A seasonal update from Oli Dreike, Discovery Centre Manager and Resident Naturalist
The Serengeti has enjoyed some good rainfall this year, which is always a benefit to the wildlife – especially the 1.3 million wildebeest, whose journey around the Serengeti is dictated by the region’s rainfall patterns and the resultant fresh grass.
Magnificently intense African thunderstorms down on the southern plains resulted in the herds staying on these fertile, lush grasslands for longer than usual and with the rains continuing for such a length of time, it was not until late April that the migration moved up into the Seronera region. Guests landing into the Seronera Airstrip were treated to an incredible welcome, with thousands of wildebeest and zebra milling around as they descended into the Central Serengeti. Those lucky enough to be taking a hot air balloon safari at this time arguably had the most spectacular view of the migration, with the balloon able to fly directly over the wildlife – animals in sight for as far as the eye could see!
In late April, the Four Seasons Private Jet arrived at a perfect time of year for its passengers to witness this unique wildlife journey. As the animals continued to make their way north towards the Lodge, several guests inhouse took part in our walking safari and were able to experience an afternoon meandering through the herds. By mid May, large numbers of wildebeest were surrounding the Lodge and the herds spread as far as the Togoro Plains, where guests on game drives also enjoyed an abundance of big cat sightings.
With all of our vehicles now having wifi installed, guests are able to keep track of the migration, and other wildlife directly, using Frankfurt Zoological Society’s ‘Serengeti Animal Tracker’ App that is designed to follow GPS collared wildebeest and zebra. The other benefit to this app is that it allows guests to help researchers at TAWIRI and Glasgow University keep track of the Park’s wildlife through having an option to share the location of animals seen on game drives. A further feature of the app is that at the end of your trip, you will be able to see a detailed view of your safari.
Now, as we enter July, the herds are currently moving through the Western Corridor, with rutting season in full swing. The Migration is moving north towards the Kenyan border, with large numbers already having arrived at the Mara River, where they face a treacherous crossing in order to reach the Maasai Mara. Over the coming months, many of our guests on a full day game drive will be able to head north, towards the Mara River, and witness this dramatic stage of the trek.More posts from July 2016