Wildebeest Migration Africa, Kenya & Tanzania
THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION IN TANZANIA.
Tanzania is the biggest country in East Africa and is best known for its vast wilderness that covers many reserves like the Serengeti. In some of these reserves you can find the largest population of elephants and the rare tree climbing lions. Tanzania is also the home of the highest mountain in Africa, the Kilimanjaro, standing at 19,000ft. You can also find the Olduvai Gorge, and the black wood which is the most expensive hardwood all in Tanzania which is also the birthplace of the unforgettable Freddy Mercury, lead of the band Queen.
This country, twice the size of California, is also the home of the wildebeest whose migration throughout the year is a spectacle. Christened the Great Wildebeest Migration, it happens all year round as the Wildebeest of the Serengeti National Reserve search for better pasture and drink. The wildebeest are often followed by zebras, gazelles, eland, impala and predators like lions and cheetahs. Their movement pattern is fairly predictable as they follow the rainfall pattern of the year. As many as 1.5million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras participate in the migration. The zebras follow the wildebeest because they eat a different part of the grass from their counterparts. The large numbers also help to protect some from the predators though as many as 250,000 wildebeest still die from exhaustion, starvation and predators like crocodiles that wait for them at river crossings. As many as 3000 lions track down the migration annually.
The wildebeest have been known to use swarm intelligence which helps them to overcome obstacles in their path. Serengeti, where most of the migrating happens, is the oldest ecosystem on earth with plant and animal species that can only be found in the Serengeti.
6 Day Migration Safari Tanzania
Duration 6 days
Age range 4 to 90 years
Day 1: Arusha
Arusha will be your starting point. You will be picked from the airport and take to the recommended accommodation facility where you will spend a night before you begin your journey the next day.
Day 2: Arusha to Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, you will be picked and driven to Tarangire National Park to begin your safari. Tarangire has a huge herd of elephants and you will get to see while on drive through the park with other animals like antelopes, lions, giraffes, hippos, buffalos, leopards and many more others. Lunch will be provided before you continue driving around the Park and then you will rest after dinner in a camp.
Day 3: Tarangire to Lake Manyara National Park
An open roof van will pick you up from Tarangire after breakfast and you will drive through the Rift Valley to get to Lake Manyara Park where you will see large herds of wildlife for example buffalos, impalas, hippos, giraffes, baboons and hippos. It is also a home to birds which are mostly seen during the green season and some of the bird species that you should look out for include the crested eagle, the ground hornbill and the |African fish skimmer. After a long ride through the Park along the banks of the Lake Manyara, you get to rest at the designated accommodation facility after enjoying a dinner prepared by your chef.
Day 4: Lake Manyara to Serengeti
You get to drive through the Serengeti National park which is filled with more than 1000 wildlife in it. During the drive you get to see numerous animals, enjoy a picnic and later on in the evening, you get to enjoy a campfire as you enjoy your dinner before resting for the night.
Day 5: Serengeti National Park
On day 5, you will follow the migrating animals from Serengeti until they cross the Grumeti River. There are over 2 million animals that you get to see especially herd of zebras migrating following the onset of the rains in Masai Mara. Along the way, your tour guide will give a brief background of the Serengeti National Park as you enjoy the grand picture that is presented by the migrating animals. After following the animals, you get to rest for the night.
Day 6: Serengeti to Arusha
On day 6, you will be driven through Serengeti one last time and then a brief stop at the Ngorongoro conservation area before being taken back to Arusha for your flight or to the hotel depending on what you want. And this will be the end of your trip.
THE MIGRATION IN AFRICA
The migration starts in the late November till December when the wildebeest arrive in Serengeti following the start of the short rains. Wildebeest can be seen in all inches of the reserve feeding on the fresh grass. They stay there through to March, in which most of the calves are born, as many 300,000. They spread around all through the reserve until they start migrating north in around April. By May, all the wildebeest are moving north seeking more and fresh pasture and water. The scene becomes maddened and hectic as they form many traveling groups around the Moru area with a large herd of animals including zebras and gazelles.
