[vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_tta_tabs style=”flat” shape=”square” color=”white” gap=”5″ active_section=”1″ no_fill_content_area=”true”][vc_tta_section title=” Migration Tips” tab_id=”1486470667537-a2a85fab-e1dd”][vc_column_text] Tanzania’s Northern Circuit is a collection of National Parks, reserves, conservation areas and wildlife concessions across the region. These include the world-famous Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and Highlands, and the lesser-known Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park. All exist to preserve and protect an incredible abundance of seasonal and resident wildlife and their habitats, including the world’s largest annual mammal migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra.
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Best time to visit Serengeti. Wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park is good throughout the year, but certain areas are better at specific times. The Dry season (from late June to September) offers the best wildlife viewing in general- with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight
There are distinct best times for a nature trip to Serengeti. Once you know what you have experienced and what more it has to offer, you will want to return time and again as each month unfolds a new chapter in the story of the Great Wildebeest Migration and each area holds the key to entrancing new sights. There is no fixed table of events. All depends on the coming of the rains, which can vary by several weeks, but in Serengeti National Park, light short rains usually fall in November and December, when the migrating wildebeest and zebra herds return to the southern Ndutu plains to crop fresh grass in the company of elands, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles whilst the white-bearded wildebeests await the mass calving around February. This is an event well worth watching. Every day for about three weeks, an estimated 8000 newborn foals stagger to their feet within minutes of being dropped and follow their mothers. Whether you are charmed by the spectacle of new life or thrilled by the hunting predators, you will certainly be moved by this annual blockbuster event. The long rains in northern Tanzania occur between April and May with sprinkles starting around the middle of March and dusting by early June, when the grass plains blossom with short-lived flowering plants. Then the herds turn northward through the western Serengeti corridor and along the central outskirts. The Grumeti River crossing is a perilous trap in June and July, haunted by giant Nile crocodile who grab their herbivore victims by the throat and bear them under water.
Aside from of the migratory hordes, the national park is serenely occupied by other resident mammals with endless behavioral interactions, not least herds of elephant, families of giraffe, prides of lions, coalitions of cheetahs, solitary and leap leopards, black rhinos and hundreds of small mammals including primates like vervet monkeys and olive baboons, small cats like caracals wildcats, genets and hundreds and hundreds of birds. Some Tranquil Journeys Tours repeater safari guests have said the graduated and finest quality time for safari travel in East Africa is when the Serengeti plains are quiet from the thundering hooved gnus and when the majority of the peak season sapien visitors have left . From August to October, the wildebeests cross the swollen Mara River to journey into Masai Mara National Reserve in an epic battle of endurance as stampeding gnus are pushed in a heaving tide of horns, hooves and flanks, down the riverside cliffs, across the roaring waters and into the jaws of grinning crocodiles. But the herd goes on, a single intelligence, focused on return to its southern foaling grounds where the saga initiates again. Choose what time you will, your personalized Africa tour in Serengeti will be an unforgettable revelation of an endangered world.
.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Migration facts” tab_id=”1486470715622-f35d8aab-395a”][vc_column_text]HOW THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION WORKS
It is rated as one of the world’s most spectacular natural events – every year over a million wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti/Masai Mara ecosystem, taking in two different countries and making time for birthing, courting and mating on the way.
Based on historical data, this guide is not infallible (changing rainfall patterns make predicting the Migration an inexact science) but it will give you an idea of where the herds are likely to be.
For the most up-to-date advice, send us an enquiry and we’ll have an Africa Safari Expert answer all your Migration questions.
JANUARY: The herds are in Tanzania’s Serengeti, moving south from the north-east region and into the southern Serengeti, Ndutu area and Ngorongoro Conservation area – which often means out of the confines of the (unfenced) national park itself. It is calving season – prepare yourself for lots of wobbly babies… and lots of heartbreak as predators swoop in.
FEBRUARY: The good grazing of the Southern Serengeti, Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation areas means the herds remain in the far south.
MARCH: They are still in the south but the grasses have all been munched up, the last calves born and the herds are starting to gather in preparation for the next leg.
APRIL: Make sure you are on the southern Serengeti plains – the wildebeest begin their northward journey, and many have left already and are in the central and even western Serengeti.
