Even the stoniest heart cannot fail to be enchanted by baby wildlife. There is nothing quite as sweet as a small antelope newly born, or a baby elephant playing in the mud. Animals such as elephant, cats and other large game species do not really dictate when they give birth by the rains, but antelope and smaller animals will often ‘hold’ off giving birth until the circumstances are perfect. Here are some of our favourite times for visiting Africa to see baby wildlife:
1 February – Wildebeest Calving Season, Southern Serengeti
The Wildebeest Migration has always been a huge draw for people and it is spectacular to see, particularly when it is in the Southern Serengeti as that’s when it spreads as far as the eye can see across the open rolling plains of Ndutu. Every year for two weeks in February (varying each year) the whole mega herds of wildebeest drop their calves. This is amazing to see but also provokes much drama with the local predators so is certainly not for the faint hearted.
2 January – March – Masai Mara, Kenya
These months have slightly higher rainfall than other months in Kenya although this musn’t put you off as the storms that roll in over the Mara at this time of year can be truly heart stopping. Kenya’s Masai Mara has a high concentration of antelope all year round with everything from topi, impala, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle and much more – of course they all give birth during these motnhs when the grass is lusher and there is water everywhere. You will also see many warthog piglets at this time of year which is enchanting, as they have hilarious characteristics.
3 The Cats
Of course the cats have arguably the most adorable babies of all and everyone loves to see lion, leopard or cheetah cubs in the wild – these are unpredictable but if you try to visit an area which has an abundant of cats your chances of seeing cubs will be strong, although often areas with an abundance of cats have an abundance of tourists too so be aware!
Elephant calves are also one of the sweetest baby animals one can see in Africa and they have huge personalities, often playing for hours in the mud and with each other. Again it is unpredictable as to when these will be born but if you visit areas with large numbers of elephant you will be sure to see some breeding herds with smaller babies. The Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi is also an enchanting place to go and see orphaned elephants that have been rescued. It really does melt the heart.