About the Great Wildebeest Migration
Serengeti is the main setting for many of the wildlife species with a good reason, here the visitors have guarantee to view variety of wildlife since the park has got over 8500 giraffes, 200,000 zebras, 10,000 elands, .3 million wildebeests, 32,000 grant gazelles, 1,500 lions, 500 bird species, and over 72000 Topis. This annual migration is one of the most spectacular event in the whole world. It happens when over .4 million wildebeests and 200,000 zebras as well as gazelles migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each and every year in search of the rain and grass.
Serengeti is located in the northern circuit, and it’s a 7 hours outside Arusha and 2.5 hours from the Ngorongoro crater. There are many things to do in the Serengeti and some of these include; nature walks, game drives, night game drives at the Ikoma, and hot Air balloon. The average stay in the park is 3-4 nights. You are guaranteed to view all the animals except the Rhinos, the park is 14,763 sq km and its located 335 km from Arusha as it stretches north to Kenya and borders lake Victoria to the west.
There are usually scheduled and charter flights from Arusha to Serengeti or you can opt for a drive from Arusha to the park. There are many things that can be done in this park including; the Hot Air balloon tours, Maasai rock paintings and the musical rocks, a visit to the neighbouring Ngorongoro crater, Ol Doinyo Legai, Olduvai Gorge and lake Natron’s Flamingos. This spectacular park annual migration usually happens from December to July and in June to October. The park has got variety of accommodation facilities including; lodges, Luxury tented camps, campsites and many more.
The Annual migration of the zebras, wildebeest, and the birds across the Serengeti plains has been done for the past two million years. This migration covers over 3200 km which is 2,000 miles. There is over a quarter of a million animals that will be born. The animals are usually followed by the lions as hey pick out the weaker ones and the calves. The crocodiles also wait for the annual feast at the Grumeti River where the animals cross to the western corridor of the park. The other predators that lurk these animals include the leopards which are often found within the trees along the Seronera River. Serengeti is the most visited park in Tanzania and it’s famous for its massive migration of the ungulates.
The Flora includes; the grassland plains, Savannah riverine Forest and the woodland. The wildlife here includes; zebras, lions, wildebeests, elephants, Rhinos, Buffalos, gazelles, cheetah, giraffes, hyenas, Jackals, spotted hyenas, serval, aardwolf, rock hyrax, ostrich, secretary bird, black eagle and many more.
About Northern Serengeti
The park has got many regions and the northern part of the park is a vast area of woodland rolling hills filled with the open grassy patches as well as the large granite out crops. The region extends north which is about 55 miles from Seronera in the Serengeti to the Masai Mara Game reserve with in Kenya. Many of the tourists to Serengeti National Park never visit the northern region, it’s rarely visited and it has remained unexplored and untouched filled with abundant wildlife and stunning landscapes.
The Northern Serengeti is located between the central Serengeti and Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya. There are many visitors who come to these areas, which have the same ecosystem. This region supports a good number of the resident herbivores that include; the hippos, giraffe, topi, eland, impalas, as well as the gazelles. This area is also home to the remaining concentrations of elephants in the Serengeti, as well as buffalos. The predators are also many in this park though not to the extent of those found in the central Serengeti. The lions and the hyenas are regularly seen and the cheetahs are distributed on a fairly basis in the northern woodlands. The leopards are also spread constantly throughout the woodlands and are more elusive in the northern Serengeti.
The northern woodlands are also home to the great migratory herds of wildebeests and the zebras during the dry season. The herds are found in the extreme north over the Maasai Mara. The smaller wildebeest herds can be accessed with game drives to the northern direction. The zebras are also more dispersed and more likely to seen. Game viewing is at its best with in the northern Serengeti especially when the great herds migrate through the area of Masai Mara and the extreme northern Serengeti. The migration happens in late July and early August as it appears on the mara in the Kenya in early August.
The Lobo Valley
This is a spectacular Lobo River valley which offers the best wildlife viewing in the northern Serengeti. Wildlife viewing here is at its best especially during the dry season from mid-July to late November and also from mid-September to late November when the concentration of animals is at its best. Stewart White was one of the first main explorers to discover the Lobo River Valley in 913. Lobo Valley is one of the few areas in East Africa where you can get a chance of viewing all the three species of the big cats i.e. the lions, leopards, and the cheetahs. On just a single game drive.
There is also the resident lion pride commonly known as the Lobo Pride and it’s the second largest pride in the Serengeti and it has approximately 26 individuals.
This family of lions is seen always catnapping on the granite Kopjes during the day. These lions also depend and survive on the resident prey animals that reside within the area throughout the year including the gazelles and the Buffalos. These usually feed on the animals of the annual migration which is their biggest prey.
