December 2014 - Wildebeest migration updates

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Ndutu and surrounding plains, the next month will be spectacular

31 Dec 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel,

There are big groups of migration around Ndutu area,all the way from Golini to small marsh and big marsh which is very close to our camp.

Here is the attachment of wildebeest migration together with dozens of zebras in a small mash few meters in front of our camp.

Kind Regards,
Benson,
Lemala Ndutu

the-migration-around-ndutu
The migration around Ndutu - Image by Benson, Lemala Camps
wildebeest-in-the-ndutu
Wildebeest in the Ndutu area - Image by Benson, Lemala Camps
the-herd-close-to-lemala-ndutu
The herds close to Lemala Ndutu - Image by Benson, Lemala Camps
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All roads lead to Ndutu for the calving season

30 Dec 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel,

Guests at Lemala Ndutu are enjoying the migration around camp and directly in front by the small marsh. The numbers are growing and the cheetah sightings have been amazing this past week with lots of kills seen.

Keep well,
Veronica

the-migration-in-ndutu
The migration in Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter
game-drive-at-lemala-ndutu
Game drive at Lemala Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter
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Good calving season expected

29 Dec 2014 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel, 

Lots of rain in the offing, a bright day building to rain all over.

The herds are spread out feeding with lots of obviously pregnant females. The birthing season is not far away.

Keep well,
Alex

calving-season-is-not-too-far-away
Calving season is not too far away - Image by Alex Walker
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Lots and lots of rain

27 Dec 2014 from Asilia Africa

Dear Carel,

Happy boxing day! Just to let you know that we had a lot of rain the whole of yesterday and through the night. Our rain gauge reads 100mls.

Thanks,
Angel

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More rain in the Serengeti

26 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Report from Marando Shauri, one of our guides. We are getting good rain now and the wildebeest are filling Caracal Plateau, coming in from Kusini and Makau woodlands.

Long lines heading out towards Gol and Lemuta. Frontier Forest woodland areas full, as well as the marsh areas. Large groups of zebra around the lodge. Many cheetah sightings with cubs so a great time to be here.

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Calving season has started, long lines to Ndutu

25 Dec 2014 from Nomad Tanzania

Hi Carel,

Happy Christmas! This just in from Nomad guide Emmanuel Njawa:

Things are starting to warm up around here after a few days of rain. Some substantial herds of wildebeest are now coming in from Kusini direction, possibly Maswa woodlands and are presently spreading between the Hidden Valley, Miti Mitatu, the minor and big swamps coming towards the eastern Ndutu woodlands.

We even saw a few hundred gnus galloping towards Naibadad possibly to start filling the plains overlooking Ngorongoro highlands. We're also seeing big numbers of cheetahs (we saw, in three hours, three mothers all with between three to five cubs) and lots of lions.

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More rain and some movement towards Lake Magadi and Moru Kopjes

Dear Carel,

We had 90mm rain last night I am sending a couple of photos from yesterday - herds are moving from Sopa area across to Lake Magadi.

Merry Christmas to you!

Kind Regards,
Alison

the-herds-are-heading-to-lake-magadi
The herds are heading to Lake Magadi - Image by Alison Mees
wildebeest-en-route-to-lake-magadi
Wildebeest en route to Lake Magadi - Image by Alison Mees
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The herds are spread out between Kusini, Ndutu, Matiti Hill, Naabi and Olduvai Gorge

24 Dec 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Hi Carel,

We have had some movement but only in the Southern side of Serengeti. They are spreading even wider between Serengeti South airstrip and Kusini now than Ndutu.

Heavy rains in Central and South Serengeti have confused the wildebeests quite a bit and they seem quite happy to be in area with still plentiful lush green grass, seems that it is going to be a good calving season and it might come a little early.

Season’s greetings from us all at Coastal.

Thanks and Regards,
Capt. Joel J Fernandes,
Coastal Aviation,
Arusha

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Long lines heading for Ndutu

23 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel, 

A small update from here, seem to be getting some wide spread rain at last and reports coming in that the wildebeest and zebra are coming in long lines from Moru and Kusini to the plains around the marshes.

Woodlands around Frontier Forest full. Heading from Small Marsh plain to Triangle / Naabi Plain.

Until next update, take care!
Ainslie

the-herds-are-in-ndutu
The herds are in Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Big rains on the Southern Serengeti plains

23 Dec 2014 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hey Carel,

The signal has been pretty temperamental. Perhaps to do with the storms. We have just had another half an inch now. There is a large herd spread from us here in Kakessio north for about ten kilometers and along the Maswa tree line. Its a lot greener here.

South of Ndutu it remains partially dry and there are large herds of Zebra west of the tree line. The lush green area starts again at the Serengeti boundary as you head west towards Kusini. Large mixed herds here too. There are occasional sightings of foals on the plains, probably premature births. It wouldn't surprise me if we see the foals dropping in the next two weeks.

