August 2014 - Wildebeest migration updates

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Shift again towards the north

28 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel, and so there is a shift again towards the north, some good crossings back into the south-Mara with some continuing the journey south, it is good news because they will all have to return to the Serengeti and that will prolong the "crossing season" for us, we are also happy for our friends across the Sand River for some welcome rain. Short video, enjoy - Veronica, Lemala Camps

The wildebeest herds crossing the Mara River to get into the Serengeti - Video by Lemala Camps
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Thousands still crossing Sand River

28 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Habari za asabuhi (good morning) Carel, thousands still crossing Sand River from Serengeti into the Mara's Posee plains, olekeju gem look-out area all filled with migrating herds, no Mara River crossings yet, maybe tomorrow, beautiful short fresh green grass on the plains - Tuko pamoja - Onesmus Irungu, Rekero Camp Guide

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Thousands of wildebeest still crossing the Sand River - Image by Onesmus Irungu
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Herds are slowly moving through Olare Motorogi

27 Aug 2014 from Kicheche Camps

Hi Carel, yes, there are wildebeest everywhere – we even have one resident in camp with a broken leg although not sure how long he will last! It seems that the remaining herds both resident and some migratory herds are slowly moving through Olare Motorogi and moving south west at present, for now the movement is slow, enough water and grass. Aki, Relief Camp Manager, Kicehche Bush Camp

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Large numbers near the Sand River

26 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Hi Carel, As of yesterday I understand from the warden and guides in the Trans Mara conservancy that the Bulk of the Wildebeest are almost 6 kms into the Tanzanian border and still moving. There are also large numbers near the sand river on the Tanzanian side. Yesterday evening within the Musiara, Bila Shaka and Marsh areas we have large concentrations of the resident wildebeest and and not as many Zebra these have come down from the North East Masai conservation areas, there are still many more in these conservation areas and if rains continue they may well move through into the Musiara area and a strong possibility they will cross again at Paradise or at the Kitchwa Tembo crossing points. Patrick

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Wildebeest moved south onto the Lamai Plains

26 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel, some really good crossings over the last few days, it seems that the wildebeest moved south onto the Lamai plains and further east and that there would be good crossings back and forth over the Sand River into the Mara and back again between crossing points 4 and 9. Incredible that they just keep crossing this year. Enjoy the video - Veronica, Lemala Camps

The wildebeest migration making their way across a very deep Mara River - Video by Lemala Camps
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Migration is now just south of Rekero

26 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Morning Carel - Thousands crossed the Sand River which was almost flooded for the better part of the day, half a million wildebeest waiting to cross over to Mara. The migration is now just south of Rekero we hope they start crossing the Talek River kesho (tomorrow) - Onesmus Irungu, Rekero Camp, Asilia

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The wildebeest migration is in full flow at the Sand River - Image by Onesmus Irungu
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Mara River water-level fairly high

25 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel, just in from Mtandika, Vintage Africa guide, impressive crossing with a Mara River water-level that is fairly high. Many wildebeest are returning to the new grass all around Lamai and Kuria Hills, smaller crossings now that there is enough for everyone! I predict an early return to the Serengeti with good rain throughout the central and northern Serengeti. Keep well, Mark

Heavy rain have increased the Mara River water levels - Video by Mark Stroud
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Action is between crossing points 4 and 7

25 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel, a large number of wildebeest have returned to the northern area of the Serengeti to feed on the lush of grass brought on by the good rains of 2 weeks ago. While all focus is on the crossings it is still an amazing site to see the large numbers dotting the valleys. However crossings do continue and at the moment the action is between crossing points 4 and 7, Mark, Lemala Kuria Hills

Mara River crossings are still in full flow - Video by Mark Stroud
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Beests are heading back to the Reserve

25 Aug 2014 from Encounter Mara

Morning Carel, most the beests are heading back to the Reserve via Olare Motorogi. There are still a few here but dwindling fast - keep well, Andrew Conway, Encounter Mara

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A sight to behold!