.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Migration River Crossing” tab_id=”1486470717375-aab82118-48bf”][vc_column_text]The Great mara Wildebeest Migration,Month by month: the Serengeti wildebeest migration. The short rains begin around early November. A little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti.
The short rains begin around early November. A little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. These are south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Dispersed across these plains, wildebeest and zebra are everywhere – feeding on the fresh, nutritious grasses. They stay here through January, February and March, with most wildebeest calves born in a short window around February. Gradually they spread west across these plains, then around April they start their great migration north.
By May the Serengeti’s wildebeest all seem to be moving north, migrating to seek fresh grazing and water. The area around Moru Kopjes and west of Seronera is then hectic with a series of moving columns, often containing hundreds of thousands of animals – joined by many zebra, and a scattering of Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles.
Some of the migration then head due north of Seronera, but most are usually further west. Around June the wildebeest migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River, which has some channels which block or slow their migration north. The wildebeest then congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it’s not continuous – and so whilst they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River’s large crocodiles, these aren’t usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.
The wildebeest migration continues moving northwards during July and August, often spreading out across a broad front: some heading through Grumeti Reserve and Ikorongo, others north through the heart of the Serengeti National Park.
September sees the herds spread out across the northern Serengeti, where the Mara River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. This river gushes through the northern Serengeti from Kenya’s adjacent Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Watching the frantic herds of the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion. It’s common to see herds cross the Mara River north on one day, and then back south a few days later.
By October the wildebeest herds are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November.
Then the whole Serengeti Wildebeest migration starts again …
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_tabs style=”flat” shape=”square” color=”white” gap=”5″ active_section=”1″ no_fill_content_area=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”Calving Season” tab_id=”1488106131716-7df16b1a-116a”][vc_column_text] Wildebeest calving season Serengeti
Each year the Serengeti plays host to hundreds of thousands of animals during the migration. … By late January and early February, perhaps the greatest spectacle of the Serengeti takes place with the wildebeest calving season. Approximately 8,000 young wildebeest are born every single day during the peak of the season
In June and July wildebeest make their way across the Grumeti River moving northwest in the park, a sight that easily tops the bucket lists of many travelers. By December, the herds have started to make their way back down south to the southern Serengeti to feed on the short green grasses of the plains. By late January and early February, perhaps the greatest spectacle of the Serengeti takes place with the wildebeest calving season. Approximately 8,000 young wildebeest are born every single day during the peak of the season. There truly is nothing that compares to seeing a baby wildebeest take off running just minutes after being born.
Along with the overwhelming numbers of calves born come the predators. During calving season, the Southern Serengeti and Western Ngorongoro Conservation area host the highest concentration of predators in Africa. Lions, hyenas, and cheetahs show up in large numbers to patrol the grasses, waiting for the perfect time to make a kill. But an easy kill isn’t always guaranteed. Female wildebeest instinctively know to head to the short grass plains so that they can see approaching predators. There they form a barricade around birthing mothers to protect them and the young when they are the most vulnerable, during birth, ensuring the majority of the young survive.
Traveling to the Serengeti during calving season promises an exciting adventure full of wonder and plenty of action. The hunting of young wildebeest by large cats is part of nature, and during the few weeks of calving season, you’re sure to see some magnificent kills, especially from the agile cheetahs.
