Saturday, December 17, 2011

Migration news: Rain in Southern Serengeti

There has been heavy rainfall over the Serengeti. The main migrating herds are located on Ndutu grass plains, but are spread across the entire south eastern Serengeti - from the western slopes of Ngorongoro Crater, to Kusini, and south as far as Maswa Game Reserve.

Safari gameviewing is a challenge (but rewarding) at the moment. A lot of the area is muddy and some of the small tracks have been closed. Safari enthusiasts will have to endure a lot of rain. But the big advantage is that the Serengeti is abandoned by most travellers. You will have the plains to yourself! This is foaling season. There will soon be 10s of thousands of wildebeest foals across the Ndutu Plains. The cats will be around picking off the weak and isolated. #

The best camps to be located at the moment are the permanent camps in the southern and central Serengeti. We recommend avoiding mobile camps that are generally not set up to handle the rain.

At this time we recommend: Kusini Camp - A luxury tented camp south west of the Ndutu Plains. Ndutu Lodge - A basic, but comfortable camp close to the migration. The annual migration will be located in the southern Serengeti for the next few months until the rain subsides and the young new foals get enough strength to start the move west and noth-west.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Migration news: Wildebeest in central Serengeti

The migration has moved south to the central Serengeti around Seronera. There are also large herds between Naabi, Gol Kopjes and Golini. The good rains means that the wildebeest will continue moving south into the southern Serengeti and base themselves around the Ndutu plains. Ndutu Plains has short grass plains and the richest grazing throughout the Serengeti/Masai Mara migratory eco-system. This is there preferred location during the rainy months and this is where they will remain until about March or April. They will foal in the Southern Serengeti in December/January.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Migration in the Masai Mara

The Mara River is still flowing strongly and the Masai Mara is green and supporting huge herds of wildebeest and zebra. The herds are crossing the Mara River on a daily basis, often unsuccessfully. Carcass can be seen dragged down the fast flowing river. The herds are in the central Masai Mara and northern Serengeti. It looks like they will remain here for a few weeks more, at least until the grasslands turn dry and they start to get drawn south towards the Serengeti in search of better pastures. The best camps at this time are the camps around the Mara River or Talek River or northern Serengeti: Masai Mara Camps: Mara Intrepid Camp Governor's Camp Olonana Tented Camp Serengeti Camps: Klein's Camp Serengeti Under Canvas

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Migration Report from Governor's Camp

Report from Governor's Camp in the Masai Mara:

On the 1st July 2011 many wildebeest took the plunge and crossed the Mara River at the Sand River area of the Mara. The zebra are not far behind and could be with us very soon.

The elephant families and their calves have spread out within the Musiara Marsh, Bila Shaka and riverine woodlands of the Mara River. Good numbers have been spending their time in the Acacia woodlands in the Koiyaki conservancy, close to where we do our walking safaris. The swamp is still a good place to see elephant feeding and bathing and there are two large bull elephant that frequent in the Marsh and Bila Shaka areas close to Governors' Camp. But we expect that as the wildebeest migration begins to arrive the elephant will move away to quiter areas.

Most of the herbivores are staying in the short grass areas of Bila Shaka and Topi Plains, here the grass is green and they can see predators approaching. The woodlands close to our camps are home to giraffe, and there are also lots of giraffe in the acacia woodlands bordering the reserve. Good numbers of Cokes Hartebeest graze on the plains and many of the resident zebra are in the southern Koiyaki areas where grasses are still short and green due to the little rain they have had.

Warthog and their eight month old piglets are abundant all over the short grass plains, close to our camps. A few of them have been seen being chased into their bolt holes by lion and then often get they get dug out and eaten; the Marsh Pride have been eating many adults and piglets.

The large breeding herd of Cape Buffalo estimated at over 500 animals is still on the Eastern grassland plains of Rhino Ridge and Bila Shaka; grasses here are a little longer and well suited for buffalo. We have had excellent sightings of black rhino; a large male, and a younger male have been in the Paradise area and there are good numbers of eland on Paradise Plains and in the conservation areas of Koiyaki.

Topi, with their seven/eight month old calves, are on Topi plains and Emarti which is the southern end of Rhino Ridge.

Spotted hyena are frequently near to lion kills, or it is the other way around? On the Paradise plains as many as 40 Hyena have been seen at a time, with numbers like these the hyena clans will compete strongly with the resident lion.

We have also enjoyed some sightings this month of an Egyptian Mongoose. Officially named Serpentine Herpestrines, because their long tails drag along the ground giving them a serpentine look they are generally very nocturnal in their feeding habits, so it is a fairly rare treat to see them during the day.

Report courtesy of Governor's Camp

Friday, July 1, 2011

Migration report from Lemala Camps

Lemala Ewanjan and Lemala Mara - migration
The migration is currently split 3 ways. The lead herd is in the Bologonja and Kleins area (northern Serengeti), heading rapidly towards Wogakuria and Kogatende. Another herd is between Grumeti and Iloma areas slowly starting to move up north. The trailing herd is still between Makoma Hills near Lemala Ewanjan and Seronera area.

