Witnessing Wildebeest Calving In the Serengeti : Witnessing the mind-blowing the Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the top bucket list to do on an African safari and in the Serengeti, the wildebeest migration is filled with many incredible stages or occurrence and seeing the migration wildebeest calving season is an incredible safari experience and rated as one of Tanzania’s best safari experience.
The calving season in The Serengeti happens from January to March, there are Mobile Migration camps that follow the herds throughout the year and position themselves close to the wildebeest during calving season.
Staying at the semi-permanent mobile camp which are normally situated in a remote part of the Southern Serengeti offers a true “Out of Africa” Safari Experience, these camps feature large tents of wood and canvas, ensuite bathroom and a common area for meals and relaxing between game drives. You could enjoy a morning cup of tea or coffee while keeping your eyes peeled for game.
Normally, you start your morning with a thrill to witness the wildebeest calving, in an open game drive vehicle you will head towards the plains and your guide will set the scene for “The principal players in this incredible drama are the wildebeest, numbering about 1.7 million, with supporting roles for some 400,000 Thomson’s gazelle, 300,000 zebra and 12,000 eland”
The pregnant wildebeests are attracted to the calcium and magnesium-rich grass which good for milk production, wildebeest calving occurs from late January to mid-March when more than 80% of the females give birth over a period of a few weeks”. Never far away are the carnivores, lion, hyena, leopards, cheetahs and lesser predators await the annual calving with eager anticipation.
In reality, there is no such single entity as “the migration”. The wildebeest are the migration – there is neither start nor finish to their endless search for food and water as they circle the Serengeti – Mara ecosystem in a relentless round of life and death. The only supposed beginning is the moment of birth.
The birthing happens in the short – grass plains at the southernmost extent of the wildebeests’ range, you will drive on the plains and into an enormous herd of wildebeest that stretch in every direction as far as the eye could see. The wildebeests hardly pay your safari vehicle any attention.
Your guide will at times draw to a halt, you can be beside a wildebeest cow, her back legs splayed and have a chance to see a calf being born (a thing of gawky legs and blood and blue placenta) which blobs on the ground, then you will witness an awkward movement, stagger, a fall, up again, another fall. Within moments, the calf properly stands on its feet and getting its bearings. Mom and milk being primary coordinates.
The wildebeest cows drop their young in a synchronized birthing that sees some 300,000 to 400,000 calves born within a few short weeks, eight and a half months after the rut. You will stay with the wildebeests for the possible time and you will be circled by new born bobbing about on plasticine legs or gamboling along on their first frolicking escapades. A baby wildebeest gains coordination faster than any other ungulate, you will be astonished to learn that it can run with the herd at the age of five minutes and is able to outrun a lion soon thereafter.
Don’t be surprised that the cows will seemingly look with both pride and concern, the concern is justified as they look out for any approaching predator such as lions, leopards and jackals. the group of mothers are always ready to intervene and defend their newly born.
As you drive across the plains, you will see scene of high drama as they play themselves out. You will drive passed large packs of hyenas and every now and then a group of lions, many of them fat, bloody-faced and recumbent from all the meaty bounty.
In conclusion, witnessing the calving season in the Serengeti is one of the great wildlife safari experiences to enjoy while on a great migration safari in The Serengeti.