Mawe Lodges

How Many Wildebeests roam in Serengeti?

Wildebeests running while crossing the road in Serengeti

When planning a trip to Tanzania, particularly the Serengeti, witnessing the great migration of Wildebeest and Zebras is an unforgettable experience. This annual spectacle sees wildebeests starting their journey from the southern plains of Serengeti and Ngorongoro, traveling through Central to Western and Easter Serengeti, and eventually crossing the Mara River into Kenya’s Maasai Mara. But just how many wildebeests roam the Serengeti? Let’s delve into it!

Who Counts the Wildebeests?

Additionally, the wildebeest counting process involves a collaboration between professionals and volunteers from organizations like the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), and others. Funding comes from the German Government through the KfW Development Bank under the Serengeti Ecosystem Development and Conservation Project (SEDCP), along with contributions from the University of Glasgow (Serengeti Biodiversity Programme) and TAWIRI.

How Are the Wildebeests Counted?

The team employs the Aerial Point Sampling (APS) method, using light-winged aircraft to conduct aerial transects over the herds and gather population data through aerial photographs. Despite being labor-intensive, this method, combined with trained TAWIRI volunteers, proves highly cost-effective for estimating wildebeest populations.

When Was the Last Count Done?

The latest data, released in April 2024 by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute TAWIRI, stems from a survey conducted in March 2023. This timing aligns with the migration’s transition from the southeastern short grass plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the woodland regions of the western and northeastern Serengeti.

Why Is Counting Wildebeests Important?

Counting wildebeests holds ecological, socio-economic, and scientific significance. It aids in conservation efforts, ecosystem understanding, biodiversity monitoring, sustainable tourism promotion, and scientific research. Moreover, it preserves the ecosystem’s unique natural heritage and ensures the long-term well-being of its wildlife and habitat.

Wildebeest Population Estimates

The survey estimated the total migratory wildebeest population in the Serengeti ecosystem to be around 1.5 million. This impressive number reflects the scattered distribution of migratory wildebeests from the Ngorongoro Ndutu plains to Loliondo and further into the Serengeti.

Ready to See the 1.5 Million Wildebeests in Serengeti?

Our Serengeti’s Mawe Camp and Gnu Migration Camps offer ideal bases for experiencing this incredible natural phenomenon. Special thanks to the Tanzanian government and the team for the successful wildebeest count in Greater Serengeti. Through them, we know how many wildebeests roam in Serengeti.

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