April 2015 - Wildebeest migration updates

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50mm of rain last night and more today at Serengeti Pioneer Camp

Hi Carel,

The herds are from Naabi Gate going to Ngorongoro. Very few scattered after Simba Kopjes to Seronera. It is raining heavily as I am writing this and we had 50mm of rain yesterday.

Regards,
Simon Kisingi,
Relief Manager,
Serengeti Pioneer Camp

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More rain at Ndutu, a wonderful place to be right now

28 Apr 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Good Morning Carel

Over 20mm rain yesterday taking this months total to over 200!

Last April was 69mm and the year before 166mm. There was a massive storm out over Lemuta and Nasera with extensive flooding.  It's a hot sunny morning now, the grass will be growing and just maybe the wildebeest will stay around a bit longer! 

Two days ago there were long lines heading for Silkum Valley and Kusini and Hidden Valley teeming with wildies. Now with yesterdays rain I already have reports that they have turned again and heading back to the Ndutu plains and to Lemuta. For several days the lodge has been surrounded and lions brought down a wildebeest at 3am, 20 metres in front of room 17. Photos attached is of Hidden Valley and the lion kill.

Cheers,
Ainslie
 

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Lion kill in front of the Ndutu Safari Lodge - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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The Hidden Valley is flooded - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Wonderful video showing the volume of animals at Makao plain, Ndutu

23 Apr 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Just an idea of what we have to ourselves this April, incredible amount of ungulates on the plains around Ndutu, this particular video was at Makao plain. The herds seem to be fairly stationary with not much movement at the moment.

Keep well,
Ainslie

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Herds at Ndutu and Naabi and not going anywhere for now

23 Apr 2015 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel,

Our guides heading into Serengeti are enjoying seeing some big herds at Golini and Naabi gate. What started out as looking like migration crossings early this year could actually now be late with the migration still at Ndutu end April.

They sure are giving us a run around this year. Hopefully they will turn around in due course and start their trip to the north.

Have a great day,
Lemala Ewanjan

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From Gol Kopjes, Naabi and all the way to Ndutu packed with wildebeest and zebra, go now!

23 Apr 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Good Morning Carel,

Not much more to add - the wildebeest are everywhere. I went out for a look around last afternoon and it was amazing!  Really dry under the tyres so no worries about mud or getting stuck.

The Makao Plains right across to Twin Hills and beyond is wall to wall covered. Closer to Ndutu, the Caracal Plateau and all surrounding woodlands are scattered with large herds as well. Standing on the meadow and using binos looking out over the Triangle towards Lemuta and Gol, full full as well.

So we would welcome last minute guests and low season rates now apply.

Cheers,
Ainslie,
Ndutu Safari Lodge

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Ndutu is packed with wildebeest - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Herds are spread from Naabi to Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Ndutu and surrounds packed with wildebeest, all to yourself if you go now!

22 Apr 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

The area is full of wildebeest. But spread out. Last night from meadow through binos looking out at Triangle and up to Lemuta / Gol - wall to wall wildies.

Makao Plains across to Twin Hills full also. I am going out this afternoon to enjoy it myself.

More tomorrow!
Ainslie

the-herds-are-spread-out-in-ndutu
The herds are spread out in Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Ndutu is the place to be at right now!

21 Apr 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Good Morning Carel,

My apologies for the delay in updates - too busy out there enjoying the wildebeest!  Ndutu area is looking like it should be - green and lush and vast areas of wildebeest and zebra. 

The plains out from Naabi to Gol to Lemuta, widespread coverage, as are the Triangle plains, Makao plains and Caracal Plateau areas. We have also had several days of the lodge being surrounded, and have seen a couple of good crossings of both Lakes Ndutu and Masek.

There appears to be late birthings too with many very small young calves. The cats are all full bellied and guests have been enjoying some really exciting cheetah action with the different families of subadults practicing their hunting skills.

Photo from Hamisi, sent in from his phone yesterday.