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A Serengeti balloon safari is a fantastic once in a lifetime experience, particularly suitable for a bird’s eye-view game viewing experience on your Tranquil Journeys Tours and wildlife tour in northern Tanzania. Hot air balloon rides leave from three sites in this prime national park. In Central Serengeti, wildlife gathers year-round in the Seronera River Valley where there is permanent water. The Great Migration passes through around May and June. The Western Serengeti includes the Grumeti River, scene of theatrical crossings during the Great Migration in June and July, when hundreds of thousands of gnu, brave the giant Nile crocodiles, and many perish while others detour to avoid the perilous river. In South Serengeti plains, the wildebeests assemble from December onwards, to calve in February, producing 8000 newborn every day on a three-week marathon, a sight not to be missed on your personalized nature travel in Serengeti. The plains of the Serengeti are particularly suited to balloon flights which are particularly convenient, letting you get aerially closer and distinctly accessible to the action than you could be by a game-viewing safari vehicle
For your Serengeti hot-air balloon trip in northern Tanzania, you will be collected around 0500 hours. An hour predawn drive through the bush to your launch site is a delight in itself. You may see nocturnal animals in the headlights that you could not have encountered any other way. Near a river like Seronera or Grumeti, you may meet grazing hippo. On the plains, a lioness may return from her kill, a hyena slinking in her wake. In the cool early morning, a light-weight long-sleeved jacket and long trousers are a wise idea, with sturdy shoes. Remember to take your binoculars and DSLR camera to make the most of this highlight of your Serengeti excursion. The huge balloon inflates swaying impatiently as it lifts. The intermittent roaring of the burner reminds you to put on your hat as it can get quite warm overhead. Assistants hold the basket steady, ensuring it remains level during take-off. Then comes the heart-stopping moment when you lose touch with the earth and become part of the dawn. As you ascend, the sky lightens from purple to pink. The sun clears the horizon, flooding the Serengeti plains with golden light. Your stomach clenches as you look out over your unobstructed basket side to the receding earth. Losing contact with the ground or the feeling of being totally at the mercy of the wind can cause an atavistic shudder. For an hour, you will have no control over where you go or what you see. However skillful your pilot, he can only go where the wind takes him, so you need to accept your helplessness, let yourself experience the enriching sights, sounds and sensations of your flight as well as the emotions it arouses.
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Witness and photograph the riches of the Serengeti Ecosystem. Tanzania photographic tours and safaris are divided into a Northern and … like a Serengeti photo safari to witness the calving season of the great migration,
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
January, the calving season, is when miniature wildebeest and zebra emerge into the savannah, marking the midterm of the migration.
This is a good time to be born because the rain has made the grass ripe and succulent. Buoyed, the herds move northwest from Ngorongoro. Intercepting this advance, you will behold the spectacle of a large number of hooves and horns dominating the landscape. Even at its lowest ebb, the scale, the sounds and the unending quest of life make even a Charlie Sheen film seem a bit underwhelming.
Apart from the ungulates, Africa’s famed Big Five are an expected draw. Lion prides lie sprawled on the plains while cheetahs go like stink in pursuit of ‘fast food’. Coexisting with the cats, elephants drift gracefully, rhinos stand their ground flaunting snout-top spikes of hair, and plucky warthogs fittingly dubbed the Savannah Express trot across the frame with their piglets in tow in a single file.
In the more aerodynamic class of creatures, the imperious martial eagle and the strikingly designed bateleur eagle reign supreme over the skies. Down below, the magnificent crowned crane and the unique southern ground hornbill lend themselves beautifully to photographs. As many as five varieties of vulture the Ruppell’s, the griffon, the white-backed, the lappet-faced and the hooded form a most effective sanitation team as they sweep the savannah clean of leftovers.
But the most precious treasure on the Tour will be unearthed in Seronera Valley, around which a bulk of our safaris will revolve. Harbouring the mercurial leopard in the giant sausage trees on the banks of the river, where a variety of herbivores are attracted for a drink, this is the best place in East Africa to observe and photograph the most elusive of the continent’s big cats, and is probably the only place in the world that can hold a candle to the prodigious Masai Mara.
NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
With an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater itself, Ngorongoro hosts almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa. Clearly, there’s a lot cooking in this caldera as you realize that it’s much more than merely a game reserve in a giant pothole.
Most notable among the celebrities are the rare black rhino and the cantankerous hippopotamus. Saline lakes fed by shallow streams foster the graceful flamingo. Lion and cheetah allow delightful early-morning and late-evening atmospheric images and bewilderingly large bull elephants, free from competition in the crater, have made this terrain their own, especially once they’re past their prime, to the extent that Ngorongoro is referred to as the ‘old age retirement home for elephants’ a ‘retirement home’ that can bring even retired photographers raring back into action!
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Accommodation” tab_id=”1488106132444-e57b77c4-b1e7″][vc_column_text] Our 4 days unique Tanzania holiday tours, distinguish themselves from the rest of budget tours in Tanzania as we basically major on trailing lions and other big five of the Africa animal kingdom. Our budget tours and trekking packages, will take you on an adventure of a lifetime, into the heart of the Tanzanian northern tour circuit. Nowhere else in Africa do we find the sheer numbers of animals, predators and carnivores like the African lions in Tanzania.
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