24 Aug 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

There seems to quite some activity in the Kogatende area to the South East of the field going down for about 30 nm. The rains in that area have drawn pretty huge numbers in one solid group. Photos were a bit difficult with us dodging birds in the whole area.‎ But definitely a sight to behold! Breath taking from the air! Thanks and Regards, Joel

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Migration finally coming out of Olare Motorogi

22 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Hi Carel, no river crossings for the last 3 days, the migration finally coming out of Olare Motorogi conservancy(east) heading north west, I think they might start crossing the Mara River main crossing from next week! Onesmus Irungu, Rekero Camp guide.

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The wildebeest migration exiting the Olare Motorogi Conservancy - Image by Onesmus Irungu
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So much rain from Ikoma to Naboisho

21 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel, meanwhile in the Serengeti we have had some good crossings at no4, right in-front of camp, so much rain from Ikoma to Naboisho and even further north, I am sure this will spread out the herds. There are zebra at Four Seasons, Ikoma and into Grumeti Reserves with wildebeest from the conservancies to Bologonja, Lobo and Mbuzi Mawe. Green all round and nice to have some time for the leopard around camp. Hope you are well? Mark Lemala Kuria Hills

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Wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River in front of the Lemala Kuria Hills Camp - Image by Mark Stroud
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Few scattered herds on Paradise Plains

21 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Morning Carel, the Trans Mara side is quiet with all the rain about, many have stayed put. Our side there are a few scattered herds on Paradise plains but no indication of moving as we write. There are still good numbers in the Masai conservation areas in the north-east of the reserve, quiet before the storm perhaps. Keep well, Patrick, Governors Camp

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Fatalities are possible

19 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Photos courtesy of Dennie Clarke, at 11.30am a reasonable herd of wildebeest, an estimated 1,500 animals crossed from the Trans Mara to the Mara reserve at the Toyota site which is below Governors Private Camp. Here the wildebeest drop down 15 feet of river bank, if the river is low then there can be fatalities, this is a place on the river we have witnessed wildebeest cross before but not often. Yesterday morning a small herd of wildebeest, estimated 500, crossed at the main crossing point coming from the Trans Mara side. Patrick, Governors Camp

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Wildebeest migration crossing from the Trans Mara into the Mara Reserve - Image by Dennie Clarke
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5000 wildebeest crossed near Chinese Hill

19 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Morning Carel, today many wildebeest, over 5000 crossed near Chinese Hill from Serengeti to the reserve via Mara Triangle, images Rekero Guide Onesmus Irungu Cheers Joe

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Wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River near Chinese Hill - Image by Onesmus Irungu
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Lots of wildebeest on both sides

19 Aug 2014 from Kicheche Camps

Morning Carel Quick update from the conservancies, Olare Motorogi and Naboisho have had plenty of rain so lots of wildebeest on both sides, there seems to be more on its way and it is wonderful to have them with us for a change. We of course have the added benefit of night drives and walking so that adds to the experience. Picture attached by Emma to show you the late rain that certainly would have effected the Mara River water level. Regards Darren (image Emma Geary, camp manager at Kicheche Bush Camp)

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A wildebeest in the pouring rain - Image by Emma Geary
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Tough time for the herds

18 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel The water level of the Mara has increased drastically and it makes for interesting crossings - it is a tough time for the herds to get back into the Serengeti, let's hope that there will not be too many drownings this year. Crossing point no 9, with slow movement of smaller herds crossing back and forth. Thanks Achmed, - Kuria Hills Guide

The Mara River water levels have increased drastically - Video by Achmed - Lemala Kuria Hills Guide
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Plenty of zebra and wildebeest throughout Naboisho

18 Aug 2014 from Encounter Mara

Morning Carel, we have plenty of zebra and wildebeest throughout Naboisho but very little movement, some crossings over the Talek River but not much over the Mara River itself other than the Entim Camp crossing. We are enjoying good game drives and also night game drives with lots of predator activity. Thanks - Zarek

The wildebeest migration in Naboisho - Video by Zarek Cockar
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Thousands of gnus at Possee Plains

15 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Morning Carel, thousands of gnus at posee plains central Mara, several crossings today at Talek River just 100 meters from Rekero Camp mess tent, no Mara River crossings yet, Look-out and Serena crossing empty, lots of rain all over the Mara and northern Serengeti so it will spread out the herds it seems, but it will prolong the crossing season. Regards Onesmus Irungu, Rekero Camp

