6 Days – Wildebeest Calving Season

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Duration

6 hours

Tour Type

safari

Group Size

7 persons

Location

Tanzania

Overview

Day 1 Moshi/Arusha- Ndutu (Southern Serengeti Plains)

Drive-In: You will be picked up at your hotel in Arusha and will travel by road to Ndutu & the Southern Serengeti Plains. This is mostly a “getting-there-day” as you pass through Arusha, Mta Wa Mbo, and Karatu, observing the changing scenery, villages, and farming activities. You ascend the Gregory Rift (the eastern border of the East Africa Rift Valley) before entering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area – with a wonderful view of Ngorongoro Crater on a clear day. As you descend down to the plains, you will pass Oludupai Gorge – famous as a site for our earliest human ancestors. Time permitting you can stop here. The drive is a game drive, so keep your eyes open for migrating wildebeest, plains game, and possible big cat sightings, especially in the late afternoon – which may distract you from reaching camp and your hot shower.

Fly-In: Make your way to Arusha Airport for your domestic flight departure to Ndutu, where the camp crew will meet you at the airstrip and take you to camp for lunch, briefing, and afternoon game drive.

By evening sundowners and hot showers await. Sit around an open fire, under the stars, and embrace being surrounded by the beauty and stillness of the bush and an open fire before enjoying a delicious meal & retiring for the evening.

Meals: Packed Lunch, Dinner, Cash Bar
Accommodation: Great Migration Camps Mobile – Camping in two-man canvas dome tents

 

Day 2 Migration Safari – Ndutu Area, Southern Serengeti National Park

Start the day early with a hot beverage, a quick breakfast, and an African sunrise before heading out as close to first light as possible. An early start provides the best chance to catch the nocturnal cats on the move as we head out to find the herds of wildebeest and their young calves.

The sense of space that characterizes the Serengeti Plains is as liberating as the game viewing.
The Serengeti is unequaled for its beauty and scientific value and has come to symbolize the classic African Safari. With more than 2 million wildebeest, 500,000 Thomson’s gazelle, and 250,000 zebra, it has the largest concentration of plains game animals in Africa.

Be prepared for a full-day game drive – you never know what you might see. In addition to hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, you could see great herds of buffalo, elephant, giraffe, topi, eland, zebra, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and much, much more. The days are flexible however and we will stop along the way for lunch and to stretch our legs in a shaded spot or designated picnic area or return to camp if we have had a good morning of wildlife sightings.

During the afternoon game drive, we may stay with the enormous herds of wildebeest or go looking for big cats – lions waking from their slumber for the evening hunt or perhaps we spot the elusive leopard. We will be at camp by sunset where there will be hot showers to wash off the African dust. Relax in camp with drinks and dinner, before retiring to your comfortable tents with foam mattresses and sleeping bags.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Cash bar.
Accommodation: Great Migration Camps Mobile – Camping in two-man canvas dome tents

 

Day 3 Migration Safari – Ndutu Area, Southern Serengeti National Park

As always an early start is part of safari life, and we aim to set off to enjoy the beauty of the bush at dawn. The main aim of the day is the wildebeest who can move many kilometers in a night. We watch for signs of migration as we explore the vast southern plains and their abundance of wildlife. Their patterns can be unpredictable as they follow their instincts for food, water, and survival. Huge herds could be grazing casually on the short grass, or the wildebeest could be on the move – in long single-file columns. A steady pace is common, but they can move swiftly when anxious, frightened, or provoked. Thomson’s gazelles, zebra, and eland also migrate and may travel or follow the wildebeest herds.

If luck is on our side, we may witness a calf being born, and stumbling on its spindly legs, vulnerable until it can move with confidence. Amazingly the calves are able to stand properly in less than 10 minutes, but they stay close to their mothers for protection. A calf suckles from its mother for at least four months, though it begins eating grass after about 10 days.

Wildebeest mothers are constantly on the lookout for predators hoping to take advantage of the newborns, and so are we – a predator on the hunt is a creature of beauty and skill. In the come evening time we will once again wash off the dust and then settle in for a night around the campfire socializing, drinking, and eating.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Cash bar
Accommodation: Great Migration Camps Mobile – Camping in two-man canvas dome tents

 

Day 4 Migration Safari – Ndutu Area, Southern Serengeti National Park

The African dawn brings the promise of another day of wildlife experiences and early game drives are a standard on migration safaris. We may head to the vast plains in the early morning in the hopes of spotting cheetahs who rely on daylight, their amazing eyesight, and their speed to catch their unsuspecting prey. On the plains, it is possible to spot caracal and bat-eared foxes and on special occasions the African Wildcat.

The Ndutu area has year-round spring-fed marshes that support a huge amount of resident animals and wetland birdlife. There is stunning Acacia woodland, that provides a wonderful habitat for lots of different bird species. Lake Ndutu is a shallow alkaline lake, sharing the same basin as Lake Masek, a short distance to the east. It serves as a water source for many animals and attracts flocks of flamingos.

As always we can divide our day into two game drives, with lunch at the camp, or embrace a full day from sunrise to sunset. In the come evening time we will return to camp, wash off the dust in a hot outdoor shower, before relaxing around the campfire for campfire stories followed by dinner or star-gazing.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Cash bar
Accommodation: Great Migration Camps Mobile – Camping in two-man canvas dome tents

 

Day 5 Migration Safari – Ndutu Area, Southern Serengeti National Park

Another full day for your migration calving season safari. You can choose to spend the morning either on a game drive or consider flying above the Serengeti plains in a hot air balloon. The Southern Serengeti, Lake Ndutu, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area is an unfenced paradise and the wildebeest herds are free to move where they can find grazing. Humans have defined the boundaries and the areas are managed by different authorities. Like the wildebeest, our migration safaris, don’t limit you to one area so we are free to explore and move freely with the wildlife.

For avid birdwatchers, there is an abundance of avian species, with many migratory species arriving from Europe and Northern Africa, and many birds will be displaying their colorful breeding plumage.

Traveling here is not something that should be rushed. The region is so rich in wildlife and experiences that most visitors leave wishing they had more time to spend discovering all there is on offer. If we have seen the “big things” and checked off our long list of animals and birds, we enjoy taking time to focus on the smaller creatures and fine-tune our senses to the smells, sounds, and dynamics that also form part of this delicate balance of life in the bush.

When it comes to the Great Migration – there are no heroes or villains. Each species has a natural skill set, necessary for its survival and you may find you are emotionally torn between the hungry lion and the baby wildebeest calf. Regardless of whom you were cheering for, a hot shower, a cold drink, a roaring fire, a hearty meal, and a comfortable bed makes it all worthwhile.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Cash bar
Accommodation: Great Migration Camps Mobile – Camping in two-man canvas dome tents

 

Day 6 Ndutu – Arusha/Moshi

Enjoy your last breakfast at the campsite and then pack up and say your goodbyes to your fellow travel companions and crew. Hopefully, you have experienced thousands of wildebeest of the great migration, although there may be a final opportunity to catch the herds on a game drive on the morning of your departure.

Drive-Out: Transfer by road to Arusha, Kilimanjaro Airport, or Moshi for onward travel.
Fly-Out: Optional game drive before transfer to the airstrip for your domestic flights to Arusha

Meals: Breakfast, Packed lunch

End of your 6 Days Magical Wildebeest Migration Calving Season

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