Migration in Serengeti July/August

Reply

Jan 23rd, 2015, 04:39 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 11
Migration in Serengeti July/August

Do you have a resource you'd recommend for pinpointing the location of the Wildebeest migration July 31- August 4. We've found several maps but would love to benefit from the wisdom of your experience.
BinVa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 04:48 PM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 11
Specifically:
We have been given two options: one using Mbalageti camp and Seroi Serena (western/central serengeti)
and one in the Mara region (Kimburu camp).

Also, how long would a drive be from Ronjo Camp to Kimburu Camp? We've received widely varying time estimates on this distance.

Thank you in advance for any insight you can provide.
BinVa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 05:50 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 8,194
I don't think it's possible to predict 6-7 months in advance exactly where the migration will be.
We were in the Northern Serengeti in August and saw a zillion wildebeest crossing the Mara River--twice in one day. But, we had warned that the crossings had been early last year and not to expect to see it.
abram is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 06:13 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
So the options are Soroi and Mbalageti

or

Ronjo and Kimburu

I like the Ronjo and Kimburu combo because Kimburu is further north.

For driving, from central (Ronjo location) to Lobo is about 2 hours of game drive time, but you can halve that if you are driving just to get there.

Kimburu looks to be at least another 2 hours game drive or another good hour, maybe 90 minutes just driving.

The difference in time estimates may be because you can drive purposefully without stopping or you can meander as a game drive. Can you ask for both distance and estimated time? That could help.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 24th, 2015, 07:08 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 11
abram - That is so true! Hence my confusion.

atravelynn - Thank you for the estimates. That would have been my follow up question.

We have a couple traveling with us who are a little timid about the tents. Though we are working to encourage them, their comfort is very important to us. Have you stayed in Lobo? If so, would you recommend it?
BinVa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 24th, 2015, 10:47 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
I feel Lobo is too far northeast; though lovely landscape, lodge is rather rustic; too far (3/hrs) from the Mara River if the herds are crossing early.
Rather go with the other two camps - Ronjo (not a favorite... must be an ATR itinerary) and Kimburu. Drive between, is still always a game drive and takes as long or short a time depending on game sightings located along the way and that's not something anyone can guarantee.

Mbalageti is too far West for end-July/early-Aug
Remember though that there is never any assurance from year-to-year exactly where the herds will be. You just go with the flow. For assurances, you go to the zoo.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 24th, 2015, 05:25 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
I have stayed in Lobo and other lodges in Serengeti. They are not as nice as the tents but are plenty good and are less costly. That seems paradoxical. Tents nicer than the lodges and cost more. But it is true. The meals are usually fancier under canvas as well. Service is of a higher, more personalized level in the tented camps than the larger lodges.

I'd recommend Lobo if:

-the other couple will only do brick and mortar otherwise they will stay home & their presence on the trip is important
-it helps you stay within your budget
-you are not trying to see the wildebeest cross the Mara River
-you are ok with buffet style meals, that are quite good
-a busy lodge is acceptable


One really nicely located lodge is Seronera (in the Central Seronera area) because of the permanent water source. It's good year round.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 25th, 2015, 06:59 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
It all depends on the rain, but generally Mbalageti is best in June. One late June after the migration passed we still had a spectacular time there just watching all the wildee herds catching up to the main migration. On the next day we made an early start and did catch up to the main group.

The 3rd day was best of all because everybody was in the north and we had the entire west to ourselves. We could literally could park the jeep and wait for herds of all kinds to come to us
FrankS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 25th, 2015, 06:28 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 11
Thanks for all your helpful feedback. Yes ATR is one of the companies we've been communicating with.

It seems like the time we are going (late July/early August) Mara is probably a better bet for the wildebeest migrations and river crossings. We understand there's no guarantees (not a zoo , but hope to maximize our chances).

Canvas walls are a bit too frightening for five of our party of 8. (I said 2 before, but others have since confessed their worries.)
Two of our party are nearing 80 and mobile but not spry. Stairs, etc are not the easiest to manage.