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The wildebeest migration is currently at Posee Plains in the Central Mara - Image by Onesmus Irungu
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Large herds of wildebeest near the Salt Lick

15 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Carel, just a summary: within the Musiara region, which includes Paradise Plains, Topi plains Rhino Ridge, Musiara plains and the Musiara Marsh there are areas that are quiet and other areas that hold small herds of wildebeest and zebra on the south fan of Rhino Ridge and dropping into Paradise plains, near the main crossing points on Topi flats there are large concentrations of topi due to the recent rains. A few zebra crossed this morning and small herds of an estimated 150 crossed yesterday late evening. The small herds of wildebeest left on the Paradise Plains will perhaps cross in the next 24 hours. The Masai conservation areas of the Mara North / Olare Orok Conservancies have small scattered herds of wildebeest and some zebra across most areas of the short grass plains, an estimated 2,000 crossed the Olare Orok river in the Mara North Conservancy yesterday morning and these we have heard crossed the Talek River this morning. Sources in the Trans Mara have said large herds of wildebeest are near the salt lick with the majority of the large herds a few kilometers into the Tanzanian border as far as the Sand River, some areas ere seen to have been burnt earlier in the season and with the recent rains in the last week here have induced the numbers of wildebeest to increase. The spearhead movement of Wildebeest that came through within the first week of June and the resident numbers have been seen to have crossed at the main crossing points on Paradise plains since 18th July and until 3rd August. These herds then moved into the Burrangat and Posee plains with some of them still in residence while others have moved towards the Tanzanian border. Patrick, Governors Camp

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Guests enjoying the crossing

14 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel, kindly find attached the wildebeest crossing at the Mara River today. You can see the guests enjoying the crossing very close to our camp today, it was at crossing number 3 which is located right in front of our camp, the guests were busy with lunch but just left their meals and jumped into the vehicle that was ready and waiting for them. Benson, Lemala Mara.

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The wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River today - Image by Benson, Lemala Mara Camp
Wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River at Lemala Mara - Video by Benson - Lemala Mara
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Build up on Paradise Plains

13 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Hi Carel, yesterday there was a reasonable build up on paradise plains about 75,000 and last night some crossed the Mara River leaving around 50,000 on Paradise Plains. There are really big numbers on the Burrungat and Posse Plains where the grass is still good BUT with the rain we had last night 28mm and expected 25 mm tonight these big herds might move our way, also really big numbers towards Mara Bridge and Mara Triangle - Ariana Governors Camp Collection

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Two separate lions on two separate wildebeest kills

13 Aug 2014 from Encounter Mara

Hi Carel - Like I mentioned this morning, we had two separate lions on two separate wildebeest kills. And throughout the conservancy, no matter where you go, there are large herds of wildebeest either grazing or moving in long, long lines across the plains. Attached is a photo of one of the lionesses with her kill, as well as two pics of distant wildebeest from the site of that kill, your client has arrived and right on time, incredible! Zarek

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A distant view of the wildebeest kill - Image by Zarek Cockar
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Big lines heading north-east

13 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Breaking news Carel - Smaller crossings at the main crossing point the last week but after heavy rain last night we expect better crossing kesho (tomorrow), big lines heading north-east. Olare Orok and Naboisho conservancies is where most of the Mara migration is and heading, also huge numbers at Olkinyei conservancy east of the Mara near Loita plains. This will prolong the crossings this year we hope, Onesmus Irungu, resident guide at Rekero.

