Every year in mid February roughly a million wildebeest gather on the short grass plains of the Southern Serengeti to give birth. Extraordinarily all 400,000 calves are born in the space of a single week.
The herds actually return to the south any time from December, timing their arrival with the return of the rains. The plains cover many thousands of square miles, so the sense of space is overwhelming. Off road driving is permitted in this area and you can drive for hours and never be out of sight – or sound - of wildebeest.
But the wildebeest are only a (admittedly large) part of the experience. Aside from the newborn wildebeest calves, the plains are literally alive with young animals of all kinds from plains game, to the numerous predators that follow the migrating herds; lion, leopard, cheetah and in particular hyenas that thrive at this time of year.
For many people, safaris are synonymous with the dry season, but the scale of this event puts most wildlife spectacles in the shade. And compared to the harshness of the dry, this is a time of vivid green, and plenty.
Where to stay to see the calving
These days there are a few permanent lodges within the woodland at Ndutu (the mature acacia woodland and lakes the area centres on) but we would reommend spending time in one of the seasonal tented camps that move into the area at this time of year. Nomad's Serengeti Safari camp offers one of the best experiences with outstanding guides and a stylish comfortable traditional tented camp. If you're looking for something a little more simple it's worth taking a look at a Serengeti light tented camp