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Great Wildebeest Migration and Northern Kenya Wildlife Tour - 12 Days

Great Wildebeest Migration and Northern Kenya Wildlife Tour

Great Wildebeest Migration Tour in Kenya

This 12-day Great Wildebeest Migration and Northern Kenya Wildlife Tour will take you to some of the most breathtaking places Kenya has to offer.

"Me and my wife had visited Kenya the first time in 1991. Since then we always went on tented safaris because we believe that this is the best way of eperiencing wildlife. Our last tented safari with elvira took us to samburu and meru. It was an amazing tour and Elvira and her team did an exceptional good job. We always felt like being part of a family the whole tour through. We had extraordinary animal adventures and the whole team was always interested in the wildlife the whole yourney through. We can only suggest if you want to experience African wildlife you have to go with bushtruckertours." -Dr Gerrit Mack & Heike Mack.

Your driver/guide knows the areas very well and will show you the best spots on extended game drives. He will also know when to be at which place to increase your game viewing pleasure and show you the Northern species like Reticulated Giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Grevy Zebra and Somali Ostrich.

Samburu’s fascination is the Ewaso Nyiro River with its gallery forest and the hills with their interesting rock formations - check if a leopard is resting on a tree or a rock.

Few people cross the Aberdare Range but we will take you to a landscape you won’t expect near the equator! To spot an impressive Giant Forest Hog is one of the highlights. Black and White Rhinos as well as the rare Rothschild Giraffes, Flamingos and Pelicans will be the target at Lake Nakuru National Park. From here you are heading to one of the World Wonders - The Great wildebeest migration!

Your driver/guide will not spare any effort to let you experience the movements of the herds, wait patiently for a herd to cross the Mara River and spot big cats - maybe you will be lucky and witness a hunting scene. Watching cats feeding and vultures, jackals and Spotted Hyenas to grab the leftover is a spectacle on its own - hissing and fighting for the best bite creates a very lively scenario.

2 Million White-bearded Wildebeest also hundred thousands of Plain Zebras, Thomson Gazelles, Topis and some non-territorial lions move from mostly July into the Masai Mara from Serengeti - The Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya is not only 1 species. Some will cross the Mara River and will return to the Serengeti from the end of October. We have more than 20 years of experience with the wildebeest migration in Kenya and know where to take you to fully experience it.

We conduct our game drives in a way that you spend as much time on game drives as possible without kilometer limitation. Full-day excursions in the Masai Mara are the norm so you won’t have to rush back to the lodge for lunch but enjoy packed lunch under a shade-providing tree from where you can overlook the Mara River and maybe wait for a herd to cross the Mara River or view over the rolling hills.

Great Wildebeest Migration Tour highlights include:

  • Mara River Crossing - tension is high when Wildebeest and Zebras cross the Mara River while Crocodiles are waiting
  • Watching herds of Wildebeest move from one grazing place to the other in one line like a chain
  • Big and small cats - all visited parks are inhabited by cats. Samburu is a very good spot for Leopards but also Cheetahs and Lions. Very big and large leopards live in the mountain forest of the Aberdare. Masai Mara is the cat area...
  • Northern species which are not found anywhere else in safe regions: Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy Zebra, Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk (also occurs in Tsavo and Amboseli region) and Somali Ostrich
  • Mountain Forest and Moorland with the special animals like Giant Forest Hog and Black and White or Mantled Colobus Monkey (Colobus guereza kikuyuensis) is endemic to the Aberdare/Mt. Kenya and part of the Great Rift Valle

Please note: this set-departure tour is also available as a private or custom tour on request.  Please complete submit an enquiry for your preferred dates, route and tour refinements.

Are you also a keen birdwatcher? This tour might be just what you are looking for Special Kenya Birding Tour

Alternative Tour Name: Great Wildebeest Migration and Northern Kenya Wildlife
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival in Nairobi

Upon your arrival you will be greeted at the airport and taken to the hotel where you meet one of our representatives for a briefing of the coming days.