Some baby Zebra already up and running...

heavy-rain-in-the-southern-serengeti
Heavy rain in the Southern Serengeti - Image by Alex Walker
wildebeest-grazing-in-the-southern-serengeti
Wildebeest in the Southern Serengeti - Image by Alex Walker
cloudy-serengeti-skies
Cloudy Serengeti skies - Image by Alex Walker
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Rain dripping from the tent roof - Image by Alex Walker
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Rain at Ndutu - January seems to be the time

23 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Update on the rain situation at Ndutu... yesterday big rainfall and widespread too, so hopefully wildies will head back this way soon.

Will keep you posted,
Ainslie

wildlife-in-ndutu
Wildlife in Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Rain, rain and lots of rain

Hi Carel,

We had 130 mm rain yesterday afternoon. Wildebeest are moving from Moru area back to Serengeti Pioneer Camp and across to Lake Magadi area.

Scattered herds of zebra and wildebeest in camp currently.

Kind Regards,
Alison

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Some movement back up to Moru Kopjes

Hi Carel,

An update from Pioneer Camp, the wildebeest are back - large herds of wildebeest in front of Pioneer Camp stretching to the Moru area. 18th December 2014 - 110 mm of rain. 

Kind Regards,
Alison

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The migration is spread out over the southern plains

19 Dec 2014 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel,

Now in Kakessio, having driven in from Arusha via the Crater rim and magical Mysigio. One of the must-do drives in Africa through the avenues of old growth Acacia Lahai… Scattered storms in the mid afternoon have been the current weather pattern over the past days.

Large storm clouds gathering around Oldeani and the Crater, drift west over the southern plains. Yesterday over the “Miti Mitato” area, today along the Maswa boundary road, there are reasonable herds spread out around Esere and Laetoli.

Smaller herds here in Kakessio but more on the horizon behind Kimuma. The masai are slowly drifting away from their summer pastures headed for the plateau behind us at Ngaireshi. Separately there are big herds on the plains west of Ndutu towards Kusini and the tree line there

Keep well,
Alex

wildebeest-on-the-southern-plains
Wildebeest on the Southern Plains - Image by Alex Walker
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Some good numbers at Ndutu marsh, good calving season predicted

18 Dec 2014 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel,

Reporting live and direct from the small marsh in Ndutu big herds of wildebeest fill the marsh areas and scattered of zebra, good water for all and looking green.

Preparations on schedule for a fantastic birthing season in Ndutu!

big-herds-at-the-ndutu-marsh
Big herds at the Ndutu Marsh - Image by Veronica Otter - Lemala Camps
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Wildebeest preparing for calving season in Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter - Lemala Camps
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Wildebeest herds close to Lemala Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter - Lemala Camps
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There's good water and green grass in Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter - Lemala Camps
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Herds are moving west towards Kusini after some good rain

18 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hello Carel,

There seems to have been a lot of rain out past Ndutu which is bringing the wildebeest streaming back from Olduvai, Lemuta in the direction of Kusini.

Yesterday evening a great number of wildebeest in Long Gully and Marsh areas but definately on a mission heading to rain. Wishing it would rain here so that they would stop a while! 

Cheers for now,
Ainslie

theres-been-lots-of-rain-in-ndutu
There's been lots of rain in Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Herds are spread out between Ndutu and Kusini

16 Dec 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

‎Hi Carel,

We got some coordinates of some of the big herds. They have been parading in the south parts of the Serengeti, between Ndutu and Kusini. And last week I had the opportunity to get up close, on ground.

I spent 24 hrs in the Serengeti and saw the big 5 (including 2 rhinos), cheetahs, the migration and tonnes of fantastic birds (4 lifers). I can, with the full conviction, say that this is the best place in the world to Safari.

Here are some pictures from the air. Have a fantastic day!

wildebeest-herds-between-ndutu-and-kusini
Wildebeest herds between Ndutu and Kusini - Image by Capt Joel
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Herds in the Southern parts of the Serengeti - Image by Capt Joel
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Herds between Ndutu marsh and Kusini

14 Dec 2014 from Nomad Tanzania

Hi Carel,

Just heard from Nomad guide Rowland Ngowi. The big herds of the migration are currently moving towards the Kusini woodlands and Kakesio, and there are some scattered herds around Ndutu and towards Mawe Ya Simba.

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Herds spread out over the southern plains

12 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Update from Ndutu Safari Lodge - Still lots of reports from drivers of vast numbers of wildebeest extending through marsh woodlands and out toward Two trees and also around the shores of Lake Ndutu.

The large numbers that we had around the lodge have now moved on. Large herds of gazelle out between marsh and Hidden Valley and Guests have seen some good cheetah action.

