Ndutu Region

The Ndutu Region forms part of the northern section of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and stretches to the unfenced southern reaches of the Serengeti National Park, a meeting point between these two incredible wilderness areas. This section of the park is made up of rolling grasslands peppered with alkaline lakes that attract flocks of flamingos, as well as acacia woodlands. lake ndutu serengeti

There’s year-round resident wildlife (such as giraffe, elephant, hyena and various antelope species) in the Ndutu Region, and you can spot animals around the waterholes during the dry season from June to November. Look out for the six cat species – lion, cheetah, leopard, serval, African wild cat and caracal – that are present throughout the year.

The best months to visit the Ndutu Region are from December, when the Great Migration herds start to arrive from the north, until April when the millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle have trekked northwards again. In the early months of the year – with a peak in February – the wildebeest herds are calving on the verdant grassy plains: thousands upon thousands of baby animals are born every day, attracting the attention of cheetah, lion and hyena.

Highlights

wildebeest calving season serengeti Credit: Legendary Serengeti Camp

A big draw of the Ndutu Region is to see the full circle of the Great Migration, from the return of the herds to graze in December, and then the calving which takes place in January and February, and then the departure of the herds again in April as they start making their journey northwards. Calving season is particularly dramatic: a million wildebeest give birth to 8000 babies every day, and as these newborns take their first steps, they’re targeted by lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena.

The prime game viewing spot in the Ndutu Region is around Lake Ndutu, where enormous herds congregate between December and April to graze and calve. The forests and granite kopjes around Lake Ndutu are also home to lots of game outside of the migration months.

Sightings of six species of cats – leopard, lion, cheetah, caracal, African wildcat and serval – are a big highlight of visiting the Ndutu Region. You can spot the cats throughout the year, but the best viewing is during the calving months of January and February, when these predators pick on the fledgling baby animals.

A trip to Ndutu is not just about wildlife and landscapes – there’s incredible cultural heritage to explore too. Lying within the Ndutu Region, Olduvai Gorge (also known as Oldupai – the correct Maasai spelling of the word) is one of the world’s most significant paleoanthropological sites, thanks to the discovery of the earliest evidence of the existence of our human ancestors. Visit the dramatic ravine and spend some time in the museum to learn about the fascinating excavations and discoveries that have taken place here. A visit to Olduvai Gorge should be combined with a stop at the nearby Shifting Sands: mysterious and beautiful dunes formed of volcanic ash that move with the winds.

For adventurous travellers, you can do multi-day walking safaris starting in the Ndutu Region and heading into the highlands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and for the very intrepid, you can combine the walking safari with an ascent up the active volcano of Ol Doinyo Lengai.

Day trips to the Ngorongoro Crater are a highlight of staying in the Ndutu Region. The remains of a massive volcano, the Ngorongoro is one of the most superb wilderness areas on the continent, and boasts some of the greatest populations of animals – particularly predators – found in Africa.

Travel tips

wildbeest crossing lake ndutu Credit: Nasikia Mobile Camp

  • With no public campsites, Ndutu isn’t the best region for budget travellers. Your best budget-friendly option would be to stay at one of the mid-range mobile tented camps that operate in the area.

  • As with most areas of the Serengeti, camps and lodges are mainly in the upmarket range. Due to the seasonal nature of wildlife, lodges tend to only open for the peak season from November to March.

  • Camps and lodges in the Ndutu Region can either be located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area or in the Serengeti National Park, so keep in mind that you’ll need to pay park fees for each park if you’re staying in one park and doing game drives in the other.

  • You can reach the Ndutu region by road from Arusha, which is around six hours’ drive away through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. A quicker way to reach your lodge if you’re not self-driving is by air: the Ndutu Region is served by several airstrips, and it’s a quick flight from Arusha.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)

day 1 to 2

  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)

day 3 to 4 to 5

  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)
  • Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)

day 6

Departure

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Serengeti in December

Credit: Singita Sabora Camp December falls during the “short rains” period in the Serengeti, and receives just a bit less rain on average than November. Day time highs are 28C and nights go down to 16C. At the start of the month, the Great Migration herds are in the Seronera region of the Central Serengeti, while towards the end of the month they are concentrated in the Southern…

Affordable safari in the Serengeti

Credit: Kusini Camp The most affordable way to visit the Serengeti is to book a holiday package which includes transport from Arusha, lodging, meals, park fees, as well as game drives and other activities at the safari lodge. You can also hire your own 4x4 and self-drive in the park, although you can often get better value for money with packages. While the Serengeti has a…

Serengeti in April

April is the wettest month of the year, and even though there’s rain almost every day of the month, it rarely rains all day. April is slightly cooler than March, but it’s still warm during the day, with average highs of 28C. While calving season has ended, the herds of wildebeest are still in the Southern Serengeti and Ndutu Region, sustained by the lush grass on the plains.…

Eastern Serengeti

The Eastern Serengeti is one of the most beautiful regions of the park: mountains, valleys and sweeping grassy plains with are lush in the green season dotted with granite outcrops and sliced through by meandering rivers. It’s one of the more remote regions of the park, which makes it perfect for adventurous travellers who prefer their safaris off the beaten track. The region can be…

Serengeti in July

July is the driest month of the entire year, and also the coolest. While day time highs peak at 26C, night time averages are 14C – and can sometimes be even colder so be sure to pack warm clothing for the evenings and early morning game drives. The Great Migration herds are continuing their move northwards, crossing the Grumeti River in the west of the park in the beginning of the…

Serengeti honeymoon

The Serengeti is the ultimate romantic safari destination: a magical combination of breathtaking landscapes, superb wildlife viewing and the drama of Great Migration sightings, as well as truly memorable luxury lodges and camps situated in remote reaches of the wilderness make for a very special holiday. Credit: Dunia Camp Choosing which region to stay in the Serengeti on your…

Popular Serengeti National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | August Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days)

August Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days)

Experience the drama of the nature's greatest spectacle in the Tanzania...

 | July Wildebeest Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days)

July Wildbeest Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days)

Experience the drama of the nature's greatest spectacle in the Serengeti National Park...

Lion Cubs | The Big Cats of East Africa Safari (10 days)

The Big Cats of East Africa Safari (10 days)

This safari to the Serengeti and Masai Mara in East Africa is all about big cats – lots of them and up close for outstanding photographs...

 | 9-day Calving Season safari with HerdTracker (Luxury)

9-day February Calving Season safari with HerdTracker (Luxury)

This four-in-one calving season safari includes not only the Serengeti, but Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Ngorogoro Crater...

 | Tanzania couples safari

Tanzania couples safari

Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar...

 | Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

 | Honeymoon Safari in the Serengeti National Park (6 days)

Honeymoon Safari in the Serengeti National Park (6 days)

Enjoy a romantic honeymoon at the Ngorongoro Crater where you can spot the Big Five and experience the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park...

 | 8-day June/July Great Migration safari in Tanzania (Value-for-money)

8-day June/July 2019 Great Migration safari in Tanzania (Value-for-money)

If the great migration is on your travel bucket list, then this memorable safari in Tanzania is ideal for you....

 | Wildebeest Migration River Crossings with Lemala Kuria Hills (4 days)

Wildebeest Migration River Crossings with Lemala Kuria Hills (4 days)

Fly into the northern Serengeti to view the migration on the banks of the Mara River...

 | The Serengeti on Foot (9 days)

The Serengeti on Foot (9 days)

There's no better way to get close to nature and feel alive than on foot, and no better place to walk than the remarkable Serengeti...

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2