Classic Tanzania Photographic Safari – 2022

Experience the Serengeti great wildebeest migration




Every year the Serengeti national park plays host to hundreds of thousands of animals during the migration. In June and July wildebeest make their way across the Grumeti River moving northwest in the park. It’s a sight that easily tops the bucket lists of many travelers, explorers, researchers, and photographers. By December, the herds have started to make their way back down to the southern Serengeti in the Ndutu area neighboring Ngorongoro. There, they feed on the short green grasses of the plains. By late January and early February, perhaps the greatest spectacle of the Serengeti takes place with the wildebeest calving season. During this time more than 8,000 young wildebeest are born every single day during the peak of the Serengeti calving season. There truly is nothing that compares to seeing a baby wildebeest take off running just minutes after being born.

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Migration calving season accommodation

Toward the end of January or in February, all the wildebeest that will give birth that year do so within two weeks of one another. Needless to say, it is an incredible sight to behold and of course, predators take full advantage of easy prey during the calving season. This is the best time to travel to Tanzania – summer rains have transformed the plains into a green garden, there are all kinds of newborn animals everywhere, a low density of travelers, and lower rates.

You don’t need to travel a long distance from your accommodation to follow the herds, Serengeti is rich in midrange and luxury mobile and permanent tented lodges and camps just located along the migration routes.

Ndutu Safari Lodge

As Ndutu changes into the dry season and the migration follows the rains west and north so the predators become more visible in these open plains. It is only nomadic male lions who will move with the herds. All other predators are territorial and will remain and protect these areas that surround the lodge. Now lions have to work much harder for their food and will often be hunting for longer parts of the day and be walking greater distances to feed. Cheetahs are not too affected since their main food, the Thomson Gazelle, doesn’t move far. However, these spotted cats are much easier to see when the short grass plains have less wildebeest traffic on them.

It’s not only the big cats that are more prevalent. This is a great time to see bat eared foxes, stripped hyenas, caracals, servals and the ever-present genet cats on the rafters of the lodge. The wildebeest are the keystone species in the Serengeti and when they depart so does the food for many other species. All the smaller predators also need to work much harder for their birds, bugs and mice and are thus easily sighted in the much less dense woodlands and plains.

Dry season on the short grass plains is the place to be if you would like to have endless predator sightings all to yourself.

At the edge of a permanent marsh, seasonal Lemala Ndutu is the ultimate place to view the wildebeest herds when they arrive on the short-grass plains of the Southern Serengeti to calve. Carefully sited to ensure the breeze carries dust away from the camp, this beautiful mobile camp offers terrific game viewing together with an authentic safari experience far from the tourist crowds.

There are just 9 mosquito-proof guest tents at Lemala Ndutu, all fitted with bucket showers which an obliging tent attendant will fill up with hot water at your convenience. A mess tent provides a comfortable place for meals and drinks. Battery charging facilities are available in this area, along with internet access if absolutely required.

Lemala Ndutu welcomes children, with specially designed activities available to keep young ones entertained including spoor identification lessons, learning how to use a Maasai bow and arrow, as well as lending a hand in the camp kitchen before dinnertime.

The only permanent camp in the Serengeti’s remote south, Sanctuary Kusini has the privilege of overlooking predator-populated plains where game viewing is in high-definition.

The main lodge is set around a cluster of spectacular kopjes — rocky outcrops — so at Sanctuary Kusini you don’t just have front-row seats for when the Great Migration passes through at full throttle, but you can ogle game congregating on these grassy plains all day long.

Lake Masek Tented Lodge

From the private terrace of your tent, you can observe the wildlife of the area. Many animals visit the lake in search of water and therefore this camp is in a privileged observation point.

Besides, this area is the principal setting of the Great Migration which takes place from December to April, and the Big Five visit the area. The camp is set up every year in a different part of the area, to make sure that you will always have the best place to see this impressive spectacle from your own tent.

In addition, the camp is ecological without losing comfort and attention. The electricity is generated by solar panels and the water is rainwater collected during the rains. All the products used are biodegradables.

Ndutu Wilderness Camp

Ndutu Wilderness Camp is an intimate tented camp set in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti eco-system from December to March, coinciding with the calving season. Nestled under shady trees on a private site, the camp comprises twelve spacious tents, featuring solar lighting and en-suite facilities.

Renowned for its warm service and homely food, meals are often served al fresco under starry African skies.

The central lounge/ bar area is a great place to catch up with fellow guests, with a campfire completing that close to nature safari ambiance.

You’ll spot plenty of predators here: lion, cheetah, leopard, serval, African wildcat, caracal as well as a striped and spotted hyena. The diverse eco-systems in this area, from woodlands to plains and soda lakes, make it a unique place for bird watching. This is the perfect place to be to witness the annual wildebeest calving spectacle.

Our TripAdvisor Reviews

  • star rating  My husband and I enjoyed a private safari guided by Francis of Nature Outfitters. From the minute he picked us up at the airport, every day felt like an exotic... read more

    June 1, 2021

    star rating  Our private Safari with Nature Outfitters was superb in every way. Francis Shio tailored a multi-week itinerary well suited to our budget and our desire to see seldom seen animals... read more

    June 1, 2021

    star rating  Our 3 week June 2021 safari with Nature Outfitters, TZ far exceeded our greatest hopes. Traveling for the 4th time with our wonderful guide Francis Shio I photographed a... read more

    Michael Wright
    June 1, 2021
  • star rating  As former President of the African Wildlife Foundation and for many years as a VP at WWF-US I have been fortunate to travel to the continent many times but traveling... read more

    Michael Wright
    June 1, 2020

    star rating  We were impressed by personable driver guide Francis Peter Paul Shio's service toward all of our group and for his sharp eye and expertise in locating and identifying different animals... read more

    May 1, 2020