The Ndutu Region forms part of the northern section of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and stretches to the unfenced southern reaches of the Serengeti National Park, a meeting point between these two incredible wilderness areas. This section of the park is made up of rolling grasslands peppered with alkaline lakes that attract flocks of flamingos, as well as acacia woodlands.
There’s year-round resident wildlife (such as giraffe, elephant, hyena and various antelope species) in the Ndutu Region, and you can spot animals around the waterholes during the dry season from June to November. Look out for the six cat species – lion, cheetah, leopard, serval, African wild cat and caracal – that are present throughout the year.
The best months to visit the Ndutu Region are from December, when the Great Migration herds start to arrive from the north, until April when the millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle have trekked northwards again. In the early months of the year – with a peak in February – the wildebeest herds are calving on the verdant grassy plains: thousands upon thousands of baby animals are born every day, attracting the attention of cheetah, lion and hyena.
Credit: Legendary Serengeti Camp
A big draw of the Ndutu Region is to see the full circle of the Great Migration, from the return of the herds to graze in December, and then the calving which takes place in January and February, and then the departure of the herds again in April as they start making their journey northwards. Calving season is particularly dramatic: a million wildebeest give birth to 8000 babies every day, and as these newborns take their first steps, they’re targeted by lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena.
The prime game viewing spot in the Ndutu Region is around Lake Ndutu, where enormous herds congregate between December and April to graze and calve. The forests and granite kopjes around Lake Ndutu are also home to lots of game outside of the migration months.
Sightings of six species of cats – leopard, lion, cheetah, caracal, African wildcat and serval – are a big highlight of visiting the Ndutu Region. You can spot the cats throughout the year, but the best viewing is during the calving months of January and February, when these predators pick on the fledgling baby animals.