January 2015 - Wildebeest migration updates

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The birth of a new wildebeest calf - wonderful footage

29 Jan 2015 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel,

Wonderful sights all round, the calving season in full swing, this particular birth was with us on the Masai Mara side of the Serengeti/Mara ecosystem. More updates to follow.

Keep well,
Roisin

Wildebeest birth - Video by William Kasale
Wildebeest birth - Video by William Kasale
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Long lines of dust heading towards Maswa

29 Jan 2015 from Nomad Tanzania

Hi there Carel,

Nomad guide Ian Kiwelu has been out for a full day today and has seen big herds heading towards Maswa. He says there’s no sign of rain and it’s pretty dusty around there at the moment.

More to come later,
Amanda

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Plains are drying out, herds on the move

29 Jan 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Good Morning Carel,

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.

All the best,
Ainslie

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Don’t be alarmed, there’s still some good numbers at Ndutu

28 Jan 2015 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel,

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.

Best wishes, 
Tom
 

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Wildebeest in Ndutu - Image by Tom Yule
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Wildebeest at a waterhole in Ndutu - Image by Tom Yule
there-are-still-big-wildebeest-numbers-in-ndutu
There are still big wildebeest numbers in Ndutu - Image by Tom Yule
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It’s all happening at Kusini towards the west and Alamana to the east

27 Jan 2015 from Wildlife Explorer

Hi Carel

Just to let you know there is a lot of birthing going on around our camp at The Alamana, the little ones are getting mobile. These photos just in. 

The bulk of the herds are towards Kusini and Maswa though. Hope you also got the photos from Gary, taken at our Kusini camp?

Regards,
Sean

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Last year's wildebeest calves - Image by Lois Blalock
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Migration on the move - Image by Lois Blalock
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Things are drying out in the Serengeti - Image by Lois Blalock
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Migration heading west soon - Image by Lois Blalock
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Newborn wildebeest calves - Image by Lois Blalock
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Wildebeest calf takes its first steps - Image by Lois Blalock
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Survived my first day in the Serengeti - Image by Lois Blalock
wildebeest-migration-close-to-alamana
Wildebeest migration close to Alamana - Image by Lois Blalock
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It is drying out and the herds are moving west towards the Maswa treeline

27 Jan 2015 from Alex Walker's Serian

Morning Carel,

Just a quick update, dry days, some good numbers heading west into Maswa and the area south west of Kusini. Will try and keep in touch.

Alex

wildebeest-migration-heading-west
Wildebeest migration heading west - Image by Alex Walker
wildebeest-herds-on-the-move
Wildebeest herds on the move - Image by Alex Walker
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Some big numbers at Kusini and some more rain

23 Jan 2015 from Wildlife Explorer

Hi Carel,

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!

Gary
Wildlife Explorer

- Image by Gary Strand
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The first few almost steps of our 2015 new arrivals

22 Jan 2015 from Lemala Camps

Morning Carel,

Some good numbers around the Ndutu marshes and Hidden Valley with some of the bigger herds having moved towards the south-west of Ndutu.

Some sunshine over the last week or so, plenty of new arrivals and very good predator interaction on the plains. Enjoy the snippet of the first few almost steps of a new wildebeest calf.

Keep well,
Veronica 

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The bigger herds have moved towards the south-west of Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter
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Good numbers around the Ndutu marshes - Image by Veronica Otter
Wildebeest calf walking for the first time - Video by Veronica Otter
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Wildebeest moved towards Kusini south west of Ndutu with zebra close to the lakes

20 Jan 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hello Carel,

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.

All the best,
Ainslie

- Video by Ainslie Wilson Ndutu Safari Lodge
- Video by Ainslie Wilson Ndutu Safari Lodge
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Very good numbers south west of Ndutu towards Kimuma Hill

20 Jan 2015 from Alex Walker's Serian

Morning Carel,

Nice big herds all south west of Ndutu Makau road. Babies galore, lots of cheetah action on the plains. 

The largest concentrations are here around Serengeti South and Kimuma hill. Probably amounting to a hundred thousand. Images to follow.  

Keep well,
Alex

Calving season in full swing

19 Jan 2015

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
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Some movement towards the west and wonderful sightings

16 Jan 2015 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi Carel,

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.

