Wildebeest calving Tanzania. Serengeti witnesses largest number of predators in Africa
Serengeti wildebeest migration
The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of huge numbers of wildebeest, zebra, and smaller numbers of various antelope species, including Grant's gazelle, Thompson's gazelle, eland and impala. The movement of these wildlife species through Tanzania and Kenya follows a ‘loose’ annual timetable, that to a certain degree can be predicted. They migrate throughout the year, constantly seeking fresh grazing - so we can say that the precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year. Bearing in mind that climate change has made these rainfall patterns harder to predict, we can also conclude that informing wildlife enthusiasts and wildlife photographers about the best time to see the wildebeest migration, or specific events such as the wildebeest calving, has also become more difficult.
Wildebeest Calving Season - When is the best time to visit Tanzania for this wildlife spectacle?
One of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet is the wildebeest migration, but this amazing event splits into several significant wildlife viewing ‘chapters’. – on of the biggest being the wildebeest calving in Tanzania, which takes place in the Serengeti. In late January and the month of February up to a million Wildebeest synchronize their birthing and over half a million wildebeest calves are born in the space of just a few weeks. This attracts the highest density of predators of anywhere in Africa and represents the ultimate Tanzania safari for big cats and other apex predators.
Wildebeest Calving in the Serengeti – How to plan you Tanzania migration safari to perfection?
Firstly, it is important to book one of the best camps in the Serengeti from where you will view the wildebeest calving and time your trip in that short window of late January into February. The best wildlife camps for the migration tend to be mobile and able to adjust their position to provide their clients with superb access to the predator/prey dynamic, which is very much part of the wildebeest calving experience. One of our favorite camps is Serengeti Kati Kati Tented Camp and this is where we will be staying during on February 2018 Tanzania wildebeest calving safari.
With the huge numbers of calves born come the predators. During calving season, the Serengeti and Western Ngorongoro Conservation area host the highest concentration of predators in Africa. Lions, hyenas, and cheetahs arrive in large numbers to search for easy victims, waiting for the perfect time to make a kill, which will ensure they and their young families survive. Female wildebeest instinctively form a circle around birthing mothers to protect them when they are at their most vulnerable; this co-operative behavior ensures the majority of the young survive despite the attention of hundreds of predators.
Big cat behavior to watch out for during the Wildebeest calving in the Serengeti
One of the favorite bit cats to observes is the swift of food, Cheetah, which is focused on the smaller antelope species grazing amongst the huge herds of Wildebeest and Zebras. The line between success and failure for the Cheetah is always very fine and they because they are mainly solitary hunters, any injury to them could result in their dead and for a female cheetah, the death of her cubs. They will hope for some longer grasses to be available for camouflage, but this is not that easy, where so many hungry mouths have reduced the grass length to a stubble. When they do get close enough to use their explosive speed, they will often target a younger antelope, who has strayed away from the main herd.
Male lions adopt a more ‘laid back’ approach to ‘one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet’, so if you are looking for ‘action’ wildlife photographs, you might want to focus more on the female members of the lion pack, as they co-ordinate their hunting sorties and more often than not, come back with a kill for the ever hungry cubs. A time of plenty reflects in the condition of the lion packs and you will have plenty of time to photograph the playful interaction between the young lion cubs.
So, when we bring the most important elements together for the Wildebeest migration - specifically the Wildebeest calving in Tanzania – which are timing, location of the tented camps in the Serengeti and quality guides tracking the individual ‘stories’ of this annual spectacle. We can put together a very special Tanzania safari for you. If you would like to join us on our small group Tanzania wildebeest calving safari then please click on the link.