Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, along with a plethora of other ungulates, have flooded the central part of the Serengeti, chasing the rain and making headway toward the Masai Mara.
An unusual dry spell in the southern Serengeti was reported to be a significant factor the early exodus, which meant resorts like Singita Grumeti have recorded their earliest migration sightings ever.
Guides at the western Serengeti reserve have confirmed that hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and their calves have entered the reserve area in Tanzania in search of water and suitable areas to graze. While this means there are now amazing opportunities to see the animals, many tourists have been caught off guard.
The annual migration is normally a familiar sight from mid June at the earliest, but due to unusually dry conditions in the Southern Serengeti, the mass migration of wildebeest have left the area early and instead of making their way slowly up to the central Serengeti have travelled extremely long distances in an incredibly short space of time in search of the more lush areas to graze.
Guides working in the 350,000 acre private Singita Grumeti reserve in the western corridor of the Serengeti, first reported large groups of wildebeest crossing the Grumeti river on March 3 and now estimate there are currently over a 200,000 wildebeest and zebra grazing in the central Sasakwa and Nyati areas of the Singita Grumeti.
“We are all pretty astounded at their early arrival, they started passing through the reserve unexpectedly on the first of May last year and we thought that was a big deal but this is incredible,” said Bradley Murray, GM of the Singita Faru Faru Lodge at Singita Grumeti.
“We originally thought it was a couple of thousand stray herds in the beginning that had broken away from the main herd but then huge lines of tens of thousands started flooding in. From the outside of Singita Faru Faru Lodge, all you can see is wildebeest at the moment, it is always an awe-inspiring sight but especially as it is so early this year,” he added.
We recently featured the HerdTracker app, which now seems all the more prevalent in order to monitor the movements of the wildebeest and other migrating animals.