The Serengeti eco-system, consisting of Tanzania’s massive “Serengeti National Park’, its “Ngorongoro Conservation Area” to the South-East, and Kenya’s “Masai Mara National Park” to the North, can without any doubt be described as the “Rolls-Royce” of safari offerings.
The sheer amount of animals that migrate around this region by far outnumbers anything of its kind on the planet, and those who are lucky enough to witness this spectacle can testify to what a life-changing experience
The key to maximizing one’s chances at seeing the large wildebeest and zebra herds, as well as the large lion prides that “escort” them on their journey, is being in the right general area at the right time of year, and spending enough time in the park to search for them.
With GKS, most of our safari will be spent in the Serengeti itself, as well as in the famous Ngorongoro Crater to the south, enjoying what is truly the greatest wildlife show on earth, and some spectacular scenery along the way, all in magnificent luxury hotels with our famous freshly prepared gourmet kosher cuisine.
East African Migrations
On arrival in the late afternoon , we hope for clear skies and a view of that icon of equatorial Africa- the highest point on the continent with its snow-capped peek- the top of Mount Kilimanjaro!
We explore the refreshingly green forests and mountains of the Arusha National Park, home of the “blue” and “black and white” monkeys. In addition to the forest and plains wildlife this park has to offer, on a clear day, the views of Arusha’s signature volcano, Mount Meru, and the nearby Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, can be absolutely breathtaking! In the afternoon, we drive through the “Great African Rift Valley”, the massive fault-line that extends from Southern Africa through to Northern Israel, and up to the Ngorongoro Highlands, where we check into our lovely hotel and prepare for tomorrow’s descent into the crater.
This morning, we descendant the steep escarpment of this unique volcanic crater, an island haven for countless species of animals, known to have the greatest concentration of animals in the world, throughout the year. In this protected and fertile environment, animals seldom have reason to leave, and a few hours is generally sufficient to see an incredibly diverse amount of these incredible species. The crater is also the best place in the ecosystem to see the highly endangered rhino, where the protected and controlled environment keeps it relatively safe from poacher, and the lake at its center make an incredible feeding ground for large groups of flamingo, often observed from the top of the crater as an unending sea of pink!
On day 4, we drive through the magnificent Ngorongoro Highlands and down the escarpment to the open plains of the Serengeti National Park, where our search for the migration herds begins. In addition to the great migrations, the Serengeti has one of the world’s highest concentrations of resident wildlife, such as antelope, gazelles, zebra, the famous pumba (warthog), cheetah, leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and much more, which we search for and enjoy over the next few days! Our stay in the Serengeti also includes an unforgettable Shabbat inside the park, where we have the possibility of spotting elephant and other animals at the waterhole – migrating herds have even been known to walk past the lodge grounds! In the afternoon of day 8, we take a short flight back to Kilimanjaro airport, where we hope to end our trip with a view of Mount Kilimanjaro, if only the cloud would just lift for a minute!
These FAQ's are specific to this tour. For general info please visit our FAQ page.
- Citizens of the U.S., most commonwealth countries, and Israel do not require visas to enter South Africa.
- Visitors must ensure that they have at least 2 blank VISA pages (not endorsement pages) in their passport for this, or they WILL be denied boarding to South Africa.
- Due to the many different countries that are often visited and reentry into South Africa, we strongly suggest having at least 5 empty VISA pages available!
- Botswana also gives free visas to citizens of most of these countries but their rules change from time to time.
- Zambia and Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls on our itineraries ) require visitors to buy visas.
- For U.S. and European citizens, this is possible at port of entry but their rules tend to change regularly.
- Israeli citizens sometimes need to apply for Zambian visas in advance, but at times are able to get visas at the point of entry, so keep posted with the latest developments please
- As AKS cannot take responsibility for accuracy of visa information, it MUST be verified by the consulates of these countries well in advance of travel .
- El Al flies direct from Tel Aviv to Johannesburg a number of times a week.
- South African airways flies direct from New York and Washington to Johannesburg daily, sometimes with an hour stopover in Dakar.
- Delta flies non-stop from Atlanta to Johannesburg daily. British airways fly regularly from London to Johannesburg and Cape Town.
- Other possible routings from New York include NorthWest/KLM via Amsterdam or Virgin Atlantic/British Airways via London.
GKS is happy to advise you with the booking process
- Despite its reputation for having a high crime rate, South Africa is generally a very safe destination for tourists.
- The Jewish centres of Johannesburg are now protected by CAP, community active patrol, which has brought about an 80% reduction in violent crime over the past two years and has made our suburbs relatively safe once again.
- Although a low-risk area for terrorism, the global climate dictates that we take certain precautions and exact venues of tours are only made known to confirmed participants.
Weather & Climate
- Most of South Africa has a moderate climate all year round with warm to hot rainy summers (October-March) and dry winters (April-September.)
- During our winter (May-August), the safari areas (Kruger region, Victoria falls, and Chobe) are usually mild to warm by day (highs in the 70’s and 80’s F) and cold at night (lows in the 40’s and 50’s F), Cape Town is usually mild by day (highs in the 60’s F) and cool to cold by night (lows in the 50’s F) with both sunshine, rain and fog being common, and Johannesburg and Madikwe are mild by day (highs in the 60’s and 70’s F) and very cold by night (lows in the 30’s F)
- During our summer (Oct-March), the safari areas are usually very hot (80’s and 90’s F by day, 70’s by night) with regular thunderstorms and rain, Cape Town is usually hot and dry ( 80’s and 90’s F by day, 60’s and 70’s by night), and Johannesburg and Madikwe are warm to hot and very rainy (80’s and 90’s by day, 60’s by night.)
- September and April are usually warm and dry in all venues, though weather can be very changeable during these transition months.
- EAST AFRICA has an equatorial climate and the temperatures are fairly similar throughout the year. They vary with elevation and precipitation, and although usually pleasantly warm , the higher areas of the Serengeti, Masai Mara, Ngorongoro, and Kilimanjaro regions can be windy, rainy, and cool, and a sweatshirt and jacket are always recommended
- South Africa has a modern health-care system and good medical care is available in all main urban centres.
- This is not always so in the more remote regions, and other African countries, so good medical travel and evacuation insurance is essential.
- Yellow fever innoculations are required for Victoria Falls/Zambia and for East Africa .
- Malaria is a risk in all of East Africa throughout the year, as well as in Victoria Falls, Chobe, and most tropical areas of Southern Africa. It is also a threat in The Kruger Park Region of South Africa, mostly, but not limited to the summer months (October-April) .
- Appropriate malaria prophylaxis should be taken before visiting these areas – consult your doctor about Malarone, mefloquine, or doxycycline.
- Women who are pregnant, infants, children under 4-5 should consult their doctor before visiting malaria areas. Malaria-free Safari areas like Madikwe and the Pilanesberg can be arranged in such cases.
- Johannesburg, Cape Town, and the Garden Route are completely malaria free.
- The unit of currency in Tanzaniais the Tanzanian shilling which is currently valued at about 2,320.00 TZS= 1$, although currency fluctuations can be rather drastic, as can the variance in the actual exchange rate offered.
- Certain ATMs in the region accept most foreign Visa cards , but are UNRELIABLE, and a good combination of local currency, $US cash, and cards is usually the best way to go.
- Many vendors in the region will ONLY accept cash, but many are all too eager for $US.
- The GOOD NEWS is that being on an organized trip, you only really need cash for the small things, so its nothing to worry about!