Lake Masek in Ndutu played host to the wildebeest passing by. What a spot for sundowners!
This area in Ndutu is dry and dusty, but there is still a small group of migrating wildebeest roaming within the woodlands near Lake Masek. A large herd of zebra and wildebeest were also roaming in the open plains down the big marsh woodland toward the Kusini area and the Hidden Valley.
The wildebeest and zebra migration were seen moving into the Maswa Game Reserve, following the rain storm a few days ago in the southern part of the Serengeti.
This is where they are touted to be at this time of the year because the seasonal rainfall brings the sprout of new green shoots which are rich in essential minerals for lactating mothers and growing calves.
The wildebeest choose Ndutu as their calving ground, because the soil of the Ndutu area is very rich in essential minerals for growing calves and lactating mothers.
But this depends entirely on the rainfall in an area which stimulates the growth of the new grass. Ndutu's soil drains quickly in the absence of rain, which leads to fine dust and dryness. Hence the migration's move south to the woodlands, where the grass is greener.
February is the month to expect scenes of delight with newborns finding their feet and predators arriving to prey on the young.
It is not only the older, more-experienced predators who will have the chance to see through. They too have co-ordinated their birthing times to coincide with the birth of their prey so that their young also have the highest chances of survival.
With thousands of baby wildebeest running around, it is much easier for a mother cheetah, lion or leopard to find a meal for their hungry cubs as well as give them the opportunity to learn how to hunt for themselves by practicing on young calves before they have to go out and fend for themselves. Young cubs learn valuable lessons during this time which is crucial to their success.
Out on the plains, the Loita 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 its mother. These magic moments were captured by safari guide Empap Meshack Sayialel.
Last week was rather quiet as the great herds with their calves kicked up their heels and followed the smells of the rains in the Kusini area. However, in the last few days, the guides have seen herds turning once more towards Moru Kopjes.
The herds provided the guides with some lovely entertainment throughout the day coming from the Ndutu area.
On Friday evening, Patrick Reynolds heard a quite a large herd of males crossing the Ngiatiak River coming from the Olare Orok Conservancy into the southeastern reserve. Additionally, a small herd of mainly males, were coming from the North Mara Conservancy.
The Nomad Serengeti guides witnessed a wildebeest female trying to stand up to let gravity help her make a safe delivery to her newly-born calf.
It takes about eight minutes for these calves to be on their feet and in 15 minutes they are ready to run with the herds. However, the only way the calves survive is to get on their feet as soon as they are born in order to run with the rest of the herd and avoid predators.
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.
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.
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.
Lamai Serengeti sits tucked amongst the rocks of Kogakuria Kopje with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape, only a few miles from where the wildebeest cross the Mara River. For roughly a quarter of the year, between late July and October, this is where you'll find the migration. Right here, on our doorstep! For the rest of the year, it is wild Serengeti with all the resident game of the Masai Mara but without the people.
Each of the rooms is designed to fit into the complex geometry of the kopje and to make the most of this sensational location, its views and its natural space and light. The rooms are a blend of canvas, plaster and natural poles.