12-Day Extended Big Five Adventure Safari (+ Great Migration/Crossing)



On this special 12-day EXTENDED safari, we’ve elevated the standard safari experience by offering a bit more time in the most renowned parks, and providing guests the chance to fully immerse themselves in all the beauty and excitement that Tanzania has to offer.

All Wanderful Tanzania safaris are intentionally crafted with a unique rhythm designed to strike a balance between adventure and rest.  We refer to this cadence as an “unhurried journey of discovery.”  So, while you’ll have ample opportunity for exploration and excitement, there will also be plenty of time for relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation. We believe that this balance creates a more meaningful, enjoyable, and memorable safari experience for our guests.

Why safari during Peak Season?

Because for just a few precious weeks between July and September each year, the possibility exists to see both the coveted Big Five (lion, elephant, cape buffalo, rhino, and leopard), as well as the Great Migration crossing the Mara River.  People come from every corner of the world in the hopes of being privileged enough to witness both of these spectacles in one safari.

Our exceptional, experienced, English-speaking guides will do all they can to deliver both of those objectives to you during your Wanderful Tanzania safari.  In addition they’ll be sure to highlight all of the other spectacular characters you’d expect to find on your safari, such as zebras, giraffes, hippos, hyenas, jackals, antelopes, and so forth, as well as a vast array of birds.

More benefits of a peak season safari:

  • Milder weather patterns means there’s less chance of rain and/or temperature extremes
  • Spotting the wildlife is almost effortless due to the shorter grasses and need for many animals to congregate around the limited wetlands this time of year
  • No worries about muddy roads or muddy shoes
  • No need to bring rain gear for your camera equipment
  • Bright blue skies and views that stretch on forever and ever
  • Towns and villages are bustling with street markets and social activities

Your Itinerary

Your safari begins the moment you exit the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and are greeted by your guide(s). They will help you with your luggage, and will take you to your first night’s accommodation at a beautifully appointed safari lodge in Arusha.

The morning of Day 2, our local guides will collect us from the safari lodge in the morning and take us to the Arusha Airport.

The group will take a bush plane to the Northern Serengeti Airstrip (Kogatende). Upon landing and deplaning, we will meet our safari guides for the first time, and then we’ll immediately set out on our first game drive of the safari!

Your guide(s) will be monitoring the great migration herd throughout the safari, and speaking with other guides that are already in position along the river. They will know if/where the crossings have been taking place and will do their best to predict where they think the next crossings will occur. What they learn will dictate the destination of your first game drive in this new region of the Serengeti.

The guides from multiple companies will work together to give all visitors the best chance of seeing a crossing while near the Mara River area. It is a spectacle to behold, but these are wild animals, and are not contracted to perform each day… so it does not hurt to keep your fingers crossed!

Your daily game-drive schedule will be a bit fluid while in this region, but you will spend a portion of each day near the river, patiently waiting as the pressure continues to build and build on those animals closest to the water… all it takes is for one brave wildebeest to jump in, and IT IS ON!

You are sure to explore the Northern regions that are away from the river as well, as there is an abundance of predators and other incredible wildlife in this area of the park this time of year.

The majestic and world famous Serengeti is the thing that dreams are made of! Granite kopjes (pr. co-pees) pop up, seemingly out of nowhere, and dot the landscape like islands in a sea of wind-blown grasses.

The park has a well-earned reputation for reliable and unforgettable wildlife encounters which, at times, seem to be around every bend in the road! You should have no problem spotting elephants, giraffes, zebras, antelopes, hippos, and more! Your guide(s) will help you spot the big cats, as those are usually much harder to locate. And the birds in the parks of Tanzania are nothing short of mind blowing in terms of volume, variety, and beauty!

It is worth the early wake up to be one of the first groups to reach the crater floor on “Crater Day!” The primary goal of this day is to be on the lookout for the endangered Black Rhino (shown below). This will be your best shot at finding this element of the Big Five!

Although Tanzania has many wilderness and wildlife show pieces, this one is particularly difficult to put into words. With remarkable views from the ridge above, to the real action on the crater floor, the crater embodies a constant stir of wildlife and unspoiled scenes to keep you engrossed.

