February 2016 - Wildebeest migration updates

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A newborn wildebeest calf takes it’s first steps

29 Feb 2016 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Today, surrounded by so many thousands of wildebeest, we were able to focus on just one as she gave birth. From birth to trying to stand: 2.23min; standing at 4.20mins and hunting for a drink 9 minutes later.

Having been unceremoniously dumped into a howling wind, the poor little thing shivered and wobbled uncertainly before finally locating the milk bar. By the time we left, 15 minutes later it was following Mum. Wonderful to watch.

- Video by Ndutu Safari Lodge
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Magic moments - The birth of a wildebeest calf

25 Feb 2016 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Out on the plains, the wildebeest calving is in full swing. When the moment arrives it happens quickly, the mother looking mildly surprised at the wet bundle which has suddenly appeared.

Within minutes the baby is standing on wobbly pins, searching for the first feed of nourishing colostrum to gain strength to be able to keep up with it's mother. These magic moments were captured by Hamisi Masawe.

(Warning: images not for sensitive viewers)

The birth of a wildebeest calf
The birth of a wildebeest calf - Image by Hamisi Masawe
A wildebeest calf being born in Ndutu
A wildebeest calf being born in Ndutu - Image by Hamisi Masawe
The newborn calf  touches ground for the first time
The newborn calf touches ground for the first time - Image by Hamisi Masawe
The newborn wildebeest  takes in it's surroundings
The newborn wildebeest takes in it's surroundings - Image by Hamisi Masawe
The newborn calf and it's mother make eye contact
The newborn calf and it's mother make eye contact - Image by Hamisi Masawe
Mom gets close to her newborn calf
Mom gets close to her newborn calf - Image by Hamisi Masawe
The newborn calf gets ready to feed
The newborn calf gets ready to feed - Image by Hamisi Masawe
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Huge herds of wildebeest around Kimuma Hill and Ubuntu

25 Feb 2016 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi HerdTracker,

I just spoke to one of our guides who has just come in from a game drive and he says there are huge herds of wildebeest still around Kimuma Hill and across to Ubuntu and north of there on the plains towards Ndutu.

It’s still sunny and dry here and plenty of green grass so hopefully they will be around here for a bit longer!

Kind Regards,
Belinda

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The migration is around Kakesio and the Makao plains

25 Feb 2016 from Lemala Camps

Hi HerdTracker,

The migration is around Kakesio and the Makao plains right now. Lots of of newborns witnessed. I'll send through images as soon as I meet one of our guides.

Regards,
Veronica
 

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New Loita arrivals in Naboisho

22 Feb 2016 from Asilia Africa

Asilia Africa guide Tim sent us these images of a newborn calf playing with it's mother in the Naboisho Conservancy, Kenya.

A newborn calf in the Naboisho Conservancy
A newborn calf in the Naboisho Conservancy - Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
A new addition to the Loita herds
A new addition to the Loita herds - Image by Timothy Leperes Laur

Latest images of the calving season in Ndutu

21 Feb 2016

Serengeti safari guide Miraji Gwau sent us these images of the wildebeest migration's calving season in Ndutu, getting close to the newborn calves.

- Image by Miraji Gwau
- Image by Miraji Gwau
- Image by Miraji Gwau
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Loita herds are gathering up in Naboisho looking very pregnant

19 Feb 2016 from Asilia Africa

Hi HerdTracker,

The Loita herds are gathering up in Naboisho looking very pregnant. Here are some images of the Loita migration in Kenya. 

Regards,
Tim

- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
- Image by Timothy Leperes Laur
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Huge herds of wildebeest between Kimuma and Ubuntu

18 Feb 2016 from Alex Walker's Serian

Hi HerdTracker

There are huge herds of wildebeest between Kimuma and Ubuntu and north on the plains towards Ndutu at the moment. Lots of calves but still many to calve yet. The guides said there are a lot of wildebeest around Kusini too.  

Gerard will try and get some images to you in the next couple of days. Thanks. 

Kind Regards,
Belinda

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The majority of the herds are in Makao and Kusini

18 Feb 2016 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Good Morning HerdTracker,

Beautiful sunny days here giving some time for us and the landscape to dry out a bit after a lot of heavy rain.

In the immediate vicinity of the lodge, there are not so many of the wildebeest or zebra, however reports are that Hidden Valley has a lot of water and large numbers of animals coming to drink all day long.