A limited amount of rain is failling in random locations, and none in the immediate vicinity of the lodge. Very windy too.

Regards,
Ainslie

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See the migration at Ndutu with Serengeti Balloon Safaris

09 Dec 2014 from Serengeti Balloon Safaris

Hi Carel,

Due to customer demand and the great herd movements, Serengeti Balloon Safaris will be commencing balloon operations in Serengeti South earlier this year. We will be starting on 13th December (rather than the previously published 20th December).

We look forward to again providing guests from camps and lodges in Serengeti South and Ndutu areas with an unforgettable experience viewing the great migration and attendant predators from a unique perspective.

Best wishes,
Tony

the-wildebeest-migration-in-ndutu
The wildebeest migration in Ndutu - Image by Tony Pascoe
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The herds are spread through Kusini and Ndutu

09 Dec 2014 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel,

Reports from the ground show that it's greening up quickly following last weeks big storms. The herds are spread through Kusini and Ndutu, the southernmost elements flooding into the plains south of mlima matiti.

In the Mara, the Loita herds are spread over the Mara North Conservancy and Ol Are Orok. Images to follow.

Cheers,
Alex

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Wildebeest spreading out over Caracal Plateau

09 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Morning Carel,

The rain here as usual is very localised. Nothing over the lodge for 10 days now, but big thunderstorms and rainfall over the marsh areas yesterday.

Wildebeest spreading out over Caracal plateau and slowly further out onto the plains. Woodlands quite full, and out on the triangle between here and Naabi. So many cheetah around. Guests are seeing upwards of 9 different sightings in a day.

Have a good day,
Ainslie

The wildebeest at Caracal Plateau - Video by Ainslie Wilson
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Wildebeest and zebra spread all through both marshes and the surrounding woodlands and plains

06 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Wildebeest and zebra spread all through both marshes and the surrounding woodlands and plains, and out onto Caracal Plateau, shores of Lake Ndutu and around the Lodge.

All the best,
Ainslie

the-migration-in-ndutu
The migration in Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
wildebeest-grazing-in-ndutu
Wildebeest grazing in Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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The triangle between Lake Ndutu and Naabi is full

03 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Reports from the Driver Guide Training Course happening at Ndutu Lodge, is that the Triangle between Lake Ndutu and Naabi is full, and they are streaming in past Two Trees.

First big mob seen out on Caracal Plateau yesterday afternoon too, and more coming in from Kusini way. Images to follow Carel.

Cheers,
Ainslie

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Big herds are presently around the Naabi and Gol Kopjes

03 Dec 2014 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel,

As the migration heads south to Ndutu the big herds are presently around the Naabi and Gol kopjes areas with some scatterings in the Moru area also. The Makoma and Seronera area has plenty of resident game with some small groupings of wildebeest who look like they are making their way south at a slow pace.

Unfortunately no pics on this till our guides are out again.

Warm regards,
Veronica

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Reports of large herds near Naabi heading into Ndutu

02 Dec 2014 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel,

Heavy rain through both Kusini, Makau and Kakessio yesterday. Reports of large herds near Naabi heading into Ndutu. still waiting on images we don’t have the internet set up in camp and the signal is poor today.

Cheers,
Alex

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Small pockets of wildebeest and zebra

02 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

26mm rain overnight. A small amount falling everyday so in the immediate Lodge vicinity things are greening up. Satellite map shows more coming. Still bone dry out on the plains towards Two Trees.

Small pockets of wildebeest and zebra, including a group of about 1000 out on Caracal Plateau yesterday. Hamisi, one of our drivers took this photo on caracal plateau yesterday afternoon.

Cheers,
Ainslie

wildebeest-herds-out-on-caracal-plateau-yesterday
Wildebeest herds out on Caracal Plateau yesterday - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Large rains in the Southern Serengeti

01 Dec 2014 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel,

There have been large rains in the southern Serengeti. Big herds are wending their way through the treeline at Kusini, headed southwards towards the short grass plains north of our Serengeti South camp which is now established near Kakessio. Images to follow tomorrow.

Cheers,
Alex

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Fairly big herds moving through Moru and Makoma

01 Dec 2014 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel,

There is rain most evenings in the central Serengeti and that is probably the reason the herds are fairly spread out and moving around aimlessly at present, we have fairly big herds moving through Moru and Makoma and our guides have seen them around Lake Magadi again heading back north towards Moru and Alan Root's camp area.

Keep well,
Ebenezer,
Lemala Ewanjan Head Guide

Fairly big herds moving through Moru and Makoma - Video by Ebenezer - Lemala Ewanjan
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Wildebeest that were in the marshes have retreated

01 Dec 2014 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

I went for a scout around this morning. The large numbers of wildebeest that were here in the marshes last week seem to have retreated, and remaining is just small groups of wildies and zebra and larger groups of gazelle. It is still bone dry out round Two Trees.

There is very little grass growing and still enormous groups of cattle in Long Gully and Marsh areas. Guests who have been here for the last 6 days have had amazing luck with cheetah - recording 21 different ones, many with small cubs.

The lions also are recovering some of the pre-dry season condition, thanks to the few wildebeest and zebra here.

All the best,
Ainslie

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28mm of rain last night

01 Dec 2014 from Asilia Africa

Hi Carel,

We had rain last night, 28mm

Thanks,
Nathoo

Lodges closest to the herd right now

Serengeti North Wilderness Camp in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

1 km

from herd

Serengeti North Wilderness Camp

$ 340

per person per night

The location of the Serengeti North Wilderness Camp has been carefully selected in the Lamai Wedge, the northern-most corner of the Serengeti National Park.

This relatively isolated spot overlooks the Mara River and is just a few kilometres from one of the recognised ‘crossing points’ for the wildebeest migration. The great thing about Northern Serengeti is that it is nowhere near as densely populated as the Maasai Mara.

 

Guests viewing Elephants in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

3 km

from herd

Wayo Green Camp

$ 326

per person per night

Our walking safari camp is part of the Wayo Africa Walking Safari experience. It is truly one-of-a-kind and is the highlight of many people's safaris. The aim of our camp is to access remote areas in the easiest manner possible while maintaining high levels of comfort. Our camp is designed to fit on a small trailer that can easily be towed in to the bush, allowing for movement as the animals move.

Tents are 3-man dome style tents that are easy to set-up with plenty of floor space for two people. It is great for a good nights rest in a really remote area. Sleeping is on comfy 4-inch mattresses on the ground and the bedding is cotton covered duvets and cotton sheets.

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5 km

from herd

Kimondo Camp

$ 714

per person per night

Like the herds of antelope that have made the Serengeti the most famous wilderness region on earth, Kimondo is a traveller. As the seasons wax and wane so this migration camp crafted of wood and canvas follows the herds on their never-ending journey across the grasslands of East Africa.

From July to October home for Kimondo is near the sinuous Mara River on the famous Lamai Wedge, where massive herds brave the jaws of hungry Nile crocodiles. As winter eases and summer warms the land, the herds move south to calve in the lush grasslands of the southern Serengeti. As the herds move, so does Kimondo, to ensure you’re never far from the heart of the migration.

But unlike the thundering wildebeest, Kimondo – like its sought-after sister-camp Olakira – leaves no footprint behind. Entirely solar-powered, it’s a migration camp that touches the earth lightly while providing authentic luxury on the Serengeti plains. With just eight comfortable tents Kimondo offers an intimate safari experience; a sumptuous taste of how the early explorers discovered the wonders of East Africa.

From rich hand-woven rugs to burnished copper lanterns a sultry mix of Moroccan exoticism and East African safari romance resonates at Kimondo, where king-size cast-iron beds rest under canvas ceilings as the rustle of the savannah lulls you to sleep. Or leave sleep for a while and linger at the fireside, swopping tales of your day in Africa as the embers crackle up towards the Milky Way. Kimondo translates as ‘shooting star’ and in Tanzania’s crystal-clear skies you’ll be sure to see more than a few.

Singita Mara Guests on a Game Drive

6 km

from herd

Singita Mara

$ 1515

per person per night

Singita Mara River Tented Camp is the epitome of sustainable tourism and consciously seeks to eliminate the unnecessary use of energy and non-biodegradable materials. In keeping with this philosophy, the camp operates “off-the-grid” and relies entirely on a custom-designed solar system for its power and the use of recycled and natural materials wherever possible. Inside the camp, bohemian chic sets the tone for cool relaxation, where spun natural fabrics, canvas, stone and raw leather blend with Maasai primary colours and elegant art pieces by young African designers and craftsmen. The functional East African design encourages guests to embrace the outdoors and connect with nature.

Cheetah Spotting at Sayari Camp, Serengeti

7 km

from herd

Sayari Camp

$ 753

per person per night

When Sayari Camp opened in 2005 it blazed a trail in Tanzania, allowing safari travellers to access one of the most dramatic and under-explored corners of the northern Serengeti. Today, this upmarket Serengeti lodge is one of the finest in Africa, offering luxurious lodgings in some of the best Big Five countries on the continent.

The remote and starkly beautiful landscape forms the inspiration for Sayari, with the turret-shaped roofs on each of the 15 expansive tented suites mirroring the iconic Turner Hill to the north. Indoors, rich mahogany floors and delicate tones of sand, stone and acacia reflect the views washing in through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

En-suite bathrooms, with spacious showers and egg-shaped baths large enough for two, offer similarly impressive Serengeti views. Fine linens and safari-chic décor offset the wilderness that lies just beyond the canvas walls, with king-size beds and private verandas to complete the world-class experience.