The area consists of short-grass southern plains, savannah dotted with acacia and granite outcroppings called kopjes, and riverine bush and forest in the north. The park's name is derived from the Masai language, where 'Siringet' means endless plains. The famous migration is actually a year-long search for food by the wildebeest, zebra and gazelle populations. Different events take place at different times of the year and in different locations within the park. The migration usually follows a clock-wise direction, but it is guided by rain and the growth of grass; at any time the animals can ignore tradition and follow rain clouds in a more haphazard direction.
There are three seasons in the Serengeti: the short rains, long rains and dry season. During the start of the short rains of November and December, the large wildebeest and zebra herds leave the northern part of the Serengeti Eco-system (the Mara in Kenya, near our sister camp at Mara Bushtops) and travel east and south around the Gol Mountains and into the short grass plain of the southern and eastern Serengeti. The short rains are just that; short bursts of rain, usually in the late afternoon and night. During this time, it is not uncommon for the pregnant females to migrate south through the central Serengeti and to the southern plains. The female wildebeest need to be in this area to begin the calving, as they rely on this particular kind of grass for calving and milk production, that is high in calcium and magnesium. Wildebeest calving can begin anytime between January and March. More than 750,000 females will drop their calves within a 3-week period of time, so predator/prey activity is at a peak. The short grass plains also offer some of the best protection against predators, which are more visible to the herd animals. Herd animals will remain in this area as long as a reasonable amount of rain continues to fall in the following months: they only need short bursts to be happy.
April is usually the month of long rain, meaning heavier downfall, lasting for longer periods of time. At this time, the herd usually begins to move to the central Serengeti, in preparation for the wildebeest rut in May and June. This creates the circumstances for some of the most amazing herd sightings, as the male and females herds reunite for breeding. The herd movement continues both west and north between May and (usually) the end of July. At this point, the herd disperses and males without females may migrate directly north to the Mara. Some remain in the Western Corridor, staying put for the rest of the year. If rains are normal, we can expect the majority of the herd to leave the Serengeti by the middle/end of July.
The dry season of July-October still remains excellent for game viewing, particularly cats of all kinds. Large herds can still be seen in the northern Serengeti along the Mara River. Cat viewing can actually be at its best during the dry season, since they have to stay active during the daytime in the search for dwindling food.
As for witnessing the famous Wildebeest river crossings, these usually occur in October or November on the Mara River. No one can predict exactly when or where, but equally, no one is better placed than us at Serengeti Bushtops: if it happens while you are with us, we'll do all in our power to get you a ringside seat.
Select the desired Camp: Mara Bushtops or Serengeti Bushtops
Se souvenir de moi