The majority of the masses seem to be out south of here - Makao - Kusini direction, as well as the plains around the main road between Olduvai and Twin HIlls. Once guests actually reach the herds, there are babies popping out left right and centre.

Cheers,
AInslie

The majority of the herds are in Makao and Kusini
The majority of the herds are in Makao and Kusini - Image by Ainslie Wilson
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The migration is still close to the plains between Olduvai and Gol

15 Feb 2016 from Lemala Camps

Hi HerdTracker,

The migration is still close to the plains between Olduvai and Gol.

Then yesterday we had a group of wildebeests passing behind the camp heading to the Naabi plains as per the attached photo. Babies are not in great numbers yet.

Regards,
Greg

Wildebeest heading to the Naabi plains
Wildebeest heading to the Naabi plains - Image by Lemala Camps
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Ndutu is full of pregnant wildebeest ready to give birth

12 Feb 2016 from Lemala Camps

Hi HerdTracker,

Our guests at Lemala Ndutu sent us these images saying Ndutu is full of very pregnant mamas waiting to drop their newborn calves.

Photo credit Louise Hill - Arusha, Tanzania.

Kind Regards,
Lemala Camps
 

Thomson's gazelle and wildebeest in Ndutu
Thomson's gazelle and wildebeest in Ndutu - Image by Louise Hill
The calving season is in full swing in Ndutu
The calving season is in full swing in Ndutu - Image by Louise Hill
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The calving season is in full swing

08 Feb 2016 from Nomad Tanzania

There is daily rainfall over the short grass plains, which has now triggered the mother’s instincts to give birth giving the calves the benefit of the mineral-rich fresh grass. 

The herds are amazing in their density between Naabi and Ndutu, covering the plains and stretching beyond towards South and Olduvai. 

Thanks to Nomad Guide Ian Kiwelu for the photos.

Wildebeest migration in the southern Serengeti
Wildebeest migration in the southern Serengeti - Image by Ian Kiwelu
A newborn calf grazes of the mineral-rich grass on the southern Serengeti plains
A newborn calf grazes of the mineral-rich grass on the southern Serengeti plains - Image by Ian Kiwelu
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Wildebeest grazing on the southern Serengeti Plains

06 Feb 2016 from Lemala Camps

Miraji Gwau, a guide at Lemala Camps, took this image of the wildbeest migration grazing on the southern Serengeti Plains. 

The wildbeest migration grazing on the southern Serengeti Plains
The wildbeest migration grazing on the southern Serengeti Plains - Image by Miraji Gwau
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Serengeti South Flight Report

05 Feb 2016 from Serengeti Balloon Safaris

Hi HerdTracker,

We had an amazing flight this morning with 15 passengers onboard.

The weather was excellent this morning and we flew for 1.1 hours and landed with 8 knots after the triangle.

We flew right over the migration throughout the flight. We started halfway through the herd and we could not see their end.

There are wildebeests here in millions, not in thousands!

We also saw a pack of hyenas with a kill while some were chasing baby wildebeest. In addition there were a lot of Grant's gazelles, zebra, Thomson's gazelles, jackal, eland and African hares.

Our guests were in awe of this spectacle of nature from an exciting perspective.

Regards,
Captain Jones

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Two newborn wildebeest spotted in Naabi

02 Feb 2016 from Lemala Camps

Hi HerdTracker,

A small group of wildebeest have been seen at Shamba la Maharage which is Naabi Plains and more concentration is from this area up to Gol area. The guests saw two newborn wildebeests seems a sign they have started calving.

Yesterday, we just had rains in the evening and guides are expecting them to be moving closer to us .

Please see the picture taken yesterday about the calves. Should I hear more info today will get back to you.

Regards,
Greg

newborn wildebeest spotted in Naabi
Newborn wildebeest spotted in Naabi - Image by Lemala Camps
The calving season has started
The calving season has started - Image by Lemala Camps
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The calving season has started!

02 Feb 2016 from Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hi HerdTracker

There are masses of wildebeest north of here and south of here - north of the main road across the Serengeti up towards Lemuta, Angata Kiti and Piyaya. South of here also, between Twin Hills and Makao masses.

Reports are now coming in that the calving has started. You are not having to drive very far from here to be in the middle of it all. Guest are seeing some awesome cheetah chases and kills. Several sets of new Cheetah cubs have been sighted.

Cheers
Ainslie

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Big herd in the Ndutu area, going further east to Piyaya

Hi HerdTracker,

There's a big herd in the Ndutu area, going further east to Piyaya. The migratory animals are starting to give birth as well. 

