Wildebeest cross the Mara river


11-08-2020 t/m 22-08-2020


Dangerous-looking Nile crocodiles are waiting quietly in and around the Mara River. Every year they know that a true ‘banquet’ swims by. The Mara is the river where thousands of wildebeest, zebras and Thomson’s gazelles cross the Mara in search of the more grassy grounds in Kenya’s Masai Mara. Photographer, biologist and Africa enthusiast Martin van Lokven takes you to the far north of the Seregeti to witness this spectacle. From a comfortable tented lodge you have four full days to experience the world’s largest natural migration up close. In addition to the sometimes powerful current in which the wildebeest and zebras literally have to keep their heads above water, the Nile crocodiles form an extra barrier. With extended 4×4 Toyota Landcruisers – with guaranteed window space and lots of space – we look for the most beautiful places to watch this natural spectacle. Lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas, the wildebeest are attacked from all sides. Amid Africa’s most beautiful savannah landscape and the battlefield of the de Mara crossing, this is the nature trip where you make memories and take your photos to a higher level.


Martin and the Tanzanian team of drivers / guides will look for the best sightings and photo opportunities. The guaranteed window space and extra space in an extended 4×4 off-road vehicle give you the best opportunities for sightings and photography.
During this tour, Martin will provide you with information about the Tanzanian nature and tips and advice on how to capture the most beautiful photo opportunities.

Wildebeest jump into the Mara river with the purpose to cross it to the other side. Image by Todd Gustafson.
Photo by Todd Gustafson


Day 1
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, we are warmly welcomed by a representative of our local agent. With a spacious private transfer we drive to The African Tulip, our luxury boutique hotel for tonight, in Arusha.

Overnight at The African Tulip, Arusha

Day 2
After breakfast we drive west along a good road to our luxury tented camp in the central part of the Serengeti National Park. In the landscape along the way we see Masai houses and Masai shepherds with their cows and goats grazing and – at constructed drinking pools – drinking. We drive out of the village of Mbt wa Mbu out of the Great Rift and have a beautiful view of the Manyara National Park with Lake Manyara. After passing the last village – Karatu – we will stop briefly at the gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a protected area adjacent to the Serengeti National Park. From now on we are done with tar roads and we can take the binoculars and photo equipment out of the bags. Along the way we may see our first lions and cheetahs. The game (drive) is on!

On the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, partly protected by the status of UNESCO World Heritage, we stop for a moment at the grave of Bernard and Michael Grzimek. Bernard was a zoo director, zoologist, author of nature books, filmmaker and a driving force behind the Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt, a group of researchers who are still active in the Serengeti. With his son Michael, he made the Serengeti known worldwide in the 1950s through the book and movie “Serengeti Shall Not Die”. Without them, there might not have been a Serengeti National Park. Michael crashed in his plane in 1959 while filming after a collision with a vulture. After his death Bernard’s ashes were buried next to his son on the rim of the crater.

With good visibility we can take a first look into the crater which is 600 meters lower. During the descent towards the Serengeti National Park we see our first giraffes grazing on the acacia trees that are still abundant here. We also see for the first time the endless plains of the Serengeti lying low in the distance. While enjoying and photographing we drive to Naabi Hill gate, the official entrance of the Serengeti National Park. After a short stop we continue to our lodge located in the central part of the Serengeti ecosystem where leopards are often seen.

Overnight at Acacia Migration Camp, Northern Serengeti

Luipaard in boom in Serengeti

Day 3
From our lodge we drive wildly searching and photographing to the north of the Serengeti, the goal of our trip. It is there, on the border with Kenya, where the wildebeest cross the Mara River. Maybe we will see our first crossing today! The following nights we spend the night in a luxurious and very comfortable mobile camp of Serengeti Acacia Camps.

