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Ndutu: Everything You Need to Know

Explore the Ndutu Southern Serengeti: Witness the Wildebeest Calving Season.

Southern Serengeti Ndutu area is the most visited area as visitors usually enter the park from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the south. This region is characterized by open plains and short grasses. The wildebeest calving season occurs here from December to March. The Southern Serengeti is the most accessible area of the park and makes up a third of it. It’s classic savannah landscapes – busy in peak season – but the perfect place for game viewing and watching the famous migration. The plains are lush after the rains, drawing thousands of animals to the area.

The southern part of Serengeti national park comprises grassy plains and granite kopjes and it stretches from the central part of the national park also known as the Seronera area to Ngorongoro conservation area and also to Maswa reserve.

The park is, a jewel in Tanzania’s crown, is a mesmerizing haven for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. This vast expanse of wilderness offers a unique blend of diverse ecosystems, teeming with a rich variety of flora and fauna. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the different facets from its awe-inspiring wildlife to practical details for an unforgettable safari experience.

Ndutu General Overview 

Nestled in the southern part of the iconic Serengeti National Park, is renowned for its expansive grassy plains, dotted with rocky outcrops and acacia trees. This region is part of the larger Serengeti ecosystem, which spans across Tanzania and Kenya, and is celebrated for hosting the spectacular Great Migration.

Wildlife and Migration in Ndutu

Great Wildebeest Migration: Witness the awe-inspiring migration spectacle between November and March. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and antelope traverse the Ndutu plains in search of fresh grazing grounds. Predators follow closely, creating thrilling scenes of survival and predation.
Calving Season: From December to May, the plains come alive with newborns. Witness wildebeest calves taking their first steps, surrounded by vigilant mothers and opportunistic predators.
Resident Wildlife: Even outside the migration season, Ndutu hosts a rich diversity of wildlife. Look out for giraffes, elephants, hyenas, and various antelope species.

Also Ndutu Southern Serengeti is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream come true. Home to an abundance of iconic African species, visitors can witness the famous Big Five – lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinos. The open plains also host an array of herbivores, such as zebras, wildebeests, and giraffes, creating an intricate web of predator-prey relationships.

Birdwatcher’s Paradise

Ndutu boasts prolific birdlife, making it a haven for birdwatchers. From colorful bee-eaters to majestic raptors, the skies and acacia trees are alive with feathered wonders. For avid birdwatchers, the Ndutu Southern Serengeti is a paradise. With over 500 bird species recorded in the area, including vibrant flamingos, majestic eagles, and elusive vultures, the region offers an unparalleled birding experience.

Vegetation and Landscape

Ndutu Plains: These expansive grasslands provide essential grazing for migratory herds. The golden savanna stretches as far as the eye can see.
Acacia Woodlands: Acacia trees dot the landscape, offering shade to wildlife and serving as lookout points for predators.
Soda Lakes: Lakes Ndutu and Masek are alkaline soda lakes, attracting flamingos, pelicans, and other water-loving birds.

Characterized by vast savannas, interspersed with acacia trees and rocky kopjes. The abundance of grasses sustains the large herds of herbivores, while the acacia trees provide shade for resting predators and their prey alike.

Sections of Ndutu

The Southern Serengeti can be broadly divided into different sections, each with its unique characteristics. From the endless plains of Ndutu to the rocky terrain of Moru Kopjes, each section offers a distinct safari experience.

Things to Do & Unique Activities

Game Drives: Embark on thrilling game drives across the plains. Spot lions lounging under acacia trees, cheetahs on the hunt, and elusive leopards.
Photography: Capture the raw beauty of Ndutu—the golden grass, dramatic skies, and wildlife interactions.
Olduvai Gorge: Explore the archaeological site at Olduvai Gorge, where early human fossils and ancient tools have been discovered.
Cultural Encounters: Interact with the Maasai community and learn about their traditions and way of life.

There is also beyond the traditional game drives, offers a plethora of activities. Hot air balloon safaris provide a breathtaking aerial view of the wildlife. While walking safaris offer an intimate and immersive experience with nature.

Weather and Climate:

The weather and climate of Ndutu are characterized by two distinct seasons: the dry season and the wet season. During the dry season, which typically spans from June to October, Ndutu experiences clear skies and minimal rainfall. This period offers optimal conditions for game viewing, as the sparse vegetation makes it easier to spot wildlife congregating around water sources.