The migrating herd is then halted at the Grumeri River in June, and they congregate in the Western side corridor building up a high concreteness before crossing over. Here the wildebeest encounter the crocodiles that lie in wait patiently awaiting to snatch them and drown them under water. The migration continues through July till August as the Wildebeest move northwards through Grumeri reserve and to Ikorongo and some branch off through the middle of Serengeti Park. September finds the herds widened out athwart the North Serengeti, someplace that the Mara River which gives the migration the most grave impediment. This river pours out through the northern Serengeti from Kenya’s neighboring Masai Mara Game Reserve. Watching the frenzied herds of wildebeests migrating whilst crossing the Mara River can be very magnificent; there are regularly scenes of immense panic and perplexity. It’s frequent to see the herds crossing the Mara River North on one day and then back south aonly some days later.
In October, Wildebeest have less panic as they all with one accord start migrating south just as the short rains are about to start. They move all the way through the western Loliondo and Serengeti Park’s Lobo area going back toward the green shoots that are mushrooming. The sheer number and determination of the wildebeest to find unsullied pasture and water, and the obstacles they overcome every year is a spectacle for anyone.
THE THINGS TO SEE AND DO.
While in Serengeti, there are countless things you can do to have a good time.
The Serengeti Great Migration Safari
A visit to the Serengeti is not complete without watching the great migration which involves more than a million wildebeest and nearly half a million zebras and gazelles. The most spectacular point is the Mara River crossing where the ungulates herd up and create a density to cross the river. However nearly half of them, especially the young and weak do not make it past as they get eaten up by crocodiles in the water and lions that chase around the herd. It is things whose magnitude will leave you dumbfounded and the resilience of the wildebeest will astonish you. It will fill you with an appreciation for life.
Visit The Olduvai Gorge.
Located in the great rift valley of East Africa, the Olduvai Gorge is an important find for archeologists worldwide. It is the place that famous archeologists Louis Leaky discovered the oldest remains of man that widened our understanding of how our ancestors used to live. Their remains are said to have been more than two million years old. At the gorge, you can also enjoy a breathtaking view of the grassland that stretches out.
In case you do not get jitters about sleeping in the open, sleeping in the reserve is a good way to experience the wild. In Serengeti, you will be provided with accommodation within the grassland. You will be provided a safari tent from which you will hear the nocturnal animals going about their nightly business. You will be able to hear jackals yelping, the cry of the African Eagle, elephants moving around and the thundering roar of the might elephant that will make your heart skip.
Air Balloon Safari Serengeti Migration.
One of the classy ways to get a bird’s eye view of the Serengeti is flying over in hot air balloon. Though it will set you back a few dollars, since you will enjoy champagne and breakfast aboard, it is a majestic way to experience the wild. You will enjoy the rising sun which kisses the horizon in the early morning and watch most of the animals in their first movement as they each seek the first meal of the day in their own way.
Visit the Moru Kopjes
Kopjes are like Miniature Mountains that rise up in a sea of grassland. The Moru Kopjes in central Serengeti are the most popular. Bushes, trees and vines rise out of them and offer a fantastic hideout for predators like cheetahs and lions to scan the expanse for their meal. As you behold the Miniature Mountains, you feel like a member of the audience that watched Simba get presented to his former kingdom by his father.
Tanzania Safari Game Drives.
Another fantastic way is to catch sight of the animals in their day to day activities like hunting and feeding. It is also the best way to see the African Big Five which are the African Lion, the Cape buffalo, the African Elephant, African Leopard and the rhino. You can arrange with your guide and let him know which animals you need see since these guides are trained and experienced in tracking and spotting the animals. A good guide can turn a great drive into a spellbinding one.
Tanzania Night time Game Drive.
However, if you want to catch a glimpse of the nocturnal animals that a rather unseen at night, you will need to arrange a night time drive. Mostly these are not allowed in the reserve though some outfitters are allowed to arrange them. With a night drive, you will be able to see rare creatures like the hyena, the jackal, the nightjar, the African Eagle, and a host of other night time animals.
Explore a Masai village, Tanzania Cultural Tour
Witness the lifestyle of East Africa’s most popular tribe which has had ties to the Serengeti for centuries. See them dressed in their unique attire that sets them apart. A typical visit will involve visiting a local school and some Masai dancing where the dancers jump until their heads touch the skies. The Masai are a welcoming people and you will have a good time hanging out with them.
Serengeti Visitor Center
Visit the Serengeti Visitor Center which is a treasure trove of information. You will learn about the history of the Serengeti reserve, the oldest ecosystem on the planet. You will learn of its importance to the people near and around it, and whole lot of other information about the animals like the big five, the great migration, and so much more. The centre also has a walkway for those that would like to take walks of the reserve on their own. Explanatory signs are placed all around the walkway that teaches you a few things about the animals. Though visitor centers are usually neglected, they can be a fantastic place to learn about the places you are visiting. They can also be a cool hangout for those that are not into hunting down animals.
