drives across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater
- Two-night stay in Serengeti National Park
- See the massive herds of wildebeest and zebra on their annual migration
- See the huge concentration of crocodile and hippos at the Grumeti River
- Enjoy safari drives and see hyena, lion, buffalo and elephant
- Discover the many endemic species of bird that gather on the Grumeti River banks
- Two-night stay in the UNESCO heritage-listed capital, Stone Town
- Explore the maze of alleyways and the bustling bazaars of Stone Town
- Day excursion to a spice plantation
- All flights between Australia and South Africa (inc. domestic from your preferred capital city)
- All flights within Africa
- All ticketable air taxes (may be subject to change)
- All accommodation (twin share)
- All ground transport in Africa
- Meals as specified
- Travel Directors’ tour leader throughout
- Expert local guides
- All entrance fees in specified sightseeing
- Visas and courier fees
- All tips and gratuities
Please note that whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the above pricing, currency fluctuations beyond our control can affect final tour costs. A booking form is to be completed by all passengers, and a non-refundable deposit of AUD $3,000 paid at the time of booking. All escorted tours are based on a minimum group size of 10 people travelling.
26/07/2019 Australia – Johannesburg
Fly from your preferred capital city to Perth to connect with our flight to Johannesburg.
Depart Perth South African Airways SA 281, 23.50
27/07/2019 Johannesburg – Maputo (LD)
Arrive Johannesburg 05.40
Depart Johannesburg South African Airways SA 142, 09.45
Arrive Maputo 10.45
On arrival in Maputo we transfer to our hotel.
28/07/2019 Maputo (BLD)
Maputo is a city of Mediterranean-style architecture with wide avenues, lined with jacaranda and flame trees. It’s a thriving metropolis with a fascinating old town, known as Baixa. Portugese colonial buildings provide a striking background as Indian and Arab traders do brisk business in the narrow side streets. Along Maputo’s waterfront, fishermen line the roadside, selling their day’s catch to passing drivers. Today we take a city tour of Maputo and in the evening we enjoy an exclusive dinner with local entertainers in the city’s cultural heart, the Mafalala district.
29/07/2019 Maputo (BLD)
The village of Catembe sits just across the bay from Maputo and early this morning we board a ferry for the brief crossing to the village. Here we have the chance to see lives that are unaffected by the rapid, modern growth of Maputo just across the water. As we return by ferry in the evening, the views to the Maputo skyline are breathtaking.
30/07/2019 Maputo – Nampula – Mozambique Island (BLD)
Depart Maputo Aero Mozambique TM 190, 06.30
Arrive Nampula 08.35
This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Nampula. On arrival we make the two-hour transfer to the Indian Ocean and the fascinating UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mozambique Island (Ilha de Mozambique), the oldest settlement in East Africa. Mozambique Island is just three kilometres wide and 1.5 kilometres long, and was a meeting point of various civilisations – Arab, Dutch, English, Persian and Portuguese – as it was one of the main trading ports in the Indian Ocean.
Ilha de Mozambique
31/07/2019 Mozambique Island (BLD)
Mozambique Island is noted for its beautiful colonial architecture – a legacy of the Portuguese who ruled the country for nearly 500 years. This morning we take a boat ride around the island and admire the colonial buildings reflected in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. In the afternoon we take a walking tour of this extraordinary settlement.
01/08/2019 Mozambique Island – Nampula – Arusha (BD)
After breakfast we make the two-hour drive to Nampula, where we board our flight to Nairobi and on to Arusha.
Depart Nampula Kenyan Airways KQ 754, 13.10
Arrive Nairobi 18.40
Depart Nairobi Kenyan Airways KQ 6728, 22.20
Arrive Arusha 23.20
On arrival we transfer to our hotel which nestles in the shadows of Mount Meru. This is the gateway to the North Tanzanian safari circuit.
