Great Migration Trip Report

Recently returned from our trip, and since there is scant information in the forum on this particular trip, I'll share what I can.

We were on the last trip of 2023, with a departure in late September. The tour is for a small group of up to 18, but we only had eight total guests on our trip. This was nice as we all ate at a single table for all our meals, along with the TD.

Vehicles - I've read elsewhere on the forum that K&T safari vehicles typically have side windows and pop-tops, while those in SA are open-air. We had a mix of both on this tour. For the first two days, we had the pop-tops for the visit to the Maasai boma and the Ngorongoro Crater. For the rest of the tour we had open-air vehicles until Nairobi. According to our TD it is largely dependent on distance to be driven. The walled pop-tops make sense when traveling longer distances, especially on real roads, which is why we used them to travel from the airport to in the crater since we stayed outside of it and had to drive a bit. Once we were at our camps, we were already in the Serengeti/Masai Mara, so open-air vehicles were appropriate.

Luggage - Unlike other EA tours, the only piece of luggage on this tour is a single duffel. It is much larger than those on the other K&T tours and we had no issue with space. My spouse and I each had a smaller duffel we took as a carry-on on the outbound flights but was small enough to fit into our larger duffels once we reached Tanzania. Nearly everyone just had the large duffel and a backpack/day bag. No one brought or had traditional suitcases.

Flights - There were a few internal flights on the trip, mostly in 12-person Cessna. One from the crater to the northern Serengeti, three flights in the same morning to travel from the Serengeti to the Mara (one to leave Tanzania, one to enter Kenya, and one to get to our Kenyan accommodations), and a final flight from the Mara to Nairobi

Accommodations - These were excellent. We got in late the first day, so I do not have much to say about Rivertrees, but the other locations were top-notch. All three of the places we stayed had individual cabin/tents with adequate distance between them to feel private. All three of the main accommodations provided laundry. Kitela, the first, was the only one to charge ($1/item) and also the only one who would do undergarments. Laundry was complementary at the last two locations in the Mara and Serengeti. Kitela and the Mara locations were both more established with paved paths and permanent structures. The Serengeti camp is mobile but still luxurious. All the tents had electricity, a shower, and a flush toilet. Legendary Serengeti does not have a wall, so an escort is required in the evenings and the nocturnal sounds of wildlife much more pronounced. Wi-fi was strong and available at all accommodations, including in individual rooms.

Wildlife Viewing - We had tremendous good fortune, with sightings of all the Big Five and other memorable experiences. The location of the camp in the northern Serengeti was particularly nice as it was much less crowded than in the South near the crater or across the border in the Mara. This permitted a much less crowded safari with fewer vehicles from other companies.

Food - Very good, particularly at the mobile camp in the Serengeti. It sounds absurd, but the croissants there were better than those in France. As with any Tauck tour, you won't go hungry, with snacks provided on game drives just when you think you might become a bit peckish. Arusha, Kitela, and &Beyond all served meals buffet style with plenty of options. The Legendary camp in the Serengeti was served family style. Kitela provided options for guests to pack their own lunch for the day in the crater. On the last day of the tour, both lunch and dinner (off a menu at your leisure) are provided at the hotel in Nairobi before flight departure

Shopping - This tour was very much focused on wildlife. There were only a few opportunities for shopping on the tour, once during the visit to the Maasai boma in Tanzania, at the hotel in the Mara, and then on the last day, we stopped by a large gift shop in Nairobi before going to our hotel.

Transit through NBO - Not strictly related to the Great Migration, but I'll share it here in case anyone searches for keywords in the future. We had no issue transiting through NBO on our way to JRO. We had a slight concern we would need a multi-entry visa for Kenya due to vague wording on Tauck's site, but that was not the case. Upon arrival, we went toward international transfers and away from the passport control line. From there, we went through security and then were in the international terminal. Apparently, even if we had needed to show our visa, it would not be an issue, as a single-entry visa is valid for three months of entries as long as the individual does not leave East Africa. FWIW, arriving at JRO from NBO was nice as it was a smaller plane than those arriving from Amsterdam. Landing to meeting our guide took fewer than 20 minutes since there were simply fewer people to process.

