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Serengeti & Udzungwa Mountains NP, Tanzania

Migration and Mountains

£5,995 pp sharing

At a Glance

Dates: January 26th - February 6th, 2025

Extension: We can offer extensions to this itinerary visiting Rubondo Island or Zanzibar.

Prices: £5,995 pp sharing (with a £800 single supplement)​, excluding international flights. 

In a sentence: Don't stick to the established 'circuits' - have the best of both worlds by connecting the height of the 'Great Migration; in the Serengeti, and the rare primates and diverse forests of Udzungwa.


When one mentions the word 'safari', visions of Tanzania's vast plains are often the first image that comes to mind. And no wonder! The game densities seen in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater are envied across the continent. Quite simply, there is nowhere quite like Tanzania. There is, however, an unseen side to this beautiful area. Often missed by safari enthusiasts racing to the Crater or by trekkers making a beeline for the climbing routes, the plains of Ndutu are at their very best in January and February as tens of thousands of wildebeest calve and graze. 

This itinerary is unique in that it combines the incredible Serengeti with the comparatively little-visited Udzungwa Mountains. Typically treated only as a gateway to the vast wildernesses of Ruaha and Nyerere, Udzungwa offers rewarding primate-viewing with near-endemics including Sanje mangabey and Udzungwa red colobus. Smaller mammals such as grey-faced sengi are sometimes seen, and we immerse ourselves in these mountains by trekking the Mwanihana Trail, offering a unique experience and a chance to sample Tanzania at its very best.


Day One

Dar es Salaam

On ​arrival into Dar es Salaam Airport, you will be met by your Pictus Safaris representative and local guide. We will transfer directly to your comfortable local hotel. There is a pre-tour briefing in the hotel this evening, with the remainder of your day at leisure.


Day Two

Udzungwa Mountains NP

We leave Dar es Salaam early this morning for the long drive (up to eight hours, depending on road conditions) to the Udzungwa Mountains. A snack lunch will be provided en route, with the remainder of the journey spent admiring the ever-changing scenery - look out for wildlife, including lion, as we drive through Mikumi!

This afternoon, we have the chance to settle into camp. Keep your eyes peeled around camp, as Udzungwa red colobus, a near-endemic primate that frequents the area around the lodge. If time allows, we may head out on a short walk in the nearby forest before dinner this evening.

Days Three to Five

Udzungwa Mountains NP

The next three days are spent enjoying an immersive experience at the edges of this beautiful national park - the Mwanihana Trail. Whilst most visitors to this area only pass through, this three-day trail allows us to marvel at all that this area, packed with endemism, has to offer. At this time of year, it is likely to be slippery underfoot, and we camp in extremely basic tents each night, so this is not for the faint-hearted. But the rewards are great. The near-endemic Sanje mangabey is seen frequently on this route, and very lucky visitors may spot Abbott's duiker or grey-faced sengi. We arrive back at camp by late afternoon on day 5, and we spend our final night in Tanzania here.

Days Six to Seven


These two days are a real adventure, traversing Tanzania. Day six sees us leave Udzungwa at dawn for the seven-hour drive northwards, back through Morogoro, to the nation's capital, Dodoma. Here, we break the journey at a comfortable hotel, before continuing on for a further six hours on day seven to arrive at the edge of the Serengeti National Park.

Day Eight


This morning we complete our long drive to the Ndutu Plains in the southern reaches of the world-famous Serengeti. As we arrive on the open plains, the reason for our visit will likely become very clear - a lot of grazers! This is a fantastic time of year to be in Ndutu, with the huge herds of wildebeest and zebra having arrived recently from the Masai Mara in nearby Kenya, timing their stay to coincide with rains and the emergence of fresh grasses. It is now that the wildebeest calve, making for many adorable photo opportunities, but also making this a time of feast for predators in the area.

After a chance to settle into our mid-range lodge nearby, our first game drive today will focus on exploring the area. Whilst we should expect to spy an abundance of grazers, we will soon turn our attention to charismatic predators that are commonly seen here. Leopard, lion and cheetah are the headline acts, but this can also be a hugely productive area for sightings of caracal and serval. Generic game sightings are also excellent, with elephant, giraffe, buffalo and more well-seen, and we may even get very lucky with a sighting of black rhino before returning to the lodge as the light fades. 

Dinner is served at the lodge this evening before some well-earned rest.

Days Nine to Eleven


The next three full days are ours to explore the southern reaches of the Serengeti, and the neighbouring northern reaches of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, in a vehicle exclusively set aside for our group. Days will begin early, with dawn drives focussed on predators including cheetah that use the cover of low light to begin hunting the newly-born wildebeest calves. As the day wears on, we will scout out the few kopjes in the area for signs of lion and leopard, or perhaps even black rhino in the associated shade. Returning to the lodge for lunch each day, we will then head out for an afternoon drive - plenty of time here means we take these drives at our own pace, enjoying each sighting, and allowing time for photography and birding as the group desires.

Day Twelve

Kilimanjaro Airport & Tour End

Today, guests are transferred by road to Kilimanjaro Airport, where this tour ends.

Please be aware that whilst we make every effort to follow the above itinerary as closely as possible, circumstances may occasionally arise that mean the tour deviates from the itinerary.

Dates and Prices

This tour will run in January 2025, aiming to take advantage of the rains and fresh grass drawing in tens of thousands of migrating wildebeest and zebra. This tour will run from January 26th to February 6th, 2025.

The cost of this trip is £5,995 per person excl. international flights. This includes all meals, accommodation and wildlife-focussed activities. All drinks besides water are excluded.  There is a single supplement of £800 for this trip. To secure a booking, a deposit payment of £1,850, plus any single supplement, must be paid. 

Flights and Visas

Pictus Safaris do not offer flight booking services. However, we do recommend the use of travel comparison websites such as or to identify the best fares, and then booking with the airline directly where possible. This will reduce the likelihood of complications and fees should any issues with your booking arise. If you wish to spend an additional night in Arusha or Dar es Salaam at the beginning or end of your tour, we can arrange this for you at an extra cost. We strongly recommend booking flights leaving Dar es Salaam after 20.00 on your return to avoid disruption to your plans.

British nationals do require a visa to enter Tanzania. Clients of other nationalities are advised to check well before travel whether they require an entry visa. Details of the process of obtaining a tourist visa for Tanzania will be provided to you upon booking. The cost of a Tanzania  e-visa for UK citizens is $50 - these must be obtained online or on arrival into Tanzania. To acquire a tourist visa for Tanzania you will require a valid passport, one passport photo and a copy of your itinerary. 

Weather and What to Bring

The weather in Tanzania in January is hot and wet, with maximum temperatures of around 29 degrees Celsius. At night, temperatures will drop to around 16 degrees Celsius. It rains regularly, and guests should be prepared to get wet several times during the tour.

A full packing list will be circulated at least two months prior to departure. Pictus Safaris will be able to provide one extra set of binoculars and two spotlights per group, and clients are welcome to bring additional camera, videography and scope equipment should they wish to. Please note that the use of drones is not permitted in many protected areas. We strongly recommend bringing comfortable, loose-fitting and neutral-coloured clothing on safari - please do not bring camouflage clothing. We recommend against dark coloured clothing (e.g. black or dark blue) as this attracts biting flies. Worn-in hiking boots with ankle support are a must, as are sunglasses, sun protection and a hat.

Do also remember to budget for any expenses not included in the cost of the trip, including for gratuities and additional activities. We recommend bringing US Dollars.

Safety and Security

There are currently no security concerns in any of the areas visited on this trip.

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