great Migration Safaris
Very few experiences can match one our planet’s greatest Migration - The Wildebeest Migration numbers is hard to believe : up to two million animals, wildebeest as well as zebra and gazelles move clockwise around an enormous ecosystem, driven by ancient instincts to find fresh new grazing and water. The migrating hers undergo many obstacles and hardships as they move from area to area, and are constantly under attack by some of Africa’s fiercest predators, notably the big cats and the huge crocodiles that lie in wait at the various river crossing points. You’ll need to plan carefully as the wildebeest migration is always in the move between Kenya and Tanzania and are subject to the timing of that years rains.
There is plenty of well located camps and lodges both in Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti to enable you to experience the Migration. Click to view the migration routes by month so you can plan your safari by location during your chosen time of travel. For an amazing wildebeest migration safari experience, work with one of our Africa safari advisors who will assemble a team including in country - Africa experts to create a tailor made itinerary based on your style, dates of travel and your specific requirements. Safari Pro Connect is your gateway to creating a safari with a real team of experts here and a chance to meet some of our partners and guides on the ground in Africa.
Meet your team live and begin planning now.
the migration calendar
There is no ‘right time’ to experience the Great Migration, whether it is in the serene southern grasslands or in the north with its treacherous river crossings. The Annual Migration is at is peak with crossings of the Mara, Grumeti and other rivers in June and July, while wildebeest calving season in the south from January to March offers excellent viewing and predator action. The wet season from November to May, when migratory birds are present in the region, is popular with birding enthusiasts. Our Calendar below represents the typical routes and the Migration’s cycle.
January to March: Calving in the South
Camps positioned for migration at this time: Kimondo South, Olakira South, Ubuntu South, Namiri Plains, Dunia
January: Calving season begins in the Ngorongoro area of the southern Serengeti of Tanzania
February: Wildebeest grazing and calving in southeastern region
March: Calving season ends and rutting season begins
April to May: Grouping in the Central Region and the Seronera Valley
Camps positioned for migration at this time: Dunia and Namiri Plains
April: The wildebeest start moving north and grouping in the central areas of the Serengeti.
May: As the rains end, the animals start moving northwest into areas around Grumeti River, where they remain until late June.
June to July: The March North and into the Western Corridor
Camps positioned for migration at this time: Ubuntu West, Ubuntu North, Olakira North, Kimondo North, Sayari, Dunia, Namiri Plains, Mara Bush Houses, Rekero, Naboisho, Encounter Mara
June: Dry season starts. Animals in Grumeti River region.
July: Main migration of wildebeest, zebra and eland heading north across the Mara River, arriving Kenyan border and then into Maasai Mara late July/August.
August to October: Crossing the Mara River
Camps positioned for migration at this time: Ubuntu North, Olakira North, Kimondo North, Sayari, Mara Bush Houses, Rekero, Naboisho, Encounter Mara
August: as the dry season approaches, the wildebeest face the second challenge of their trek: the Great Mara River. Many will perish in the stampede but the thousands of calves that are born more than make up the numbers.
September: the herds are mostly concentrated in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, the northernmost range of the trek, but many still remain in the Serengeti in Tanzania.
October: the Wildebeest face the swollen waters of the Mara River once more as they cross on their journey back to the south.
November to December: Moving South to Begin Calving
Camps positioned for migration at this time: Olakira, Kimondo and Ubuntu (all in North locations before these three camps move South), Sayari, Namiri Plains, Dunia, Mara Bush Houses, Rekero, Naboisho, Encounter Mara
November: the short rains propel the wildebeest further South to the rejuvenated grasses of the Serengeti.
December: the wildebeest make their way back ‘home’ towards the Southern grasslands of the Serengeti, ready to begin calving and continue their trek all over again
The Connoisseur’s Season
While the annual wildebeest migration is awe-inspiring, those in the know also savor the magnificent game viewing during ‘connoisseur’s season’, when the wildebeest herds – and other travelers – move off and it feels as though you have the spectacular Serengeti savannah’s entirely to yourself. Seasoned safari goers appreciate the peace, exclusivity, wide open spaces and superb wildlife sightings that can be experienced outside high season: the reserve is home to large numbers of predatory cats, some of the last remaining free-roaming black rhino in East Africa, the rare African wild dog and most other African wildlife species, as well as more than 500 recorded bird species.
the great migration - kenya & tanzania
the great migration - kenya & tanzania
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