Migration Updates – what happened in September 2018?
Wildebeest Whisperer, Carel Verhoef, reports back on an eventful month of the great migration – with a lot of confusion as the wildebeest moved back and forth across the Mara River.
Towards the end of August there was significant rainfall (50 mm!) on the Serengeti side from the central Seronera and eastern Barafu Kopjes to Kogatende in the northern part of the Serengeti. Lots of rain on areas that had been burnt earlier in August. This caused the herds to start moving from north to south, and some concern that the herds would not move north to Kenya at all. Big herd numbers were gathered around the Sand River. The rain seemed to split the herds into a northern and southern group, with some large numbers in Kenya from earlier crossings and many wildebeest wandering south – making it as far as Mbuzi Mawe!
The Kenyans burnt a large area in the Masai Mara from Talek to Lookout Hill on 6 September. Not long after this there was another shift at the wildebeest headed north again arriving in Kenya and the Mara Triangle towards the end of September. There were some big crossings at the Sand River into the Mara Reserve with large numbers arriving in the Mara North Conservancies.
At the moment the herds are scattered with some as far north as the Mara Triangle and southern conservancies, some around Kogatende and as far south as Lobo on the Serengeti Side. Mara River crossings are happening on both the Kenyan and Tanzanian sides.
The big question is when the short rains will start as this will impact on the movement of the herds. If there is no rain, the herds should stay up north in both the Serengeti and Masai Mara as there is permanent water and some good springs. Great Migration Camps suggests this is the likely scenario for the next couple of weeks at least.
If the rain comes, the area of rainfall will help make the decision for the wildebeest herds. Rain further south means the herds could move towards Kleins Gate and Lobo sooner rather than later.
Of course all these micro-movements have us here at Great Migration Camps asking the question about where calving season will be? Potentially the herds may not move all the way south to the Ndutu and southern Serengeti plains… but have no fear, Great Migration Camps will still be there – wherever they may be! Calving season bookings are open.
Migration Update 28 August
Huge crossings of the Mara River on the Serengeti side from north to south. Update from Danny Akiyoo – guide at Asilia Africa. Watch the video here.
Migration Update 02 Sept
Lenny Koshal with news of wildebeest herds crossing the Sand River north to south update. Take a look at this crossing!
Migration Update 04 Sept
Great crossing Serengeti side at Makutano north to south again. Update from Asilia Africa guide Elia Edward
Migration Update 18 Sept
Zebra Crossing! It’s not just the wildebeest who migrate or cross rivers – look at this huge Zebra crossing on the sand river near Sala’s Camp moving south to the Serengeti.
Migration Update 20 Sept
Frank Gabriel, from Lemala Camps and lodges, always sends fabulous updates like this huge herd crossing the Mara River on the Serengeti side – headed south!
Migration Update 21 Sept
Ainslee Wilson from Alex Walker’s Serien reported a big wildebeest crossing at No 7 headed from north to south.
Migration Update 22 Sept
In mid-September there was still movement of the herds from north to south – crossing the Mara River on the Serengeti. Update from Asilia
Migration Update 25 Sept
Huge herds near Nomad in the Serengeti – 20 km south of the Mara River, doing some wildebeest stuff.
Migration Update 28 Sept
Mashine (Joseph Swai) sent footage of a massive crossing on the Serengeti Side at No 4 headed north. Watch the video.
Migration Update 30 Sept
Herds cross the Mara River at Lookout Hill from east to west in Kenya. Update from GMC-mobile and a great thunderous dusty crossing.
Migration Update 7 Oct
Northern end of the migration in the Kenyan Conservancies – Mara North and Olare Motorogi. Crossings headed north across the Mara River – update from Baraka Willium
Migration Update 9 Oct
Governor’s Camp collection reporting from Mara Triangle, huge herds around Little Governor’s Camp. What happens next is anyone’s guess…. watch this space or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates about the movement of the wildebeest from the field.
Where will the herds be when the wildebeest drop their calves en masse come February? Traditionally the herds gather on the Southern Serengeti Plains near Ndutu for calving season. Will they be there at the start of 2019 or will the wildebeest keep us all guessing. One thing we know for certain, is that where ever the herds go, so will GMC Mobile! Book now for calving season and be sure you are in the right place at the right time.
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