Please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer for future GM travellers!


  • Thank you! We are planning on going on this trip in August…August 22.. Hard to decide which Africa trip to do as this is our first trip to Africa….Had you been before? How did you decide which one to do?

    Thanks for your great and thorough review above…


  • Hi Stm,
    We took this trip July-August 2019 and loved it. It was planned to be our one and only trip to Africa due to the distance from the US, the fact that we are seniors and we did not want to be away for a long time and because we intended to include a few days in Capetown on our own. Our only regret is that we did not take this trip when we were younger, because we would definitely want to go back and explore more destinations We saw the "Big Five" and have wonderful pictures of all the animals we saw. We still think the videos of the actual migrating animals are amazing! Enjoy your trip.

  • Susan, just go! Guarantee this will not be your last trip to Africa!! Our first was to South Africa, then Kenya, Tanzania, and then back to SA and Botswana. Being on safari in Africa is one of the greatest experiences ever. Everything is magical, the animals, the people, the vistas and forests. It will change you forever and you will be addicted. Have a wonderful time.

  • We will be doing our fifth trip to Africa in May. I think British is considered a resident now. We are definitely senior citizens. Every time we go we say it is our last trip, and every time we have been wrong. We have been going every other year for a decade now. Even if you plan on doing only one Tauck trip, go to Africa on safari.

  • Yes SeaLord, we dream of Africa constantly. Right now I’m reading a book about a couple who did research on Rhinos in Namibia in the nineties, trying to figure out if dehorning discourages poaching and whether no horns puts the females off the males. Also, if a female has a calf it can’t defend it as well with no horns. Of course, the most current research is showing that poachers are killing rhinos with no horns so that they don’t waste time tracking them and then see they don’t have horns. Yes, we are obsessed, can’t wait to go in July and have Madagascar booked for 2025.
    We still think this is one of the easiest Tauck places to travel because as long as you can climb into a safari vehicle, there is virtually no exercise and no need to dress up either.

  • edited January 8

    British: you are absolutely correct about being an easy trip once you get there. It’s the flying that gets to some people but that’s do-able too. It is a less demanding trip as far as physical activity and Sealord is spot on that as long as you can get into a vehicle for the game drives, there should be no problem. Some people like to bring a cushion for the bumpy rides and inflatable cushions are available. It’s one of the least physical Tauck tours that exist so I say, go. I’m a yong senior as well as there’s no stopping me. I am going to travel until I can’t. Going to Finland and the Arctic circle in a couple of weeks and looking forward to hopefully view the Aurora Borealis and other winter activities.

  • Like Sealord we have booked our fifth trip to Southern Africa and Namibia in 2025. It is my favorite continent.

  • Sealord, you nailed it. On my first trip to Africa in 2014, I spent a few days in Amsterdam en route. Leaving the hotel for our flight to Nairobi the young bellman loaded our luggage into the cab and wished us a safe flight home. When I told him we weren’t going home but to Africa instead, he replied without skipping a beat, ”but isn’t Africa home to all of us?”. My inner cynic thinks that he must say that to everyone as the Ambassade in Amsterdam is a favorite stop before going on safari, but at the time I was charmed and remain so. You have probably visited the Olduvai Gorge in your travels. Looking forward to my fifth trip to my favorite continent this spring. As Hemingway said, “there was not a day in Africa that I didn’t wake up happy”. Happy and safe travels to you and your wife.

  • Has anyone read the Elephant Whisperer, based on a true story and an excellent read.

  • edited January 10

    Yes ‘Sandy’ we have been to Olduvai Gorge a couple times. It was not on our last K&T because it is now a flight instead of a drive. It is definitely on the ‘to see’ list. But, twice was quite enough. I can visit nature and animals over and over again, but I have a limited interest in museums and churches. I think I have seen more churches than most Priests. And, I’m sure I have seen more castles than most kings. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, I think I’m done with museum and castle and church tours. . Our last trip involved museums that were apparently built before the chair was invented.

  • I agree with the Brits: ABC = Another Bloody Castle, Another Bloody Cathedral. Been there, done
    that. The older I get ( 74 ) the more I want to
    be in nature. It speaks to me. I also live in an island
    and am a mermaid.

