29 March 2008
Easter came early for many this year. The spring hares and African hares were plentiful and the weather decided to join in the fun. Over the last two weeks, there have been dramatic skies, thunder and lightening and heavy showers all over the northern circuit. For the last few years, the long rains at the end of the green season have not broken until mid-April but this year was different.
The rains were very welcome in the Serengeti where a long dry patch during late Feb and early March had meant that the wildebeest had dispersed and moved out of the short grass plains and south into the Macau, Maswa and Simyu areas. As soon as the heavens opened, the long lines of wildebeest headed straight back to the Ndutu area arriving in force over the Easter weekend.
The weather predications for the next week still indicate more rain to come but it might ease off in intensity towards the end of the coming week. This rain is especially welcome as the general rainfall figures over the last 3 months have been low which can then cause a problem later on as the dry season sets in.
27 February 2008
The rains have carried on in their unenthusiastic way, this season. Some heavy showers but mostly localised and not sustained. Consequently the main Migration herds are quick to move where the best options for food and water are. In the last two weeks, they have spent time in the Loliondo, Gol and Sanjan area but as soon as it started drying up, they moved south and west, passing through Ndutu onto the mid grass plains the other side.
Since the Migration does not move as one, there are still pockets of wildebeest to be found all over this area but the main concentrations are in the south and west. The forecast shows light showers towards at the end of the week, though these are unpredictable. The calving season is also nearing an end with the majority of the babies already here. Despite this, the other game remains excellent throughout the whole south and eastern areas of the eco-system, with plenty of cheetah and lion sightings.
Update 5th February 2008
Despite coming a little early this year, the rains in the Serengeti eco-system have been rather light so far, in fact, worryingly so. January was characterised by lots of dusty drives, as the plains dried out. There have been showers, and some quite heavy, dotted throughout this time but no real sustained period of rain. It is green across the short grass plains now and some more showers are predicted, so hopefully the grass will receive a prolonged boost.
The wildebeest calving season has started - in fact the first babies appeared around mid/late Jan and it is in full swing now. This is where we really hope for regular rainfall to keep enough nutritious grass for the babies to survive. The carnivore sightings are plenty, as they all crowd in for the fest and the terrain makes for good photo opportunities.
So long as the plains do not dry out, we would expect the herds to remain around the short grass and medium grass plain area from now till mid April.
7 January 2008
The first showers arrived in good time this year. They were neither early nor late, not too heavy nor light. In mid month, the plains started greening up so that for Christmas, there was a bright green down all across the short grass plains. The Wildebeest responded by moving en masse to the richer pastures. The first groups arrived in mid Dec and larger herds arriving in time for Christmas dinner and the New year Celebrations. The Migration viewing has been excellent all across the southern Serengeti from Moru & Kusini though to Ndutu & Naibardat area as well as north to Barafu and Gol.
With the Migration, comes the attendant predators, the Nomads and the residents. The Eurasian Migrant birds are also here in full force. Large flocks of Adim’s storks were a feature of the month. With the short green grass, it is much easier to spot.
There has not been much more rain since the first showers, so even though it is green, the dust has made a quick reappearance. In order for the Migration to stay in this area and for the grass, we would like to see some more substantial showers. There has been some build up over this last week, and we hope there will be some showers coming up over the ‘no moon’ period.