For travellers inspired by BBC One’s new nature documentary, Serengeti, wildlife and adventure tour operator Gane and Marshall has highlighted four thrilling safari itineraries, for travellers of varying budgets, to the Serengeti region of northern Tanzania.
Narrated by Star Wars actor, John Boyega, the new six-part TV series focuses on the lives of animals who live in the Serengeti, telling their survival stories in a dramatic way. Episode one, which aired on 4 July, gripped viewers with the story of a heroic young hyena, with further thrilling tales from the Serengeti to come.
The name Serengeti is derived from the Maasai word “serengit”, meaning ‘endless plains’. It’s the perfect name for this magnificent area of almost 6,000 square miles, where both the plains and the herds of game that populate them really can appear limitless. Famous for its annual migration, the Serengeti also offers an excellent safari experience all year round. The big cats – lion, leopard, cheetah – are regular sightings, as are elephant, giraffe, buffalo, plentiful plains game – zebra, eland, impala, waterbuck – and smaller game including baboon, monkey and warthog. Rarer highlights include serval cat, wild dog and black rhino.
The Serengeti has varied zones in which each ecosystem is subtly different. Seronera, in the centre of the park, is famous for its vast savannah grasslands and excellent cheetah sightings, while the Grumeti River in the Western Corridor is the location for dramatic river crossings during the wildebeest migration. Maswa Game Reserve to the south offers a remote part of the park that is rewarding in its game-viewing and in the privacy it affords its guests, while Lobo near the Kenyan border offers a chance to see plentiful game during the dry season.
Tanzania Northern Highlights
Gane and Marshall’s ‘Tanzania Northern Highlights’ itinerary is a comparatively low-cost, seven-day small group safari. Travellers will stay in lodge-based accommodation and visit the world-famous Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, and Ngorongoro Crater. The time in the Serengeti includes a full-day game drive focused on the Seronera region, which is the heart of the action.
Prices start from £1,685pp, based on two sharing in the ‘Bronze’ category of accommodation. This includes six nights’ lodge accommodation on full-board basis, transportation in a 4×4 vehicle with guaranteed window seat, services of an English-speaking driver & guide, national park entrance fees, all currently applicable Tanzanian taxes and levies. International flights are additional.
Great Migration Fly-in Safari
Newly-introduced, the ‘Great Migration Fly-in Safari’ is an eight-day private safari, designed to get travellers as close to the great migration as possible, from both the Kenyan and Tanzanian sides of the border. It’s intended to be booked July – October to track the migration in the Masai Mara and the northern Serengeti, but can be booked at other times of year as well as the Serengeti camp is mobile, shifting location to track the wildebeest herds. Accommodation is with the luxurious &Beyond brand, including the fabulous Serengeti Under Canvas camp.
The cost of this itinerary is £5,870pp, based on two people sharing accommodation and travelling in peak season (July – October). This includes seven nights’ luxury accommodation, meals on a fully-inclusive basis, game viewing activities, English-speaking safari guides, transfers and regional/domestic flights, all entrance and park fees. International flights are additional.
Tanzania for Two
Gane and Marshall’s ‘Tanzania for Two’ itinerary starts with a fly-in safari to the Tarangire region, where travellers will spend three nights at the fabulous and remote Swala Camp, before journeying to the exclusive Grumeti Reserves in the Western Serengeti for three nights at the stunning Singita Sasakwa. This luxury northern Tanzania safari includes the incredible experience of a Serengeti balloon safari and is ideal for couples and honeymooners.
Prices start from £7,220pp, based on two sharing. This includes six nights’ luxury accommodation on a full-board basis including drinks, game activities, hot-air balloon safari, all transfers, domestic flights. International flights are additional.
Private Serengeti Safari (Mkombe’s House)
Travellers on the exclusive ‘Private Serengeti Safari (Mkombe’s House)’ in the northern Serengeti region will leave relatively busy wildlife watching areas and spend three nights in a private house close to the Mara River. Mkombe’s House is a four-bedroom, self-contained house with private 4×4 safari vehicle and a full complement of staff, including a dedicated guide and an in-house chef, who will prepare sumptuous meals, which can be enjoyed on the terrace with views of the Serengeti. Perfect for families or small groups, this short fly-in safari can be booked as a standalone option or as a component in a longer safari and beach itinerary booked via Gane and Marshall.
There is currently a special offer of ONE FREE NIGHT at Mkombe’s House when travelling outside of the peak migration season (valid November – May with the exception of the Christmas and New Year holidays) on stays of three nights or longer.
Prices start from £3,630 per adult for a group of four or more. Those under the age of 21 stay at a reduced rate of £2,325pp. This includes three (or four, if special offer applicable) nights’ accommodation on a fully-inclusive basis, services of a private guide and vehicle, regional flights, national park fees. International flights are additional.