February 2019 – Migration Updates

Migration Updates – Where are the Wildebeest Herds?

Feb 2019 Migration Updates: The herds moved to lakes Ndutu and Masek early this year with some good numbers around both lakes, as well as the small and big marsh areas.  Good numbers of wildebeest were reported around the smaller hidden valley lakes and ponds throughout January 2019.
The short rains delivered some really good early rains across the Serengeti plains. The fresh new good grass following the rains, ignited the calving season and little wildebeest calves have been born throughout the ecosystem.  The traditional special camp sites around campsite valley, Ndutu, Ndutu Safari Lodge, Alex Walker’s Serengeti South Camp and Nomad’s Serengeti Migration Camp have all reported wonderful sightings of predator interaction and new wildebeest arrivals.

Migration Predictions for March/April 2019

We believe the short rains have stopped and this means the plains will dry out fairly quickly and the wildebeest herds would shift towards more permanent water sources.  The western herds would move to Maswa and Kakessio so Alex Walker’s camps and Kusini based camps would be in a good position. There might be a shift towards the eastern boundary of the Serengeti National Park this year in the region towards Gol kopjes and Nasera rock or Piyaya area.

GMC Mobile Location

GMC Mobile camp anticipates exploring the eastern plains and follow the eastern herds on their journey towards Namiri plains and Turner spring as the wildebeest head towards the Kenyan border and the start of their annual migration.  The GMC team will document dates and routes of the eastern herds this year. Traditionally these herds arrive at the Sand River first and cross into the Mara reserve first every year.  Join us on our journey following the great wildebeest migration 2019….

Calving Season

GMC mobile has a few spaces still available this March during calving season.  Please contact us for reservations and enquiries.  We follow the herds guaranteeing migration sightings all year round.  Make sure you are in the right place at the right time.  Game Package Rates $330 and Full board Rates $230 (excl Park Fees and getting there).

Contact: +255 686 493 065 |  Email: info@greatmigrationcamps.com

Migration Updates – February 2019

GMC Migration Update – 28 December 2018 Aerial view of Wildebeest Herds Ndutu.

Thanks Serengeti Balloon Safaris for the update. Ndutu is full of wildebeest!
“Today we flew for just over an hour and were in sight of the herds throughout, not to mention the accompanying zebra, as well as 2 serval cats, lions on a kill, eland, thomson’s and grants gazelle, ostrich, and jackals. Well done Capt Masudi and the rest of the team, a top day!” See post here

GMC Migration Update – 28 December 2018

Herds arrive at Lake Ndutu – update from Serengeti Nomad.  Migration in ndutu following rain storm 3 days ago! Herds are in open plains at shamba la maharge moving towards naibatat hill and albida plains ! Some are moving along the lake masek into woodland! Big time for cats as they are every where. See post

Serengeti Nomad - Calving 19'. Lake Ndutu (1)

GMC Migration Update – 4 January 2019

Is this the first new-born wildebeest of the 2019 calving season? Probably not but certainly the first picture of one thanks to Serengeti Nomad . See post

GMC Migration Update – 15 January 2019 

Update from Serengeti Balloon Safaris– herds gather on the southern plains from Naabi to hidden valley and across into NCCA. “A magnificent day to take a balloon flight over the Southern Serengeti with Serengeti Balloon Safaris, with light winds and partially cloudy skies both balloons calmly lifted off from our Ngorongoro Conservation Area site and floated west over the plains towards Lake Ndutu. What a spectacular view to see the great migration that seemed to have increased by the tens of thousands today! They have littered the short grass plains of the Southern Serengeti from Naabi Hill to Hidden Valley throughout the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and as far as the eye could see. Though the plains were dominated by The Great Migration some of the other wildlife we experienced included Jackals, Secretary birds, Vultures, Ostrich, Hyenas, thousands of Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle and many Giraffes.” 

GMC Migration Update – 17 January 2019

And we have a zebra crossing on the Masai Mara side… The rest of the wildebeest are around the central to Southern Serengeti.. Update by Angama Mara thank you!

GMC Migration Update  – 19 January 2019

Lake Ndutu crossings and herds between Naabi hill and Ndutu, marshes and the southern plains.. Thanks for the update Serengeti Nomad .  “Migration is in ndutu , today we were lucky to watch migration crossing lake ndutu towards the woodland goinginto the open plains on the north east side of ndutu area like going to golini and gol mountains @nonadtanzania #migrationupdate #herdsonmove”  See post

GMC Migration Update  – 22 January 2019Newborn Wildebeest Ndutu

Baby time at Ndutu.
Thanks to Chem Chem Safari Lodges – Tanzania Africa
Just love calving season on the Southern Serengeti Plains! And it’s not just the wildebeest.  Scroll down for some other amazing wildlife sightings this month! Seeing is believing.