The Lobo valley is a place of great solitude and beauty with a scenic delight within a remote savannah of the northern Serengeti. The landscape of the valley is a mosaic of the colourful patterns that is scattered with the woodlands, ranges of hills, open plains, as well as the studded spectacular granite Kopjes, this area has got the world’s most ancient rock that were formatted 3 million years ago. The valley has many water sources that sustain the wildlife all year round and these include; Gaboti River and Bololgedi River with the Lobo Springs. The valley harbours many animals including the antelopes, lions, elephants, impalas, warthog, giraffes, topis, baboons, Hartebeest, vervet monkeys, dik dik, Hyrax as well as birds. The valley has two main lodges and these include; Migration Camp and the lobo lodge, and this means that the valley never feels crowded which allows for the relatively distributed game viewing as well as golden solitude.
The great annual migration passes through Lobo twice a year including July and August, during the northward migration and in September through November in the southward migration. The valley is also home to the largest remaining concentration of elephants with in Serengeti. It’s known that about 38% of the elephants found in the Serengeti are located in and around the Lobo valley. There are over 2000
remaining elephants in the Serengeti and these are very well protected due to a combination of increased anti poaching patrols and the high tourist exposure.
The Upper Grumenti woodlands
Grumenti River flows in the westerly movement that crosses the top of the Serengeti National Park before it empties its water into Lake Victoria. This upper Grumeti refers to the section of the river that crosses northern Serengeti as opposed to the great lower Grumeti that flows through the western Serengeti. This woodland is filled with the lush galley forest that shades the river banks and the acacia woodlands that flourish throughout the valleys and the hills. These also harbour many flora and fauna species. The lush habitant in the forest has unique species including; fig, Mahogany, tamarind trees, date palm. The hippos can also be found here as well as the monkeys and the crocodiles.
The surrounding area is covered with the verda
The best game drives in the northern Serengeti can be carried out from the Grumeti Game loop, this is a U – shaped game loop that diverges from the main road at the Lobo and extends to the northwest to the Grumeti River as well as the Migration Tented Lodge. These game drives usually take 2 hours to be completed and these can be so rewarding. The animals encountered on these game drives include; the giraffes, Gazelles, buffalos, Impalas, Zebras, Thomson’s gazelles, as well as the lions.nt woodlands that consists mainly of the acacia tree species, green thorns, paper bark and the flood plain acacia. This acacia woodland harbour many herbivores animals including; the elephants, topis, buffalos, Thomson’s gazelle, impalas, giraffes as well as the big cats including the leopards, lions, and the cheetahs.
The great Wildebeest Migration passes through the upper Grumeti River woodlands two times in the year in the months of July and August and also in September through November. The migration in the southward direction is much more powerful than that in the northward direction since the animal species seem to move for longer periods of time on their southern side. During the dry season, you can see the scattered herds of the migratory wildebeests even when the larger masses have moved on.
The Mara River
The Mara River passes across the northern tip of the Serengeti National Park on its westward flow into the great Lake Victoria. This river is famous for the great wildebeest crossing which is a dramatic event that features many different animal species. There are always larger crocodiles and the hippos that feed on these wildebeests and the zebras that cross to the other side of the river. You need to visit the Mara River and the Lamai Triangle when you come to Visit the Serengeti National Park during the months of August, September and October.
This river is situated in the north Serengeti and its 30 miles in length. You will witness lots of animal species within and around the River. A game drive can be conducted as
you are staying at the nearby lodge or camp in the north Serengeti, you will enjoy excursion through the Wogakuria and the other time is spent exploring the Mara River. You will have a chance to view lots of animals including the hippos, crocodiles, buffalos, as well as birds. The river also supports a unique canopy and the flood plains that sustain an abundant of wildlife. Birding along the River is so good and the common species to look for include; King fishers, bee eaters, weavers, fish eagle, and the rare turaco.
During the dry season, there are always massive herds of the wildebeests and the zebras that thunder across the river. The main ultimate destination for the migratory herds is the Lamai Triangle which is a triangular shaped watershed area located in the north of the Mara River. The herds usually arrive at the river in the months of August. However, the predators like the lions, and the leopards are many in the Mara Area but these are hard to be seen compared to other areas in the north Serengeti.
The Lamai Triangle
This is a triangular shaped watershed area in the north of the Mara River. It has got Lamai fresh waters and the grasslands that serve as a critical refuge for the migratory wildebeest and the zebras during the dry season. The herds reside here from early August to Late November. During the dry season, these herds go to the Lamai Triangle and settle to enjoy the water as well as pasture. This is because at the beginning of the typical dry season, the western Serengeti is over grazed by the ravenous herds, so the search for the food forces the wildebeests north towards the Lamai.
The topography of this area is composed of the fertile grasslands, rounded hills, winding streams that fill the border with the Masai Mara, in Kenya. Lamai is 300 sq miles of the open plains that cover a vast carpet of the red oat grass, that are similar to the landscape of the Masai Mara in Kenya. Tourists can be filled with the excitement of the massive herds of the wildebeest and the zebras that can be seen during the dry season. However Mamai also supports variety of wildlife including; the ostrich, buffalos, Topis, Elands, antelopes, gazelles, warthogs, elephants, and the giraffes. Therefore, Lamai serves as a key role in the supporting of the patterns of the migration. See our 7 Day Flying Tanzania Safari with the Wildebeests Crossing Mara River.