Accommodation: Safari Park Hotel, Meal plan: breakfast only

Day 2
Day 2 - Nairobi - Samburu National Reserve (332 km, 6 - 7 hours)

Your journey to the North starts at 7 a.m. with your driver/guide. You drive around Nairobi City Centre to avoid traffic. Thika Highway and after passing Thika town a good winding road will take you along villages, pineapple, coffee and other plantations to the slope of Mount Kenya (5.199 m) which hopefully will be clear of clouds. A short stop before you start descending from 3.000 m to 1.700 m through expansive wheat fields to the dry acacia/commiphora bush land. For lunch you will have reached the lodge and later in the afternoon your first game drive will begin.

Accommodation: Samburu Lodge, Meal plan: full board

Day 3
Days 3 & 4 - Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves

Early breakfast and head out for game drive until before noon. Lunch and heat rest in the lodge, afternoon game drive until 18.00 when the Reserve closes.

The Ewaso Nyiro River is the water source of this area. Permanent springs in Buffalo Springs provide water throughout the year. The water of Ewaso Nyiro River comes from the Aberdare range and it can show itself as a sandy river bed or a raging river. A gallery forest with tall River Acacias and Sausage trees provide shade for many animals like Elephants, Gerenuk, Leopard, Impala and others. The hilly drier part is home to Lions, Cheetahs, Elephants, Grevy Zebras, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, Greater Kudu, Warthogs, Grant Gazelles, Reticulated Giraffes and others. Look at termite mounds you mind find a family of Dwarf Mongoose, a White-throated Savanna Monitor Lizard or a snake.

Often at midday elephant families come to drink and bath in the river. Since this is the only surface water during dry season many other species will come to quench their thirst.

Game drives will be along the river, to the hilly side and as well to Buffalo Springs Reserve on the other side of the river if it is promising to find some species there.

Accommodation: Samburu Lodge, Meal plan: full board

Day 4
Day 5 - Samburu - Aberdare National Park (390 km, 4.5 hours)

You will leave the area early morning while doing a game drive. Then the road will take you up to Nanyuki again and further to the foot of the Aberdare Range. Lunch will be ready for you at Aberdare Country Club - enjoy the large compound with baboons, bush bucks and birds as well as the view. With a short game drive you will be taken to the night observation Lodge “The Ark”.

Look out for the impressive Giant forest hogs grazing on a clearing or standing on the road - black and up to 270 kg. The lodge is built in the shape of an Ark. Several platforms allow views to the salt licks and watering places which are frequently visited by Elephants, Buffalos, Bushbucks, Spotted Hyenas and occasionally by a Leopard or a Black Rhino. There is a button in your room you can switch on to get alerted when one of rare animal species show up. Before sunset have a walk on the footbridge. You might get to see the smallest antelope Suni, Genet cats and a variety of birds.

The Aberdare range folded up around 5 - 6 Mio years ago and builds part of the edge of the Great Rift Valley. Its highest peak is Lesatima with 4.001 m above sea level.

Accommodation: The Ark, Meal plan: full board

Day 5
Day 6 - Aberdare National Park - Lake Nakuru National Park (time depends on wildlife sightings)

After breakfast and checking out you start the game drive in the mountain forest. Have open eyes for Giant Forest Hogs, Leopard (some a huge and dark), Elephants, Syke’s Monkeys, Bushbucks, Buffalos (there are many!) a.o. Once the road starts climbing you reach the bamboo zone often inhabited by Elephants. There is a view point from which you can see Mount Kenya if weather conditions permit. Also look out for a colourful butterfly, sunbirds or a Von Höhnel Chameleon. The next vegetation level is Podocarpus / Hagenia Forest. Black & White Colobus monkeys are one species to look out for. The forest changes into alpine moorland at around 2.750 m.

