May 2015 - Wildebeest migration updates

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Western herds approaching Moru Kopjes

29 May 2015 from Nomad Tanzania

Hi Carel,

News reaching us from the Serengeti is that Nomad guide Nathan spotted large herds of wildebeest and zebra yesterday crossing the seasonal river that brings water to Lake Magadi in Moru.

These pictures were taken at Vidimbwini near the Simba Kopjes and today the herds were seen moving from the Naabi Hill towards Olbaye, and there is still a long line moving into Moru.

Tara,
Nomad Tanzania

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Wildebeest migration near Vidimbwini - Image by Nathan
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Migration moving from Naabi Hill - Image by Nathan
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Huge herds at Lobo and heading north to Bologonja

29 May 2015 from Ranger Safaris

Hi Carel,

I am with clients between Lobo and Bologonja and we bumped into the eastern herds, they should be heading across the Sand River soon into the Mara, they are moving slowly because of all the grass and water which is great for the lion in the area. I know you are fond of the "lions of Lobo" so I sent you a picture of the new arrivals at Lobo.  

Keep well,
Emmanual Mkenda,
Ranger Safaris Guide

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The lions of Lobo - Image by Emmanuel Mkenda
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Huge herds at Lobo - Image by Emmanuel Mkenda
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Migration heading north - Image by Emmanuel Mkenda
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The eastern wildebeest herds - Image by Emmanuel Mkenda
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Eastern herds slowly reaching Lobo heading north

29 May 2015 from Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Hi Carel, 

Guests came back reporting that they had enjoyed huge numbers of wildebeest not too far from Four Seasons on the way to Lobo - I assume near Mbuzi Mawe. They said the had also see quite alot of males preparing for the rut and butting heads.

Regards,
Oli

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More rain at Ndutu with good zebra and wildebeest numbers

27 May 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Drivers coming in today report huge zebra numbers out on the plains around Naabi hill, and large (several hundred at a time) groups dotted around Triangle between Naabi and here, and out on Caracal Plateau, Olduvai and Twin Hills plains so still many around.  

Good rain towards Olduvai, east of the lodge itself.

Ainslie,
Ndutu Safari Lodge

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Loita herds moving south into Naboisho

26 May 2015 from The Safari Collection

Hi Carel,

I see that main herds are starting to move north again but none have reached the Mara yet. I will be sure to let you know when we see the first herds coming towards Sala’s across the border.  

I’ve been told that the Loita herds are now heading back south towards the main reserve and are currently passing through some of the conservancies to the north of the Mara. Apart from that nothing to update except lots of rain every day for the last two weeks!

Best wishes,
Mark Boyd,
Sala's Camp, Masai Mara

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Big herds heading for Moru Kopjes

25 May 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

We had good rains over Naabi, Triangle and Lemuta yesterday, as well as to the south of here towards Makao and Kusini.

It is hard to get a good idea of where the largest numbers are, as they seem to be really spread out, all the way from Twin Hills Olduvai plains to Caracal Plateau, through the marsh and past Two Trees.

Came in past Twin Hills a couple of days ago and the plains around there covered but spread out. This morning, I was out at Hidden Valley, and passed through an extremely large group heading on a very definite straight line for Moru. 

I have had no word of anything north of the main road for a while now, so I am guessing they have moved out of that area.

Cheers,
Ainslie

migration-heading-for-the-moru-kopjes
Migration heading for the Moru Kopjes - Image by Ainslie Wilson
Africa Migration on the move - Video by Ainslie Wilson
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Western herds just south of Moru heading north

25 May 2015 from Ranger Safaris

Hi,

Just returned back to the lodge after a long day!!! We saw herds of wildebeest migration just south of Moru Kopjes in Serengeti!

Long lines of migratory herds coming out of the woodland from Simiyu (Kusini) towards Moru area where it's still very wet!!!!

Firoz,
Ranger Safari Guide

wildebeest-migration-south-of-the-moru-kopjes
Wildebeest migration south of Moru Kopjes - Image by Firoz, Ranger Safaris
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Western herds slowly heading north from Naabi

25 May 2015 from Grumeti Expeditions

Hi Carel

Its Adam here with Grumeti Expedition just heading to Serengeti with some clients and look what I found at Naabi gate. A herd of around 4000+ enjoying the green grass on the Naabi plains.

Kazi njema bwana, tuko pamoja!

