There has been no rain here for nearly three weeks now so most of the migration has moved off towards Maswa, Makao direction. Reports indicate that there are a lot of wildies still out on the Makao plains, with a lot of cheetah sightings and action out there, and also long lines heading into Maswa.
Here at Ndutu we still have pockets of wildebeest with their calves, in the woodlands but nothing of any significance.
I have a report from our camp manager at Lemala Ndutu saying that there are big numbers around Ndutu area at the moment which the guests are enjoying. They are also witnessing a number of births and many calves are being seen.
Here are a few photos which he has sent to me.
Wildebeest in Ndutu - Image by Tom Yule
Wildebeest at a waterhole in Ndutu - Image by Tom Yule
There are still big wildebeest numbers in Ndutu - Image by Tom Yule
Yesterday we had a super-herd file into the area in front of the Dulana Serengeti Camp staying for the whole day, evening and moving out east during the night time rain.
This morning we are left with a few thousand enjoying the refreshed grass in front of camp, whilst the main grouping is massed a kilometre away mostly on the Serengeti side of the boundary between the Ndutu woodlands and Kusini.
Its worth noting that a large calving group has been in residence at The Alamana in the Loliondo Game Conservancy Area for the past two weeks and have been consistently dropping calves as large build ups of rain have been consistent. Cumulus, blue skies and great game viewing!
Although most of the large numbers of wildebeest seem to be out Makao direction, there are still good numbers around the woodlands of Ndutu, mixed in with good numbers of zebra.
Our resident leopards are seen most days at the moment, and lots of cheetah with cubs and the large herd of elephant are at the gravel pond most afternoons for a swim. Last night we had a small amount of rain, much needed, and will hopefully develop into more.
It seems that we are having a wonderful calving season at Ndutu and the surrounding plains, all the way from Kusini through to Ndutu and Masek, to Olduvai and beyond to Piyaya and Gol Kopjes.
With enough rain and good new grass do we expect the herds to be stationary for the next month or so with little movement other than the odd new born stretching their new legs. Cheetah, lion and a like are all having a feast of a time and most people would have timed their visit to the southern plains well with a few departures into late March probably a little late this year.
Wonderful video shared by Alex Walker and his team. Thanks Alex!
Art Wolfe East Africa Daily Journal 3: The Serengeti - Video by Art Wolfe
The herds are headed westward towards the tree line. Despite there being plentiful water on the open plains, not all the herds are birthing as yet so we should have a good February as usual. But it is happening.
In the south the herds are headed towards camp and Kimuma having spent the past few days in Kusini. The woodlands of Ndutu are full of Zebra.
This afternoon we heard a large lake crossing and soon after hundreds of wildebeest streamed past the lodge. I climbed onto the roof of my house to record this. Spot the new calf. They soon settled down and grazed quietly round the rooms.
All the best,
From the roof of my house at Ndutu Safari Lodge - Video by Ainslie Wilson
It has been a bit busy only for a couple of days. The migration has been in the Ndutu area and calving season has been in full swing. We got a couple of pics from the air. Hope they are good enough. The migration has been scattered for miles to the east and west of the Ndutu airstrip.
The rains have been calming down a bit.
Thanks and Regards,
Capt. Joel J Fernandes
Wildebeest migration in Ndutu - Image by Capt. Joel J Fernandes
Aerial view of the great migration - Image by Capt. Joel J Fernandes
The rains are patchy in the Ndutu area and there is a lot of movement with wildebeest herds following the front. They are moving between lake Ndutu and the small and big marsh. They have been a shift towards Miti Mitatu and the Hidden Valley with the herds following the lush green grass.
Keep well, Lewis
Wildebeest herds in Ndutu - Image by Lewis Mangaba
I just came from Ndutu. It is raining and the area is teeming with wildebeest and zebras. The herds had been around Lake ndutu through to small and big marsh heading towards Miti Mitatu and the Hidden Valley.
Great lion, hyena and cheetah sightings following the herds with some kills executed during the day.
Herds between Lake Ndutu and Matiti Hill - Image by Lewis Mangaba
The Loita and resident herds are still around and we have had some good numbers on the Meta plains. This funny video was filmed by one of our clients of a young male lion learning his trade - he seems to have a long way to go. We forget that cats are grown-up after only a year but that they still lack confidence, needed for survival outside of dad's pride.
We look forward to the return of the Serengeti herds a little later!
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.