One of our past guests described Ngorongoro as “Where Heaven Meets Earth!” Another said it was like “A mixture of Narnia and Seuss, with just a dash of Jurassic Park!” However YOU describe it, it is a MUST-SEE on any Tanzanian safari!

Millions of years ago this enormous volcano collapse and formed this massive CALDERA that we mistakenly refer to the “Ngorongoro Crater.” Present day, this caldera is now an incredible, self-sustaining ecosystem that boasts the highest density of African wildlife on Earth, and a UNESCO World Heritage site to boot!

This day is designed to slow the pace a bit and give everyone less time in the safari trucks.

After breakfast, your guide will bring you to the spectacular African Galleria for off-the-chart souvenir & jewelry shopping, exhibits to explore, and an authentic East African lunch!

On the other side of the outdoor restaurant, you’ll find another wing of this giant building. This wing is more MUSEUM than shop. Everything there is for sale, but it is all super interesting and unique architectural-style objects from various parts of the world. Check it out if you have the time!

At some point while we are there, I’ll ask everyone to gather in the outdoor restaurant to enjoy some incredible and authentic East-African cuisine and an ice-cold local beer or delicious cocktail for lunch!

Following lunch, we’ll return for a leisurely afternoon and one more night at the beautiful Ngorongoro Farmhouse in Karatu.

Tarangire National Park is a must-see destination for any safari-goer. The park covers an area of roughly 2,850 square kilometers, making it about a quarter of the size of the more famous Serengeti. Despite its smaller size, Tarangire is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including large herds of elephants that are a highlight of any visit. The park is also known for its unique and distinctive baobab trees, which dot the landscape and provide a beautiful backdrop for your safari experience.

In addition to its wildlife and vegetation, Tarangire is also known for its diverse ecological regions. The park features river valleys, forests, marshes, and grasslands, each offering a different experience for visitors. Your guide will do their best to explore as much of the park as possible, ensuring that you get the most out of your visit. Tarangire is also home to more than 550 bird species, making it a paradise for bird-watchers.

We will depart our accommodations after breakfast and begin to make our way back towards Arusha once more.

The exact schedule for this day is always fluid and dependent upon weather and traffic conditions in and around Arusha. We may be able to stop along the way and get a cup of coffee and perhaps shop for an hour or so at the beautiful Arusha Coffee Lodge & Shanga Shops. This is one of my favorite sections of every safari, as I encourage my guests to follow my lead in meeting and interacting with these incredible craftsmen!

All of the artisans who work here are handicapped in some way (deaf, mute, missing limbs, etc.). They love to have visitors and will light up when you come to meet them and see them (or help them) at their craft! For me, this is a must-do activity during my safaris!

If there is no time to stop at the Coffee Lodge, we’ll make our way straight to the Planet Lodge where you can have lunch and check into your day-use room. Use this room to rest, shower, repack, and get ready to travel once more. The guides will ensure we arrive at the airport with PLENTY of time to check in and relax onto our long flights home.


  • Pre-trip preparation and guidance, including detailed Tour Packet and series of infographics designed to make sure you are ready to safari
  • Arrival welcome by your safari guide(s) as you exit the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania
  • All transfers throughout the safari (to/from airports, hotels, tour-related excursions, etc.)
  • One-way bush plane flight from the Serengeti to Arusha (or vice versa)
  • Experienced, local, professional driver(s)/guide(s) (English speaking)
  • All accommodations at a variety of tented camps, safari lodges/resorts
  • All breakfasts and dinners, chef-prepared daily
  • All lunches (either hot lunch or box lunches, depending on daily schedule)
  • All snacks, water, coffee, and tea (alcohol & sodas are on your own)
  • All ground transportation in safari-modified Land Cruisers, inclusive of fuel
  • All taxes related to tourism
  • All park, service, conservancy, and entrance fees associated with safari itinerary


  • Airfare to/from Tanzania
  • Tips for driver(s), guide(s) and the staffs of the various camps & lodges – tipping guidelines are offered in Tour Packet
  • Beverages (beer, wine, liquor, soft drinks) purchased from lounges, camps, restaurants or stores. (Beverages are generally very inexpensive in Tanzania)
  • Travel and evacuation insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Pre- or Post-Safari accommodations, transportation, meals, or tours