THE GREAT MIGRATION CYCLE
The great Wildebeest Migration which is considered by some as part of the 7 wonders of the world and also as Wildlife’s World Cup is one of those safaris you definitely shouldn’t miss out on. This is because no other national parks and or reserves in Africa save for the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania and the Maasai Mara of Kenya exhibits this incredible, thrilling and inexpressible wonder. These parks are the only ones that single-handedly showcase this immense movement and migration of the wildebeests. Here more than 2 million animals travel all the way from the Serengeti National Park to the Masai Mara National Reserve in the month of July all through to the month of October.
This great migration cuts through the Mara River in the area of Maasai Mara which is commonly known for its crocodiles that lay in wait to prey on these wildebeests. This moment is one of those that have come to be most sought after by many. Larger animals wait to stalk, hunt and feed on these animals as they crossover to the Maasai Mara. The National Reserve of Maasai Mara is also known for its high density of lions compared to the rest of the world. This is the reason the BBC Wildlife Channel on the Big Cat Diary has found home here. The Great Migration usually begins from about mid June to mid October. The big cats can usually be seen in the months of February to March while the Christmas period is also a spectacular time.
ABOUT THE GREAT MIGRATION
Everything about the migration happens on the Serengeti Eco System which is close to 40,000 sq km and is characterized by the prevalent routes of the Connochaetes Tuarinus Mearnsi (the White Bearded Wildebeest). This area consists of some parts of the Ngorongoro Conservation area in the southern part, the Maswa Game Reserve and its neighboring Serengeti National Park together with other restricted areas in the center to that also in the western and eastern sector while the Maasai Mara National Reserve is in the Northern section.
The main players are the wildebeests whose numbers are seen to have settled below 1.7 million together with other animals like the Thompson’s Gazelles that go to about 400,000 in number while the Zebras are about 300,000. The Elands which are the least in number are about 12,000 only. These animals key in the migratory process however the predators like the hyenas, lions, cheetahs and leopards which are the least in number also play a great role in this migration.
The truth is there isn’t any united body as the migration because in this case the wildebeests can be seen as the migration itself since for them, the search for water and food is an endless journey and it is for them an unrelenting series of life and death in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. Very little is predicted when it comes to the migration thus when questions are asked on when the best season to visit and watch this migration are asked, there are a number of different answers that are gotten from different sources. Take for example Scott who said ‘You could spend a lifetime in the Serengeti-Mara waiting for the typical migration. The finer details of the herds’ movements are always different. It is a dynamic process which defies predictions: no two years are ever quite the same.’
The most aspect of the environment to its population is probably the weather and the sequence of 4 seasons annually because it undoubtedly defines and influences the migration. The seasons here are defined reasonably thus from the month of December till February and at times through to March is a typical “short dry season” while the long dry season runs from the month of June all through to September. Longer rains pour in a period of 6 weeks from March to April and sometimes till May while the short rains that most takes fall in a 2 week period are experienced in October to November. Nevertheless there aren’t any assurances on the dates and time provided.
Those that desire to begin the migration in a great place and time, then the months of January and February when the young wildebeests are being birthed is just the time for you. It is this time when over 300,000 calves are born in a period of 2 to 3 weeks after the 8 and a half months of the mating season. This beginning (birth) happens on the short, grassy plains that are scattered all over the Olduvai Gorge and extended over the lesser northern slopes of the Crater Highlands of Ngorongoro far south beyond the range of the wildebeests.
The yearly birth period gives the predators a platform to feast. For the tourists that drive across the plains, it is easy to count the over a dozen lions and more than a hundred hyenas spread about. When the wildebeests give birth to a number of calves during this time, it appears as though the predators have the upper hand. However the latter are during this time fully satisfied and unable to take in more than their limit which isn’t the case if this birthing were to happen after a longer time period.
Though watching any kind of birth is amazing, there is nothing that exceeds the beauty and incredibility of specifically watching the wildebeests during their birthing period. A newly born calf acquires skills and co-ordinates faster than any other hoofed mammal. This can be told from the just 2-3 minutes after which it is able to get on to its feet on delivery. These can be able to run only after 5 minutes have elapsed on being born and thereafter sprint away from a lioness after this. A number of these young ones hardly make it through their 1st year because of reasons like predators for the 1 percent of calves, fatigue, malnutrition and disease. Also, many of these young ones get divided from their mothers during panics that often happen when the herds try to cross barriers like lakes and or rivers. After this, the calves spend days whining and snivelling ceaselessly for their mothers and it is only rarely that they succeed in their quest. Since no female wildebeest is willing to adopt just any calf even at the event of losing her own in the lactating period, the lost young wildebeest becomes easily lost to spying predators like jackals, lions and or hyenas.