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Small wildebeest migration river crossing at the main crossing point - Image by Onesmus Irungu
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Two big crossings at Makutano

12 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Hi Carel - Just heard from Olakira Camp, Kogatende, they have had good rain the last couple of days, and last night it rained almost the entire night, so this morning they had two big crossings at Makutano crossing point in front of camp, one at 8:00 this morning and another just before lunch, so two in one day, we think more will follow in the next few days after all the rain, lets see. Cheers Joe

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The wildebeest migration at Olakira - Image by Joe du Plessis
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Crossings have been plentiful

12 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Carel - The crossings have been plentiful, most of the action around crossing point 4. Our guests have seen 4 crossings in two days. Good rains finally and with that we hope to see a lot of movement back and forth in search for fresh grazing. It has been dry up till now, so the vast herds have split up, but with new grass it is possible that they will rejoin, coming for a visit? Mark, Lemala Kuria Hills

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The guests at Lemala Kuria Hills saw four Mara River crossings in two days - Image by Mark Stroud
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Another big movement of wildebeest expected

11 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Morning Carel The migration is still very much in full force in Northern Serengeti and on the Masai Mara side. All our camps in the north had wonderful sightings as many wildebeest crossed the Mara river to both sides, heading north as well as coming back south. Rain in the Serengeti finally on the 8th of August so we expect to see another big movement of Wildebeest coming across the river to Tanzania. Thanks Joe Picture credit - Eleanor James Olakira Camp guest

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The Serengeti rains is expected to kick start another big movement across the Mara River - Image by Eleanor James
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Herds spread out over the Northern Kogatende area

10 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Hi Carel, we've had some smaller crossings this week with herds coming back into Tanzania and the south bank. The guides in the Mara and Rekero have seen some big crossings on their side. The rain built up a few afternoons in a row but passed us and rained in Kenya, so the Mara has a lot of wildebeest coming in. At the moment our guides are waiting for a crossing to happen with a herd wanting to go north, we still have a few good herds spread out over the Northern Kogatende area, see pic below from - Puis, Rekero guide.

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Wildebeest jumping into the Mara River in the Serengeti - Image by Pius Olekoyianto
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Massive crossing today

09 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel, from Kogatende, Mara River Serengeti side, we had a massive crossing today, the herds gathered at Lamai wedge and moved to the river fast, the rain on the Kenyan side has sparked many crossings and it seems that there is a general movement north again, we have had wildebeest from Lobo to Bologonja all crossing into the southern Mara. Have a look at this 18 minute video of one crossing! Enjoy it and talk soon Mark Lemala Kuria Hills.

Massive crossing on the Serengeti side of the Mara River - Video by Mark Stroud
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Big river crossings this morning

08 Aug 2014 from Mashine

Hi Carel, I am at Four Seasons with your clients and we are having an excellent safari, we saw big river crossings this morning and your friend Jean du Plessis from Wayo was also there, some video and I talk to you when I am back in Arusha. Kazi Njema Mashine

Big Mara River crossings at the Four Seasons Serengeti - Video by Mashine
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Large crossing at the main crossing point

07 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Hi Carel - There was a large crossing at the main crossing point at paradise plains. An estimated 10,000 were seen crossing with one yearling wildebeest being taken by a crocodile. These wildebeest were going from east to west and were seen coming from the Olkiombo area so would have crossed at the Talek, they were also seen coming down from the Masai conservation areas. With pockets of rainfall these wildebeest are moving back and forth - Patrick Reynolds, Governors Il Moran Camp Manager

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The large wildebeest migration river crossing at the Mara River - Image by Patrick Reynolds
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An estimated 1,500 animals crossed from west to east

06 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Hi Carel - There was a large crossing at the main crossing point at 1500 this afternoon an estimated 1,500 animals crossed from west to east. Early this morning many wildebeest on the north bank of the marsh which is on the Musiara plains, they crossed from the west a few days ago and came down via Topi plains and the Masai conservation areas in the north east, two days ago there was a little rain up in the Olare Orok and Mara North conservancies, the reason for the back and forth, there are many wildebeest and Zebra across on the south bank of the Talek and on the west bank of the Mara river - Patrick Reynolds, Governors Il Moran Camp Manager

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The wildebeest making their way across the Mara River - Image by Patrick Reynolds

Early move this year to the north

05 Aug 2014

Now that things have calmed down slightly at the waters edge can we recap on movements, where and why, an early move this year to the north with a rare Loita / Serengeti migration in the Mara at almost the same time. Lots of burning followed by little to no rain in the Serengeti will probably send the herds back into the Mara soon. Low Mara River water-levels made many crossings possible, so I predict a move back into the Mara and then perhaps a move down again a week or so after Serengeti rain, a good time to go it seems. Darren Geary, Manager Kicheche Bush Camp, captured this wonderful image of Acacia at camp.

