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.
Lion kill in front of the Ndutu Safari Lodge - Image by Ainslie Wilson
The Hidden Valley is flooded - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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.
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.
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.
Ndutu Safari Lodge
Ndutu is packed with wildebeest - Image by Ainslie Wilson
Herds are spread from Naabi to Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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.
Wildebeest migration in Ndutu - Image by Hamisi, Ndutu Safari Lodge
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
Big herds at Lakes Ndutu and Masek - Image by Ephata Lotashu
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.
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
Camp Manager, Lemala Ewanjan
Wildebeest outside Lemala Ewanjan - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
Herds at Makoma Hill - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
Wildebeest migration is moving south - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
Zebra outside Lemala Ewanjan - Image by Nelson, Lemala Ewanjan
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.
Wildebeest migration at the Mara River - Image by Moses
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.
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!
Wildebeest close to the Four Seasons Access Road - Image by Oliver Dreike
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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.
Chaka Camp, is a mobile Serengeti safari camp designed to be lightweight enough to move seasonally, is located in the Ndutu area from December through March. The camp relocates to Western Serengeti from May through June, and again to Northern Serengeti from July through November.
From December through March, the wildebeest migration moves in and out of the Ndutu area. Ndutu is located in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, just south of Serengeti National Park. Chaka Camp’s location provides easy access to prime game viewing areas around Lakes Ndutu and Masek. In addition to the almost two million wildebeest and zebra that move through the area each year, Ndutu is home to cheetah, lion, giraffe and hundreds of bird species. During February’s calving season, the wildebeest give birth to 8,000 babies a day.
From May through June, Chaka Camp relocates to Western Serengeti. The wildebeest migration is generally in this area during this time, and crossings over the Grumeti River are sometimes seen in this area. Access to Central Serengeti is also possible from this area as the drive is only two hours.
From July through November, Chaka Camp is located in Northern Serengeti. The camp is close to the Mara River, allowing easy access to several river crossing points in the area. During this time of year, the wildebeest migration is crossing the Mara River back and forth from Tanzania to Kenya. River crossings are common with crocodiles, hippos and large cats scattered throughout the area.
Like the wildebeest that are the stars of the Serengeti Annual Migration, the Olakira camp is a wanderer; a luxurious under-canvas camp that moves with the seasons, forever following the herds to ensure you have a front-row seat to the greatest show on earth.
Fine linens, finer dining and a touch of nomadic romance are the hallmarks of this authentic East African safari camp. Whether it’s at the river crossings of the northern Serengeti, the breath-taking scenery of the Lamai Wedge, or on the great grassy plains of the south, the intimate Olakira camp ensures the best of the Serengeti is always right on your doorstep.
December to March typically coincides with ‘calving season’ in the Serengeti and Ndutu Wilderness Camp is ideally located so visitors can view this spectacle. Nestled under shady trees, on the Ndutu plains, this camp allows guests to enjoy the wealth of wildlife that has made these sun-soaked plains so renowned.
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.