Tanzania’s Ikorongo Game Reserve is only 602 square kilometres in size and has a patchwork of at least several rivers cutting through the landscape. The reserve might be small, but its inhabitants are large. Buffalo, elephant, rhino, wild dogs, and lions roam freely throughout the iconic acacia terrain.
Forming an important passageway in the Serengeti ecosystem for the migration of wildebeest and other grazers, Ikorongo was set up in 1994 to ensure a safe passage for wildlife. Both the Grumeti and Ikorongo reserves form part of the privately-owned Grumeti concession bordering the western part of the Serengeti Game Reserve. Visitors to the Grumeti-Ikorongo region are privy to exceptional animal sightings in an exclusive, quiet reserve ideal for discerning travellers.
The tranquillity and privacy of the game reserve are of paramount importance during the peak migration season—when the crowds descend upon the area to witness the migration.
There are a few small airports in the Grumeti region, which connect from any major international airport. Two of these domestic airports include Fort Ikama and Serengeti Airport.
The many acacia trees provide the perfect nutritious vegetation for giraffe, which are in abundance in the Serengeti reserve. The plains are inhabited by elephants, rhino, kudu, hyena, lion, cheetah, wild dogs, Thomson’s gazelle, topi and of course, wildebeest. These are just a few examples of wildlife that can be spotted at any given time.
The sheer numbers of game during the dry season is remarkable. Wide-open plains are filled with antelopes and riparian vegetation adorning the river banks is bustling with birdlife. Rivers are full of territorial hippos and basking crocodiles.
Over 500 species of bird can be found in the park, a few of which include the ostrich, Fischer’s lovebird, Hartlaub’s turaco, barbets, finches, ostriches and birds of prey.
The secluded Ikorongo Game Reserve is best visited during the peak migration season, which is from June to August and then November. The capacity of people allowed in the concession is limited, which means there are barely any visitors in the reserve.
Low-emission modified safari vehicles are used for game drives in the Serengeti ecosystem. Game drives take place in the early morning and evening when predators are at their most active.
Safari vehicles are open-sided, which means visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the iconic Serengeti. Game drives are the most popular way of exploring the vast wildlife-rich terrain.
Walking expeditions into this crowd-free concession led by locals can also be arranged before arrival. Balloon safaris, sunset picnics, bush dinners and outdoor barbecues under the stars are all unique experiences that can be arranged by luxury lodges in the area.
The game reserve is located in a private concession with only three lodges spread across Ikorongo and Grumeti. The lodges are premier and offer stand-alone cottages, classic East-African tents and 1920s style tents. There are even luxury villas that come complete with private plunge pools.
Outstanding luxury is the name of the game at Ikorongo Game Reserve. For more budget or low-key options, there are ample hotels, lodges and bed and breakfasts on the borders.