Esirai South – A beacon for short grass migration season

Quick March South to Lush Grazing

As unpredictable as the rains are in the Serengeti; what is predictable is that when they do come, the wildebeest will move south to the short grass plains – and they’ll do it quickly.

Migration herds are spoilt for choice

Unlike their northward movement which involves the slow drying of seasonal drainage systems that cross the park and funnel them towards the narrowest part of the ecosystem, their southern movement is fairly rapid.


In just a few days, the migrating columns of wildebeest begin to arrive. The wet season grazing grounds are vast and stretch from the southern border of the ecosystem, Maswa Game Reserve, to the far eastern plains of the Ang’ata kiti and north as far as Piaya. But the distribution of rain can be localised, resulting in an unpredictable distribution of wildebeest. So where do you choose to go?

Make Esirai at Naabi Hill your Choice

Over the past 15 years, we’ve operated our Esirai mobile camp in the southern plains and tried out a few locations. Ultimately, we ended up at Naabi Hill.


There’s a reason why the pioneering famous photographer and filmmaker, Hugo van Lawick, camped at Naabi. We too have found this location to be the best and here are 10 reasons why …


  1. Naabi Hill is an obvious wildlife refuge from the exposure of the plains. Leopards, lions and cheetahs all claim territories on the small hill.
  2. Less common species such as African Wildcat, Aardwolf, Caracals, Serval, Porcupine and Honey Badgers appear on a regular basis.
  3. The hill is a beacon for Eurasian bird migrants attracting an incredible diversity of small migrants, as well as buzzards, steppe eagles and white storks using it as a roost.
  4. It is simply a breathtaking location. Yes, Ndutu, Kusini, and Ang’ata kiti are amazing locations but the plains around Naabi are spectacular.
  5. Just north-east of Naabi are the Gol kopjes, a picturesque cluster of outcrops that always have something special hiding in them. The Gol kopjes are, in fact, so special that for decades it has been the only part of the park requiring an additional access fee.
  6. Naabi is easily accessible regardless of how much rain has fallen. Nicely tucked behind the hill, the main road is only 10 minutes away which removes any travel anxiety. Likewise, you have options with both Ndutu and Seronera airstrips within an hour away.
  7. The sunsets are incredible and Esirai’s site is west-facing, providing the most expansive views of the Serengeti.
  8. It is an ideal location to see the Wildebeest calving in February because you can be in the right place within 10 to 30 minutes. Calving normally takes place before 9am, so getting out and being in the middle of it is crucial to catch the action.
  9. We get incredible feedback … the Shuchamis from Israel wrote that they were equally amazed by the number of animals and view as they were by the helpful, smiling staff; a guest from Virginia in the USA left a message saying: “The view is unbelievable and the chance to explore the Serengeti is priceless!”; another guest stated: “Most beautiful spot … but nothing beats the people that run this gorgeous camp”; and the Woods from California in the USA summed up so many guest reviews with “The best camp ever! I wish I could stay longer…”.
  10. Half a million gazelle migrate into the extended plains around Naabi with the rains. This sight to behold is also a major attraction for the Serengeti’s cheetah population. 


We have combined some of the most incredible wildlife shots that have been taken from the plains. If you weren’t convinced that this is a must-visit destination, these images will change your mind. 

Migration fills the plains, with Esirai Camp and Naabi Hill in the background. By Pietro Luraschi
Resident wildlife in camp. Esirai Camp, Serengeti Green Season. By Entara Guide, James Nassary
Migration fills the plains as seen from the Esirai Camp fireplace. By Dori Caspi
Zebra herd grazing from Esirai Camp’s mess tent. By Eliza Powell
Migration herds filling the plains as seen from the Esirai mess tent. By Hagai Zvouloun
Esirai Camp morning tea in front of the mess tent with migration views. By Hagai Zvouloun
Migration herds filling the plains as seen from the Esirai mess tent. By Hagai Zvouloun
Migration moving through as seen from Esirai Camp’s fireplace. By Hagai Zvouloun

Embrace the Short Grass Season

Short grass season is a special time when the migrating herds and an array of animals gather to feast on nature’s bounty and we can put you front and centre to experience it all at Esirai Camp. 

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