The Great Migration
One of Africa’s most majestic spectacles, the annual wildebeest migration, offers a unique wildlife experience no words or photographs can do true justice to. The movement of more than 1.5 million wildebeest, 500 000 zebra, 200 000 Thompson’s gazelle and 18 000 eland across the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya, is a phenomenon that offers action packed game viewing and stunning photographic opportunities. The migration follows the annual rainfall and is thus weather dependent, but we thought you might find our Migration Explained guide useful in understanding and planning a trip to the heart of the action.
The Migration Explained
The following should be used as a guideline when planning your safari to East Africa as movement of wildlife depends on a great many aspects but this helps to explain the seasonality of game viewing. Remember there is resident game throughout the year in the Serengeti/Ngorongoro eco-systems
JAN / FEB / MARCH
The big herds of wildebeest are generally in the Southern Plains of the Serengeti eco-system, calving takes place over approximately two weeks. Lots of predators, good visibility of game, mix of open plains and some woodland.
APRIL / MAY
The herds start moving toward central Serengeti. This is typically the rainy season, however, game viewing is still excellent and there are some great discounts available at lodges and camps. It generally doesn’t rain all day. Photography is normally superb with moody skies and good depth of colour.
JUNE / JULY / AUGUST
The wildebeest move from the central area and split to the West and North, continuing their trek toward the Mara River. River crossings may be seen in both the Western Corridor (Grumeti area) and the North (Mara River) within the Serengeti.
SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER
Whilst some of the wildebeest successfully reach the Masai Mara, there are still hundreds of thousands remaining in the northern region of Serengeti, offering those with patience the chance to see river crossings (the Mara River runs through the Serengeti).
NOVEMBER / DECEMBER
The big herds start to return from the North, to the Southern plains, to start the whole process all over again!
Travel during the months of April/May – “GREEN SEASON” and SAVE!
April and May in the Serengeti are two of our favourite times to travel. Not so busy, no dust, amazing skies and spectacular sunsets and generally the migration is around the central area/Moru Kopjies. During this period less people visit the area which result in hotels/lodges etc. lowering their rates. So you can take advantage of paying less and having less people around a wildlife sighting. We offer many other fabulous safaris to this part of the world with activities ranging from walking, photography, bird-watching and spa treatments. We tailor make itineraries from camping to upmarket lodge safaris for individuals and groups.