The dry season is from June to October, and during this time temperatures can go as high as 25°C / 77°F, and as low as 14°C / 57°F.

The wet season is from November to May with peak of the wet season starting from around late March. Temperature can go as high as 26°C / 79°F and as low as 15°C / 59°F. However, the wet season also coincides with the calving season for wildebeests and zebras, making it an excellent time to witness newborn wildlife in Ndutu.

When to Visit Ndutu

For an extraordinary safari experience, plan your trip to Ndutu between December and March to witness the awe-inspiring Great Migration. This period offers prime viewing opportunities as vast herds of wildebeests and zebras traverse the Serengeti ecosystem. Alternatively, visit during the shoulder seasons for a quieter experience with fewer crowds, while still enjoying the region’s abundant wildlife and stunning landscapes. Whether you prefer the excitement of peak season or the tranquility of the off-peak months, Ndutu promises an unforgettable adventure year-round.


From luxury lodges to tented camps, the offers diverse accommodation options catering to various preferences and budgets. These establishments provide a comfortable base for exploring the wilderness. Stay in best accommodation like Ndutu Under Canvas, Ndutu Kati Kati tented camp, Lake Masek Tented Lodge, Ndutu Safari lodge. 

Location and How to Reach:

Situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ndutu is easily accessible from major cities like Arusha and Dar es Salaam. Visitors can opt for either road or air travel, with various transportation services available to ensure a seamless journey to this natural paradise.

Fee Structure

Entry fees to Ndutu vary depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay. It’s advisable to check the latest fee structure and park regulations before planning your visit to avoid any surprises. For non East Africa Citizen, if you wish to stay on Ngorongoro side of Ndutu, then the park fees would be USD 71 per day and for staying overnight, along with your accommodation fees, you will have to pay a private campsite fees of USD 71 per night. If you plan to stay on the Serengeti side of Ndutu, then park fee is $83 per adult per day and private campsite / concession fees is USD 59 per person per night.

Safari Tours 

Numerous tour operators offer safari packages, catering to different preferences and durations. Whether opting for a guided group safari or a private expedition. These tours provide an immersive experience led by knowledgeable guides.

Ndutu FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:

Addressing common queries such as vaccination requirements. Safety concerns, and photography guidelines, this section aims to provide practical information to ensure a seamless and enjoyable visit.

What is Ndutu?

Ndutu is a captivating wildlife destination located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania.
It’s renowned for its role in the Great Wildebeest Migration, where millions of wildebeests, zebras, and other animals traverse the Serengeti plains in search of food and water.

What can I expect during the Great Wildebeest Migration in Ndutu?

Witnessing the migration is a heart-stopping experience.
Ndutu provides vital grasslands and water sources for the migrating animals.
Prepare to be amazed by the sheer numbers and the dramatic spectacle.

What types of accommodations are available in Ndutu?

Ndutu offers a diverse range of accommodations, including luxury lodges, tented camps, and budget-friendly guesthouses. Whether you prefer rustic charm or modern comforts, there’s an option to suit every taste and budget.

What activities can I enjoy in Ndutu besides safari tours?

In addition to safari tours, Ndutu offers a variety of activities such as birdwatching, nature walks, and cultural excursions to local Maasai villages. These experiences provide a deeper insight into the region’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Is Ndutu suitable for families with children?

Yes, Ndutu is an excellent destination for families with children. Many lodges and camps offer family-friendly accommodations and activities, ensuring that visitors of all ages can enjoy a safe and memorable safari experience.

What should I pack for a trip to Ndutu?

When packing for your Ndutu safari, essentials include lightweight clothing, sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, binoculars, and a camera to capture the unforgettable moments you’ll encounter during your adventure.

Is it safe to visit Ndutu?

Yes, Ndutu is generally considered a safe destination for travelers. However, it’s essential to exercise caution and adhere to park regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

In conclusion, the beckons adventurers with its untamed beauty and abundant wildlife. Whether capturing the Great Migration, birdwatching in the golden light of dawn. Or simply relishing the tranquility of the savanna, this corner of Tanzania promises an unforgettable safari experience. 

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