Serengeti in February

Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 10:11 PM
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Serengeti in February

Arranging a trip for February 2011. From my research, it looks as though we should head for the southern side of the Serengeti. Is this correct?

I understand there's a short dry season in Jan/Feb. Is this correct? Is there any downside to going at thsi time of year?

If we did 3 or 4 nights there (poss one of the semi-perm mobiles), would you suggest then moving to another area within the Serengeti or going to another area completely?

Although I've done quite a few safaris and I'm pretty relaxed about what I see (I just want to be in Africa!), I'm travelling with friends who haven't been before and want to ensure they get to see as many animals as possible.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2009, 11:20 PM
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Yes, you'd probably catch the Migration in the southern Serengeti. It's usually dry this time of year, but there can be showers or thunderstorms (we experienced one or two in February 2005.) It can also be rather warm in February, as well.

If you wanted to go to a different part of the Serengeti, the central Seronera area usually has a good resident population of wildlife. We actually did a day trip there because the Migration had moved that direction from the south.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 03:13 AM
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Jan/Feb is calving season for the wildebeest and you might have great sightings: Lion and wild dog kills because they go for the newborn. Especially the latter!

You might take into consideration the Gol Mountains. They have got a resident wild dog pack (approx. 16 animals) which feeds on the small once during that time of the year.

We visit in Feb 2010. I'll report!

Weather wise: That's always the one million $ question. Just appreciate what you get - also in view to the weather. It should be drie(er) but an occasional rain shower must be swallowed. Just be prepared!

SV
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 04:23 AM
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You are really an advance planner! When I've thought about a Feb Tanzania trip and considered the same questions as you've posed, I ended up combining the above suggestions.

I'd try to include the Gol Mountains that are known to have lots of impala and therefore cheetah around Feb, along with a couple of days in Central Serengeti, just in case. The majority of time in Southern Tanzania, probably at Ndutu Lodge. A mobile, as you suggest, rather than Ndutu, would be a more exclusive accommodation.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 11:05 AM
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When you guys talk about the Gol mountains, are you talking about the Gol Kopjes in the Eastern Serengeti?

Here's what I am planning for Feb 2010:

8 day, private tour:

1 JRO, KIA lodge
2 Tarangire (overnight)
3. Drive through NCA, olduvai gorge to south serengeti, ndutu lodge
4. Ndutu Lake and other areas, ndutu lodge
5. Gol Kopjes and other eastern, Sarina lodge
6. Seronera, Central Serengeti, Sarina lodge
7. Drive to Ngorongoro, afternoon tour, sopa
8. Morning Ngorongoro, back to Arusha...fly back home.

Any experts have any opinions feedback ?

Thx !!
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 11:50 AM
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YEPP - Kopjes = mountains. Kopjes is the Africaans word for mountains.

I am sure you know that you are nothing but rushing thru TAZ!

SV
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 12:12 PM
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Thx, yep for my first trip...it's ok, am sure I will go back at leisure once I get more familiar with the entire thing.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 12:24 PM
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This is really, really rushing if your numbered items are days.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 01:16 PM
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That's what is fitting in my current $3k/person budget (excluding air tickets). Is that a fair pricing for 2 in feb with a private safari or am I being robbed ? .
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 01:21 PM
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KennyK -

Wow, busy itinerary.

1) Tarangire isn't at it's best in February.
2) Lake Manyara is a better choice at this time.
3) Tarangire to Serengeti will be a very very long drive.
4) Drive from Manyari will be shorter than from the former.
5) For that time of year, and to slow down the trip, I'd skip Central Serengeti.
6) I'd suggest you start a separate thread for your trip than piggy-bank on OP. The responses will get mixed up.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 01:24 PM
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sorry for hijacking his thread..apologies. Will post this in my own thread.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 03:23 PM
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Ndutu will be a good central base to view the migration. Even if the migration is not right near Ndutu, the good road system will allow you to travel far. I was able to go from Ndutu to Seronera and back in one day easily.

Unlike the rest of East Africa, Serengeti can be quite wet in January and February. That's why the migration comes down to the southern plains of Serengeti!

Gol Kopjes are not the same as the Gol Mountains. Gol Kopjes are a series of kopjes (rocky outcrops) about 30kms northeast of Ndutu. Gol Mountains are further 40kms east of Gol Kopjes. The grasslands there are stunningly beautiful. Gol Mountains are actually outside Serengeti National Park (technically they reside within the greater Ngorongoro Conservation Area). Gol Mountains are famous for huge gatherings of Thomson's gazelles as well as the wildebeests -- and of course, cheetahs following them. But you are likely to see cheetahs anywhere in the southern part of Serengeti.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2009, 10:21 PM
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Yes, I am planning early! We are trying to decide between Oct 2010 in S Africa or Feb 2011 in Tanzania and we usually try and use frequent flyer miles so we have to be in a positio to book as soon as the flights open for those dates.

S Africa would be the easy option but I haven't been to the Serengeti.

I think your suggestions of combing the Southern Serengeti with Seronera and the Gol Mountains is good. Now I need the gbp/usd rate to improve.
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Old Jul 24th, 2009, 07:49 AM
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safaridude
Thank you so much for the clarifiction! We obviously have been living with that mix up for a couple of years When we were staying there at sayari the lodge manager was speaking about gol mountains and the guide about gol kopjes. Somehow we took for granted they both spoke of the same

Good to have that sorted out finally!

Cheers!

SV
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