Guests at Lemala Ndutu are enjoying the migration around camp and directly in front by the small marsh. The numbers are growing and the cheetah sightings have been amazing this past week with lots of kills seen.
The migration in Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter
Game drive at Lemala Ndutu - Image by Veronica Otter
Report from Marando Shauri, one of our guides. We are getting good rain now and the wildebeest are filling Caracal Plateau, coming in from Kusini and Makau woodlands.
Long lines heading out towards Gol and Lemuta. Frontier Forest woodland areas full, as well as the marsh areas. Large groups of zebra around the lodge. Many cheetah sightings with cubs so a great time to be here.
Happy Christmas! This just in from Nomad guide Emmanuel Njawa:
Things are starting to warm up around here after a few days of rain. Some substantial herds of wildebeest are now coming in from Kusini direction, possibly Maswa woodlands and are presently spreading between the Hidden Valley, Miti Mitatu, the minor and big swamps coming towards the eastern Ndutu woodlands.
We even saw a few hundred gnus galloping towards Naibadad possibly to start filling the plains overlooking Ngorongoro highlands. We're also seeing big numbers of cheetahs (we saw, in three hours, three mothers all with between three to five cubs) and lots of lions.
We have had some movement but only in the Southern side of Serengeti. They are spreading even wider between Serengeti South airstrip and Kusini now than Ndutu.
Heavy rains in Central and South Serengeti have confused the wildebeests quite a bit and they seem quite happy to be in area with still plentiful lush green grass, seems that it is going to be a good calving season and it might come a little early.
Season’s greetings from us all at Coastal.
Thanks and Regards,
Capt. Joel J Fernandes,
A small update from here, seem to be getting some wide spread rain at last and reports coming in that the wildebeest and zebra are coming in long lines from Moru and Kusini to the plains around the marshes.
Woodlands around Frontier Forest full. Heading from Small Marsh plain to Triangle / Naabi Plain.
The signal has been pretty temperamental. Perhaps to do with the storms. We have just had another half an inch now. There is a large herd spread from us here in Kakessio north for about ten kilometers and along the Maswa tree line. Its a lot greener here.
South of Ndutu it remains partially dry and there are large herds of Zebra west of the tree line. The lush green area starts again at the Serengeti boundary as you head west towards Kusini. Large mixed herds here too. There are occasional sightings of foals on the plains, probably premature births. It wouldn't surprise me if we see the foals dropping in the next two weeks.
Some baby Zebra already up and running...
Heavy rain in the Southern Serengeti - Image by Alex Walker
Wildebeest in the Southern Serengeti - Image by Alex Walker
Cloudy Serengeti skies - Image by Alex Walker
Rain dripping from the tent roof - Image by Alex Walker
Now in Kakessio, having driven in from Arusha via the Crater rim and magical Mysigio. One of the must-do drives in Africa through the avenues of old growth Acacia Lahai… Scattered storms in the mid afternoon have been the current weather pattern over the past days.
Large storm clouds gathering around Oldeani and the Crater, drift west over the southern plains. Yesterday over the “Miti Mitato” area, today along the Maswa boundary road, there are reasonable herds spread out around Esere and Laetoli.
Smaller herds here in Kakessio but more on the horizon behind Kimuma. The masai are slowly drifting away from their summer pastures headed for the plateau behind us at Ngaireshi. Separately there are big herds on the plains west of Ndutu towards Kusini and the tree line there
Wildebeest on the Southern Plains - Image by Alex Walker
We got some coordinates of some of the big herds. They have been parading in the south parts of the Serengeti, between Ndutu and Kusini. And last week I had the opportunity to get up close, on ground.
I spent 24 hrs in the Serengeti and saw the big 5 (including 2 rhinos), cheetahs, the migration and tonnes of fantastic birds (4 lifers). I can, with the full conviction, say that this is the best place in the world to Safari.
Here are some pictures from the air. Have a fantastic day!
Wildebeest herds between Ndutu and Kusini - Image by Capt Joel
Herds in the Southern parts of the Serengeti - Image by Capt Joel
Just heard from Nomad guide Rowland Ngowi. The big herds of the migration are currently moving towards the Kusini woodlands and Kakesio, and there are some scattered herds around Ndutu and towards Mawe Ya Simba.
Due to customer demand and the great herd movements, Serengeti Balloon Safaris will be commencing balloon operations in Serengeti South earlier this year. We will be starting on 13th December (rather than the previously published 20th December).
We look forward to again providing guests from camps and lodges in Serengeti South and Ndutu areas with an unforgettable experience viewing the great migration and attendant predators from a unique perspective.
The wildebeest migration in Ndutu - Image by Tony Pascoe
Reports from the ground show that it's greening up quickly following last weeks big storms. The herds are spread through Kusini and Ndutu, the southernmost elements flooding into the plains south of mlima matiti.
In the Mara, the Loita herds are spread over the Mara North Conservancy and Ol Are Orok. Images to follow.
The rain here as usual is very localised. Nothing over the lodge for 10 days now, but big thunderstorms and rainfall over the marsh areas yesterday.
Wildebeest spreading out over Caracal plateau and slowly further out onto the plains. Woodlands quite full, and out on the triangle between here and Naabi. So many cheetah around. Guests are seeing upwards of 9 different sightings in a day.
Have a good day,
The wildebeest at Caracal Plateau - Video by Ainslie Wilson
As the migration heads south to Ndutu the big herds are presently around the Naabi and Gol kopjes areas with some scatterings in the Moru area also. The Makoma and Seronera area has plenty of resident game with some small groupings of wildebeest who look like they are making their way south at a slow pace.
