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Discover Africa Migration Safaris

This video shot by
Michael Peter Dawkins
in The Ngorongoro Conservation Area
3 days ago

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The number of animals on the landscape of the Serengeti was incomparable!

Horizons covered in black from the 1.5 million wildebeest and zebras that traveled over 800 kilometres to this spot in the southern Serengeti to graze on green grasses and birth their young. No photo or video can capture the largest overland migration in the world. 

January is one of the absolute best times to see the Migration in herds of thousands. If you were thinking of travelling to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, consider going towards the end of January. This way, you will avoid peak, peak prices over the festive period and the crowds that come with it. By visiting later in the month, you will also have the best chances of catching the big herds, as by this time the majority will definitely be fully into calving season creating spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.

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22 Jan 2020 from Molly

Molly witnessed a mom cheetah teaching her three cubs some hunting kills, with hyenas circling and vultures waiting in-line. 

The hunting life for a young cheetah begins early and involves much more than developing the incredible sprints - up to 60 miles per hour. Almost as soon as they can walk, cheetah cubs race around, slap and knock each other down, and stalk and nip their siblings. 

Once the cubs get a little older between eight months and a year - the mom releases about a third of the prey she catch, and the cubs at least occasionally kill the animals on their own. Rapid progress at this point is important. Two months after their mother becomes pregnant again, when the cubs are between a year and 18 months old, they will be forced to fend for themselves.

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Safari guide Micheal Thomas captured the great migration roaming in the Kakesio Area, Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Throughout January the Serengeti’s short-grass plains including the northern plains of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are the place to be.

This is the peak of calving season. The herds move around the area following localised rainfall and are often stretched from an area called Maswa in the west to Gol in the east. It’s a vast area but historically the heart of this area - Kusini and Ndutu – has had good rain and historically focuses the herds. These two areas also host reliably brilliant general games throughout the month, including all the cats.

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Sammy B Sandhu captured the herds crossing Miracle Experience Balloon Safaris base in the Ndutu area heading towards the Lake Ndutu!

January sees the herds starting to settle into the short grass plains around Lake Ndutu, just south of the border with the national park itself. This immense region of short-grass plains is classic Serengeti, with vast open skies and endless savanna stretching as far as the eye can see. January is often the start of calving with the fertile soil and nutrient-rich grasses here providing the perfect start to new life… and in return draw in the predators!

The best game viewing at this time of year stretches across much of the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area – from Maswa to Gol, as far south as Kakesio, and as far north as the Moru Kopjes. Localised rainfall drives their movement. This is also the location of the highest concentrations of predators in Africa at any time of year!

Summary – Excellent cat viewing (especially cheetah!) and large herds of the Great Migration spread across the entirety of the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. January is also a slightly quieter travel period than February or Christmas. A peak calving month.

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Ranger guide Hilary witnessed the Great Wildebeest Migration on the southern Serengeti plains spread out all the way to the between the Ndutu plains and Kusini. 

However, a big herd was seen heading towards the Hidden Valley and Gol Kopjes. It is heavily raining this season and access to most areas can be a challenge with the wet conditions.

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With the heavy rains and thunderstorms, the pilot and guests had a beautiful flight, with light winds, amazing cloudy skies, and a beautiful sunrise. The pilot slowly moved to the south at a low level towards the southwest flying over tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebras. 

The Great Wildebeest Migration was surrounding the balloon as they went down to the lower level. Not only did they witness the great migration, but they also saw hyenas, Thompson gazelle's, Grant gazelle's, jackals, and a Kori bustard.

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The herds of wildebeest congregate to munch on the newly-sprouted grasses of the southern Serengeti around Lake Ndutu and Kusini. Following the rains in November and December, the plains are covered in a thick carpet of juicy green grass – a nutritious feast for the discerning gnu.

By visiting later in the month, you will also have the best chance of catching the big herds, as by this time the majority will definitely be fully into calving season creating spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.

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By January, most of the herds have congregated in the Ndutu Plains for calving season.

Ndutu is in the Ngorongoro Conservation area which means rich, nutrient soils for the young calves to give them the best start in life. By mid-January, calving season is in full swing and more than 8,000 calves are born daily. Aside from the sheer volume of grazers in the area which is phenomenal to see in itself, the young calves also attract an immense number of predators. In fact, from January to February, the Ndutu plains has the biggest concentration of predators anywhere on the planet, which only means one thing; seriously explosive predator action.

Safari guide Filbert Mbise captured the great herds roaming in the Ndutu area spread out across the marsh area moving into the open plains of the southern Ndutu. 

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Just a magnificent morning to take a balloon flight over the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the southern Serengeti with Serengeti Balloon Safaris.

With ideal weather conditions, from mostly clear skies to light winds and an amazing sunrise as we calmly lifted off from our NCA launch site and slowly floated west southwest.  Slowly flying over the plains of NCA and Serengeti from various heights, then continuing over the woodland area, then over Lake Ndutu for some spectacular views. 

What an amazing way to see the great migration that has littered the short grass plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro conservation area. Though the plains were dominated by Wildebeests and Zebras, we also experienced some of the other amazing animal species of this great ecosystem, including Jackals, Giraffes, Gazelles, Secretary birds, Vultures, Eagles, Storks, Flamingos, Ostriches, Bat-eared fox, Hyenas and Elephants.

Our flight lasted one hour and 12 minutes with a calm standup landing 1 kilometre west of the lake. "We began the champagne celebration at our landing site with a brief history of ballooning along with the traditional champagne toast before moving on to our bush breakfast".

Unforgettable experience of a lifetime with Serengeti Balloon Safaris!

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A large number of the wildebeest were seen in the Olduvai Gorge all the way to the Serengeti National Park heading back to Gol Kopjes.

Located in the Great Rift Valley, Olduvai Gorge is nestled between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. For anyone going on safari that is interested in archaeologist and paleontologist, this is the place to visit!

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Sammy B Sandhu captured the great migration on the Lake Ndutu running through the Ndutu plains. 

Feasting begins, the predators come out to play and the cycle of life begins again….

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Safari guide Karim Saadun captured the great migration on the Ndutu plains close to the Nasikia Mobile Camp

Located in the Ngorongoro Conservation, bordering the southern Serengeti plains, Ndutu thrives with wildlife especially December through to March annually with the Great Wildebeest Migration.

The multiple land-use philosophies in the area are to maintain the peaceful co-existence of humans and wildlife in a natural and traditional setting. Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek form shallow basins where water accumulates from the nearby areas of slightly higher altitude. The water in both lakes are extremely saline, too saline for human consumption. Lake Ndutu becomes alive with animals during the migration because it is surrounded by the Ndutu woodlands and the short grass plains, which provide ample cover and food, especially during the calving season between late January to February. Ndutu is the place to be and Nasikia Mobile Migration Camp is in the heart of the action!

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The journey towards the Ndutu woodlands continues. The great migration was captured on the Ndutu plains. 

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