If it’s the very best wildlife spectacle on earth that you’re looking to witness, with your family, the Annual Wildebeest Migration is indeed the World Cup of Wildlife, this is what you’re looking for. If it’s to get off the beaten track, away from the crowds, this guide is as helpful … just keep away😊!
What is the Annual Wildebeest Migration?
The annual wildebeest migration is the movement of over 1.5m wildebeest, 500,000 Burchell’s zebra, 200,000 Thompson’s gazelle and 18,000 eland antelope across 40,000 square kilometres; the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve & its surrounding conservancies in Kenya … these masses of wildlife are in search of green grass, they’re following the rain … hence the exact dates are not 100% predictable, but there is a continuous movement that generally takes place at the same time each year.
This movement is over expansive plains, accross crocodile infested rivers and through forests; it offers the viewer unbelievable experiences, both incredibly beautiful, awe inspiring, flabberghasting & brutal to the core. Put your seat belts on!
First & foremost, we would like to inform you that the wildlife viewing in the Serengeti or the Maasai Mara is excellent all year round, so any time is a good time to travel to either places, you just need to know where to base yourselves, and this is where we come in handy (did we mention we also own a safari organisation company?). Please feel free to contact us and we will help! Being one of the 7th Wonders of the World, dont expect to be here alone, you will be sharing this spectacle with many other cars … unless you know someone who knows something 😉 and we will book you in little private conservancies away from the traffic jams, but close enough to dip in and out as you like!
Please use this only as a guideline when planning your East African safari as it is indeed weather dependent…. We’ve had double migrations before, early ones and late ones of course!
When & Where to view The Great Migration
- January to March – The big herds are often in the South / South East Serengeti (mainly Ndutu & Kusini). Calving often takes place in Jan / Feb, therefore there are loads of young, lots of predators and great visibility. A great time to travel here.
- April & May – The herds are now generally moving towards central Serengeti (Seronera). This is typically the time of the long rains in East Africa; generally rain appears in short bursts leaving dramatic skies and beautiful sunsets and game viewing is still excellent. NB. There are some great discounts available at lodges and camps throughout Kenya & Tanzania, and at The SAFARI Company, we love this time of year for photographers!
- June – The large herds of wildebeest are generally in central Serengeti (Seronera) as well as western Serengeti (Grumeti) in June. We love this time of year, the grass is usually greet, lots of young, beautiful skies and low volumes of visitors.
- July & August – They start to head north towards the Mara River (the river in between the Serengeti & the Maasai Mara). July is usually when the annual wildebeest migration all kicks off. River crossings may be seen in both the Western Corridor (Grumeti area) and the North (Mara River) within the Serengeti… as well as the northern Maasai Mara, The Mara Triangle and Musiara area.
- September & October – The herds have indeed filled up the Maasai Mara plains at this time of year as they move north and then east through the Masai Mara (from The Triangle, they move through Musiara, through Mara North Conservancy, Olare Orok Conservancy, Naboisho Conservancy and the Talek area, Siana and Olderkesi, starting to cross back to Tanzania in October / November.