The Beginning of the Circle
The short, grassy plains of the southernmost part of Serengeti begin drying out throughout the month of March which brings an end of the short dry season. This is when the wildebeests continue on their journey by heading en route for the Western Woodlands. The question on how they know which direction they are taking has come up a couple of times and there are only 2 credible answers that have been able to respond to this. The first being that these wildebeests pursue places with new grass and rain thus responding to the weather patterns and even though there isn’t any scientific evidence of the truth in this, Harvey Croze; an ecologist and behaviourist writes about how they respond to thunderstorms and lightening and also how shocking it is if the wildebeest ever were to overlook these major indications of change in his book, The Great Migration.
The other tells of how the wildebeests have some kind of instinctive, inborn knowledge imprinted in their DNA a very long time ago. This is how they are able to tell which way to go. Over the years, the wildebeests that strayed away from the rest of the herd were lost to starvation and thirst before they could even reproduce thus only those that took that right path were the ones that brought forth new generations of wildebeests.
There are 3 small lakes; Ndutu, Lagarja and Masek in the western plains in the Olduvai region where the herds go to so as to quench their thirst. At this point, the herds spread out all over the plains while still eating and fattening on the short wholesome grass. They disperse in not just tens but hundreds and thousands to the plains at the western side of Ndutu though the reason as to why they scatter athwart the plains is still unknown. The start of the long rains sees these wildebeests sprinting toward the far-off thunderstorms and only often returning after close to 2 days if there was no assurance in the reality they foresaw.
The herds head to the North Western side and go past the stony outcrops of the Moru Koppies and Simba as the rains begin heading toward Lake Victoria into the woodlands of the mountainous country at the western side of Seronera. This is the time when the yearly rut where a portion of the cows were mated during the course of the month when the herds fused up in the plains and woodlands of Serengeti’s Western Corridor. The highlight of this rut appears to be influenced by the position of the moon which is an excellent bet for those that seek the majority action in the months of May and or June.
The apparently brutal fighting between the territorial males happens in the mating season however there is usually less actual violence and grave injury because since the females pick themselves a mate the males have a slight say even when they vigorously contest.
The herds head to the Northern side after they leave the western Serengeti toward the rains thus crossing into Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Their journey is interrupted a couple of times by the different rivers like the Grumeti and the Mbalangeti in Serengeti and the Mara in Kenya. These rivers somewhat peaceful for the most part of the year but they at times get violent as they react to the rainy conditions in their different catchment areas.
The few remote lakes and rivers south of the Serengeti are not only frightening to the wildebeests because of their fear of the deep waters but also because of the hungry creatures that bury themselves deep into the waters. Another grave reason for them to be afraid is the thickets and vegetation that grows around the water bodies and conceals other kinds of predators.
Even though it would be easier for these wildebeests to change course, their inherent instinct that lets them stick to a particular direction no matter the risks involved. An example is the southern lakes Lagarja, Ndutu and Masek which are just a little more than a kilometre long can just be crossed over by going around but because of the instincts these wildebeests have, they’d rather go through the water.
Alan Root a filmmaker in his exceptional documentary on the migration, The Year of the Wildebeest tells of how he watches when; at crossing on the Lake Lagarja, a number of calves are separated from their mothers who after crossing with the rest of the herd go back and swim through the waters to find their young ones. They kept doing this for seven days with the hope of being re-united with their young and only gave up when the wildebeest numbers grew thus the movement had to continue. He says more than thousands of wildebeests died that year though this really did some good in preventing the wildebeest population from increasing uncontrollably.
As the wildebeests get to the Mara River, they get together and wait to cross as their numbers keep on growing. At times they wander away from the water borders for no reason but most times they decide on a crossing point –which varies annually- . This doesn’t go well on some occasions because they apparently pick suicidal places that even with fewer predators, can easily drown their hundred wildebeests.