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A leopard called Acacia was spotted at the Kicheche Bush Camp - Image by Darren Geary
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Some small crossings

05 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Morning Carel, we had some small crossings the past two days of wildebeest from the Lamai wedge to the south bank, it has been raining in the north and towards Kenya, so I suspect it is a bit greener that side, we have not had any rain in the Serengeti so the wildebeest and the big crossings we saw a couple of days ago might go back soon again if we don't get rain soon.

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The wildebeest herds crossing the Mara River at crossing point eight - Image by Joe du Plessis
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Action in Olare Motorogi

04 Aug 2014 from Kicheche Camps

Hi Carel The Olare Motorogi conservancy has been giving our guests some fantastic game drives. With our local Moniko lion pride nearly at 30 again including their 6 week old cubs, leopard everywhere, Acacia with cub, Pinknose, Fig and 2 unknown males. Then the dramatic crossing documented so well in the reserve. Some great images of the carnage at the crossing by 18yr old Tom Whittle. Keep well, Darren and Emma

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A dramatic shot of the devastating wildebeest migration crossing at the Mara River - Image by Tom Whittle
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A fair bit of back and forth

04 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Morning Carel, Pius took this photo in the "southern Mara" at Lookout Hill, crossing from Mara triangle into Mara central plains. Light showers of rain in the eastern Mara triggered this. Pius also saw the Northern Serengeti from Sand River where they are crossing back into Kenya, it’s really dry in the Serengeti so they are going to the Mara for better pastures it seems, a fair bit of back and forth at the moment. Keep well, Joe

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Light rain triggered this Mara River crossing in the southern Mara - Image by Pius Olekoyianto
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Good season this year!

03 Aug 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel, video of one of the many crossings we have had recently, seems to be a good season for us this year. Happy clients! Regards Tom (Lemala Camps Ops Manager)

One of the many wildebeest migration Mara River crossings at Lemala - Video by Tom Yule
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Plenty of action

03 Aug 2014 from Asilia Africa

Morning Carel - Serengeti update. Plenty of action the last two days with two huge crossings. The wildebeest are moving from the north bank and Lamai Wedge to the south bank. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest are building up and huge groups of 4000 plus are crossing southwards. A massive crossing at no 10 on the Kenya / Tanzania border and another big one today at Makutano, where our Olakira Camp is based - Joe

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The wildebeest migration is moving from the north bank and Lamai Wedge - Image by Joe du Plessis
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Video footage of the Toyota crossing

02 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Hi Carel, finally video footage of the Toyota crossing, incredible how big the jump actually was, have a good weekend - Ariana Governors Camp Collection.

Exclusive footage of the dramatic big jump - Video by Ariana Grammaticas

Spotting the Narina Trogon

02 Aug 2014

Whilst watching the migration from Governor's Camp, Moses Manduku, Governors Camp Head Driver-Guide managed to show his clients a wonderful sighting of the sought after Narina Trogon. Talk about good guiding and keeping an eye out for detail, Moses says he can find you the Narina Trogon in the Mara, well worth looking for it if you are a keen birder, where this bird got its name from is another story for another day! Carel Verhoef, Discover Africa

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A rare image of the Narina Trogon - Image by Moses Manduku
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Epic crossing at Toyota site

01 Aug 2014 from Governors' Camp

Hi Carel, in addition to the 3 crossings at Governors Camp this week and the epic crossing at Toyota site there was another crossing at Governors Private Camp - Private Camp clients have private crossings it seems, a group of wildebeest crossed the Mara River right in front of camp at lunchtime! Photo credit David Francombe - Ariana

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The epic wildebeest migration river crossing at the Toyota site - Image by David Francombe

Lodges closest to the herd right now

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Legendary Serengeti Camp

$ 665

per person per night

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.

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Ndutu Safari Lodge

$ 256

per person per night

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.

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Camp Zebra

$ 495

per person per night

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. 

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Woodlands Camp

Price on Request

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.

Game Drive at Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp in Serengeti National Park

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Lemala Ndutu

$ 556

per person per night

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.