November 2019 - Wildebeest migration updates

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The rains in the Serengeti are calling the great herds to return to the south and east

29 Nov 2019 from Andrea Forero

The rains in the Serengeti are calling the great herds to return to the south and east of the Serengeti.

Central and southern Serengeti where the new grass is waiting for the wildebeest and zebra to return is the best place to be for the migration at this time of year. 

Mobile camps are set up around the central and southern part of the park in anticipation of the return of the great migration.

- Image by Andrea Forero
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Great migration on the move following the heavy rains in the southern and eastern Serengeti

27 Nov 2019 from Serengeti Nomad

Safari guide Cr Ian captured the great wildebeest migration on the move following the heavy rains in the southern and eastern Serengeti.

However, a large herd of the great migration had been seen moving from Naabi Hill heading towards the Gol mountains. It is predicted that the great migration might arrive early than expected in the Ndutu area due to the heavy rainfalls. 

Travelling to Tanzania during the calving season is a sight to behold and something unique to the region

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Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest move across the Serengeti

26 Nov 2019 from Zahirah Marty

Zahirah Marty seeing hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands of wildebeest move across the Serengeti was one of the most incredible experiences of her life. 

They were grazing in the grassland and mobilize into a single file to crossroads as a form of protection. 

You can't but marvel at the beauty of nature and creation - whether from the ground or in the air. 

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Wildebeest moving from the Masai Mara ecosystem to Serengeti in search of green pastures

26 Nov 2019 from Willy

Willy witnessed a group of wildebeest and zebra from the Masai Mara ecosystem to Serengeti in search of green pastures. 

River crossings in the Northern Serengeti are now rare, so we often suggest that clients focus on areas around the central Seronera river valley and Moru (south of central). 

- Image by Willy
- Image by Willy
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Wildebeest migration towards the Naabi Hill from Masai Kopjes on the eastern side of the Serengeti

22 Nov 2019 from Serengeti Nomad

Yesterday, a huge number of wildebeest was spotted migration towards the Naabi Hill from Masai Kopjes on the eastern side of the Serengeti and Makoma Hill plains. 

If you’ve ever wondered why nearly two million wildebeest put themselves through the ordeal of the migration every year, then the Serengeti calving season will show you why.

The southern plains of the Serengeti turn green after the November rains and fresh grazing is just what the wildebeest need for their energy-demanding calving season: several hundred thousand wildebeest are about to be born and it’s going to get busy.

The season is short-lived but epic in scale. In December, great waves of wildebeest come spilling out of the Masai Mara and into the southern Serengeti. The animals then fan out into adjoining areas such as the Ndutu region, Lake Masek and even the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

It’s an amazing scene, the last great concentration of large, wildland animals in the world, and the surrounding landscape is a beautiful one: short-grassy savannah studded with rocky outcrops – koppies, the favourite haunt of the Serengeti’s leopards.

- Image by Serengeti Nomad
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Early sightings of hyenas

22 Nov 2019 from Serengeti Balloon Safaris

From the bird's eyes, Capt Abeid saw the migration in the southern Serengeti stretching towards the main road all the way to the Simba Kopjes. 

He also flew over a big parade of elephants, wildebeest, lions, gazelles, ostrich, jackals, warthogs, hartebeests, African hare and hyenas. 

- Image by Serengeti Balloon Safars
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Makutano crossing from northern Serengeti to southern Serengeti continues

20 Nov 2019 from Lemala Camps

The dash of survival at the Makutano crossing from northern Serengeti to southern Serengeti continues!

'Makutano' wildebeest crossing point means 'crossing' in Swahili. This is a great base to witness the migration roughly from August to the end of November

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Million of wildebeest outside Lemala Nanyukie Lodge

19 Nov 2019 from Lemala Camps

Million of wildebeest outside Lemala Nanyukie Lodge

Set in the picturesque Eastern section of the Serengeti National Park, the Lemala Nanyukie Lodge is a mix of affordability and exclusivity.  The main camp itself sits on a grassy savannah that is strewn with rocky kopjes and shaded by the giant acacia trees.  