Unfortunately no pics on this till our guides are out again.
Heavy rain through both Kusini, Makau and Kakessio yesterday. Reports of large herds near Naabi heading into Ndutu. still waiting on images we don’t have the internet set up in camp and the signal is poor today.
There have been large rains in the southern Serengeti. Big herds are wending their way through the treeline at Kusini, headed southwards towards the short grass plains north of our Serengeti South camp which is now established near Kakessio. Images to follow tomorrow.
There is rain most evenings in the central Serengeti and that is probably the reason the herds are fairly spread out and moving around aimlessly at present, we have fairly big herds moving through Moru and Makoma and our guides have seen them around Lake Magadi again heading back north towards Moru and Alan Root's camp area.
Lemala Ewanjan Head Guide
Fairly big herds moving through Moru and Makoma - Video by Ebenezer - Lemala Ewanjan
I went for a scout around this morning. The large numbers of wildebeest that were here in the marshes last week seem to have retreated, and remaining is just small groups of wildies and zebra and larger groups of gazelle. It is still bone dry out round Two Trees.
There is very little grass growing and still enormous groups of cattle in Long Gully and Marsh areas. Guests who have been here for the last 6 days have had amazing luck with cheetah - recording 21 different ones, many with small cubs.
The lions also are recovering some of the pre-dry season condition, thanks to the few wildebeest and zebra here.
Chaka Camp, is a mobile Serengeti safari camp designed to be lightweight enough to move seasonally, is located in the Ndutu area from December through March. The camp relocates to Western Serengeti from May through June, and again to Northern Serengeti from July through November.
From December through March, the wildebeest migration moves in and out of the Ndutu area. Ndutu is located in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, just south of Serengeti National Park. Chaka Camp’s location provides easy access to prime game viewing areas around Lakes Ndutu and Masek. In addition to the almost two million wildebeest and zebra that move through the area each year, Ndutu is home to cheetah, lion, giraffe and hundreds of bird species. During February’s calving season, the wildebeest give birth to 8,000 babies a day.
From May through June, Chaka Camp relocates to Western Serengeti. The wildebeest migration is generally in this area during this time, and crossings over the Grumeti River are sometimes seen in this area. Access to Central Serengeti is also possible from this area as the drive is only two hours.
From July through November, Chaka Camp is located in Northern Serengeti. The camp is close to the Mara River, allowing easy access to several river crossing points in the area. During this time of year, the wildebeest migration is crossing the Mara River back and forth from Tanzania to Kenya. River crossings are common with crocodiles, hippos and large cats scattered throughout the area.
Tucked within a grassy corridor that links the Lake Ndutu area with the Moru Kopjes and Hidden Valley is the seasonal Woodlands Camp. During the calving season, this area is teaming with wildebeest as hundreds of thousands of pregnant females converge to give birth. While most properties are compacted in a central location, Woodlands Camp is slightly removed from the main tourist venue, allowing for more privacy without sacrificing access to this awe-inspiring event.
Ndutu Safari Lodge is situated in the south-eastern part of the Serengeti eco-system. Shaded by majestic acacia trees, each of the thirty four cottages, which are built of local materials, has a private verandah facing Lake Ndutu.
The Lodge is surrounded by indigenous trees and shrubs which encourage a host of birds and mammals to come right to your front door. Tucked well away from the busy tourist circuit, Ndutu offers peace and tranquillity far from the madding crowd. Spend some time with us and unwind. Relax to the rhythm of an African day as a myriad bird calls herald the rising sun. Stay close to the lodge and enjoy the resident wildlife or go for a drive and explore the range of habitats that lie within easy reach. After sunset return to the homely warmth and hospitality of Ndutu Safari Lodge.
Perched on the edge of a permanent marsh, Lemala Ndutu is the ultimate amphitheater for the wildebeest migration between December and March.
9 suite tents of a very high specification are relocated from the Northern Serengeti to this stunning Ndutu site to capture the boundless drama that accompanies the migration. The migrating herds of over 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra begin to arrive in December and begin calving in February.
The camp is situated inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, near the border of Southern Serengeti, in what is perhaps the finest location in the whole of Ndutu because of its shady umbrella acacia trees and grass cover which reduces dust considerably and also attracts grazers. The camp offers fantastic views of the marsh whose permanent fresh waters attract an abundance of game including predators. The camp enjoys regular visits from resident wildlife ranging from lions, leopards,cheetahs and hyenas to elephant and giraffe. Lion hunts close to the camp are not uncommon.
Like the animal it is named after, Camp Zebra follows the wildebeest migration to the northern part of the Serengeti National Park in June, July, August, September, October and November; and to the southern part of the park from December till March. Camp Zebra is closed from the middle of April till the end of May each year.
Camp Zebra consists of six accommodation tents, each of which can be used for single, double (or twin) or triple occupancy. Each sleeping tent consists of a bedroom area, dressing area and ensuite shower and toilet. The dressing area, shower and toilet are all “open air” so as to heighten the experience of living as one with your surroundings. Despite being able to enjoy some breathtaking views as you prepare yourself for the day ahead, privacy is still assured due to the clever design of our tents. As an added convenience, each tent is provided with sufficient electricity for lighting as well as for charging mobile telephones, cameras, tablets, laptop computers or any other electronic devices you may carry with you.
Camp Zebra is Serengeti camping at its finest. The mobile nature of the camp makes it easy to follow the wildebeest herds as they complete their long journey, ensuring the best wildlife sightings during the incredible Great Migration in Tanzania. See our HerdTracker app for the latest migration updates.