Yesterday we saw streams of wildebeest departing the Ndutu woodlands and heading for Ubuntu and Makao. With no rain here now for quite a few days, the plains north of the lodge are drying out and the animals are heading back towards Ndutu Marsh areas and out onto the plains out past the marshes. Within this immediate area, there are large numbers everywhere you drive and this morning, a couple of hundred grazing out in front of the lodge.
Wet season has got off to a great start at Ndutu. We've had lots of rain over the whole area, which has brought the wildebeest back in their thousands and yesterday all areas from Makao Plains, Marshes, Triangle, Two Trees, Woodlands were full.
Heavy rains continue to pour on the savannah, which has not deterred the Loita zebra from crossing the Mara River from the Mara Triangle into the reserve en-route back home to Mara North, Naboisho and Olare Motorogi Conservancies.
Zebra crossing the Mara River - Image by Onesmus Irungu
The Loita herds at the Mara River - Image by Onesmus Irungu
The herds are on the move, but there's still a few small herds crossing the Mara River close to Kogatende, but the majority of the migration have made their way down to the southern plains of the Serengeti. Our guides have spotted large herds of wildebeest around Seronera, Turner Springs and around the kopjes close to Ikoma.
The southern plains looks lush and green and there's been lots of rain in the Seronera area over the last seven days.
We've also heard that the first herds have just arrived in Ndutu, which is in time for the move of our Serengeti Safari Camp, which will be relocating to Ndutu next week.
The wildebeest migration on the southern plains - Image by Ian Kiwelu
Lionesses chase a cheetah in the southern Serengeti - Image by Ian Kiwelu
More migrating wildebeest herds continue to arrive in the Seronera area. This morning, our balloon passengers were able to clearly see the ‘hard edge’ of the migration. The late great wildlife photographer Baron Hugo Van Lawick was the first to recognise this phenomena that is not really visible from the ground.
The good rains at Ndutu are turning the landscape nice and green now, and bringing the wildebeest back in greater numbers too. The plains between Marshes, Two Trees, Hidden Valley and Naabi have large numbers, slowly flowing down into the marshes too. Nothing too much out on the Makao Plains yet, just small groups
Wildebeest migration on the southern plains - Image by Ainslie Wilson
Cheetah watches the wildebeest migration - Image by Ainslie Wilson
For almost one hour, we witnessed a few hundred Zebras and Gnus cross the swollen Mara River from the Mara Triangle to the Reserve on their way to the the Conservancies. Some crossed back and forth after realizing their family members were left on the opposite side.
Zebra crossing the Mara River - Image by Onesmus Irungu
Zebra crossing the Mara River - Image by Onesmus Irungu
I just got back from a meeting in Seronera and drove through some quite big, scattered groups of wildebeest along our access road, especially near the Lodge and the Ikoma Circuit, where they seem to be enjoying the fresh new grass that has come up in the past few weeks, especially in the areas that were burned earlier in the year.
We did not see many other wildebeest north of Seronera, but some eland and other good game along the way. We had more good rains last night, and as I type we are in the midst of another good downpour, lots of green grass everywhere!
Scattered groups of wildebeest along the Four Seasons access road - Image by Oliver Dreike
Greetings from Serengeti Balloon Safaris. Our guests are currently enjoying flying over large herds of wildebeest in the Seronera Valley. The numbers are building daily. Plenty of large predator activity is being seen as well.
Best wishes, Tony
Flying over the wildebeest migration - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
The migration in Seronera - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Wildebeest on the Serengeti's southern plains - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Large herds of wildebeest in Seronera - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
A lioness rests in the thick grass - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
A lioness makes eye contact with the camera during a balloon safari - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Lionesses fighting over a carcass - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Lionesses with a wildebeest kill - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
A lion pride in Seronera - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Two lionesses with a wildebeest carcass - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
A lioness carries the wildebeest carcass - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
The reflection of the hot air balloon - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Hot air ballooning in Seronera - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Hot air ballooning over the migration - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Viewing the migration from above - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Aerial view of the wildebeest migration - Image by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
- Video by Amanda Strowbridge, Serengeti Balloon Safaris
Whilst some big herds have already reached the central Serengeti, we are still enjoying some good herds in the north and some crossings. This one taken yesterday lasting a while. Lots of cats still around also and fat crocodiles.
Lemala Kuria Hills
Wildebeest crossing the Mara River - Image by Lemala Camps
Mara River crossings in the north - Image by Lemala Camps
We just flew into Seronera and saw long lines of wildebeest streaming in from the north-west into the Seronera area. Our guests enjoying big herds in Seronera as well as nearer towards Naabi Gate numbering 5000 plus.
There are also big herds in the Western Corridor. Looks like the migration is hitting Seronera now heading down to Ndutu.
Wildebeest migration in Seronera - Image by Lemala Ewanjan
No rain for a couple of days, but the area around the Lodge is getting greener by the day. Long lines of wildebeest can be seen in the distance heading south, and large numbers being seen as guests drive from Seronera to Four Seasons, with several carcasses being washed up in the Orangi River.
One of our guides - Priscus Sulle - took this photo yesterday as a long line heading south ,around the Maasai Kopje's area, and he said that there are wildebeest as far south as Simba Kopjes.
Long lines of wildebeest from Seronera to Four Seasons - Image by Priscus Sulle
Its been raining heavily around the Serengeti and many of the herds have split themselves with a few reaching as far south as Seronera airstrip and far west as Sasakwa airstrip. The entire Serengeti has taken a lush green colour and the wildebeests are loving it.
Thanks and Regards,
Capt. Joel J Fernandes
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.