Friday, October 31, 2008

Migration Update: Central Serengeti and Loliondo

The migrating herds are in the central Serengeti, moving south through Seronera and Loliondo towards the Ndutu plains. There are still some herds in the Masai Mara, but these will probably remain as resident herds or trail behind later. A smaller group of wildebeest and zebra, which form the Loita herds, have also moved towards the eastern Masai Mara. These will eventually end up on the Loita Plains in Kenya and not migrate into the Serengeti. The migration has left the Mara slightly earlier than usual this year, but this seems to have been the trend in 2008 as they arrived early too.
The Mara River is flowing strongly causing problems for the remaining wildebeest trying to cross. Thousands have perished try and getting caught in the strong currents.
The Serengeti has seen good rains over the past week. There is new green grass throughout the southern Serengeti. It has had a chance to recover while the wildebeest have been in the north.
The wildebeest are heading to the short grass plains of the Ndutu as quickly as possible. Ndutu has the best grazing in the region, with short rich grasses. They will stay in this area as long as they can and will foal here later in the year. Eventually, towards March or April 2009, they will reluctantly be forced to move away from the Ndutu plains as the area is overgrazed. But, until then they will be in the southern Serengeti.
The best place to be based at the moment is around Seronera. There are a few large lodges (e.g. Sopa Lodge) in this area, but we recommend one of the smaller mobile camps that are now all set up in the private camps in the Seronera area. There is also a mobile tented camp in Loliondo that is ideal for the migration at moment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Migration News: Wildebeest die crossing the Mara River

Between 3000 and 4000 wildebeest died this week crossing the Mara River. These were some of the last herds that will cross the Mara River this year. They chose the wrong place to cross (at a steep bank) and were swept away by the river.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Migration News: Migration in the dry Serengeti

The migration has left the Masai Mara. The last of the herds were seen crossing the Mara River on the Serengeti side over the last 2 weeks. Some dramatic scenes were experienced by safari guest staying in the northern Serengeti.

The herds continue to move south through the bushy northern and eastern Serengeti. The rains are expected shortly and this will probably hassen the move to the Ndutu grass plains. The Serengeti is dry and grazing sparse.

One of the best camps at this time of year is the permanent Migration Camp. Watch the video of the camp:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Migration moving south

The migration has started to move out of the Masai Mara and into the northern Serengeti and Loliondo to the east of the Serengeti.

Game viewing is still excellent in the Masai Mara. The BBC's Big Cat Diaries are still broadcasting live from Governor's Camp and the past week has seen some amazing footage of the Marsh lions, leopard and cheetah.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Migration News: Migration enter the Serengeti

The main herds are now in the northern Serengeti moving south. The rear of the migration is still in the Mara, but in fewer numbers than a week ago. The Mara is grazed out, but the moderate rains will quickly restore the savannah plains.

This movement south is earlier than usual. The last migrating herds normally depart from the Masai Mara in November, but it looks like it could happen within the next week or two.

Game viewing is still excellent in the Masai Mara, with good wildebeest and zebra populations as well as all the resident game (that do not migrate) and predators. The BBC Big Cat Diaries is currently based at Governor’s Camp on the Mara River. They are following prides of lions and cheetah and have seen some dramatic predatory scenes. This is also an excellent time for birders as the migratory birds are arriving from the northern hemisphere. Some will remain in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti, while most will continue further south towards the end of November.

The best place to see the migration at the moment is the northern Serengeti or the Masai Mara. Alternatively, visitors should base themselves at Seronera, in the Serengeti, as the advanced herds are just north of this area.

The vegetation in the north eastern part of the Serengeti is a lot thicker than the grass plains of Ndutu or the Masai Mara so safari guest will not necessarily see the full extent of the migration. The herds are also spread across a wide area from the Masai Mara in the north, Loliondo Game Controlled Area in the east and Seronera in the south.