The Welcome Back series

02: Saga

The Welcome Back series

Touring: The Great Migration

Saga is taking guests on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through Tanzania and Kenya, where spectacular vistas and an abundance of wildlife awaits

Every year millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle travel through Tanzania and Kenya seeking fresh grazing, facing crocodile-infested rivers and big cat predators along the way. This annual event, the Great Migration, is one of nature’s finest spectacles – and now Saga guests have the chance to experience it up close.

Tracing the migratory path north through the remote Serengeti, an area rarely visited by tour groups, guests cross into Kenya’s Masai Mara reserve in search of the elusive black rhino.

From the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, guests follow the migration path from the wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater through the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara. Staying in lodges and at tented camps, this tour offers unrivalled access to the nature reserves and wildlife, including great opportunities to see the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and Cape buffalo.

Guests visit an elephant orphanage, giraffe sanctuary and the ‘Cradle of Mankind’, Olduvai Gorge, which holds the earliest evidence of the existence of human ancestors. Here, paleoanthropologists found hundreds of fossilised bones and stone tools in the area dating back millions of years – suggesting the origins of mankind.

The Best of Kenya & Tanzania: Great Migration & Big Game Safari
Kenya and Tanzania
From £3,999 per person
Two passengers, 12 nights

The tour includes:
VIP door-to-door travel service from anywhere on the UK mainland
Included travel insurance
11 nights in hotels and lodges, one in flight
31 meals: 11 breakfasts; 11 lunches; and nine dinners
Saga tour manager

Return flights and transfers
Tourist visa
Porterage at all hotels and lodges
Excursions and visits
Four game drives in the Amboseli National Park
Full day game drive in Ngorongoro Crater Visit to Olduvai Gorge
Four game drives in the Serengeti National Park
Two game drives in the Maasai Mara National Reserve
Visit to Giraffe Centre
Visit to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant orphanage

See more here.

The adventure captures different stages of the migration throughout the year, depending on when guests travel, and each as fascinating as the next. January and February is calving season for hooved animals; June and July promises perfect weather, as animals prepare for the hardest part of the migration; September, which is peak tourist season, coincides with the migration through the Mara; October sees the migration move into the Serengeti; while November and December are a birder’s dream, with many species visiting from Eurasia.

The once-in-a-lifetime adventure is packed with activities, including four game drives in the Amboseli National Park; four more game drives in the Serengeti National Park; two in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, as well as a visit to the Giraffe Centre.

The tour includes a visit to volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, a rich fertile landscape often called Africa’s Eden, given that it is home to a remarkable concentration of wildlife, thanks to the enclosed nature of the 300-square-kilometre crater. It’s impossible to pick a highlight, but the grassland plains of the Serengeti, which stretch as far as the eye can see, ranks highly, providing an abundance of riches for wildlife lovers. Home to more than two million wildebeest and zebra, the reserve is also known for its predators, including big cats, while herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe, eland, topi, kongoni, impala and gazelle are year-round residents.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to predators including cheetahs, leopards and hyena – and boasts the highest lion density in the world. From June to October, the millions of migrating wildebeest, zebra and antelopes pour into the reserve, making it Kenya’s flagship park.

Before departing for home, guests will travel to Nairobi National Park to visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s orphanage. The charity rescues elephants and rhinos orphaned as a result of habitat loss, poaching and human–wildlife conflict, and provides specialist care to rehabilitate the animals, eventually returning them to the wild.

Video: The Epic Collection

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A selection of the world’s truly great journeys, these once-in-a-lifetime escorted tours are designed to leave guests with memories to treasure, and a real sense of accomplishment. Click on the play button to watch the video in full and see more here:


River cruise: Waltz on the Danube

Spirit of the Danube will join its Rhine-based sister ship in offering Saga guests luxury and adventure on Europe’s most majestic waterways

Saga will launch its second purpose-built river ship, Spirit of the Danube, in 2022. Promising the same levels of comfort, service and value as its sister ship, Spirit of the Rhine, Saga will also use the latest engine technology to significantly reduce emissions, ensuring the ship is one of the greenest on the rivers.

Spirit of the Danube will have capacity for 190 guests when it departs on its inaugural cruise from Amsterdam on March 22, 2022. Future destinations guests will be able to explore include Budapest, Vienna, Rousse in Bulgaria and Tulcea in Romania.

Chris Simmonds, Saga Holidays CEO, says: “Over the past few years, we’ve been focused on redefining our river cruise range to provide a Saga-designed experience for our guests. Spirit of the Danube joining the fleet marks an exciting milestone in this journey and we cannot wait until she joins her sister ship, Spirit of the Rhine, next year. Guests will be able to enjoy a range of first-class facilities and we cannot wait to show everything our latest ship has to offer.”

The addition of the new ship comes as Saga announced that it would be mandatory for all guests to be fully vaccinated before travelling with the company.

Just like Spirit of the Rhine, Spirit of the Danube will have a signature dish designed by a celebrity chef for its intimate restaurant. Among other yet-to-be-announced names, Saga will welcome Mark Sargeant, who has previously worked with the operator to design a gastronomy tour out of the Juan de la Cosa hotel in Spain; Miranda Krestovnikoff, a radio and TV presenter specialising in natural history and archaeology; Eric Knowles, a TV antiques expert; and John Suchet, a Classic FM presenter.

Although not as blue as Johann Strauss would have us believe, the Danube is one of the most attractive rivers in Europe, flowing past five capital cities and through the beautiful Wachau Valley in Austria and the Iron Gate gorge separating Serbia and Romania. 

Vienna is the jewel in the crown, with monumental architecture and grandiose palaces – the Hofburg in the centre of the city, from where the Habsburgs ruled Austria for 700 years, and Schönbrunn, their summer residence, as well as many ornate private residences. Budapest is memorable for its waterfront, beautiful by day but spectacular after dark, while Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, has quirky statues and a pretty old town perfect for wandering around. With up to five included excursions on every cruise, Saga guests will be able to see, learn or do something new every day.

Meanwhile, Spirit of the Rhine includes a panoramic lounge and bar, an inviting library, fitness area and an expansive, shaded sun deck with a hot tub and al fresco barbecue, all with levels of service that are second to none.

All cabins are beautifully spacious and, with an average floor plan of 17 square metres, they’re some of the most generously sized on the Rhine. Cabins on the Main and Upper decks all have French balconies with floor-to-ceiling picture windows, offering personal, private views of every destination.

In 2021 and 2022, the ship will continue to traverse the Rhine – Europe’s most popular river, and with good reason. The draw for many is the Rhine Gorge, a scenic stretch of river that passes beneath more than 40 medieval castles and fortresses, but itineraries also include a night in Amsterdam, where a canal cruise and the Rijksmuseum are top attractions, and Cologne, with its magnificent cathedral, chocolate museum and many excellent types of beer.

See more Rhine itineraries here and more about the Spirit of the Danube here.