Migration Report – March 2012

This has been an odd green season with respect to the timing and pattern of the great migration.  As posted before in our December 2011 report, the green season started a full two months early in October (as opposed to early December as usually seen).

The rains were sufficient enough to keep the Migration on the main southern and eastern Serengeti plains from November until mid January when a general drying out period took hold. The majority of the migratory herds quickly departed the plains by the 3rd week of January and headed west and north into the woodlands. We even had reports of seeing large herds of wildebeest all the way in the Musabi Plains deep within the Western Corridor of the Park in February…bizarre!

As always the fickle weather (and hence the migratory game movements) in the Serengeti keeps us on our toes with an abrupt, 180 degree change. The Serengeti finally received some decent precipitation sufficient enough to trigger the great legions of wildebeest and zebra (that had been taking refuge in the woodlands) back on the plains. Apparently, the migration really did come flooding back onto the plains by early March in a very impressive mass movement. Let’s hope the weather pattern holds and we continue to have enough precipitation (only about 3/4 of an inch a week is needed…not much) to keep the migration on the plains through the remainder of the green season.

Our guides report the Migration is 4 main groups at the moment as follows:

1st group in The Triangle, which is a stretch of plains between Naabi Hill and Lake Ndutu/Masek (see South Serengeti Map)

2nd group in Hidden Valley (see South Serengeti Map)

3rd group on the Kusini Plains  (see South Serengeti Map)

4th group (and largest) on the eastern plains stretching between Gol Kopjes and Lemuta Hill with a good amount of action taking place east of the Serengeti border in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (see East Serengeti Map)

Picture courtesy of Peter Arebalo.

4 Responses to Migration Report – March 2012

  1. james frank says:

    Where do you expect the migration to be by december 2012?

  2. Michael says:

    Hi James,

    The migration usually reaches the East Serengeti by late November/early December and the South Serengeti by mid to late December.

    Accordingly, an optimized african safari itinerary for December would include 2 nights in the Central Serengeti and 2 nights in the South Serengeti. This way you would be just about guaranteed to see large herds of Migration.

    In particular, I would recommend Seronera Sametu Camp located on the eastern edge of the Central Serengeti, which would be the closest to the plains of the Eastern Serengeti. Also, Lake Masek Tented Lodge OR Ndutu Lodge in the South Serengeti.

  3. james frank says:

    Are the herds again ahead of schedule, as you stated for 2011? Where do expect them to be mid October?
    Thanks again!

    • ADS says:

      The migration is usually located in the Northern Serengeti in mid-October from Lobo Valley through the Bologonja area and all the way up to the Mara River and Lamai Triable. Here is a link to our Northern Sernegeti Map: http://www.africadreamsafaris.com/dest_ser_N.html

      Currently the migration is back on schedule and normalized given the rains we have had lately but it is too early to tell how this coming dry season will pan out especially towards the end of the dry season (specifically October as you mentioned).

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