Adam,
Grumeti Expeditions Guide
 

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Wildebeest on the Naabi Plains - Image by Adam Grumeti Expeditions
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Big herds appear to have started their move towards the north

24 May 2015 from Java safaris

Hi Carel,

Presently in the Serengeti with Java Safaris in search of the migration that is well and truly spread out. 

The good news is that the big herds appear to have started their move towards the north. We saw some smaller herds in the Ndutu area as well as in the Moru Kopjes and as far as Central serengeti too. 

The big herds have been seen seen near the Mbuzi Mawe region. Will keep you posted.

Kind regards,

Catherine
Java Safaris

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Wildebeest migration in the Mbuzi Mawe region - Image by Cathrine Lloyd
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Mbuzi Mawe to Lobo with some concentrated herds

24 May 2015 from Lemala Camps

Hi Carel,

Lemala Ewanjan update: All is well here in the Serengeti with excellent cat sightings. The migration is a little scattered but big herds are in the Mbuzi Mawe area.

We have had no rain for 3 days so dry and sunny and the animals are loving it.

Have a great weekend!
Ebenezer
 

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Wildebeest herds are in Mbuzi Mawe - Image by Ebenezer
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Breaking news - Eastern herds between Mbuzi Mawe and Lobo moving north

20 May 2015 from Ranger Safaris

Hi Carel

I just bumped into some migratory herds between Mbuzi Mawe just north of Seronera and Lobo airstrip, not massive numbers but significant enough for an update. The big numbers are still at Ndutu / Naabi and moving west.  

Keep well,
Ephata,
Ranger Safaris Guide

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Migratory herds between Mbuzi Mawe - Image by Ephata Lotashu
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Big numbers are still at Ndutu - Image by Ephata Lotashu
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Wildebeest migration is moving west - Image by Ephata Lotashu

What to expect this crossing season

19 May 2015

June to September is what is considered the crossing season and during our 2015 crossing season we still have two rivers to cross and the herds are running late this year. 

What does this mean?

There is still a good chance of Grumeti River crossings with most of the migration still south of the Grumeti, the herds are heading west slowly and it seems that if there is late rain in the Lobo, Klein's Camp areas that we might still have a full Grumeti River with wildebeest having to cross although this would be much later than the previous two years. 

Grumeti River crossings during June are likely. Mara River crossings also looks to be later than the last couple of years and we are expecting the first of the crossings to start during July even the last half of July, we are predicting a long crossing season with the herds having lots of grazing and water options, in short, the dry season will start later this year and with it the need to move north. To be on the safe side, go to both the Masai Mara and the Serengeti sides and follow us to make informed decisions closer to the time, for yourself or your clients.  

Carel Verhoef,
HerdTracker

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Wildebeest migration river crossings - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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Back to Ndutu and some movement from east to west towards Moru

18 May 2015 from Ranger Safaris

Hi,

Just came back on safari today, herds of wildebeest were scattered down south around Naabi Hill heading towards Ndutu, Secret Valley (Hidden Valley) while others are approaching Moru Kopjes from the south-east.

Firoz,
Ranger Safaris Guide

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Wildebeest close to Naabi Hill - Image by Firoz, Ranger Safaris
- Video by Firoz, Ranger Safaris
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Herds heading towards Moru from the east

18 May 2015 from Lemala Camps

Dear all,

Seronera remains relatively quiet from a migration perspective but our guest are enjoying excellent sightings of cats including a Leopard stalking (unsuccessfully sadly) an impala.

Our resident guides are keeping tabs on the migration and for the time being our guests are experiencing this at at Mawe ya utafiti and Mawe ya boma.

Wishing you all a great week ahead.

Warm regards,
Ebenezer,
Lemala Ewanjan Manager

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The Serengeti migration - Image by Ebenezer, Lemala Ewanjan, Serengeti
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Eastern herds up towards Seronera

14 May 2015 from Ranger Safaris

Hi Carel

I'm currently in the Serengeti where herds of wildebeest migration from the east are approaching the Seronera areas. It is still raining. The herds are fairly densly packed and on the move towards the north-west. I will keep you posted.

Firoz,
Ranger Safaris Guide

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The herds of the wildebeest migration - Image by Firoz
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The migration is heading towards Seronera - Image by Firoz
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The Serengeti herds have received good rain - Image by Firoz
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Ndutu and the southern plains still packed with huge wildebeest numbers

13 May 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

We continue to have lots of localised rain, falling in different parts of the greater Ndutu area. This is good news as we'll keep the beasties here for longer. Because of this, the herds are very spread out, making it quite difficult to get that sense of vast numbers.