Lake Duluti Serena Lodge
02/08/2019 Arusha – Ngorongoro (BLD)
This morning we embark on a four-hour drive on good roads to the great Ngorongoro Crater. A large volcanic caldera, this is an area of unparalleled beauty and is one of the world’s most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries. The crater was formed when a volcano collapsed on itself some 2.5 million years ago, and today it is more than 600 metres deep and covers an area of 260square kilometres.
Ngorongoro Serena Lodge
03/08/2019 Ngorongoro (BLD)
We enjoy spectacular game viewing this morning as we travel across the floor of the Ngorongoro crater. Here Zebra and wildebeest graze alongside the rare and endangered black rhino, while lions seek shade under acacia trees. The crater is a mini biosphere with a fantastic array of fauna and bird life.
04/08/2019 Ngorongoro – Serengeti National Park (BLD)
After breakfast we pass through the Ngorongoro conservation area and then make our way across vast savannah plains that are home to massive herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle, as well as buffalo, elephant and giraffe. This area holds the earliest evidence of human habitation.
Serengeti Serena Lodge
05/08/2019 Serengeti National Park (BLD)
Today we witness the amazing spectacle of the annual wildebeest and zebra migration, when more than one and a half million animals traverse the open plains in in search of fresh grasslands to the north in the Masai Mara.
06/08/2019 Serengeti National Park – Grumeti (BLD)
Leaving behind the treeless savannah plains we head to the western corridor of the Serengeti and the Grumeti region where a hugely varied topography and vegetation welcomes us. Here the Grumeti River dominates the landscape and we discover a huge concentration of crocodile and hippos.
Kirawira Serena Camp
07/08/2019 Grumeti (BLD)
Our camp’s location on a tributary of the Grumeti River means that it is ideally positioned for sightings of dramatic river crossings when the wildebeest migration is in the area. Even without this migration the wildlife experience here is thrilling with a staggering density of year-round wildlife. Today we venture out into the wide open plains of what are quintessential Serengeti landscapes in open 4×4 safari vehicles. With the Grumeti River providing a permanent water source, the area is particularly rich in predators, with massive lion prides and extensive clans of hyena, numbering up to a hundred, frequently spotted. The river also attracts large herds of buffalo and elephant, while the open plains are the ideal habitat for cheetah. It is an area that attracts ornithologists from all over the world as massive numbers of endemic species of birds collect on the river’s bank.
08/08/2019 Grumeti – Mwanza (Lake Victoria) (BLD)
Today we leave the Serengeti as we start our drive to the south side of Lake Victoria. A shallow depression with an average depth of 40m, Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world by surface area. Thousands of small rivers flow into the lake but only the White Nile flows out. Three major towns nestle on the lake, Entebbe in Uganda, Kisumu in Kenya and Mwanza in Tanzania.
09/08/2019 Mwanza (BLD)
Surrounded by hills and unique rock formations, Mwanza is the second largest city in Tanzania. A city with a fascinating Indian mix, it is the busiest port on the lake. The city is also the centre of the Sukuma tribe, the largest tribe in Tanzania, who have inhabited and farmed the region for centuries. Today we set out by canoe to explore some of the fascinating and unspoilt Sukuma fishing villages.
10/08/2019 Mwanza – Dar es Salaam – Zanzibar (BD)
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.
Depart Mwanza Precision Air PW 491, 11.10
Arrive Dar es Salaam 13.20
Depart Dar es Salaam Precision Air PW 713, 16.00
Arrive Zanzibar 16.30
On arrival we transfer to our hotel located in historic Stone Town.
11/08/2019 Zanzibar (BLD)
The capital of Zanzibar, Stone Town, is a place of winding alleys, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses. This maze of labyrinthine alleyways brings to life the ghosts of centuries past, and reminders of this layered history are everywhere. In many places in the world such a settlement would now be a museum, yet Stone Town is a thriving community where life has changed little in 200 years. Today we enjoy a full exploration of the town.
12/08/2019 Zanzibar (BLD)
In days past, Zanzibar was known as a spice island, exporting cloves, vanilla, nutmeg and cardamom across the world. The spices were brought over from Asia and South America and flourished in the tropical climes. Today the plantations are a tribute to the island’s past and after breakfast we explore this fascinating heritage.