When they get to the grasslands of the Maasai Mara, these wildebeests again go back to their routine of fattening and feeding and benefiting from the dotted distribution of the green pastures and the inaccessible rains. Every aspect of the life of these wildebeests and their behaviour is intended to save time. This goes to the extent of delivering and mating while on the move.
Wildebeests migrate mostly because they desire to fill their stomachs and given their large numbers, it is easier for them to outmarch bigger numbers of predators since these find it hard to move far off distances. This is because these predators are territorial and it is hard for them to take over other territories let alone abandon their own. It is also quite hard for the predators to move farther away from their young ones thus they can’t follow these wildebeests as they move.
The Close of the Circle
As the short rains pour in late October on the short grassy plains of the Serengeti, seasonal waterholes are filled and a flush of growth is brought out. This is the time when the wildebeests start to head back to the south again. They go through Serengeti’s eastern woodlands and with about 90 percent of the females heavy with calf, go through the forested country in tight groups before scattering and spreading out on reaching the open plains.
When the Great Migration Happens
From January to February, the yearly rains fall on the Serengeti, a time when the female wildebeests are giving birth while the months of March and April are a time when the dry season steps in and most parts of this area have dried out and are deserted. This is because most groups of animals are left to travel north toward Lake Victoria and it is in this time that their mating season begins. Between June and or July, a number of people travel o the Maasai Mara to see the spectacle of more than a thousand animals dashing across the plains and trying to notoriously cross the Mara River that is infested with crocodiles.
Travelers most interested in the river crossings should plan travelling between the months of July to September when the animals go back and forth crossing amid the two areas. It is in September that they finally stick to the Serengeti and only head back to the Serengeti Plains where their journey began from after the end of the month.
When in Tanzania, there are 2 different seasons that are termed as the best time for witnessing this migration. The first is from February to March when the herds graze south of the Serengeti in immense numbers while the second is from July to September when the river crossings are common in Northern Serengeti.
Where you can see the Great Wildebeest Migration
The migration route is at times considered as set track that occurs between the Masai Mara north of Kenya during the months of May and December and the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania in the south annually. However, it is only part of the bigger picture especially since many have been blinded by maps that claim to foretell a more organized path. The truth though is that the great migration is entirely natural and is characterized by factors like the environment, weather and the wild animals too. The only thing that many are sure of is the route and time alone. It always runs from the south of Serengeti all through to the Western Corridor till the Masai Mara then all the way back to the beginning through the area of Loliondo and Lobo. This nevertheless is still quite a better estimation than any consistent roadmap.
On the other hand, there are a number of common guidelines on where and when to visit which come quite in handy for those that endeavor to visit in times when the pattern isn’t following “normal” procedures because of bizarre wet and or dry seasons. The chances that you will still get to see zebras, thousand wildebeests and gazelles in any other area are high. Be sure to watch some of the animals take on a journey across the immense region.
The Best Time to Visit
The first bunch of animals that travel much earlier frequently begin to set out from across the Serengeti looking for a reliable water source and much more grass during the month of April. As time goes on, these animals meet numerous difficulties like coming across predators even at river crossings and also the long journey of more than a hundred miles. Here is a tentative movement agenda that you can follow as you plan one for yourself.
December to April.
The south of Serengeti is definitely the place to be during this period of 4 months because it is the time when the wildebeests are stationed in one area. The herds being seen between the area of Ndutu and the conservation area of Ngorongoro that is only at the southeastern side of the Serengeti National Park all depends on the rainfall. Round about the month of February, the pregnant wildebeest mothers deliver calves whose number goes beyond 500,000 in a period of 2 to 3 weeks. Thus those whose priority is seeing some predatory action and or little wildebeests, then this surely is the best time for you to go.
During this time of the year, the northern areas of Tanzania; the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park are filled with herds of wildebeests, gazelles and antelopes. In this season, newborn babies are brought forth and sightings of calving and the killings are quite common in this time.
Some of the best viewing areas that a good for watching huge herds during this time are the Salei Plains and Southern Ndutu while the accommodation options include ; the Lemala Ndutu Camp, the Ndutu Safari Lodge, the Kusini Safari Camp and some of the mobile tented camps within the area.
One fact you should know as you head out to watch these herds of wildebeests is that the calves can be ready to go with the rest of the herd after 10 minutes from the time of birth have elapsed.
May and June.
Around this time of April and or May, the rains are almost over and the east and south plains of the Serengeti region are completely dried out which then prompts the migration to begin. These move in two directions, West and North into split groups; there are some that will head up through the area of Loliondo or even through the area of Seronera into Lobo and others that will head for the Western Corridor and River Grumeti which is most likely to have crocodiles.