GMC Migration Update  – 24 January 2019

Am I a wildebeest?? Where are we going?? Can I come with you to Kenya…. Please?
Lowis & LeakeyThe wildebeest seemed as shocked as Ninian was to find a hippopotamus way out on the short grass plains near Barafu. #lowisandleakey #hippopotamus #migration #namiri #tanzania

GMC Migration Update – 29 January 2019

Calving season has started at Ndutu and the greater NCA and Southern Serengeti plains. Yehhh a new generation of migratory wildebeest on their way. Thanks for the update Serengeti Nomad . #GreatMigration #TheGreatMigration
#SerengetiShallNeverDie  #GMCMobileCamp  

Serengeti Nomad - Calving Season 2019  

GMC Migration Update – 29 January 2019

Too cute from Serengeti Nomad calving season underway… Early at Ndutu this year, might there be a shift to Maswa or Piyaya this year?

Other Amazing Sightings Reported from the Serengeti…

Kleins-Camp - Wild-Dog18 Jan '19 Spectacular sighting of Wild Dogs on Klein's Concession by @michaelnalleyphotography
18.01.19 Wild-Dog Klein’s Concession @michaelnalleyphotography
Ndutu-Safari-Lodge-caracal-Feb2019Nice caracal from Ndutu Safari Lodge An incredibly beautiful and rare sighting of a Caracal Cat the other evening.
01.02.2019 Caracal Ngorongoro Conservation Area @NdutuSafariLodge
Ndutu-Safari-Lodge-10-Feb
10.02.19 Beautiful Storm Clouds & Rain Southern Serengeti Plains @NdutuSafariLodge
The King is Crossing - Lake Ndutu - 26 Jan 2019 Jens Cullmann Photography
26.01.19 Lion. Jens Cullmann Photography
25 Jan 2019 - All is well with the Marsh Pride, as you can see from these photos, the cubs of Kabibi and Rembo are becoming real little characters - playing with each other and their mothers - and even learning to climb - starting with an easy tree stump! We shall be posting some more photos over the next few days. All photos kindly sent in by Moses Manduku.
25.01.19 Marsh Pride is well Masai Mara, Kenya Photo: Moses Manduku
08.02.19 Ndutu Sunrise
@NdutuSafariLodge

 

How to book

PLEASE enquire early to avoid disappointment particularly during peak periods- additional services are also busy and booked. We can assist with pre or post safari tours and accommodation in town as well as flights or transport in and out of the National Park.  We recommend 5- 10 days for your migration safari. Join us now for Calving Season; in June for Rutting season or between July and October for Crossing season. Email your inquiry to info@greatmigrationcamps.com. Kindly provide your name, country, number of people travelling and preferred dates and duration.  Children of all ages are welcome.

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The Great Migration Calving Season 2019

Migration Status

2018 has been an unusual crossing season, with very little “normal” behaviour or movement of the migration. There are still huge numbers of wildebeest and zebra on the Masai Mara side and big numbers have moved down from the northern Serengeti to the western Serengeti corridor, Grumeti River area. This is the complete opposite of what is suppose to happen if we look at traditional “migration maps”, like this one (courtesy of Scott Dunn) and has us wondering what will happen in Calving Season 2019.

Traditional-Great-Wildebeest-Migration-Map
Traditional Migration Map

The short rains have started and it is the end of October. There is moisture being pushed into East Africa (Lake Victoria depression) from two sides: From the east or coastal region, moisture is pushed in with the east winds blowing and more moisture is being pushed in from the great lakes regions, west of the Serengeti.

Possible Calving Season Scenarios

If we have lots of early rain which stops in January, February and March. This is the most likely scenario – there is only so much moisture that can fall! The moment the trade winds start blowing off the coast then we might have a fairly dry February/March 2019. This scenario will cause the migration to look for permanent water when the plains have dried out. Possible locations could be the Maswa Game Reserve / Kusini / Kakessio areas west of Lake Ndutu. Or movement to Seronera where there is permanent water in the Seronera valley river system.

The second scenario sees continuous rain from November to end May 2019. There are predictions of a very wet short rainy season, if this connects with the traditional long rains of April May then there would be a constant supply of water and grass on the southern Serengeti plains. This might cause the herds to be spread out from Kakessio in the west to Oldupai in the south to Goll kopjes and even Piyaya in the east.

How to plan your safari for the calving season and what to look out for

The border between the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority is an “imaginary line” which basically splits the southern plains in half. Many camps and lodges are either on the Serengeti side or the NCA side of the plains. Very few companies will pay double park fees to accommodate their tourists and give them access to both sides on the same day. This leaves clients with a 50/50 chance of being on the wrong side of the imaginary line.

How do I fix this and make sure I get to see the calving season from end January to end March 2019

  1. Make sure you have park fees paid for both sides of the southern plains
  2. Book your safari with Great Migration Camps – guaranteeing you will be with the herds

When to come on safari to witness the calving season

The calving season is a window between end January and end March. Gathering in massive numbers, the wildebeest synchronize their birthing, for safety reasons. Needless to say, there are very good animal interactions and predator activity throughout this time. February – March are the two ideal months to come to the Serengeti / NCA. It is a special season due to the sheer numbers and abundance of wildlife and activity.

Talk to us about the migration and where to go when!

GMC Mobile: Game Package Rates $330 and Full board Rates $230 (excludes Park Fees and getting there).

Contact: +255 686 493 065 |  Email: info@greatmigrationcamps.com

Contact us for Calving Season Packages.

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