29 December 2006
The game situation has not changed from our last posting. The Migration and the game situation in general remains very good, especially in the southern Loliondo/Ndutu and the short grass plains area.
The heavy rains have continued over the holiday period making access to some areas very tricky, but the rain might be easing up as from today. A severe weather system centred over Madagascar that then moved onto the coast of Tanzania at the week end before dispersing, has been blamed for this.
The main disruption has been to flights and transfers, with Seronera still shut until the weather breaks and other Serengeti airstrips subject to closure in heavy rain.
24 December 2006
The generous rains have continued throughout the last three weeks in most areas of Tanzania. While this has caused quite a few logistical problems, there is no doubt that after the three years of minimal rainfall and the last year of real drought, it is very welcome for all.
The Migration has moved right down to the short grass plains in the Loliondo/Gol/Ndutu/Naabi area. The rich, nutritious grasses are keeping the herds well fed, and standing water is plentiful. Since the rains are slated to continue for the next few weeks, we would not expect any real change to the Migration over the next period.
And with the Migration will be the attendant carnivores, also doing well, as will all the lesser migrating plains game.
The rain has complicated travels around the Serengeti with some airstrips temporarily closed during the wetter periods and Seronera undergoing routine repair work by the National Parks from 15th Dec onwards. This has meant a quite a few changed itineraries and longer transfers. Some game areas have also become waterlogged, especially north and western Serengeti. However, it is amazing how quickly these can all dry out once there is a break in the rain.
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.