The Serengeti and its annual migration of wildebeest is so well-known as to suffer its fame, with many a seasoned traveller choosing remoter, less known destinations over the thought of an experience compromised by having to share road and viewing space with so many others. In terms of parts of the Serengeti, this is unfortunately true. It’s heavily visited, and competition makes for increasingly competitive operators, with outfits vying for tick-box experiences.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this. The migration covers a lot of ground, some of it outside of the national park, and a select number of the sectors it passes through are either so remote as to be less visited or champion the kind of low volume, high impact tourism that makes visiting them both sustainable and extraordinary. Lovely to see, then, Catherine Fairweather’s piece in Net-A-Porter How You Can See the Epic Serengeti Migration championing the Friedkin Trust’s contribution to exactly this.
The Friedkin Trust leases four million acres of land off the Tanzanian government and manages it in partnership with the Tanzanian Wildlife Division. Journeys by Design organised Fairweather’s trip, and the trust’s commercial arm Legendary Expeditions played host, its mobile outfit ‘flexible enough to carry you to wherever the action is’, its Mwiba Wildlife Reserve and luxury stay Mwiba Lodge offering ‘an amazing corridor for viewing away from the crowds.’
If you’ve a moment, do have a read of the piece. As well as informative, its visceral beginning leaves the reader in no doubt that Fairweather got what she came for: ‘The ground beneath our jeep vibrates, and the horizon is a blur of muzzle and hooves. The wildebeest are on the move; snorting, moaning, kicking up the earth and sending dust devils spiralling into the air.’ This in the world-renowned Serengeti, and in the company, I like to imagine, of less people than I have fingers.
If you’d like to know more about the Friedkin Trust or are thinking about travelling to northern Tanzania, do get in touch, either with Will Jones or any one of our destination specialists.
Film by Simon Morris of wildebeest crossing the Mara river. Not in Mwiba Wildlife Reserve, but captures very well the sounds and sights noted by Catherine Fairweather