Regards,
Simon
 

Lodges closest to the herd right now

Serengeti North Wilderness Camp in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

1 km

from herd

Serengeti North Wilderness Camp

$ 340

per person per night

The location of the Serengeti North Wilderness Camp has been carefully selected in the Lamai Wedge, the northern-most corner of the Serengeti National Park.

This relatively isolated spot overlooks the Mara River and is just a few kilometres from one of the recognised ‘crossing points’ for the wildebeest migration. The great thing about Northern Serengeti is that it is nowhere near as densely populated as the Maasai Mara.

 

Guests viewing Elephants in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

3 km

from herd

Wayo Green Camp

$ 326

per person per night

Our walking safari camp is part of the Wayo Africa Walking Safari experience. It is truly one-of-a-kind and is the highlight of many people's safaris. The aim of our camp is to access remote areas in the easiest manner possible while maintaining high levels of comfort. Our camp is designed to fit on a small trailer that can easily be towed in to the bush, allowing for movement as the animals move.

Tents are 3-man dome style tents that are easy to set-up with plenty of floor space for two people. It is great for a good nights rest in a really remote area. Sleeping is on comfy 4-inch mattresses on the ground and the bedding is cotton covered duvets and cotton sheets.

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5 km

from herd

Kimondo Camp

$ 714

per person per night

Like the herds of antelope that have made the Serengeti the most famous wilderness region on earth, Kimondo is a traveller. As the seasons wax and wane so this migration camp crafted of wood and canvas follows the herds on their never-ending journey across the grasslands of East Africa.

From July to October home for Kimondo is near the sinuous Mara River on the famous Lamai Wedge, where massive herds brave the jaws of hungry Nile crocodiles. As winter eases and summer warms the land, the herds move south to calve in the lush grasslands of the southern Serengeti. As the herds move, so does Kimondo, to ensure you’re never far from the heart of the migration.

But unlike the thundering wildebeest, Kimondo – like its sought-after sister-camp Olakira – leaves no footprint behind. Entirely solar-powered, it’s a migration camp that touches the earth lightly while providing authentic luxury on the Serengeti plains. With just eight comfortable tents Kimondo offers an intimate safari experience; a sumptuous taste of how the early explorers discovered the wonders of East Africa.

From rich hand-woven rugs to burnished copper lanterns a sultry mix of Moroccan exoticism and East African safari romance resonates at Kimondo, where king-size cast-iron beds rest under canvas ceilings as the rustle of the savannah lulls you to sleep. Or leave sleep for a while and linger at the fireside, swopping tales of your day in Africa as the embers crackle up towards the Milky Way. Kimondo translates as ‘shooting star’ and in Tanzania’s crystal-clear skies you’ll be sure to see more than a few.

Singita Mara Guests on a Game Drive

6 km

from herd

Singita Mara

$ 1515

per person per night

Singita Mara River Tented Camp is the epitome of sustainable tourism and consciously seeks to eliminate the unnecessary use of energy and non-biodegradable materials. In keeping with this philosophy, the camp operates “off-the-grid” and relies entirely on a custom-designed solar system for its power and the use of recycled and natural materials wherever possible. Inside the camp, bohemian chic sets the tone for cool relaxation, where spun natural fabrics, canvas, stone and raw leather blend with Maasai primary colours and elegant art pieces by young African designers and craftsmen. The functional East African design encourages guests to embrace the outdoors and connect with nature.

Cheetah Spotting at Sayari Camp, Serengeti

7 km

from herd

Sayari Camp

$ 753

per person per night

When Sayari Camp opened in 2005 it blazed a trail in Tanzania, allowing safari travellers to access one of the most dramatic and under-explored corners of the northern Serengeti. Today, this upmarket Serengeti lodge is one of the finest in Africa, offering luxurious lodgings in some of the best Big Five countries on the continent.

The remote and starkly beautiful landscape forms the inspiration for Sayari, with the turret-shaped roofs on each of the 15 expansive tented suites mirroring the iconic Turner Hill to the north. Indoors, rich mahogany floors and delicate tones of sand, stone and acacia reflect the views washing in through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

En-suite bathrooms, with spacious showers and egg-shaped baths large enough for two, offer similarly impressive Serengeti views. Fine linens and safari-chic décor offset the wilderness that lies just beyond the canvas walls, with king-size beds and private verandas to complete the world-class experience.