There is excellent plains game around Lemala Ewanjan and as a result there is lots of predator activity. Lions and leopards can be heard almost daily near the camp. On Monday, a cheetah in a hunting mode was spotted about 0.5km from the camp and suddenly exploded into a full sprint, bringing down a wildebeest foal right in front of the Lemala vehicle. The next day a male lion was spotted by guests around the dining tent having a good whiff of the delicious Lemala food, eventually trotting off towards Ewanjan's seasonal waterhole. A leopard with 2 cubs are now a common sight near the staff tents at night when the guests are asleep. The cubs are still very shy but the mother feels very comfortable around the camp.

Meanwhile, Lemala Mara guests who have had game drives in the Lamai Wedge and around Wogakuria kopjes have had excellent sightings of resident wildebeest, several large prides of lions, a group of cheetahs, hippos and crocs. Guests have enjoyed watching ellies while having outdoor lunches. Groups of zebras have started arriving and within a few days we are expecting the wildebeest to thunder past the camp and across the river a few hundred meters away. One can literally feel the tension in the air as we wait for the drama to unfold.

Report courtesy of Lemala Camps

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Migration News: Wildebeest arrive in Masai Mara

The highlight of the Great Annual Migration has begun! Wildebeest and zebra have been seen arriving into the Masai Mara and moving towards the Mara River. Small numbers have been crossing around the Sand River.

The main herds are still in the Serengeti spread from Seronera (central Serengeti) towards the Grumeti (western Serengeti eco-system) and the border with the Masai Mara (northern Serengeti).

All safari enthusiasts and conservationist look forward to this time, the highlight of the year in terms of the wildebeest migration. Millions of wildebeest and zebra will soon be squashed into the northern Serengeti and Masai Mara. They will zig-zag across the grasslands crossing the Mara River and Talek River often. The crocodiles will ly in wait and pick off the weak and unlucky. Similarly, big cats will wait on the far side of the river waiting for exhausted wildebeest and zebra which make easy prey.

This is the start of the high season in the Masai Mara. Huge numbers is tourists will visit to see the migration - so expect company if you plan to travel.

The migration usually stays around the northern eco-system until October, when they will start moving east and then south.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Migration news: Central Serengeti

The herds have started moving west and are currently from Serona in the central Serengeti moving west towards the western corridor. There are also large herds moving in a north westerly direction. The grazing is still good in the central Serengeti, for the time being, keeping the wildebeest in the area. As the rains start to dissipate and move west, the herds will follow. Over the next month we expect them to move rapidly through the western Serengeti and Grumeti Reserve, hopefully crossing the Grumeti River in the coming weeks. They will then make their way northwards in search of better grazing and water in the northern Serengeti and Masai Mara (Kenya).
The best camps to use at the moment are the mobile tented camps. Central Serona also has a number of large safari hotels, but these do not provide an authentic safari experience (in our opinion).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Heavy rains in the central Serengeti

The wildebest are around Moru Kopjes, Simiyu and the southern Moru area. Heavy rains around Seronera in the central Serengeti will finally encourage the wildebeest to start moving towards the central Serengeti. Due to the wet conditions, the best camps are still the permanent structured camps that have the facilities to deal with rain and muddy conditions. The central Serengeti is the location to see the migration in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Migration update: Starting to head west

The herds have slowly started heading west towards Kusini. Is this the start of the migration from the southern Serengeti towards Grumeti?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wildebeest settled on the Ndutu Plains

The southern Serengeti is wet and green. The main herds of wildebeest are settled on the Ndutu Plains enjoying the lush grasslands. There are also herds around Moru, Kusini and east towards the Ngorongoro Conservation Reserve.

Safari guest should be prepared to get wet at this time of year. But, in return, visitors will be rewarded with some of the most stunning and spectacular scenery and game viewing the Serengeti has to offer. The permanent camps are probably better equipped to handle the rain at this time of year. Kusini Camp is a good option.

Friday, January 14, 2011

News: Rain in the southern Serengeti

The main wildebeest herds are grazing on the lush grass of Ndutu plains, but the migration is spread across the southern Serengeti. The seasonal rains have set in and are providing good grazing across the south. Going is soft and wet for safari vehicles, but game viewing has been good with lots of predators circling the static herds.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Update: Migration in Southern Serengeti

Wildebeest are spread across the southern Serengeti. Rains across the region means that grazing is good over a wide area, from the outer slopes of Ngorongoro Crater, across Ndutu Plains and Gol Kopje. The migration is scattered and enjoying the nutrition rich grasses. They are fairly static and will only move around the southern Serengeti following the rains and new grass shoots. They will remain in this region until after the calving season and until the rains dry up in March/April.

Going on safari at this time can be rewarding for the hardy. The rains mean that it is not a typical African safari experience...sun and safari. But, gameviewing is excellent and tourist numbers are low, at times giving one the feeling that you are alone in the Serengeti!

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