The Wogakuria is the enchanting area away in the remote reaches of the Serengeti National Park in the northern sector. This region is full of unexpected wonders and is delineated by a series of open plains filled with the smooth granite Kopjes and the unique broad leafed trees. The area is mostly covered with the open grasslands and the heavy different heavy woods which cover the rest of the northern Serengeti. This area supports the highest concentration of the cheetahs in the northern Serengeti, and the surrounding broad leafed woodlands harbour the oribi antelopes, old buffalos, as well as birds including; surefooted klipspringer, and the spry rock dwelling antelope, lions, ostrich, steenbok, eland, Thomson’s gazelle and the giraffes.
The Wogakuria is located in the middle of the northern Serengeti woodlands. This area can be explored by the clients as part of a game drive up to the Mara River and the Lamai Triangle. One of the main highlight of visiting this area is the main chance of seeing the rare and elegant oribi antelope, there is also the broad leaved Terminalia wood land that supports the only oribi population with in the Serengeti, there is 31 oribi per sq kilometre in the Wogakuria Area, and it’s the highlight of the safari to this particular area.
The famous Bologonja Springs
The Bologonja Springs refer to the lush and idyllic spot that is hidden away in the remote areas of the serengeti . The spring water forms the headwaters to the Bolongonja River, which flows northwest across the wide ranging landscape of the northern Serengeti until it unites with the Mara River. The spring and the surrounding canopy by the bologonja River are so beautiful. The fresh water is the magnet to both the migratory and resident animals during the dry season. Here, you can a chance to view some vervet monkeys, kingfishers, hippopotame, rollers and the elegant crowned crane.
The resources in Bologonja support the antelope species including the mountain reedbuck and the steen buck. The spring is also a site to the Bologonja park gate which is 10 miles to the north of the area in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Apart from the scenic beauty, the main highlight of the Bologonja spring area is the Bologonja salt lick, it’s located just some miles away from the downstream from the Bologonja Springs and is also a special haven for the wildlife. The salt lick consists of about 1.5 acre of bare wet earth on the seepage area near the river valley. This is good for seeing the large herds of buffalos as well as the antelopes.
You can get in touch with our experts for more on your next Tanzania Safari that follows the Wildebeests Migration.
The Seronera Valley
This is also the main attraction in the central Serengeti and it has got the seronera River Valley. There are many perennial rivers that run through the valley that enables an abundance of resident animals to live there throughout the year. The valley attracts the largest concentration of predators in Africa. These include; the lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetah, Mongoose, jackals, serval and the bat eared fox.
Its landscape is truly magnificent and its endless savannah saturate in the sun shine that stretched beyond the horizon. The seronera plays host to the great wildlife on earth as over a million of wildebeests, zebras and the birds. This valley is also unique in many ways and it’s impossible to visit it and move out without watching the needed variety of animals. You will constantly find lions sprawling in the sunlight. You will also look for the leopards as they peer down form their shadowy branches. The other wildlife species found here include; the water buck, dik dik, duiker, giraffes, steinbuck, impalas, reed buck, and many bird species.
The Seronera River.
Seronera River is the largest and most well-known of the main four rivers that flow northwest from the plains through the seronera valley and into the Grumenti River that empties its waters in to Lake Victoria. This river with is seasonal swamps and the deep pools of water, is so ideal for the lion and leopard and it’s an easy place to view the big cats. During the rainy season, you can view the annual migration of the wildebeests that can even be seen near the camps or the lodges.
You will view many animal species including; the zebras, topis, Thomson’s gazelles, lions, leopards, hyenas, Buffalos, and many more. The game drives here are so good and can make you explore the whole of the national park, Serengeti. The game drive loops that are near the Seronera, Songore, Wandamu and Nyamanje rivers are perfect for wildlife viewing and is good during the dry season when the lions are more sedentary and easily seen within the grasses. The banks of this river, are the best areas to spot the leopards. These are notorious for being enigmatic and graceful.
The Retima Pool
This pool is 5 miles north of Serengeti of the seronera as it flows into Seronera River and Orangi River, these two rivers combine to form a deep pool of water called the Retima Hippo pool. This deep pool is the best place to view the fascinating animals. This pool is also good for the great spot of other animals including the baboons, crocodiles, impalas, giraffes, topis and Elephants. The hippos here can be viewed on foot by the visitors. The riverbank is 0 feet above the pool and the clients can climb to only few feet away from the 200 hippos that live in the pool. You have a chance to take photos of these large groups of hippos from the bank and in the river. This pool offers a pleasant tour and presents a refreshing opportunity to pull the safari legs. The hippos ate placid creatures and can become very aggressive and should be avoided in case found on Land.
The crocodiles can also be seen here in the sun and along the shores of the hippo pool. These can be approached slightly since they become shy when approached. The elephants are also common to the visitors in this section of the Orangi River and the Seronera River. You will have a chance to view the elephants drinking the water as well as the elephants. Birding is also common in this area and the main bird species here include; herons, crowned cranes, egrets, and the bare faced, kingfishers, hoopoes, Egyptian geese and the colourful lilac breasted roller.