Sammy B Sandhu captured the herds crossing Miracle Experience Balloon Safaris base in the Ndutu area heading towards the Lake Ndutu!
January sees the herds starting to settle into the short grass plains around Lake Ndutu, just south of the border with the national park itself. This immense region of short-grass plains is classic Serengeti, with vast open skies and endless savanna stretching as far as the eye can see. January is often the start of calving with the fertile soil and nutrient-rich grasses here providing the perfect start to new life… and in return draw in the predators!
The best game viewing at this time of year stretches across much of the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area – from Maswa to Gol, as far south as Kakesio, and as far north as the Moru Kopjes. Localised rainfall drives their movement. This is also the location of the highest concentrations of predators in Africa at any time of year!
Summary – Excellent cat viewing (especially cheetah!) and large herds of the Great Migration spread across the entirety of the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. January is also a slightly quieter travel period than February or Christmas. A peak calving month.
With the heavy rains and thunderstorms, the pilot and guests had a beautiful flight, with light winds, amazing cloudy skies, and a beautiful sunrise. The pilot slowly moved to the south at a low level towards the southwest flying over tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebras.
The Great Wildebeest Migration was surrounding the balloon as they went down to the lower level. Not only did they witness the great migration, but they also saw hyenas, Thompson gazelle's, Grant gazelle's, jackals, and a Kori bustard.
By visiting later in the month, you will also have the best chance of catching the big herds, as by this time the majority will definitely be fully into calving season creating spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.
Ndutu is in the Ngorongoro Conservation area which means rich, nutrient soils for the young calves to give them the best start in life. By mid-January, calving season is in full swing and more than 8,000 calves are born daily. Aside from the sheer volume of grazers in the area which is phenomenal to see in itself, the young calves also attract an immense number of predators. In fact, from January to February, the Ndutu plains has the biggest concentration of predators anywhere on the planet, which only means one thing; seriously explosive predator action.
Safari guide Filbert Mbise captured the great herds roaming in the Ndutu area spread out across the marsh area moving into the open plains of the southern Ndutu.
With ideal weather conditions, from mostly clear skies to light winds and an amazing sunrise as we calmly lifted off from our NCA launch site and slowly floated west southwest. Slowly flying over the plains of NCA and Serengeti from various heights, then continuing over the woodland area, then over Lake Ndutu for some spectacular views.
What an amazing way to see the great migration that has littered the short grass plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro conservation area. Though the plains were dominated by Wildebeests and Zebras, we also experienced some of the other amazing animal species of this great ecosystem, including Jackals, Giraffes, Gazelles, Secretary birds, Vultures, Eagles, Storks, Flamingos, Ostriches, Bat-eared fox, Hyenas and Elephants.
Our flight lasted one hour and 12 minutes with a calm standup landing 1 kilometre west of the lake. "We began the champagne celebration at our landing site with a brief history of ballooning along with the traditional champagne toast before moving on to our bush breakfast".
Unforgettable experience of a lifetime with Serengeti Balloon Safaris!
A large number of the wildebeest were seen in the Olduvai Gorge all the way to the Serengeti National Park heading back to Gol Kopjes.
Located in the Great Rift Valley, Olduvai Gorge is nestled between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. For anyone going on safari that is interested in archaeologist and paleontologist, this is the place to visit!
The multiple land-use philosophies in the area are to maintain the peaceful co-existence of humans and wildlife in a natural and traditional setting. Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek form shallow basins where water accumulates from the nearby areas of slightly higher altitude. The water in both lakes are extremely saline, too saline for human consumption. Lake Ndutu becomes alive with animals during the migration because it is surrounded by the Ndutu woodlands and the short grass plains, which provide ample cover and food, especially during the calving season between late January to February. Ndutu is the place to be and Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp is in the heart of the action!
Ndutu Safari Lodge is situated in the south-eastern part of the Serengeti eco-system. Shaded by majestic acacia trees, each of the thirty four cottages, which are built of local materials, has a private verandah facing Lake Ndutu.
The Lodge is surrounded by indigenous trees and shrubs which encourage a host of birds and mammals to come right to your front door. Tucked well away from the busy tourist circuit, Ndutu offers peace and tranquillity far from the madding crowd. Spend some time with us and unwind. Relax to the rhythm of an African day as a myriad bird calls herald the rising sun. Stay close to the lodge and enjoy the resident wildlife or go for a drive and explore the range of habitats that lie within easy reach. After sunset return to the homely warmth and hospitality of Ndutu Safari Lodge.
Like the animal it is named after, Camp Zebra follows the wildebeest migration to the northern part of the Serengeti National Park in June, July, August, September, October and November; and to the southern part of the park from December till March. Camp Zebra is closed from the middle of April till the end of May each year.
Camp Zebra consists of six accommodation tents, each of which can be used for single, double (or twin) or triple occupancy. Each sleeping tent consists of a bedroom area, dressing area and ensuite shower and toilet. The dressing area, shower and toilet are all “open air” so as to heighten the experience of living as one with your surroundings. Despite being able to enjoy some breathtaking views as you prepare yourself for the day ahead, privacy is still assured due to the clever design of our tents. As an added convenience, each tent is provided with sufficient electricity for lighting as well as for charging mobile telephones, cameras, tablets, laptop computers or any other electronic devices you may carry with you.
Camp Zebra is Serengeti camping at its finest. The mobile nature of the camp makes it easy to follow the wildebeest herds as they complete their long journey, ensuring the best wildlife sightings during the incredible Great Migration in Tanzania. See our HerdTracker app for the latest migration updates.
Perched on the edge of a permanent marsh, Lemala Ndutu is the ultimate amphitheater for the wildebeest migration between December and March.
9 suite tents of a very high specification are relocated from the Northern Serengeti to this stunning Ndutu site to capture the boundless drama that accompanies the migration. The migrating herds of over 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra begin to arrive in December and begin calving in February.
The camp is situated inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, near the border of Southern Serengeti, in what is perhaps the finest location in the whole of Ndutu because of its shady umbrella acacia trees and grass cover which reduces dust considerably and also attracts grazers. The camp offers fantastic views of the marsh whose permanent fresh waters attract an abundance of game including predators. The camp enjoys regular visits from resident wildlife ranging from lions, leopards,cheetahs and hyenas to elephant and giraffe. Lion hunts close to the camp are not uncommon.
Explore a rich landscape of inky blue skies, burnt orange sunsets and the soft neutrals of the African savannah. Bordering the game rich Lamai Triangle, twelve mobile luxury tents are hidden under the deep shade of acacia canopies.
This camp moves north, west and south throught the year offering guests a front row seat to the migration, the procession of more than two million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle as they wander across the vast grass plains.
Tucked within a grassy corridor that links the Lake Ndutu area with the Moru Kopjes and Hidden Valley is the seasonal Woodlands Camp. During the calving season, this area is teaming with wildebeest as hundreds of thousands of pregnant females converge to give birth. While most properties are compacted in a central location, Woodlands Camp is slightly removed from the main tourist venue, allowing for more privacy without sacrificing access to this awe-inspiring event.