If you like you can visit Chania Falls on foot. In the open moorland you can see Senecio and Lobelia and other alpine plants. Wildlife: Elephant bulls, Buffalos, Mountain Reedbucks, Defassa Waterbucks, Bushbucks, Black-fronted Duiker and with big luck a black Serval cat. You have your picnic at a scenic place before you start descending into the Great Rift Valley. Expect some great views! Once you will have reached Nakuru National Park you undertake a game drive to the lodge. You might be lucky and already spot a White or Black Rhino.

Accommodation: Lake Nakuru Lodge, Meal plan: full board

Day 6
Day 7 - Lake Nakuru National Park - Masai Mara National Reserve (320 km, 6 hours)

You depart from the lodge with picnic lunch boxes so you have time in the morning to visit the lake shore. Lesser and Greater flamingos, pelicans and other water birds can be seen. The area is also good to find White Rhinos and Grey Crowned Cranes. You hopefully also find the Rothschild Giraffe also called Uganda Giraffe which got introduced here in 1977.

Later in the morning you will leave the park and take your picnic lunch at a suitable place. The Sekenani Gate to the Masai Mara will be reached later in the afternoon. It will depend on the arrival time if stops for game viewing will be possible since the gate closes at 18.00. The camp is along Talek River with views into the Masai Mara. You will get in touch with Maasai, which are the larger part of staff. On some evenings they will dance or sit with you at the camp fire and tell you about their culture.

Accommodation: Basecamp Explorer, Meal plan: full board

Day 7
Days 8 to 11 - Masai Mara National Reserve Altitude between 1.500 and 1.800 m

2 Million White-bearded wildebeest and hundred thousands of Plain Zebras as well as Topis and Thomson Gazelles are on the move... this is The Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya! These 4 full days are dedicated to follow the wildebeest migration. Mostly you will undertake full day excursions with picnic lunch which you will enjoy under a tree providing some shade. From Basecamp you have the opportunity to start your game drive in different directions depending on the whereabouts of the large herds.

Often near the herbivores you find carnivores; Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Spotted Hyenas, Black-backed Jackals, rarer Side-striped Jackal and Serval cat. The highlight is to witness a Mara River crossing. Your driver/guide will take all efforts to let you have that experience, but we can not guarantee it. Other highlights are families of Elephants, large herds of Topis and Zebras, a good variety of antelopes and the towers in the savannah - Maasai Giraffes.

Time is what it takes to experience the migration with all its different faces. Moving herds, grazing herds, river crossing herds, predators hunting or eating, vultures and jackals waiting to clear the kill.

Accommodation: Basecamp Explorer, Meal plan: full board

Day 8
Day 12 - Masai Mara - Nairobi - Departure (320 km, 6 -7 hours depending on truck traffic)

There is time to stop when there is a good sighting while driving out of the Masai Mara. Once you reach Nairobi enjoy a delicious lunch at Carnivore, where different kind of meat (no wildlife) is grilled on a huge fire and brought to you to the table. Vegetarian menus are also available. Your driver/guide will take you to the airport where you check in at Four Points by Sheraton for a day room up to 18.00 hours. It is time to say goodbye to your driver/guide. We hope you enjoyed your safari and carry many unforgettable memories with you. A vehicle from the hotel will take you to your check in point.

Day room: Four Points by Sheraton, Meal plan: lunch

There are the options to add more safari days or relax at one of the beautiful beaches in Kenya. One of the best places is Watamu - beautiful beaches and the possiblity to visit Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek, Gedi Ruins, Bio-Ken Snake farm, watch dolphins and sea turtles and between July and August Humpback wales.

