Imagine an emerald canvas of grassland that stretches for miles, washed in the brilliance of equatorial sunlight and brimming with an abundance of new life. THIS is the green season in the Northern Tanzania Safari – a time of plenty for the animals and a time of splendor for all those who are able to witness it firsthand.
Each year, the green season is marked by extremes. Extreme colors saturate the landscape; verdant savannas are peppered with trillions of brightly-hued wildflowers that beam underneath a burning sapphire sky. Afternoon rainstorms steep in leaden horizons, eventually collapsing to the ground in a short but dramatic burst of life-giving moisture. Rainbows gleam above purple cloudscapes after the sky is washed clean, and the animals bask in the cool green splendor of this life-giving season.
Extreme life dominates the Serengeti plains during this time, as the wildebeest herds take pause in their never-ending migration to give birth on the southern Serengeti plains. Thousands of tiny wildebeest calves have now joined forces with the herd; wide-eyed and gangly, these babies are building their strength on the nutrient rich Serengeti plains before the herds all are forced to move on sometime in May. These young calves have much to learn during the months ahead as the migration resumes its northward course, laden with perils at every turn. Other animals also start their families during this time of plenty, as evidenced by the numerous cubs, pups, fawns, and foals that frolic over green carpets, bringing hope for continued survival of their species to this harsh African wilderness.
Extreme action and thrilling adventures are also inherent to this fast-paced season. The end of the green season including March offers arguably some of the finest wildlife viewing to be found anywhere in Africa. Amidst this world of tremendous color and teeming new life, our clients have certainly had some extreme safari experiences! Guest highlights include several fast paced cheetah chases near Ndutu, a spotted hyena clan ‘battle’ with the Naabi Hill lion pride, large elephant herds at Moru Kopjes and continuing sightings of the critically endangered wild dog (this time in the beautiful valley of Angata Kiti in the remote reaches of East Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area).
On the migration front, several medium sized herds of wildebeest remain on the Southern Serengeti Plains southeast of Kusini and also between Lake Ndutu and Naabi Hill, an area referred to as ‘The Triangle’. However, the largest concentrations of all four migratory species (wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and eland) that encompass the famed migration are currently located on Eastern Serengeti Plains. The area between Gol Kopjes and Barafu Gorge is thick black with massive wildebeest herds at the moment. Most pictures simply fail to communicate the immensity of these herds. One can stand (assuming no lions) on the top of the largest kopje in the Barafu complex and look upon tens of thousands wildebeest and zebra grazing peacefully from horizon to horizon. Outstanding!
A special thanks to Ralph and Jane Anthony who sent in this spectacular wildebeest migration shot, which was taken on March 20, 2010 near the Gol Kopjes on the Eastern Serengeti Plains. It’s a challenge to capture the enormity of the wildebeest migration on the vast Serengeti Plains in a single frame and all of use here at African Dream Safaris think you did it justice with this beautiful photo!