13/08/2019 Zanzibar – Johannesburg (B)
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our journey back to Australia via Johannesburg.
Depart Zanzibar Kenyan Airways KQ 434, 10.45
Arrive Nairobi 12.00
Depart Nairobi Kenyan Airways KQ 762, 12.55
Arrive Johannesburg 16.10
Depart Johannesburg South African Airways SA 280, 21.10
14/08/2019 Johannesburg – Australia
Arrive Perth 12.20
On arrival in Perth we connect with the flight to our chosen Australian city.
Why is the Tour Fitness Level rated as ‘Active’?
This tour involves a reasonable amount of walking, climbing steps and stairs and getting on and off boats. The mode of transport on this tour is a 4WD safari vehicle and a number of the roads are gravel, as well as there being some off-road driving. Whilst this is not especially strenuous, a reasonable degree of fitness is required to get the most from the tour.
If I am coming from the East Coast or elsewhere in Australia, can I break my journey in Perth?
We find many of our guests choose to do this. Just let our consultants know if you want to take up this option and we will make the booking on your behalf at a hotel in Perth.
How long is the flight from Perth to Johannesburg?
Flying time from Perth to Johannesburg is 11 hours.
Is personal security a problem on this tour?
Security is not a big problem, however we remind our guests to take sensible precautions. These include not wearing ostentatious jewellery, not showing or counting money in public, and not going to certain areas at night. Basically it’s a case of using common sense, particularly in large cities.
What kind of clothing should I take?
Comfortable clothing in earthy colours is best. Layering is recommended as it can be quite cool on early morning game drives.
How much spending money do I need for the entire trip?
Because almost everything is included, USD $500 per person is usually ample for the whole journey. However, if you’re a keen shopper and like to buy lots of gifts and souvenirs, you may require more.
Are credit cards acceptable?
Credit cards are not always accepted and ATMs will not always be readily available. Cash in small denominations of USD is recommended.
Do I need vaccinations for this journey?
A yellow fever vaccination is mandatory, and you must carry the vaccination certificate with you as it is required by Australian authorities on re-entry. Tetanus should always be up to date and medication for malaria prevention is highly recommended. Insect repellent is essential. You should also seek advice from your doctor.
Is the water safe to drink en-route and what is the general standard of hygiene?
We err on the side of caution on all of our tours and advise travellers to drink only bottled water. This is easy to obtain everywhere. The hotels and restaurants we use are all of a high standard in terms of hygiene. We recommend the use of hand sanitizer before each meal and occasionally during the day as we will be handling local money and visiting public places.
What is the climate like at the time we travel?
The weather will be pleasantly warm most of the time throughout the tour. However it can be quite cool early in the morning when on game drives and the evenings can also cool down.
If I want to travel to Africa before or after the group departs, is this possible?
It is possible, with reasonable notice, to fly to Johannesburg ahead of the group or stay on after the group has departed.
Do I need visas?
An Australian passport holder will need a visa for Mozambique and Tanzania and these can be obtained on arrival. These are included in the tour cost.
A lot of companies have many expensive optional extras on their tours. Do you?
We don’t believe in a lot of expensive ‘optional tours’. Our itineraries are designed to make the best possible use of time and to include all the must-see sights, plus additional surprises. Therefore practically everything is included in the tour cost.
What is the standard of hotels like on this tour?
We endeavour to use centrally located hotels throughout. The hotels on this trip are generally rated 4 star and of a high standard. In smaller regional areas, with fewer hotels, we use the best available.
What currency should I take on this tour?
The currency for this journey is US dollars. They should be in low denominations, clean and undamaged.
Are internet facilities available en-route?
Internet facilities are available in all the major centres. However in the country areas there is limited or no internet access.
Do mobile telephones work?
Telstra and Optus mobiles generally work throughout the entire journey. You will need to ensure you have global roaming and a tri-band phone. Contact your service provider for further information.
How much should we tip the guides and porters?
There is no need to tip guides or porters as all tipping and gratuities are included in the tour cost.