Lemala Nanyukie promises well for travellers seeking deluxe accommodation in the fabulous Serengeti National Park. All safari activities from Nanyukie will be enjoyed in the presence of highly knowledgeable and experienced guides. This guarantees exciting sightings of the game!

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Makutano crossing

18 Nov 2019 from Serengeti Nomad

Makutano crossing! One of the last crossings of the season.

Tucked into the iconic Kogakuria Kopje in the northern Serengeti, Lamai Serengeti commands never-ending views over the magnificent Mara River valley. Twelve carefully designed tents are split between two separate camps, the Main Camp and the smaller Private Camp. Constructed from a clever blend of canvas, ferro and natural poles, the tents boast spacious verandas spread amongst the rocks, each with exceptional views.

Cool off from the heat of the day in one of two natural rock swimming pools or lose track of time browsing through the fascinating contents of the library and map room. Cocktails are served in the convivial bar area, with cosy nooks hidden amongst the massive boulders. Game drives explore the magnificent wildlife

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Great migration crossing no7 from the northern Serengeti to southern Serengeti

15 Nov 2019 from Lemala Camps

Safari guide Frank Gabriel captured the great migration crossing no7 from the northern Serengeti to southern Serengeti! Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge is the closest accommodation to crossing point no7. 

Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge is beautifully situated, with the majority of rooms having a rare and remarkable view over the Serengeti sunset. With the Mara River only a half an hour game drive away, river crossings can be expected from mid-July to mid-November. During this season, drives are taken in modern Land Cruisers that have the security of the roof but are not closed-sided.
 
The Lodge does not have the understated style of more traditional camps but provides a comfortable experience for honeymooners for example - the size of rooms, bathrooms, infinity pools and G&T's admiring the sunset is the quintessence of luxury at an affordable price. 

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Great herds in the central east of the Serengeti National Park

15 Nov 2019 from Steven James

Safari guide Steven James captured a herd of the great migration in the central east of the Serengeti National Park

The Central Serengeti, lying at the heart of this spectacular national park, is the most popular region in the reserve for its abundant wildlife, large numbers of big cats and quintessential Serengeti landscapes of acacia-studded savanna. Resident wildlife makes this part of the Serengeti a fantastic year-round destination, but the months of April to June and October to December, when the herds of the Great Migration pass through the area, are when it’s at its peak.

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The great migration is starting to depart for the sweet grasses of the Serengeti

13 Nov 2019 from Kenneth Lawrence

The great migration is starting to depart for the sweet grasses of the Serengeti.

The short rains are falling in the Mara and so replenishing the grass for the resident herds. The young predators are learning their hunting skills and fine-tuning them with practice.

- Image by Kenneth Lawrence
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Last big herd crossing in the northern Serengeti

11 Nov 2019 from Alex Walker's Serian

Safari guide Jeremiah captured the last big group of the wildebeest migration crossing at Kogatende heading towards the southern Serengeti. Some herds have made it to the Mori Kopjes. 

Southwest of the central Serengeti lies Moru, home to the black rhino. Moru Kopjes is home to the remaining population of black rhinos in the park. Another highlight at Moru is Gong Rock where a short walk leads to a series of Maasai paintings. Just to the east lies the saline Lake Magadi, a great spot for pink flamingos to gather.

In the next few weeks, the Serengeti Camps will start their migration move to the southern plains to get ready for their arrival. 

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Mega-herds on the move as the actual ‘Great Migration’ takes place

07 Nov 2019 from Daniel Tlaysa Daniel

This month sees the mega-herds on the move as the actual ‘Great Migration’ takes place. Towards the beginning of November, the Mara river is still the place to be with river crossings still happening. However, the first herds have reached the central Serengeti, so there is a good argument for splitting your time between two locations in the park – Kogatende and Seronera/Moru is often perfect. From the 15th onwards, river crossings are rare, so we often suggest that clients focus on areas around the central Seronera river valley and Moru (south of central).

