At the start of November, the vast savannah of the southern Serengeti is impossibly dry and water extremely scarce. Great numbers of wildlife have left, following the rain and rivers to the north, leaving the remaining inhabitants to adapt.
But come late November, it’s a vastly different story; the rains have well and truly arrived, and with them the start of the Great Migration, as thousands of wildebeest head towards their calving grounds in the south of the Serengeti.
The precise start of migration varies each year. Depending on rainfall, sometimes smaller groups of wildebeest, zebra and buffalo move in first before the bulk follows. In other years it seems as though the entire herd arrives as one, blanketing the plains in huge numbers. Everyday is different and extraordinary: one afternoon, you might see a just few thousand animals, only to find an ocean of wildlife the next morning, with wildebeest and zebra stretching as far as the eye can see.
Each year the gathering draws the attention of plenty of opportunists. Kusini’s pride of lions surveys the plains from their strategic vantage point – Mowe Ya Simba (meaning literally the ‘Rock of the Lions’ in Swahili). Ghostly leopards also lie in wait, while cheetahs steer clear of the chaos caused by larger predators and take refuge in the rolling vast savannah. And of course, large clans of ever-present hyenas roam in search of the weak, the wounded, and the ill.
The only permanent camp in this unspoiled and remote part of the Serengeti, Sanctuary Retreats’ luxurious Sanctuary Kusini Campoffers ringside seats to one of the most impressive wildlife shows on earth. Ideally located in the rocky outcrops (kopjes) overlooking the southern plains where game are a common sight all year round, the location was specially selected after much research by the company’s guides and local experts. Every year vast herds of zebra, wildebeest and other game congregate right at the camp’s doorstep from mid-December to March the calving season, providing guests with unparalleled access to a truly unforgettable spectacle.
Right now guests booking before 31 December 2015 for stays at Sanctuary Kusini between 1 January and 31 March 2016 can save up to 15% on extended stays of three or more nights. Rates are normally US$790 per person night twin share.
Terms and conditions apply.