Regards,
Ainslie

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Wildebeest migration in Ndutu - Image by Hamisi, Ndutu Safari Lodge
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Herds scattered all over the southern plains from Ndutu to Moru

20 Apr 2015 from Ranger Safaris

Morning Carel,

I am on my way to Simba Lodge Ikoma, so I had the chance to drive through the herds today, I bumped into big herds at Lakes Ndutu and Masek with the Ndutu Triangle packed with scattered herds throughout the plains towards Naabi and Simba Kopjes, some more towards Moru and I can imagine to Kusini Plains.

We also have reports of herds towards Gol Kopjes towards the east. Lots of water and new grass so not much movement on a daily basis, I think this is as close to wildebeest heaven as one can get.

Keep well,
Ephata

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Big herds at Lakes Ndutu and Masek - Image by Ephata Lotashu
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Breaking news - herds back at Ndutu in huge numbers

15 Apr 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Sending two photos today which speak for themselves.

The plains up around Lemuta and the Gold Kopjes are full of wildebeest, spread from horizon to horizon.

Also, the Triangle (between Naabi and Marsh areas) plains around Frontier Forest and Two Trees full kabisa, all heading direction of Marshes and Plains out the other side.

Good rains continue to fall all around and Landscape is luscious green! Just how it is supposed to look in April!

Cheers,
Ainslie

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Wildebeest in Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Herds have returned to Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Huge herds at Naabi

Hi Carel,

Just a quick wildebeest migration update - huge herds in the Naabi area!

Kind Regards,
Alison
 

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Onwards towards Naabi

Dear Carel,

Thanks for your email... we have had an incredible amount of rain in the Serengeti since it started.  

The wildebeest have passed us quickly on their way back towards the south, I understand that good herds are down Naabi way. We will keep you posted. We have a couple of vehicles going that way tomorrow.

Kind Regards,
Alison & Tom

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Herds at Makoma Hill and moving south towards Moru

13 Apr 2015 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel,

We still have some of the migration around the central area but some big herds have moved on to the Moru area following the green grass and throughly enjoying the long awaited rains. The Serengeti is enjoying lots of it and looking lush and green.

Have a wonderful week!
Camp Update from Lemala Ewanjan

view-from-the-serengeti
View from the Serengeti - Image by Lemala Camps
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Herds all over the northern and central Serengeti, lots or rain around

13 Apr 2015 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Hi Carel
Its been pouring out there. Yesterday pilots reported them scattered all over the Northern Serengeti moving south. With ample food and water they are in no rush to get anywhere. Herds spotted just north of Seronera airstrip and as far North as the Lobo and the Klein’s gate. There is word that they may have even crossed into Kenya in the past week but are turning back into the Serengeti.
Thanks and Regards,
Capt. Joel J Fernandes
Coastal Aviation, Arusha
 

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Herds at Mbuzi Mawe all coming together, general movement seems to be back south

Dear Carel,

I personally drove around the northern Serengeti as well as down to south / central Serengeti over the last week.

I noticed several large herds moving south all the way from the Sand River / Lobo / Bologonja / upper Grumeti / Kleins areas.

I then spent a night at Migration Camp and the following day I drove down south only to find that from Lobo right to Mbuzi Mawe all the herds came together, they were coming from all directions and joint up on Togoro plains north of Mbuzi Mawe. 

I stayed at Pioneer Camp for one night on the 6th and on my return all the herds started heading east, some south east. There was also a huge herd moving thought the Seronera area.

Regards,
Ryan 
 

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Herds spread out over most of the Serengeti after all the good rain

09 Apr 2015 from Wild Frontiers

Hi Carel

As discussed this morning, looks like everyone has some good wildies at the moment, which is good because we all need some business in low season. Some brilliant deals to be had last minute as you know. April / May is my favorite time of the year!

Below from Raj:

I have an update from the camp and its good. There are lots of gnu's at the camp - maybe around three to four hundred thousand, eighty buffaloes and a pride of around 18 lions in the area.

