This is 8 day safari route is a good example of an itinerary that should be followed in June in the Serengeti. It includes visits to Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Oldupai Gorge Meseum before entering into the Serengeti for the great wildebeest migration.
Arrive and overnight in Arusha. Most people arrive on a later evening flight into Kilimanjaro International Airport. The KLM flight via Amsterdam is very convenient. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Arusha.
Pick up at your hotel and drive to Lake Manyara National Park. This is about a 2 hour drive on good tarred road. Spend the rest of the day on a game drive in Lake Manyara. Lunch is in the form of a picnic while on the game drive.
Late afternoon, drive to Gibb's Farm or Plantation Lodge on the outer slopes of Ngorongoro Crater. This is drive is less than an hour. Check in and go for an optional walk around the farm's coffee plantation.
Breakfast and an optional walking into the Ngorongoro Crater Forests that border the farm.
Drive to Ngorongoro Crater and descend into the crater floor for some superb game viewing. In the evening, return to Gibb's Farm (or Plantation Lodge).
Drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, heading west to the Serengeti. Stop at Oldupai Gorge Meseum en route.
The drive to the Central Serengeti allows guest to enjoy some game viewing. You will stay around the Seronera area in the Serengeti. Preferably this is only a one night stay as the ultimate objective is to get to the Western Corridor of the Serengeti and close the the migration.
You have a good choice of lodges and tented camps in Seronera. The Serena Hotel is possibly the best option, as you will arrive late and be leaving the area early the next morning.
Even though the migration has left the central Serengeti by June, there is still good game to be seen throughout the year. Also, as Seronera is central to most parts of the Serengeti, it is a popular place to be based throughout the year. This is also where the larger lodges (e.g. Serena and Sopa) are located. But, to get away from the large crowds we recommend that most of the safari is spent further west. So, early on day 5, that's where we head.
Drive towards the western corridor of the Serengeti and the Grumeti River. If the timing is right, the wildebeeste and zebra will be crossing the Grumeti River. This is what most people think of as the "migration". The wildebeeste are playing a dangerous game crossing the crocodile infested waters of the Grumeti River. Dramatic scenes of predator kills are regualrly experienced at this time.
Your choice of lodging includes mobile tented camps (from basic to ultra luxury) and permanent safari lodges. The mobile camps are either set up in private campsites or the more budget camps use shared public campsites. The private campsites ensure the camp has exclusive use of the campsite and allows for complete privacy, away from the main tourists.
The luxury lodges close to the Grumeti River include:
Grumeti River Camp, Sabora Plains Camp, Sasakwa Lodge; Faru Faru Lodge.
Some mobile tented camps include:
Serengeti Safari Camps, Mobile Safari Camps, Tanzania under Canvas
There are also a few less expensive mobile camps that can be used.
Day 6 and Day 7
Full day in the Serengeti on a game drive. Your guide will take you amongst the migrating herds and to the Grumeti River. With some luck, you will catch part the river crossing!
Overnight in the same camp as day 5.
Breakfast and if time allows, a short game drive.
Fly back to Arusha from one of the airstrips in the Western part of Serengeti.
This is high season in the Serengeti so accommodation is in high demand and will be more expensive than other times of the year. By varying the lodges and camps, the prices can be adapted to meet most budgets.
We prefer smaller mobile camps or lodges, thereby avoiding the bulk of the crowds. We feel it is better to sacrifice some luxury in your room or hotel than to sacrifice the opportunity of experiencing the Serengeti without the large crowds. In other words, a basic mobile camp in a private campsite is better than a large standard hotel/lodge in a busy area. If budget allows, a luxury mobile camp is ideal.
For a month-by-month map of the migration see: Migration Path Map
For a detailed map of the Serengeti, see Serengeti National Park Map