Lack of rain causes unusual movement in Wildebeest migration - updatePublished: 22nd February 2017

The Great Migration famously gathers on the southern plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania from December through to March, with calving taking place in a 3 week window from late January into February. The short rains usually fall in November and December meaning there is fresh lush grass on the plains for the animals during the short dry season of January and February.

However, this year has been different. The short rains did not arrive. The situation on the ground has been dire with no rain there is not the short lush grass that the wildebeest rely on. The plains have not rejuvenated in the normal way and as a result the herds have been forced to spread out, desperately searching for water and fresh grass. Herdtracker reports herds spreading from the the central Serengeti to Moru, Maswa and Serengeti south. 

Seeing wildebeest in any great numbers around Seronera in the central Serengeti is unheard of at this time of year.

Calving has been sporadic, the lack of rain slowing the calving season down. The assistant manager at Lemala Ndutu reports very dry and dusty conditions and very few calves. Their sister camp Lemala Ewanjan is actually the closest camp to the herds right now, about 5km away. 

We are hoping for rain for both the wildlife and the communities and will update on the situation in due course.

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