  • edited January 10

    Yes, I’ve read the Elephant Whisperer and many similar books about Africa, reading one right now.
    How about The White Masai, you can probably buy it in one of the hotels, that’s where I bought it and have read the following three books by that author.

  • PGH Hi, how was the crossing ? a lot of animals? and who was your TD?
    I'm thinking about doing this trip, next 2025 .
    Thanks for the info.

  • I am also half serious about another church and another museum. Sometimes the museum and church excursions are just too much. At times, so much information is given from the local tour director about the church or museum, that it goes in one ear and out the other. There isn’t anything wrong with learning about a history of a church, a museum, a castle, a synogogue, a historic sight, etc. Some of these wonderful adventures just blend together. Africa is awesome and the most memorable.

  • edited January 10

    Some interesting thoughts here. Here is mine…I think the Great Migration tour is a crazy price and really, how many zebra and wildebeest do you need to see? On safaris I have been on, after a couple of days when a driver stops to look at zebras or wildebeest, people often say, oh it’s just Zebras and wildebeest, we don’t need to stop.
    I understand there may be more big cats around, but you see them anyway on a much cheaper and longer regular safari tour. It’s also very hard to pick a date to go because it depends on the rains which are becoming more and more unpredictable. I guess the mobile camps help that, but personally I see enough animals on safari without the migration one and all the extra tourists, dust and insects it might bring.

  • milmil
    edited January 11

    I think that's for the client/person to figure out according to their own interest, check itinerary and figure out if it is too much of anything...if you're going on a Safari, just KNOW! animals are unpredictable, and you might see certain animals more often than others depending on the area.
    Churches & museums... Well, that's Europe.
    Again, as a client, if you are not 100% happy with the itinerary... you have the choice to either change destination "OR" skip that day activities and "DO" your own.
    I just came back from Bali- I skipped Day 8.- a walking tour to a Village ( I did same in Vietnam) and a visit to rice fields (did it also in Vietnam & Thailand) so I skipped the day and went water rafting, visited the water temple Tirta Empul and went to see - non tourist rice fields.
    Just because you are on a tour group, doesn't mean you can't have a day of your own.

    Just saying...

  • STM: We chose this tour over the others based on a recommendation from a former Tour Director. It was our first time visiting Africa. As others have stated, you'll see abundant wildlife on any of the Tauck tours. One of the members of our tour had been on the K&T about ten years prior and said both were good, but they were different. He had gone on the K&T in the spring when the crater was lush and green, whereas we visited in the fall.

    The cost of the GM tour is driven by the internal flights, on which there are five, including three in a single day. The first is to get from the northern Serengeti to an airport where you can get your exit stamp, then a flight to a Kenyan airport where you can get an entry stamp, then to the small airport in Kenya where the last camp is. Interestingly, the two camps we stayed at were only about 30 miles from each other; we visited the same border line twice, once from Kenya and once from Tanzania.

    The flights enable you to go to places that are less crowded. In the crater, a lion sitting on a rock will have maybe 30 vehicles around it. Meanwhile, in the northern Serengeti there were just three vehicles (two Tauck) watching a cheetah feast on a gazelle. Based on what I've read here, it seems like GM may have more similarities with the SA tour: open-sided vehicles, off-roading.

    You won't be disappointed by any of Tauck's Africa trips, but I do think there was something magical about the GM trip, particularly our time at Legendary.

  • SandyFeet Hi!
    I firmly believe the magic and warmth we feel as we visit Africa comes from our genes recognizing our origins.
    I visited the Olduvai Gorge, and it does explain some what the evolution etc... but my eye opener was the welcoming sign at the Cape Town Airport.

    as I read it, my eyes water and I got goosebumps- That's it! , I realize, we are back Home!

  • When I had my DNA researched it showed a small percentage of Africa.

  • I have 1% of Northen Africa and we have discovered we have family in Morocco as in the MIddle East.

  • Almost everyone has a small amount of African DNA. We are all supposed to be descended from the San Bushmen. Of course, no trace of African DNA in Mr. B’s blood.

Sign In or Register to comment.