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Wogakuria View Full Tanzania Map

Wogakuria is an enchanting area tucked away in the remote reaches of the Serengeti National Park's northern extension. A special region full of unexpected wonders, Wogakuria is delineated by a series of open plains dotted with smooth granite kopjes and unique broad-leafed trees (as opposed to the characteristic acacia trees found throughout the rest of the park). This habitat of relatively open grasslands is strikingly different from the heavy woods that envelope the rest of the Northern Serengeti. Part of Wogakuria's appeal is the unique animals that make their home here. The Wogakuria plains support the highest concentration of cheetahs in the Northern Serengeti, while the surrounding broad-leafed woodlands sustain the rare and beautiful oribi antelope. Several old buffalo bulls have been known to take refuge near the Wogakuria kopjes, located just to the northeast of the plains. These kopjes are also a favorite dwelling place for the small but surefooted klipspringer, a spry rock-dwelling antelope that effortlessly bounds between the towering boulders with zealous confidence. Several fresh water springs feed the Wogakuria area and provide life to an abundance of animals including lion, steenbok, ostrich, elephant, eland, Thomson's gazelle and giraffe.

Wogakuria is located roughly in the middle of the Northern Serengeti's woodlands. We commonly explore this special area with our guests as part of a full day game drive up to the Mara River and the Lamai Triangle. In fact, the small track that leads from the main road to the Mara River conveniently bisects the Wogakuria area. Setting out from any of the lodges in the North Serengeti on our signature Mara River adventure drive, you will pass directly through the Wogakuria area at the approximate midpoint of your journey to the river. As you head west on the first part of this drive, the acacia woodlands steadily transition into unique broad-leaved Terminalia woodlands. As the road curves north towards the Mara River, this wooded terrain gradually melds into Wogakuria's open plains. These sweeping plains roll out and under the spectacular Wogakuria kopjes that loom just to the east of the road. Wogakuria has been earmarked for construction of a new lodge per the 2005 - 2015 Serengeti management plan. Our recommendation is to enjoy this splendid area while it is still pristine and devoid of visitors.

One of the main highlights of visiting the Wogakuria area is the chance to see the rare and elegant oribi antelope. The broad-leaved Terminalia woodlands around Wogakuria support the only oribi population in the Serengeti, and for that matter in all of Tanzania. It is estimated that there are 31 oribi per square kilometer in the Wogakuria area, which is actually the highest oribi density recorded in all of Africa! An extensive field study was conducted in 1989 to examine the distribution and ecology of this beautiful antelope species. The results of this study revealed that the range of the oribi is limited to the broad-leaved Terminalia woodlands that are found only in the Wogakuria area of the Serengeti. Apparently oribi do not fair as well in the acacia woodlands, which predominate the rest of the areas of the Serengeti. The field study estimated an oribi population of 6,635 thrived in these exclusive broad-leafed woodlands of the Northern Serengeti. Small but graceful, the oribi is a dwarf antelope weighing only about 30 pounds. The oribi's coat is a reddish brown color with pure white fur underneath, and a characteristic crescent shaped band of white fur arcs above large and expressive eyes. However, the most striking feature of this charming little antelope is the black spot or scent gland located below each ear, making this antelope easily identifiable. This scent gland is used to mark territories by rubbing it against a blade of grass.  

As discussed above, it is also believed that the Wogakuria plains support the highest concentration of cheetahs in the Northern Serengeti. Cheetahs tend to thrive in wide open spaces where they can run freely, accelerating to top speed, and trip their prey. The dense thickets of trees that are found in the more heavily wooded areas of the North just seem to cramp this flashy cat's style. Although cheetah numbers are thinly distributed throughout the north when compared with the denser populations found in the other areas of the park (i.e. central, east and southern regions), the few open areas in the north (including Wogakuria and Lobo) support a surprisingly large number of these elegant felines. Wogakuria in particular seems to be a particularly ideal habitat for cheetah with vast open areas, a large population of gazelles and relatively few hyena and lion (the cheetah's main competitors.) We have seen cheetahs on several occasions in Wogakuria; our guides and clients report cheetah sightings on a regular basis during the dry season as they game drive through this area enroute to the Mara River.

Myles Turner in his book entitled My Serengeti Years provides a wonderful summary of this splendid area:

'The Wogakuria Kopje, formerly named Nesheshaw on old German maps, towered 300 feet.   For me this tangled mass of rocks was always a fascinating place; an outstanding landmark in the rolling country of the Northern Extension. Klipspringer stared from its dizzy ledges and a big black mamba lived in deep cleft on the southern face. It always paid to be wary. The views from the summit were superb and I never tired of them. On a clear evening, turning north, one saw the valleys sweeping down to the Mara, and climbing away again across the river to the blue Isuria Escarpment - our boundary. To the northeast, one could pick out Keekorok Lodge, forty miles away in Kenya; and to its right, the great Kuga and Mogogwa Ranges. Turning east, the land rolled away towards Nyamalumbwa and Kleins Camp. Elephant and rhino were always in view.   It was a wonderful area for old bachelor bull buffalo. On two occasions old bulls came right into camp to die. One very old bull wandered in one afternoon and lay down beside the ranger unipoprt. Feeling death close, he possibly chose a quiet end near human beings, to the alternative of being torn to pieces by hyena and lion.

Wogakuria was always an interesting place to camp. In November 1964, two lions attacked a large herd of zebra on the rocky hillside just above us. From midnight onwards, sleep was impossible as the lions pursued the herd around the hill. The grunting of the lions and the panicky honking of the zebras as they clattered over the rocks went on until the early hours.   Finally, just before dawn, the lions killed and relative peace reigned again. At the time I was collecting bats for the Parks' museum, and had six mist nets set up around camp. All were torn to pieces by stampeding zebra.'