Go Green – Wildebeest Calving Season in the Serengeti
Written by Julie Graham
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Safari goers tend to flock to East Africa for the Great Wildebeest Migration during the high (and dry) season, where they can witness millions of animals thundering towards remaining water sources on the arid African plains. During this time, while thrilling wildlife sightings may be guaranteed, so too are crowds and low availability in the more exclusive lodges and camps.
Sometimes the ‘best time to go to Africa’ is not always as it seems.
The Green Season in East Africa begins when short rains start to erupt across the plains and the crowds of the high season retreat. The parched terrain transforms into a lush, radiant landscape where flowers come to bloom, migratory birds fill the skies and animals give birth to their young.
Between the months of January and March, the Serengeti comes alive as the wildebeest migration moves back towards Lake Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Here, the calcium-rich shoots from the rains attract pregnant wildebeest in search of sustenance for their newborns. Roughly half a million wildebeest give birth on the plains over this time, with over 8,000 calves born each day. This lesser-known spectacle of the Great Wildebeest Migration is something quite magical to behold, and your clients can be assured of some incredible wildlife sightings with predators lurking en masse in wait for vulnerable prey.
Our team has compiled a list of some of our favorite eco-friendly camps that cater for this epic season in the Serengeti, offering your clients front row seats to this miracle of nature.
Lemala Ndutu and Lemala Mara make up one authentic mobile camp, moving north and south with the seasons to provide guests with front row seats of the wildebeest migration. The 9 luxury mobile tents that make up Lemala Ndutu are perfectly positioned in the Ndutu region of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the south during the Green Season. Perched on the banks of a permanent marsh, it is the place to be during the height of the calving season when there is a high concentration of big predators in the area, preying on the young.
Highlight: Along with a whole host of philanthropic endeavors to conserve and protect local communities and wildlife, Lemala operates 100% off the grid with zero emissions and fuel usage, using solar energy in all their camps.
Sanctuary Kusini Camp
Sanctuary Kusini is the only permanent camp in the remote southern Serengeti, positioned directly on the path of the great wildebeest migration. The camp is renowned for exceptional Big Five game viewing all year round and is perfectly situated for witnessing the large herds of wildebeest that congregate on the grassy plains during the calving season. 12 luxuriously furnished tents are built around (and hidden by) a rocky outcrop with breathtaking views of the wildlife-rich plains, offering your clients front row seats to the action.
Highlight: Sanctuary Kusini Camp has a private airstrip with daily flights from Arusha, Kuro, Lake Manyara, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.
Royal Migration Camp
Royal Migration Camp is another mobile camp set up to follow the wildebeest migration. Beginning in the Ndutu area for the calving season, it moves north with the migration to witness the great Mara River crossing. The camp epitomizes exclusivity and luxury in the bush with utmost care and personalized service a priority. The prime location of Royal Migration Camp also makes it ideal for top-class wildlife sightings. On top of witnessing the marvel of the calving season, guests at Royal Migration Camp have also experienced lions, leopards, hyena and cheetah around camp during this time.
Highlight: Each of the 6 luxury tents at Royal Migration Camp Ndutu come with their very own safari vehicle and guide for personalized game drives tailored to your clients preferences.
Olakira Migration Camp
If your client is wanting to follow the wildebeest migration around the Serengeti, moving from the southern plains during Green Season to the north (June to November) to witness the treacherous Mara crossing, the luxurious, mobile Olakira Migration Camp is a great option. Located in the remote Soit Le Motonyi region of the central Serengeti, the camp guarantees utmost privacy and exclusivity, as well as some of the most thrilling game viewing in Tanzania. Your clients will be treated to exciting sightings during the Green Season as they watch with bated breath as calves are stalked by cheetahs and lions roaming the Serengeti plains.
Highlight: The camp comprises nine beautifully appointed en-suite tents, as well as mesh-covered stargazing tents which allow guests to sleep under a sky of glittering stars at night.
Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp
Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp has one goal: to get guests as close to the migration as possible. And they do everything in their power to make this possible. Constantly on the move, the highly-skilled crew and staff and six open-plan mobile Meru-style tents relocate with the migration, guided by the herds on their mission to seek out greener pastures. Catering for the discerning and adventurous client, this thrilling experience ensures the very best wildlife sightings from Green Season to the Mara crossing and all the way back again.
Highlight: Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp is renowned for its excellent guides who focus on creating the very best migration experience for guests. Throughout their stay, their safari will be tailored to suit their personal pace and preferences.
Get in touch with one of our travel experts at Grand Africa Safaris today to craft an unforgettable Green Season wildebeest migration experience for your clients, with the top camps in the business providing nothing short of front row seats to the calving action!