You can enjoy this tour as wildlife lover or we amend the route to suite bird lovers

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

Reticulated Giraffe, Rothschild Giraffe, Maasai Giraffe, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Serval Cat, Spotted Hyena, Striped Hyena, Black-backed Jackal, Side-striped Jackal, Dwarf Mongoose, Banded Mongoose, Slender Mongoose, Bat-eard Fox, Grevy Zebra, Plain Zebra, Buffalos, Gerenuk, Beisa Oryx, Eland Antelope, Grant Gazelle, Thomson Gazelle, Impala, Oribi, Steenbock, Topi, Kongoni, Günther’s Dikdik, Defassa Waterbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Bushbuck, Black-fronted Duiker, Klippspringer, White-bearded Wildebeest, Vervet Monkey, Olive Baboon, Mantled Colobus, Sykes Monkey, Warthog, Giant Forest Hog, Rock Dassy, Striped Squirrel, Unstriped Squirrel, Tree Squirrel, Nile Crocodile, Nile Monitor, White-throated Rock Monitor Lizard

What is included?

  • Airport transfers
  • Safari in Landcruiser with experienced, English speaking, fully licensed driver/guide
  • Not limited mileage on game drive, timing within park regulations
  • Guaranteed window seat
  • Accommodation in double/twin rooms and meals according to program
  • Standard rooms / tents
  • All park, reserve and conservancy entrance fee
  • Mineral water in the car
  • Flying Doctor evacuation insurance
  • All applicable taxes
  • Service of identifying species after safari (e-mail)

What is not included?

  • International flights, visa and if demanded Covid-19 negative certificate
  • Personal insurances (travel, medical, repatriation, equipment)
  • Single room supplements Start 28. June US$ 930, July to October US$ 1.040, November US$ 950
  • Festive season supplement
  • Higher room / tent category
  • Local flights: if you prefer flying to Samburu and out of the Masai Mara to avoid long drives
  • Not listed services: e.g. Balloon ride (we can include it)
  • Price adjustment if less than 6 participants or for photographers only 3 in each vehicle
  • Personal expenses like laundry, souvenirs, telephone calls etc.
  • Personal medicines
  • Camera and binoculars
  • German speaking guide
  • Safari extension or beach holiday
  • Drinks, snacks
  • Gratitudes
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 2  reviews
  1. Mammals, birding and Wildebeest migration
    Irina Teichert13 Sep 2019







    We were very lucky to experience a private 10 days photo safari with Elvira (Guide) and Joseph (driver guide). All our wishes were fulfilled. When we thought the already experienced animal sightings and landscapes can not become better, we learnt the next day that it was possible. Both guides have a big confidence. We never had the impression that we were exposed to danger when they showed us a sensation. We sensed the respect Elvira and Joseph have towards animals. They never went too close to animals and still we got a good spot for fantastic photos. We are the once who decided when to leave a sighting unless it was time to return to the lodge/camp. One highlight during our safari was wildebeest crossing the Mara River. Also here patience was required; waiting for the right moment. Trust in the Joseph’s and Elvira’s experience. Despite we were not at the spot where wildebeest crossed but from a 200 m distance we could overlook the whole scenario which was a big advantage. Goose bump feeling! The reward for patience was impressive photos and films. At the beginning of the tour we said we will be excited about everything in front of our lenses. We don’t want a rush for the big five the way we saw it in other tour operators. That’s why we couldn’t be disappointed but were grateful for the variety of game we were shown. We could see from tiniest insect to the Giant Forest Hogs. For us it was the most beautiful trip we ever experienced. Even the long drives were entertaining due to intensive discussions. We thank Elvira and Joseph and can recommend such a trip to everyone.
  2. Tented safari
    Mack16 Feb 2018







    Me and my wife had visited Kenya the first time in 1991. Since then we always went on tented safaris because we believe that this is the best way of eperiencing wildlife. Our last tented safari with elvira took us to samburu and meru. It was an amazing tour and Elvira and her team did an exceptional good job. We always felt like being part of a family the whole tour through. We had extraordinary animal adventures and the whole team was always interested in the wildlife the whole yourney through. We can only suggest if you want to experience African wildlife you have to go with bushtruckertours, Dr Gerrit Mack , Heike Mack

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Why should I book with the Great Wildebeest and Northern Kenya Wildlife Tour?