Noisy at night, grass is green, bit of mud but guests are happy!

Thanks,
Raj

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Herds in the Mara turning back to the Serengeti for now

09 Apr 2015 from The Safari Collection

Hi Carel,

Very welcome for the latest updates. The huge herds of wildebeest that came north last week have headed back south again now towards the Serengeti and we left with some smaller herds from the Loita migration around the Mara.

Still some very big herds of zebra around too but many of these have also headed back south. We’ve had huge amounts of rain in the Mara this past week and everything has turned a beautiful green.

Best wishes,
Mark

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Herds in the Masai Mara confirmed - they came from the Serengeti

07 Apr 2015 from The Safari Collection

Hi Carel,

We’re still seeing big herds of wildebeest and zebra crossing into Kenya from Tanzania around Sala’s Camp along the Sand River.

Best wishes,
Mark

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Wildebeest in the Masai Mara - Image by Mark Boyd
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Wildebeest migration in Kenya - Image by Mark Boyd
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Big herds have crossed the Sand River - Image by Mark Boyd
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Herds at Makoma Hill and moving south

07 Apr 2015 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel,

A Serengeti Update from Lemala Ewanjan:

With the rains occurring in Central Serengeti we have been delighted to see the return of the migration to Seronera and around the Lemala Ewanjan camp offering our guest up close and personal experiences as the zebras enjoy the fresh green grass around the camp and the wildebeest enjoy the plains in front of the camp.

Nelson,
Camp Manager,

Lemala Ewanjan

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Wildebeest outside Lemala Ewanjan - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
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Herds at Makoma Hill - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
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Wildebeest migration is moving south - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
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Zebra outside Lemala Ewanjan - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
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Herds return to Ndutu after all the rain

07 Apr 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Dear Carel,

As we had hoped the wildebeest seem to be coming back to Ndutu! Our Guide Hamisi, out on the meadow this morning saw a small group, maybe 300 or so, coming from Big Marsh.

Over the last few days there have been very small groups seen here and there, but this is the first sign of any larger group. The sky and thunder overhead suggests an afternoon of good rain coming up.

Kind Regards,
Ainslie

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The migration has returned to Ndutu - Image by Hamisi
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Herds have turned around heading back towards Moru and Naabi

Hi Carel,

Heavy rains for the last 2 days around Moru. Big herds coming from Grumeti. Most of them are around Seronera.

Big groups moving toward Naabi, smaller group towards Moru.

Regards,
Tom

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Masai Mara, Mara River crossings started

05 Apr 2015 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel,

Moses reports wildebeest crossing the Mara River next to our Nkorombo camp in the centre of the Mara Reserve. Approximately two to three hundred at a time headed north from the Mara Triangle. This over the past few days.

Kakessio and Musini report heavy rains and the remaining herds there will be on the move soon. Nothing significant yet just small stuff. 

Cheers,
Alex
 

wildebeest-migration-at-the-mara-river
Wildebeest migration at the Mara River - Image by Moses
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200 000 wildebeest steadily making their way east

04 Apr 2015 from Singita - Grumeti

Hi Carel,

We have had a lot of rain over the last 2 days. Yesterday some of our guides went to Ikorongo and saw at least 200 000 wildebeest steadily making their way east. At this stage we only have small pockets of the animals left on the property here. Hopefully you will be getting updates from some of your sources to the East of us soon.

Regards,
Ryan Schmitt

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Good rains for the past week

04 Apr 2015 from Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Hi Carel

We have been having some good rains for the past week and everywhere is starting to green up. Then yesterday, overnight, thousands of wildebeest turned up on the plains along our access road to enjoy the new green flush.

For almost half the length of our 15 km access road there are nice big herds of tens of thousands of wildebeest, plus smaller herds of zebra and Tommie - a fantastic welcome (or farewell) party for all of our guests this Easter!

Cheers,
Oli

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Wildebeest close to the Four Seasons Access Road - Image by Oliver Dreike

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.