- Image by Daniel Tlaysa Daniel
- Image by Daniel Tlaysa Daniel
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Wildebeest migrating in search of greener pastures in the Masai Mara National Reserve

07 Nov 2019 from Kenneth Lawrence

An empty savanna with two distant giraffes was enveloped by swarming herds of wildebeest, migrating in search of greener pastures in the Masai Mara National Reserve

November is a good time to visit the Masai Mara to catch the end of the migration as the herds start making their way back down to the Serengeti in Tanzania. It’s a good month for birders too, as migratory bird species begin to arrive in the park.

The only downside can be the rain but the thundershowers are usually short bursts of rain in the afternoon and are unlikely to disrupt your game viewing too much.

- Image by Kenneth Lawrence
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Some of the wildebeest and zebra have left the Mara

07 Nov 2019 from Wu Liangyi

November is a busy month for the herds, but one that offers great value due to low-season rates. 

Some of the wildebeest and zebra have left the Mara. They form long columns stretching from Lobo to the central Seronera area of the Serengeti.

- Image by Wu Liangyi
- Image by Wu Liangyi
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Mara River crossings close to the Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp

06 Nov 2019 from Nasikia Camps

Safari guide Mohamed Hassan captured the great herds crossing the Mara River close to the Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp.

In early November, we would suggest basing yourself in the Kogatende and Lamai areas of the northern Serengeti to give yourself a chance of witnessing a late river crossing. In the second half of the month, it can be a good idea to split your time between the northern Serengeti and the central Seronera region of the park.

As the herds disperse, many will head down towards the centre of the park so if you are set on catching the herds, this would be a good combination of locations. This way, even if the herds haven’t quite made it down to central Serengeti, you would have most likely caught them in the north.

Aside from the migration, November is an excellent time to make the most of low rates and have an exceptional value Serengeti safari, with no other vehicles. Seronera is usually really busy in the peak months, so visiting here in November gives you a seriously spoiling more private stay in an area that in peak months is so popular (due to its phenomenal resident game).

- Image by Mohamed Hassan
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Only 1 wildebeest was lost to a lion! A small price for the survival of thousands of other wildebees

05 Nov 2019 from Mashauri Joseph

Only one wildebeest was lost to a lion! A small price for the survival of thousands of other wildebeest. 

The likelihood is that at the beginning of November, the herds are still lingering in the northern Serengeti regions of Kogatende and Lamai and you can still catch river crossings at this time.

Towards the end of the month, river crossings are much less frequent as most have begun to disperse south. However, because of the light rains, the camps and lodges are exceptional value for money. You can stay at some of the continent’s most luxurious permanent lodges in November at half the price they would be in July and August, and still, catch river crossing scenes. The parks are a lot quieter so you get a little slice of Serengeti wilderness all to yourself. All in all, if you don’t mind getting a bit wet and love value for money, then early November, in particular, is a fantastic time to see the migration.

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Great Migration is heading towards the central Serengeti

04 Nov 2019 from Serengeti Nomad

The Great Migration is heading towards the central Serengeti. However, there is still a good number of wildebeest and zebra in the Kogatende area (northern Serengeti). The crossing was captured at point number 7 when a large herd was grazing at Lamai Wedge slowing moving towards the Mara River.  

Tucked into the iconic Kogakuria Kopje in the northern Serengeti, Lamai Serengeti commands never-ending views over the magnificent Mara River valley. Twelve carefully designed tents are split between two separate camps, the Main Camp and the smaller Private Camp. Constructed from a clever blend of canvas, ferro and natural poles, the tents boast spacious verandas spread amongst the rocks, each with exceptional views.

Lodges closest to the herd right now

Guests viewing Elephants in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

2 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.

Cheetah Spotting at Sayari Camp, Serengeti

3 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.

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3 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.

Lamai Serengeti Balcony View in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

8 km

from herd

Lamai Serengeti

$ 725

per person per night

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.

Exterior Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

8 km

from herd

Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge

$ 734

per person per night

This new and distinctly unique Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge is nestled amongst pristine Kenyan Ravine forest on the Oloololo (Siria) Escarpment.

Overlooking the amazing Masai Mara National Reserve and Wildebeest Migration Route, with around 120km of unbroken views across the vast savannah of the Masai Mara – it is simply breath-taking.