Moving around the Serengeti following the migration is one of life’s great pleasures. If ever you get an opportunity, don’t think twice; pack your bags and head out to East Africa. Moving around the Serengeti has its problems – there are few lodges in many areas, so where to sleep? Bedding down next to the migration, to the wildebeest is not an option. There are just too many lions that follow the migration to even think about sleeping in the open.
Over a million wildebeest move annually from the southern plains of the Serengeti, (where they give birth) to the Maasai Mara in the north, and back, accompanied by Zebra and other migratory mammals. Lion, cheetah, hyena, hunting dog and crocodiles make sure only the strongest and the lucky survive.
So when should you head out to Africa to witness this great event? The Serengeti can be visited any time of the year, with each season, each month offering something different. Many visitors will opt to stay away during the season of the long rains from mid April to May. Altitudes in the Serengeti are higher than most of Europe; temperatures therefore vary with cool evenings from June to October.
The migration is triggered off by the rains which are notoriously unreliable, resulting in the migration not running to a timetable. The Ndutu plains, in the southern Serengeti will usually have the migration from mid December until the end of March, a magical period during which the great migration takes over the plains around Ndutu to give birth to their young. The migration then moves up to the central Serengeti for the months of June and July. In these months, the safari can be combined with a balloon flight in the central Serengeti.The typical tents in the mobile camps are spacious and comfortable with large king-size or twin beds and en-suite bathrooms. Each tent has its own spacious private verandah with a private view overlooking the Serengeti. Bathrooms are very comfortable, considering that they are mobile camps; having a shower, a wash basin and an environmentally friendly toilet, using water and environmentally friendly chemicals.
Fantastic meals are always served in the dining tent or, if you prefer, meals are served at your own veranda or in the bush under the Serengeti stars. Luxury and comfort are the emphasis in these camps. They might be a little more expensive than the larger lodges but do offer a more intimate African experience. The experience, the comfort, the whole experience is well worth the expense.
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Written by: Ian Williamson