Makao Plains, Woodlands and the Two trees areas are quite empty except for random large groups. The Twin Hills Plains are full, and large groups coming through the woodlands to Lake Masek for water. 

North of the main road as far as Lemuta, Olduvai, Gol etc the plains are crazy full, with wildebeest as far as the eye can see. Up there, the rolling landscape gives you some elevation so you can really see them spread out. The water holes in the middle of the day go nuts. I was surprised to see very young babies still, and few predators so all very relaxed.

Video clip coming to you of one of the water holes near Lemuta.

Cheers,
Ainslie

Lemuta, Ndutu, Serengeti Migration - Video by Ainslie Wilson
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Serengeti migration on the move towards Seronera

12 May 2015 from Four Seasons Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

I have just heard from colleagues travelling from Karatu to Serengeti, that there are wildebeest all the way from Oldupai Gorge to Naabi Gate, as well as a  massive 'wall of wildebeest' moving through the woodland near Maasai and Loliondo Kopjes. They look like they are heading north to Seronera, but with some good rain falling yesterday evening, who knows where they will head!

Oli

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Serengeti migration herds are spread out over the southern plains

05 May 2015 from Captain Joel J Fernandes

Hi Carel,

So the herds are spread evenly between Ndutu and Seronera and all the way towards the Gol Mountains. The whole Serengeti has been getting its share of rain really and the herds are not really moving as a group in a direction but smaller herds towards different areas.

The flying has been quiet for now with not many planes moving around. Hope all is well your side.

Captain Joel,
Coastal Aviation

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Serengeti Migration from Ndutu to Gol Kopjes

01 May 2015 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi Carel,

Two days ago, we had good rain from Ndutu / Makao to Gol and Salai. There are floods everywhere and the wildebeest herds have returned again.

Apparently out towards the Gol Kopjes and Lemuta the plains are full but around Ndutu yesterday, our guys said there wasn't much, but could see lines coming in. Today guests out on Makao this morning in the thick of it, 20 - 30 thousand they estimate and another 10mm of rain over lunch so that should entice more in again. Photo from Marando taken this morning.

Cheers,
Ainslie

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Wildebeest migration in Makao - Image by Marando

Lodges closest to the herd right now

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Legendary Serengeti Camp

$ 665

per person per night

Explore a rich landscape of inky blue skies, burnt orange sunsets and the soft neutrals of the African savannah. Bordering the game rich Lamai Triangle, twelve mobile luxury tents are hidden under the deep shade of acacia canopies.  

This camp moves north, west and south throught the year offering guests a front row seat to the migration, the procession of more than two million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle as they wander across the vast grass plains.

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Ndutu Safari Lodge

$ 256

per person per night

Ndutu Safari Lodge is situated in the south-eastern part of the Serengeti eco-system. Shaded by majestic acacia trees, each of the thirty four cottages, which are built of local materials, has a private verandah facing Lake Ndutu.

The Lodge is surrounded by indigenous trees and shrubs which encourage a host of birds and mammals to come right to your front door. Tucked well away from the busy tourist circuit, Ndutu offers peace and tranquillity far from the madding crowd. Spend some time with us and unwind. Relax to the rhythm of an African day as a myriad bird calls herald the rising sun. Stay close to the lodge and enjoy the resident wildlife or go for a drive and explore the range of habitats that lie within easy reach. After sunset return to the homely warmth and hospitality of Ndutu Safari Lodge.

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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. 

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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.

Game Drive at Lemala Ndutu Tented Camp in Serengeti National Park

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Lemala Ndutu

$ 556

per person per night

Perched on the edge of a permanent marsh, Lemala Ndutu is the ultimate amphitheater for the wildebeest migration between December and March.

9 suite tents of a very high specification are relocated from the Northern Serengeti to this stunning Ndutu site to capture the boundless drama that accompanies the migration. The migrating herds of over 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra begin to arrive in December and begin calving in February.

The camp is situated inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, near the border of Southern Serengeti, in what is perhaps the finest location in the whole of Ndutu because of its shady umbrella acacia trees and grass cover which reduces dust considerably and also attracts grazers. The camp offers fantastic views of the marsh whose permanent fresh waters attract an abundance of game including predators. The camp enjoys regular visits from resident wildlife ranging from lions, leopards,cheetahs and hyenas to elephant and giraffe. Lion hunts close to the camp are not uncommon.