We have over 20 years experience on safaris and with the Wildebeest migration. We take you closer to nature without disturbing or destroying it. All our guides have great knowledge with wildlife and photographes and share love for nature with you. They are very sensible when approaching animals. You will travel in small groups (maximum 6 per vehicle) and share the vehicle with other wildlife enthusiasts.


As indicated in the program you will travel in a Landcruiser with pop up roof, large windows and 6 window seats. The tour is not suitable for Minivans.


All hotels, lodges and luxury camps have ensuite rooms/tents. They range from 4 - 5 stars and are eco friendly. Some are not or only partly fenced so you might get close to wildlife. Watchmen will always escort you at night. That is why good torches are essential.

What form of travel are involved in this tour?

It is a road safari and you travel in your safari vehicles. Airport transfers might be conducted by a saloon car, a minivan or Landcruiser depending on how many arrive by the same flight. If you would like to avoid long drives, we gladly book flights from Nairobi to Samburu and on the last day from Masai Mara to Nairobi at an additional cost.

What are the group seizes?

This scheduled tour will have a maximum of 6 participants. How ever you can always book it as a private tour (price will be adjusted accordingly)

Airport transfers

We will pick you from the airport and back to your check-in terminal.

Arrival time in Nairobi - Kenya

On the arrival day you can arrive at any time so you can choose the flight that suits you. Should you arrive earlier in the day we can arrange a day program for you (extra cost)

Time of departure flight

Your departure flight should not take off earlier than 6 pm / 18.00

Do you ever change driver/guides, tour leaders or specialised guides?

We only change allocated guides in emergencies of any nature and give notice as soon as the unavailability is known

Do you ever change accommodation or route?

Accommodation we only change if unavoidable or if the group has a special wish. It can happen that a route is not passable due to heavy rain or mud slides. If we can foresee this we adjust the route before you start the journey. Should it happen while you are on tour we have to change to the best alternative route

Can we book single rooms or family rooms?

Most Hotels and Lodges have tripple rooms many even family rooms = 2 adjacent rooms/tents with interconnection - price on request. Inform us as early about this wish so we can arrange where it is possible. Single room option is available at all accommodation at single supplement rate.

Do you include meals?

Meals are included according to the program - full board = 3 meals a day.

When is the best time to travel and why?

End of June up to mid November when the wildebeest migration is on in the Masai Mara. The big herds (Wildebeest, Zebras, Topis) usually start entering Masai Mara early July (some years later some years earlier - we can never predict) and start migrating back to Serengeti from October

Do you need a minimum fitness level or mobility to join this safari?

Your fitness should be sufficient that you can get into the vehicle and out which is a bit higher than a saloon car and walk short distances on flat ground and some steps in the lodges/hotel. Some days can be long.

Do you have any age restrictions to join this safari?

We don’t advise below 15 years of age and only allow with consent from the other guests. Interest in wildlife and be ready to patiently watch and wait for at least 2 hours is a requirement for this kind of tour. For children of younger age kindly book a private family tour so the activities can be flexibly adjusted

What will be the level of connectivity or WiFi access during this safari?

Quite good, exept when it is very cloudy or rainy. It can be slow when many guests are using it at the same time. Connection for phone calls is almost everywhere available.

How do you support local communities during this tour?

Lodges/tented Camps we chose have employed local tribe people. You have the option to visit a Samburu or Maasai village at your cost.

Can you book accommodation for us prior to the start of the safari?

All accommodation will be booked and confirmed prior to your final confirmation and payment.. We take the liberty to change accommodation indicated in the program should it be necessary due to any reason but will not change after your confirmation unless there is a very drastic reason. This would be communicated to you as early as possible.

Do you provide travel and/or medical insurance (incl. repatriation)?

Any insurance is the responsibility of the traveller and should be purchased before paying the deposit to avoid any loss. Your comprehensive travel insurance should contain health/medical, repatriation, loss or damage of your luggage and equipment and cover loss of deposit and payment. You will make all necessary insurance arrangements for you which you consider as necessary. We will purchase a Flying Doctor evacuation insurance which is included.

