The recent rainfalls seem to have had an enormous effect on Yaya!
For the last few weeks, she have been mating with Baba Yao. But, last week her affection has turned to Kibogoyo (one of the six Marsh Males). The photos below show Yaya and Kibogoyo mating despite the heavy rain pouring - the guests witnessed an impressive sound show of roaring and thunder, while Yaya rolled on the mud until she was the same colour as the earth.
However, Baba Yao and Koshoke (both the six Marsh Males) were seen laying low nearby but soon moved towards a termite mount which gave them better elevation to watch the show.
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The Mara Triangle have been heavily raining for the last few days. Angama Mara safari guide Adam Bannister managed to take a few photos of the Mara River. However, the Mara grasslands are lush and green.
Ehlane Plains Camp guest Jennifer captured the herds feasting on the fresh grass in front of the camp.
The wealth and diversity of wildlife in this area of the Serengeti, guests are rewarded with year-round game viewing. Morning and afternoon drives are augmented by guided walks and hot-air balloon safaris while inter-connecting tents mean that families with children can easily be accommodated at Ehlane and there are guides available for private family safaris.
Serian Camp guests witnessed a storm rolling just in front of the camp. With the heavy rains that have been pouring, the Mara river is filling up and this is the beginning of Kenya's long rain that was needed.
The plains are at their most beautiful, vivid with wildflowers and teeming game!
This is an ideal time for photographic safari as the quality of the light is magical. However, the short grasses of the south cannot sustain the vast herds, and they are moving northwards and westwards.
From April to June, the Serengeti is the theatre for one of the most impressive wildlife shows on earth. Hundreds of thousands of plains game are moving towards the Seronera, the the Grumeti River. This spectacular moving feast is trailed by predators; lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena.
The Seronera area of the Serengeti comprises open plains dotted with attractive kopjes. There's plenty of resident game with relaxed predators as well as the migrating herds coming through in April and May. Given in the Seronera's Central position, you can stay here and still travel south as well as north to the Western Corridor. However, this advantage means that the Seronera rains busy throughout most of the migration.
The Ndutu plains are still the area to focus on! Game viewing is prolific and the park is very quiet due to the rainfalls. But overall, this is one of the best time to travel to the Serengeti if you want to encounter predators action.
As Roving Bushtops prepares to make the move back to the Central Serengeti, the herds seem to be making their way too. The migration was captured in the Moru area by safari guide Amos.
Some camps are set in magnificent surroundings but fixed: others offer game viewing on the move, at the expense of five-star facilities. As its name implies, Roving Bushtops offers the best of both worlds.
The camp's main base sits proudly in the heart of the Central Serengeti, in the Seronera Valley. Not only does our superb location provide exceptional year-round game viewing for our guests, the migration comes to us in June and November and we can reach the migration herds on a half or full-day game drive till around the end of June/beginning of July before they reach the northern Serengeti and around mid October to November when the herds are returning.
In between (December to mid-April), Roving Bushtops follows the migration South to Kusini where we sit temporarily for about four months. Ensuring our guests get high chances of seeing the migration birthing season after which the camp moves back to our spot in Central Serengeti to catch the herd before they reach Serengeti Bushtops which offers a ringside seat for the world-famous river crossings, which take place in the Northern Serengeti.
The great migration movies constantly. Feasting complete and leaving behind a rather barren landscape in the south, the herds follow the rumblings of thunder northwards. Mega columns of wildebeest stretch from the south, through the Moru Kopjes in the central Serengeti and all the way to the Western Corridor.
The wildebeest were captured in the Kusini Area! However, a big herd is in the Central Serengeti.
April is the final month that the herds spread across the southern plains. Calving season is ending, but there is still enough rain and fresh grass to keep the herds in the southern plains for the majority of the month. When they start moving to the northern plains, it's impossible to predict - but in previous years, the first herds moving up into the heart of the Serengeti in April, starting their big push to the dry season grazing grounds of the northern Serengeti and Maasai Mara.
Historically, however, the Ndutu plains are still the area to focus on! Game viewing is prolific and the park is very quiet due to the risk of some rain.
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Little Red taking care of Spot's cubs, while Spot was sleeping nearby. The two daughters of Siena (one of the original Marsh Pride females) are always together. We are hoping the cubs will adopt this behaviour into adulthood!
Yaya was captured with Baba Yao, one of the six Marsh males. He has been trying to mate with her for the last few weeks - they are therefore spending a lot of time together and this morning they were spotted feeding on zebra together.
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As the grass becomes depleted in the south, the great herds are starting to move into the woodlands west of Seronera towards the western corridor
Large numbers of griffon vultures follow the herds waiting for the old and weak to fall.
Thunderstorms are becoming common as the long rains are starting. It is thought that the wildebeest follow the lightning and thunderstorms in search of water. They continue eating as they move, and are scattered all across the plains, generally west of Ndutu. One day they will be all around and the next they could all have moved off, like a single entity. As the rains start to fall, the wildebeest canter off towards the storms, searching for water, Sometimes after a day or two, they return if the promise of water did not materialise.
The Marsh Pride females - Kabibi, Rembo, Dada and Kito and their cubs were spotted last night enjoying a beautiful sundowner as they pondered on the choice of game in the distance, wondering what they might hunt that evening.