In this season, the herds start to move to the western and northern plains that are much grassier, not forgetting the Serengeti Western Corridor woodland too. In this time the seasonal rains often pour which makes it difficult to travel with the herds during this stage of the migration. Many of the smaller camps within this area in Tanzania close because the roads are very impassable.
The zebras and wildebeests slowly begin to move north, gathering their small groups to come up with one big herd as the rains come to an end. This season for the wildebeests is the mating season which is better viewed from the Western Serengeti area.
July to November.
Many conventionally think of this as the most excellent time and season for one to watch the great migration. Between the months of July and August, these wildebeests enter the Masai Mara of Kenya and cross the Mara River in great numbers. These crossings have come to be seen as the highly preferred moments of this migration. This season is favorable for those whose priority is seeing herds of wildebeests crossing through the river’s waters.
The very first hindrance to the Great Migration; the Grumeti River is met in this season. This river at times tends to have deep ends in some places mostly if the rains were good thus the chances that most of these wildebeests will drown are very high. However drowning is just one of the few problems that hinder the wildebeest’s movement on this river. There is also an abundance of crocodiles waiting to kill the distressed animals as they cross the river.
Accommodations along the river are quite credible because they provide a stunning safari experience. Some of them include the Serengeti Serena Lodge, the Kirawira I Camp, the Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp and the Migration Camp.
October to November.
During this season, the migration is still going on. It is in this period that the herd finds its way into Tanzania from the south. Here, there is likely a lot to see in the areas of Northern Tanzania and the southern Masai Mara of Kenya too.
One last thing you should know about these wildebeests is that they can live until 40 years of age though many only make it to 20 years.
Best Time To Go, Wildbeest Migration, Tours African Safaris
Close to a million, Wildebeests, Antelopes and Zebras migrate annually athwart the East African Great Plains looking for better pastures and water. This movement has come to be known as the Great Migration that those who have come close to or have even witnessed it firsthand have got themselves a one-in-a-lifetime experience. Planning this migration is many a time tricky because these animals are very mobile in nature though the key thing is to know the right time and place when and where these animals will be.
Here is a peek into some of the best places to view this Great Migration and the season in Tanzania and Kenya.
The Great Migration
More than a million antelopes, wildebeests and zebras get together with their young and begin the long journey from the northern side of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in to the Maasai Mara National Reserve of Kenya. They travel as they look for greener grazing lands moving clockwise and covering close to 2900 kilometers. This journey though is infamously characterized and burdened with threats leaving an estimated 250,000 wildebeests dead annually.
The most dangerous part of this journey for these wildebeests is the river crossings at the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania’s Grumeti River which harbors crocodiles which kill masses of frightened animals that try cross. These crossings are not for the timid animals but for those brave ones that take a risk and cross over to the other side thus leaving you with one of the most remarkable wildlife encounters in Africa.
When not at the river, these over a thousand animals in their masses spread out all over the plains and just getting a glimpse of them is a spectacular view alone. This is because iconic predators; like leopards, lions, hyenas and the wild dogs are all of a sudden attracted to the availability of this so much food for them which in the end leaves you with greater opportunities to see a killing happen.
Note: This great migration happens naturally and only has a few changes annually when it comes to the location and time. Here is some information that might act as a general guideline for you.
Kenya Migration Safari
Grass begins to turn yellow all over the Western Serengeti forcing the herds to continue north. The Zebra’s and Wildebeests travel to the Mara Triangle and the Lamai Wedge in Kenya after crossing the river Grumeti of Tanzania. Here another river, Mara awaits them before they can arrive at the green plains of Mara.
The Mara River, just like the Grumeti River is too filled with starving crocodiles which can’t wait to feed on these wildebeests as they cross. The accommodation options here perfect for viewing are the Bateleur Camp, the Kichwa Tembo Camp and the Sayari Mara Camp.
- September to November
The plains of Mara are filled to the top with big herds of wildebeests that are pursued by different kind of predators. The Mara Serena Lodge and the Governors Camp are a few great places to stay when seeing the Great Migration.
- November to December
The rains begin again in the south which triggers the herds to start trekking back into the Serengeti Plains of Tanzania. This time the wildebeests are also in the preparations of giving birth to their young ones. The Klein’s Camp is perfect for viewing the migration when the November short rains pour though the Lobo area too has good campsites.