Cheers,
Alex 

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The first calves have arrived

16 Jan 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Morning Carel,

Caracal Plateau, Kusini and Makao Plains full. Babies popping out left right and centre too. Wonderful to drive into the middle, switch off the engine and just listen.

Cheers,
Ainslie

newborn-wildebeest-calves-at-ndutu
Newborn wildebeest calves at Ndutu - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Lake Ndutu crossing with calving season in full swing

15 Jan 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

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,
Ainslie

From the roof of my house at Ndutu Safari Lodge - Video by Ainslie Wilson
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The herds have filled the southern plains from east to west

14 Jan 2015 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Hey Carel,

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 
 

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Wildebeest migration in Ndutu - Image by Capt. Joel J Fernandes
aerial-view-of-the-great-migration
Aerial view of the great migration - Image by Capt. Joel J Fernandes
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Herds are around lakes Ndutu and Masek towards Hidden Valley and the marshes

13 Jan 2015 from Lewis Mangaba

Morning Carel,

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
Wildebeest herds in Ndutu - Image by Lewis Mangaba
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It is wet in the Serengeti, and a beautiful time to be at Ndutu

12 Jan 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Lots of rain and lots of mud and lots of wildebeest, so many in fact they are literally on my doorstep. The wildebeest all spread out through the valleys, plains, woodland and marsh areas.

Within one valley yesterday were a pride of lions, a cheetah with 3 cubs large numbers of wildebeest and giraffe and amazingly, wild dogs too. This is not a bad place to come on safari.

All the best,
Ainslie

its-wet-in-the-serenegti
It's wet in the Serengeti - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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The herds are between Lake Ndutu and Matiti Hill - some groups at Piyaya towards the east

12 Jan 2015 from Lewis Mangaba

Hi Carel, 

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.

Best Regards,
Lewis

herds-between-lake-ndutu-and-matiti-hill
Herds between Lake Ndutu and Matiti Hill - Image by Lewis Mangaba
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Wildebeest Victory at Sala’s Camp Masai Mara

09 Jan 2015 from The Safari Collection

Morning Carel,

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!

Keep well,
Tash Clementis,
The Safari Collection

- Video by Dixit Family visiting Sala's camp
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Wild dogs having a field day at Ndutu - easy pickings

07 Jan 2015 from Nomad Tanzania

Hi Carel,

These images of 9 wild dogs on a kill in the middle of Ndutu were just sent in by Nomad Tanzania guide Kennedy John. So it’s not all about the wildebeest this week! 

Warm wishes,
Amanda

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Wild dogs surround a kill - Image by Kennedy John
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Wild dogs in Ndutu - Image by Kennedy John
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Protecting the kill - Image by Kennedy John
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Pack of wild dogs - Image by Kennedy John
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Rain rain and more rain - herds spread out all over the southern plains

05 Jan 2015 from Alex Walker's Serian

Morning Carel,

Rain everyday for the last 10 days and the herds are spread out from Kakesio as far as Nasera Rock and the plains beyond.

We have seen several newborn babies over the past two days, the first on 1 January 2015!

Keep well,
Alex

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Flooded path in the southern Serengeti - Image by Alex Walker
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Cloudy Serengeti skies - Image by Alex Walker
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No way through - Image by Alex Walker
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Migration update from Serengeti Balloon Safaris flying over the plains south of Naabi Gate

05 Jan 2015 from Serengeti Balloon Safaris

Morning Carel,

We had a wonderful flight in Serengeti South this morning with two balloons MXC and MWD with Shawn and Moses as pilots respectively.

Flight duration was 1.1 hours with wildlife sighting including thousands of wildebeest, hyena, large herds of eland, black backed and golden jackal, ostrich and tawny eagle among others.

The entire Serengeti Balloon Safaris experience was enjoyed by all!

Balloon safari over Ndutu - Video by Amanda Strowbridge
Balloon safari over Ndutu - Video by Amanda Strowbridge

Lodges closest to the herd right now

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1 km

from herd

Woodlands Camp

Price on Request

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.

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2 km

from herd

Chaka Camp

279

per person per night

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.

Follow the link the see the best time to visit Serengeti or visit our HerdTracker app. 

The dining area at Olakira, Tanzania

2 km

from herd

Olakira Mobile Camp

$ 759

per person per night

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.

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2 km

from herd

Ndutu Wilderness Camp

Price on Request

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.

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3 km

from herd

Camp Zebra

$ 495

per person per night

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.