Meanwhile, a really nice sighting of Kibogoyo and Koshoke relaxing at the Bilashaka area. The two males are constantly on the go as they look for mating opportunities between the Marsh Pride and the Tope Pride females.
The migration is heading towards the Western Corridor of the Serengeti as the long and heavy rains set in. It is a slow plod through scattered woodland and long-grass plains as the herds will be streaming past the Moru Kopjes and shadowing the Mbalageti River.
Patty Doublet witnessed a wobbly wildebeest calve during her morning game drives.
Where to be: Tucked into the Moru Kopjes, Dunia Camp has a lion’s eye view of the plains while the Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge has an equally panoramic outlook. Both properties are well placed to intercept the Migration as it trundles westwards, but be warned that heavy rains at this time of year can reduce tracks to quagmires and make game drives a challenge. Also, consider the Serengeti Sopa Lodge and Seronera Wildlife Lodge – both are located near permanent water with an excellent resident game.
Trespasser! 'This is Blonde', one of the Olololo males was spotted feeding on buffalo with females and youngsters of the River-line pride (from the Mara Triangle), at the entrance of Governors Private Camp! They are known to cross over into the Marsh Pride territory, make a kill, and rush back home before they get caught.
Let's hope they made it back without a confrontation with the Marsh females and their cubs!
April is the wettest month of the year, and even though there's rain almost every day of the month, it rarely rains all day. April is slightly cooler than March, but it's still warm during the day, with an average high of 28C.
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Another close call with buffalo for Kabibi, Rembo, Dada, Kito and their seven remaining cubs!
Together with Koshoke (male), they were all feeding on a zebra kill when they suddenly found themselves surrounded by a herd of angry buffalo. As usual, the buffalo chased them away, including the cubs who were hesitant at first abandon their meal, but later returned to feed again leaving the cubs to watch from a distance.
Meanwhile, Pamoja and Nusu Mkia (Yaya's daughters) have been hunting a lot of warthogs lately. On this particular occasion, Yaya was waiting and watching not too far from them, possibly hoping that they allow her to join the meal if they succeeded. Unfortunately, they missed the warthogs.
Final photos show Yaya resting in the thicket with Baba Yao. They were actually not too far from the others with the zebra kill - the buffalo tried to chase them away too but they seemed less concerned than the others with the young cubs. Safari guide Moses Manduku will be keeping an eye on this pair to see if any mating takes place.
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Safari guide Micheal Thomas captured the herds in the Southern Serengeti during his afternoon game drives!
While calving season has ended, the herds of wildebeest are still in the Southern Serengeti and Ndutu Region, sustained by the lush grass on the plains. However, the herds have also started moving northwards, so you can catch them on the move in the Seronera/Central Serengeti region too.
Because of the amount of rainfall that April receives, it’s one of the least popular months to visit the park, which means that you can get discounted rates on lodging and packages. A plus is that the park is very quiet, so you’ll have sightings without any crowds.
Yaya's two daughters have been officially named 'Pamoja' (meaning 'together') and 'Nusu Mkia' which means 'half a tail'.
Name suggestions had been circulating for the last few months but were confirmed recently. Nusu Mkia had an infection in her tail and the end dropping off - making her a very easily identifiable cat in the Mara.
They were spotted just a few days ago warming up for a hunt on some warthog who were a great distance away. These two have proven to be very skilled hunters, often working together on stealthy ambushes. On this particular occasion, they managed to get all the way up to the warthog without being noticed until Pamoja got exposed at the last minute due to the short grass.
Get closer than you could ever imagine to Africa’s most incredible wildlife. Feel the breath of the lion and the thundering of the gnu’s hoofs, all from the safety of our guided game drive or your own vehicle.
Don’t be scared of the long rains in April! It rains mostly in the evening and days are generally clear.
The main effect of the rains is that the plains will be wet, and the black cotton soil slippery. If you can deal with the rain and slippery roads, you’ll be rewarded with excellent sightings. We highly recommend April as one of the most consistent times to see the herds. This is when they slowly get going as the newborn calves and foals get mobile.
We recommend a minimum five-night / three-night accommodation split, with the bulk going to the Kusini / Moru camp areas for an optimal Serengeti migration safari in April.
Chongo was spotted behaving like a true gentleman and following the cubs to have a bite while Kabibi, Rembo, Dada and Kito are all next in line for the zebra kill.
It seems the kill was actually made by Spot and Little Red - but they got chased off. Kito and Little Red both have some wounds from fighting over the meal, but at least little ones have managed to get their fill. Chong was then seen again a little while later resting with four of the Marsh males - Koshoke, Baba Yao and Kiok at the Bila Shaka area. The Marsh boys are back in town after a long time with the females up at Topi Plains.
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April is wet in the Serengeti, but you'll love it!
The wildebeest herds move slowly in April through the Serengeti. They leave the Ndutu region and head north-west past Simba Kopjes and toward Moru. These areas are known for their healthy lion and big cat populations. Expect a good dose of interaction between predator and prey.
Safari guide saw a small group remaining in the southern Serengeti while a large group is in the Maswa Game Reserve.
Kenya has two migrations that happen yearly! Everyone knows about the annual great migration that brings over 1.4 million animals into the Mara during the winter season. However, the lesser known migration known as the Loita migration where about 10,000 plus wildebeest and zebra migrate between the conservancies, Mara and to the Loita plains were captured in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy.
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.