Overnight at Acacia Migration Camp, Northern Serengeti

Wildebeest cross the Mara river. Image by Todd Gustafson.
Photo by Todd Gustafson

Day 4-7
We have game drives every morning and afternoon for four whole days, looking for large groups of wildebeest trying to cross the Mara River. And with them also zebras and Thomson gazelles. Lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas attack the wildebeest from all sides. Giant crocodiles are waiting in the Mara River for the crossing wildebeest, zebras and gazelles. A very impressive event! Around noon we will have lunch in the camp or we will take our lunch and have it in the field. In the afternoon we are back on the road for the afternoon game drive that continues until just before sunset to fully enjoy the beautiful light that descends on the many animals and the savanna landscape. Before or after dinner Martin discusses photos and talks about the nature of Tanzania.

Overnight at Acacia Migration Camp, Northern Serengeti

Day 8
During the morning or early afternoon – depending on the photographic possibilities – we leave photographing all the way to our lodge in the central part of the Serengeti where we also spent the night on the way there.

Overnight at Acacia Central Camp, Central Serengeti

De grote trek van de gnoe trekt veel toeristen naar de Serengeti.

Day 9
After a last morning game drive in the Serengeti we leave for the Ngorongoro crater. With a diameter of approximately 25 kilometers, a height of 2400 meters and a depth of 600 meters, the famous Ngorongoro Crater is the largest caldera in the world. Once there was an estimated 4,500-5800 meter high volcanic cone on top of what is now the crater before it was blown off with a massive explosion. Unbelievable what a natural disaster that must have been. The high wall now forms the natural end of a true paradise with up to 30,000 wildebeest, zebras, buffalo and other grazers, but also with the highest density of lions and hyenas in all of Africa. Martin once counted 17 hyenas and 13 lions at a glance. And up to 32 hyenas in one place! Of course tomorrow we will look for black rhinos, of which about 30 live in the crater.

Overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge with a view on the Ngorongoro crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Copyright Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Day 10
After coffee and tea we drive into the crater at dawn. We have breakfast and lunch with us, so that we can be in the crater well into the afternoon. The crater is teeming with animals. Grazing buffalo, wildebeest, zebras, elephants and ostriches approach our cars within a short distance. In contrast to outside the crater, eland antelopes can be seen and photographed well in the crater. Hyenas and lions lie and walk on the unpaved roads and often a lion rubs against a car. Zebras often leave the road before you at the last minute and can be portrayed well. A day in the crater is an unforgettable experience! At the end of the afternoon we drive back to the lodge.

Overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge with a view of the Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

In de Ngorongoro krater zien we grote mannetjes olifanten

Dag 11
We enjoy a tranquil breakfast at a reasonable time after which we leave for Arusha. On the way to the ‘gate’ of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area we still have our photo equipment ready because there is always a chance to see buffaloes and elephants. Sometimes leopards and lions are also seen on the crater rim. After the ‘gate’ the asphalt starts again. We visit one or two souvenir shops, have lunch on the way and arrive at our hotel The African Tulip. Here we say goodbye to our drivers / guides, after which we look for our rooms and use the last hours to freshen up and relax. From here we have a transfer by minibus to the airport.

Day 12
We arrive around 7:30 hour on Schiphol.


For more information and booking this luxury photo and nature trip to the famous Mara crossing, please contact us SNP Natuurreizen.

SNP Natuurreizen logo en link naar website SNP


I would like to thank my dear friend Todd Gustafson for using his beautiful photos! Three photos of the Mara wildebeest and the extended Toyota Land Cruiser with lions are his. See for more of his work Gustafson Photo Safari.

Lions and safari vehicle


Date: 11 - 22 August 2020
Destination: Tanzania
Minimum number of participants: 3
Maximum number of participants: 12
Travel sum: € 5,790 excluding flight
Single supplement:



• Accommodation, 10 nights
• All meals, from breakfast day 2 to lunch day 11
• Transport to and from Tanzania airport
• Safaris
• Local guides / drivers
• Park entrance and concession surcharge
• One day entrance to Ngorongoro crater
• Photography instructions during safaris
• Photo reviews after safaris
• Water during the safaris
• Meeting before the trip
• Meeting after the trip

Acacia Central Camp twin tent


• International flights
• Beverage
• Tips
• Personal expenses
• Visa
• Insurances
• Vaccinations & medicines


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