Is this safari really for me?

For wildlife enthusiasts surely it is. If you feel an other route would suite your expectations (a special mammal for example) more, kindly get in touch with us for a tailor-made itinerary

Is this safari suitable for children?

On a private family tour only. Fixed departure above 15 years for those who can patiently wait especially where wildebeest are crossing or a cat is intending to hunt

How do I pay, and what are the terms, for this safari?

A 20% deposit is required at time of booking. The balance is due 40 days before commencement of this arrangement. You pay by Swift transfer (all bank charges at senders cost) CANCELLATION POLICY More than 91 days before tour starts 0% of the tour cost but covering bank charges and administration costs between 90 - 46 days before tour starts 20% of the tour cost Between 45 - 21 days before tour starts 50% of the tour cost Between 20 days to arrival date 100% of the tour cost What happens if I need to change my trip/tour/safari? Inform us as early as possible. Depending on the date of change before the tour starts some additional fees or price increament might occur.

What do I pack for this tour?

Wildlife is sensitive to colours. Therefore kindly wear nature colours like brown, green, beige, grey etc. Footwear - closed shoes mainly for evenings or also for game drives. Since we move in hot areas very solid sandals are suitable for game drives as well. The sole must withstand acacia thorns. The tour is going to warm and colder areas. Therefore carry light cloth but also have 1 set of warm cloths with you. Night temperature can drop to 10 degrees Celsius. Dress like an onion so you can peel off when day temperature raises. Sun protection: The pop up roof will protect you to some level, but a strong sun lotion, sun glasses and a hat are recommended. A light scarf can help covering against sun and also serve as wind protection Torch: The paths in camps are slightly lit and guards in most camps accompany you from your tent to the dining room and back at night. But to see smaller nocturnal creatures a strong torch is the key to explore night animal life. Headlights are very comfortable and you have your hands free. Medicine: your personal, against diarrhiah, flu/cold, headache. Vaccination: Yellow-fever is mandatory if you have visited a country with this sickness within the last 6 months. For Malaria and other prophylaxis kindly contact a tropical medical institute Covid-19: any expenses to comply with the regulations by the time of travelling are on your side. Kindly bring a mask and your sanitizer. Camera: not less than 300 mm lenses. 2 - 3 batteries, enough memory cards. Maybe a laptop to safe photos on the drive. An adapter might help - Kenya has the English socket system with 3 square holes. 2 pole plugs fit Binoculars can help if you like more observing animals than photographing. Kindly carry yours. We are not allowed to go offroad so the distance can be a bit far Drones are forbidden in Kenya

Do I need to bring my own food and drink during the day?

Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary and drinks can be purchased in the hotels/lodges/camps. Some people like some sweets during game drive, take along your favourite

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

Yes. Kindly let us know prior to your trip

Should we bring credit cards and/or cash?

Both. Sometimes credit card connection fails. You can change any currency to Kenya Shilling at the airport or withdraw at an ATM machine or let us know in advance and we change for you cash. Lodges/hotels give a very bad exchange rate. Tips can be paid in any currency. Coins are not accepted by any bank in Kenya. The most accepted credit cards are Master and Visa. US$ older than 2006 are not accepted. US$ notes below 50 attract a lower exchange rate.

Can you recommend any articles and/or books to read before this safari?

A good safari guide book about Kenya will contain a lot of information about the places you will visit. Serengeti shall not die - by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Grzimek. He fought for Serengeti/Masai Mara migration route to be protected. Books or DVD by Jonathan and Angela Scott - Big Cat diary

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

12 Days

Price & Availability

USD3,470 / per person
Single Supplement USD 1010
This tour is operated by: Bush Trucker Tours Ltd.
4.79 based on 4 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.79 Based on 4 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Kenya
  • On Request
  • Custom Tour
  • Mammals
  • Max. 6
  • 12 Days
  • End of June to Mid of November
  • + 15 years
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English, German on request
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi
  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi