May 2014 - Wildebeest migration updates

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The rut has already started

30 May 2014 from Lemala Camps

This is only a small fore front of the migration. They are currently in the area of the confluence of the Bologanja and Mara Rivers in a place we call Makotano. There are calves with them which is how we know its the migration and the rut has already started. Usually the rut starts around end of June but they are getting going early this year. There are also quite a few zebras with them. We believe the main body is still to come. Kind Regards Mark - Lemala Kuria Hills

zebra-at-the-confluence-of-the-bologonja-and-mara-river
Zebra at the confluence of the Bologonja and Mara River - Image by Mark Stroud
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Few hundred Zebra crossed the Mara River

29 May 2014 from Lemala Camps

The first of the crossings have started today, a herd of a few hundred Zebra crossed the Mara River this morning and the wildebeest are slowly catching up, lots of action expected over the next few weeks / months. very little rain in the Mara this year so there will certainly not be enough grass on the Kenyan side so we are expecting crossings back and forth this year! Thanks Mark - Lemala Kuria Hills

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Slowly heading north

28 May 2014 from Lemala Camps

James is at Kuria Hills and says the wildebeest "advant guarde" has arrived in the north +- 30km south of Kuria Hills Northern Serengeti, just south of the Mara River.

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The wildebeest migration has arrived in the north - Image by James Haigh
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Front part of the migration spotted

26 May 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Good Morning The front part of the migration spotted between 3 NM NE of Fort Ikoma, all the way to about 5 NM E of Sasakwa. As one big herd.... Really Amazing today.‎ No pictures yet unfortunately! Joel

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The migration seems to be moving quick!

21 May 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Hi Carel, the migration seems to be moving quick! They are in and around the Sasakwa airstrip up to 5 miles to the NE roughly in the direction of the Fort Ikoma airstrip. ‎Attached are some of the pics from the air and the ground. Thanks and Regards, Captain Joel

the-wildebeest-migration-is-moving-quick
The wildebeest migration is moving quick - Image by Captain Joel J Fernandes
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Expect early river crossings this year!

20 May 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Guys Just to give you an update. The one split of the migration is now around the Lobo area and some of the groups are already reaching Bolagonja. The other big herds are still around the Grumeti River and Sasakwa areas. Expect early river crossings this year! Best wishes Tom

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Wildebeest between Sasakwa and Grumeti River

19 May 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Quick Update as a side note. Today 2 big herds of wildebeest between Sasakwa and Grumeti River 1) Migration herd spotted starting 5 miles SW of Sasakwa airstrip right on the boundary between Grumeti reserve and Serengeti heading SW towards Grumeti, arriving soon. 2)The main migration herd spotted between 5 miles NW of Grumeti airstrip, all the way to 10 miles W-SW of Grumeti airstrip. Very spread out and seems they are stationary. Joel

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Main herd is between Singita’s Sasakwa and the Grumeti River

16 May 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Hey Carel We are getting ready for peak season and our planes are in tip-top shape, it is going to be a busy season it seems! So the main herd is now between Singita's Sasakwa and the Grumeti River still moving North Westerly. I suspect in a couple of days they will be making a turn to the North East. Thanks and Regards, Joel

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Herds are still around the Grumeti River

15 May 2014 from Lemala Camps

Just out of the Serengeti and the herds are still around the Grumeti River and around the Lemala Grumeti camp which is close to the Grumeti Airstrip, your clients are happy, they will send you some images! Regards Tom

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Wildebeest herds are between Mbalageti and Kirawira

13 May 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi, Korduni, one of our managers at our Lemala Explorer Camp in the Grumeti (formerly Kigelia) area says the wildebeest herds are between Mbalageti and Kirawira in the Western Corridor at the moment.

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Wildebeest and zebra around the Nyasirori area

08 May 2014 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel There is a mass of wildebeest and zebra around the Nyasirori area at the Western Corridor seen ten minutes ago by our camp manager from Lemala Explorer Grumeti Camp (formerly Kigelia). They seem to be a little early and if no more rain towards the south-east to turn them around again then we could expect early Mara River crossings this year again, June crossings could even be possible. Regards Tom

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migration is moving in a North Westerly direction

05 May 2014 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

We got some low quality photos from the air this morning. Currently the migration is moving in a North Westerly direction and is slightly south of due west from Seronera, spanning between 10 and 20 miles from the airstrip.‎ The pilot didn't get a comprehensive look but says the front-end should soon be on the edge of Singita Grumeti Reserves in a few days from now. So they seem to be on the move and slightly early again this year. Thanks and Regards, Joel

the-wildebeest-migration-is-moving-in-a-north-westerly-direction
The wildebeest migration is moving in a north westerly direction - Image by Captain Joel J Fernandes

Lodges closest to the herd right now

Guests viewing Elephants in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

2 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.

Cheetah Spotting at Sayari Camp, Serengeti

3 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.

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3 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.

Lamai Serengeti Balcony View in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

8 km

from herd

Lamai Serengeti

$ 725

per person per night

Lamai Serengeti sits tucked amongst the rocks of Kogakuria Kopje with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, only a few miles from where the wildebeest cross the Mara River.  For roughly a quarter of the year, between late July and October, this is where you'll find the migration. Right here, on our doorstep! For the rest of the year, it is wild Serengeti with all the resident game of the Masai Mara but without the people.

Each of the rooms is designed to fit into the complex geometry of the kopje and to make the most of this sensational location,  its views and its natural space and light. The rooms are a blend of canvas, plaster and natural poles.

Exterior Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

8 km

from herd

Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge

$ 734

per person per night

This new and distinctly unique Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge is nestled amongst pristine Kenyan Ravine forest on the Oloololo (Siria) Escarpment.

Overlooking the amazing Masai Mara National Reserve and Wildebeest Migration Route, with around 120km of unbroken views across the vast savannah of the Masai Mara – it is simply breath-taking.