30 November 2006
Heavy rains throughout many areas of Tanzania have made access quite tricky for game viewing. The Serengeti, in particular, has had more than a week of very heavy rains, mostly falling in the north, west and central areas of the park. The rain shadow of Ngorongoro had kept the Ndutu area and south Loliondo free of some of this rain, but the last couple of days have seen major rainfall in these areas as well.
The Western Corridor road has been impassable on several occasions due to the rivers (Orangi, Grumeti) swelling up and closing the crossing points and a couple of airstrips had to be temporarily closed. Even the Mbalageti, north of Moru, which has a much smaller catchment area, has been flooded several times around Lake Magadi. This amount of rain, arriving in mid-late November, is very unusual indeed and suggests quite an extended green season may be in front of us.
The good news is that the short grass plains are greening up fast, and the wildebeest are arriving en masse in the southern Serengeti, spread across from Kusini to Moru and heading across to Ndutu. The weather forecast for the next week indicates that the current very wet weather system should move off over the next few days, giving some time for the river levels to fall.
24 November 2006
All of the Serengeti has been subject to substantial rain over the last couple of days. This has ranged from a few days of almost solid rain in the north, to a light drizzle around Ndutu. From the weather charts, it looks as if the wet period will be with us for a while, so we can expect it to have substantial impact on the location of the Migration.
While the rains will promote the new rich grass growth, it will be a week or two before the areas that had no cover at the end of the dry season gain enough grass to support the large herds. However, the Migration will be on the move towards the central and southern Serengeti over the next few days.
13 November 2006
The rains that have been falling in many areas of Tanzania have
finally made it to the Serengeti. Many areas have received decent
showers in the last few days and so the Migration itself is on the
move again. Whether this is a temporary diversion or something more
permanent, only time will tell as the Wildies will need much more rain
to persuade them to leave the north for the short grass plains.
Currently the herds are spread with decent numbers still in Kenya and
crossing the Mara River, the advanced guard have reached down as far
as the Tagora plains, in central Serengeti.
The game is still very good all over the northern half of the Serengeti.
The rains in the rest of Tanzania have been a bit patchy but very
heavy, with some areas receiving twice their average rainfall for November already.