Serengeti National Park and the Great Migration

After leaving Nairobi, Stewart Edward White wrote, "We walked for miles over burnt out country... Then I saw the green trees of the river, walked two miles more and found myself in paradise."

He had found the Serengeti... and so have we on our latest Photo Safari to Tanzania.

In the years since Stewart Edward White first arrived, the Serengeti has become home to two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves within the 30,000 km² region. It's ecosystem has inspired writers like Ernest Hemingway, filmmakers like Hugo von Lawick and numerous photographers like us to come and chronicle the unique area through our lenses.

The Serengeti region encompasses the Serengeti National Park itself, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, the Loliondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo Controlled Areas and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This year almost 100,000 tourists will visit the Park and leave changed forever.

This unique ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. The climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Early man himself made an appearance in Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago and while species have come and became extinct, the setting has remained the same.

Today, people from around the world are drawn with hopes of visiting the endless plains of east Africa for one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle - the 1.5 million animal migration. From the vast Serengeti plains to the hills of Kenya’s Masai Mara, over 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle make the journey in search for food and water.  The Wildebeest travel through a variety of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat while they are relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators,

The migration follows a clockwise pattern that extends over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain ripened grass. They say the only beginning is the moment of birth. It is that period of time as they circle south across the Mara river and come upon the Tanzanian plains. An estimated 400,000 wildebeest calves are born during a six week period early each year - usually between late January and mid-March. Here the herds concentrate at the Ndutu and Salei plains (Southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area) attracting the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and hyena.

The herd then moves as the grass is depleted. They move to the long grass plains and woodland of the Serengeti’s western Corridor, almost to Lake Victoria... and this is where we first came upon this jaw dropping site... and for the next three days we will stay close and stalk the hunters as they prey on the wildebeest, zebra and assortment of other animals. Our goal is to watch the predators and be in position to witness the interaction between hunter and the hunted.

From this location they enter the Lamai Wedge and the Mara Triangle before amassing along the Mara River… that iconic river crossing depicted on so many wildlife programs.

Our trips there center around the Wildebeest as they concentrate at the Ndutu and Salei plains (Southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area) attracting the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and hyena.

Our next trip there will be in April of 2017 and the trip after that will be in April of 2018.

To see the details on our next trip, please see this link.   http://northof49photography.com/tanzania-photo-safari-1

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Kevin A Pepper

Kevin is a photographer and educator based in Waterloo, Ontario. His first love is photographing nature, regardless of the season or weather condition; the Ontario landscape and its wildlife are his inspiration. But you will also see other styles of photography in his portfolio. From street photography to urban exploration of abandoned buildings and architecture, he loves to capture it all with his camera for his corporate clients and his growing personal portfolio. Kevin’s images have been featured in Canadian Nature Photographer, PHOTONews Canada, Photo Technique Magazine, The London Free Press, The Weather Network, and National Geographic Online. His diverse client list includes the City of Cambridge, Olympus, GORE Mutual, TVO, and African Lion Safari. Kevin also operates “Northof49 Photography”, a company launched in 2012 dedicated to teaching amateur photographers through International and Canadian-based workshops. In the coming year, Kevin will be leading workshops in Iceland, Mongolia, Tanzania, Venezuela, Provence, and numerous destinations across Canada. Website: www.kevinpepperphotography.com