April 12, 2009
There is an old adage in the Serengeti that “rain means game” and this couldn’t be more on point at this very moment. Over the last five days both the Southern and Eastern plains of the Serengeti have exploded with life as the thundershowers mentioned in our last post have continued and intensified. The vast herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle have finally marched out of their drought refuge in the Central Serengeti woodlands and onto the short grass plains. They are home at last!
Ernest Sitta, one of our most veteran guides with almost 2 decades of experience in the Serengeti, commented that he has never seen such a dramatic mini-migration of sorts as the hundreds of thousands of wildebeest that were previously scattered at the edge of the woodlands instantly descended in droves onto the plains when the overdue rains finally materialized. Our guests staying at our private luxury camp at Naabi Hill (located at the heart of the Serengeti plains) received quite a show yesterday as the plain surrounding the campsite was full of thousands of wildebeest and zebra. Unfortunately, everyone had trouble sleeping at night as the sounds of over 100,000 animals surrounding the tents was a bit overwhelming!
The migration is dispersed throughout the entire Southern and Eastern african safari plains now but the epicenter seems to be at Naabi Hill and the beautiful Gol Kopjes, which are just a few miles to the east of Naabi Hill. Just one week ago, the infamous Gol Kopjes were strangely dry and desolate for this time of year. We were very worried about our adopted lion pride that inhabits the territory around Gol Kopjes as two of the adult females were looking emaciated. What a turn of events this last week has been as this lion pride now has a significant chunk of the wildebeest and zebra migration right in its back yard. Yesterday, the lion pride was spotted clinging to the top of the kopjes looking out over a sea of wildebeest. We will post a few pictures in our next update.
Our migration map happens to be right on target at the moment. Click on the month of April at the left side of the map to see a pretty accurate illustration of the current distribution of the migration. Naabi Hill (mentioned above) is located right where the central, south and east Serengeti areas all meet.
For those lucky ones on a Tanzania safari right now or for those arriving in the next week or so, you have really hit the safari jackpot! Game viewing is truly phenomenal right now with the wildebeest migration on the plains and all the predators (lion, cheetah and spotted hyena) in attendance.