We've seen pics of camps like Nomad Lamai and Sayari Mara w/ more substantial walls and comfortable huts, but $900+ per person per night is pretty steep for this large of a group.

Do you know of any camps with more substantial walls in a lower price range in the Mara region? Thanks again!

Also, for the group of 3 that doesn't mind staying in tents, I appreciate your thoughts on Kimburu/Ronjo.

Atravelynn...I would like to look up that lodge if you think it's in a good spot. Are you referring to Seronera Wildlife Lodge or something else?

Thanks again!
BinVa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2015, 04:52 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 12,820
Unless its really high end, or a hotel like Sopa/Serena type lodge, I prefer all canvas walls. The only scare I ever had in Africa was when my permanent wall had permanent residents
FrankS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2015, 09:59 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
"Stairs, etc are not the easiest to manage." As I recall the lodges are spread out with some stairs, but also ramps. Actually the tented camps would be more accessible with less walking than most lodges, which can be very expansive. But if you mention mobility issues, I am sure there are rooms within the lodges that cater to that.

Since you mention lack of spryness, have considered how people will get in and out of the vehicle? There can be some step ups and step downs to get in and out.

You do know these tents are the type where you stand up and there is a regular bed, a little furniture, and places to hang/place your clothes, plus ensuite Western toilets with running water in a sink. The shower may need to be requested so that hot water can be brought.

The tents that are far less than the $900 a night ones have a very similar setup to the $900 ones--maybe less fancy furniture, tent decorations are less fancy or absent completely,less fancy linen, and not much of a liquor selection, that sort of thing. But the basic structure is still the same.

To respond to your question I was referring to Seronera Wildlife Lodge. Good spot? Absolutely because of the permanent water source. Probably the best spot in the Serengeti for leopards. I've seen more cheetah in Seronera/Central than I have up north (0 up north). The later into the season, the less likely the migration will be there, though.


"Do you know of any camps with more substantial walls in a lower price range in the Mara region?" Thanks again!

Lots of lodges in the Mara, hence lots more people. Still, I've gone during "busy season," stayed in lodges, and had a great time.

Mara Serena is very well located that time of year. You can sometimes see crossings from the lodge, at a distance. Unlike the spots in the Serengeti where were we were saying things like, "it's so far from the river that it will take hours to get there," you are right AT the river at Mara Serena. It is really nice with little solid dome like huts that resemble the huts in a Maasai boma.

You can even do a night drive for an extra hundred bucks or so at Mara Serena. You stay on their property, which is acres, and it is not as exciting as some more remote night drives I've done, but you are out at night and have the potential of seeing most any nocturnal critter.

There are a lot of lodges in the Mara. I've chosen Serena for the location.



No personal experience with Kimburu/Ronjo.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 26th, 2015, 07:07 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 11
hi atravelynn,

thank you so much for this thoughtful reply. your insights are very much appreciated. We are definitely going to look into Mara Serena. The cost for 4 nights there (for 8) is the same as ONE night at another lodge - for only 5 of our party. Whew! Thank you.
BinVa is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 28th, 2015, 05:13 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1
Hi,
I agree with Atravelynn,your contribution towards this topic is very comprehensive and to the point. Indeed this forum requires such sharp brains.
I hold a uk passport though i'm now a Kenyan resident. Last year i had the same questions and my travel agency Back Of Africa Adventure did recommend the northern serengeti (maasai mara) and we stayed at the mara serena lodge.
though my point is Migration is un predictable as per Scott who said "You could spend a lifetime in the Serengeti & Maasai Mara waiting for the typical migration. The finer details of the herds’ movements are always different. It is a dynamic process which defies predictions: "no two years are ever quite the same" though, Maasai mara is the most visited park in East Africa between jun to october as it host all the animals that always migrate from serengeti to maasai mara and vise vasa as opposed to serengeti national park which is an endless plain.
0722570ANN is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:05 AM.