When most people think of calving (or birthing) season in Tanzania, they think of the popular Wildebeest spectacle, where massive herds of Wildebeest gather on the Serengeti Plains to give birth.
The reason? Serengeti National Park offers the ideal environment for these mamas to give birth to their newborns.
1) The endless plains act as a safe haven. Allowing mom to spot predators from a distance so that she can better protect her vulnerable young.
2) The grass and plants found here also provide the proper and sufficient nutrients for both mom and baby.
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If you happen to be in the Serengeti from December to March, you’ll have the opportunity to witness over 8,000 wildebeest being born each day! Fun Fact: Wildebeest can stand and walk a few moments after birth. A necessity for survival in the wild for these migratory creatures.
Almost all animals in Tanzania give birth during this time of year. You can expect to spot baby elephants, lions, zebra, warthogs and giraffe roaming the plains. The rainy season is the perfect time for herbivores (such as Zebra and Gazelle) to give birth due to the abundance of lush green grass and plants. Carnivores, lions, also give birth as they can secure a food supply (newborn herbivores) for their young – the circle of life!
After 22 months of gestation, a newborn elephant weighing over 200 pounds enters into the world. Elephants have a strong family unit and take all necessary precautions to protect their young. During the birthing process, the herd will surround mom-to-be to form a circle of protection.
For the next five years of an elephant’s life, the herd will continue to protect them and often times, you can spot a baby elephant trunk peeking out from behind a large group of adults as they feed and bathe.
Giraffe are known for their grace and elegance but witnessing an awkward wobbly newborn take its first steps is hilarious and adorable all at the same time. And sometimes, they like to take a break from all that walking and curl up in the grasslands to bask in the sun.
Baby warthogs are excellent at the game, “follow the leader.” Always staying close to mom in a single line fashion. Witnessing these piglets will make you laugh out loud. They have a fun, quirky personality and love to jump around. They may be tiny, but boy can they run fast!