Discover The Unexpected

Great Migration

What is the Wildebeest Great Migration?

It’s an annual migration of more than two million wildebeest and twenty thousand other game animals from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania towards the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The wildebeests embark on the great migration voyage, searching for better grazing pastures and sufficient drinking water. The migration patterns depend on the different seasons experienced throughout the year. The historical event begins in the north and terminates in the south—an incredible stretch of more than 3000 Kilometers. The wildebeest migration is a spectacular natural phenomenon and a must-see safari for adventure enthusiasts.

What's So Special About It?

The great wildebeest migration is distinct because, unlike many people’s belief, the migration happens all year round in a clockwise route, with each time of the year offering breathtaking wildlife experiences.

During the migration, wildebeest and zebra cohabit together because they feed on the same species of vegetation. At the same time, approximately 3000 lions from the Serengeti ecosystem follow the migratory herds as they make their way around the country.

The most scenic view of the great migration is probably watching the Mara River crossing, characterized by strong currents, giant crocodiles, and hippos waiting for the animals to jump into the brown waters and prey on them. It’s usually a battle for survival, and only the strong ones see the promised land in the Masai Mara National Reserve.

Great Migration, Tanzania Tours​

Experience thrilling safaris, captivating cultural encounters, and breathtaking landscapes on our meticulously crafted tours.

What Can I see and Experience?

You can expect to see wildebeest migration movement in different phases depending on the times of the year. They calve on the southern part of the Serengeti near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will enjoy the mesmerizing views of wildebeest calves taking baby steps and curbs learning how to kill their prey during the calving season.

You’ll also experience incredible predatory encounters, particularly by lions, cheetahs, and hyenas, before witnessing the crocodile-filled Mara River’s adrenaline-moving crossing.

Lastly, you’ll enjoy a great adventure as you witness the self-sustaining ecosystem of the Serengeti-Mara region. You can expect to see impalas, zebras, gazelles, elands, and antelopes participating in the clockwise movement.

What is the Difference Between Calving Safari Versus River Crossing Migration?

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Calving Safari

Calving Safari gives you a chance to enjoy the fascinating predator action fueled by vulnerable prey. This mostly happens between January and March if the rains follow the typical pattern. The wildebeests are usually clustered in the lush green plains in the Ndutu region of southern Serengeti. At least 8000 calves are born during each season.

Best Time To Visit

If you’re interested in witnessing the spectacle of calving during a safari, then the best time to visit will depend on the location. Some popular destinations for calving safaris include East Africa’s Serengeti National Park and the Arctic region of Canada.

River Crossing Migration​

On the other hand, the River Crossing Migration provides spectacular views of wildebeests crossing the Grumeti River and the Mara River during July and August. The Mara River crossing is the most dramatic and chaotic. You’ll enjoy every second of the class action as the wildebeests pile across the banks of the river before jumping in a flurry of panic. Crocodiles and hippos await in the river as lions and leopards prey on the unsuspecting victims along the river banks.

Best Time To Visit

If you’re interested in witnessing the spectacle of calving during a safari, then the best time to visit will depend on the location. Some popular destinations for calving safaris include East Africa’s Serengeti National Park and the Arctic region of Canada.
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What happens month by month?

Each month of the year marks a different occurrence.

January

The migration cycle is in the short grasslands in the plains south of Serengeti in Tanzania. The calving season begins thanks to the excellent climate. Predators are numerous due to the large number of weak calves. It’s always a thrilling scene as Wildebeests protect their calves.

February

The calving season continues, and you will witness mature wildebeests forming barricades around the calves to protect them from the lethal predators. Thanks to the intense action, drama, and wonders, this season is one you can’t afford to miss.

March

The last batch of calves is born this month. The animals feed on leftover grasses. They also gather as the long journey heading northwards is about to start.

April

As April kicks in, the migration begins as the animals seek fresh water and good pasture in the north. They are scattered between the central and western areas of the Serengeti.

May

During May, the animals are around Moru Kopjes and are seen in large herds. They are joined by plenty of gazelles and zebras.

June

The herds arrive on the southern side of the Grumeti River in June. They pile up in large groups to cross. The river isn’t continuous, and thus, the crossing is less bloody.

July

It is the month for the “World Cup of Wildlife” – Mara River crossing. The dramatic event happens towards the end of the month, and only the strong and lucky animals survive the crocodile and hippo-infested waters.

August

The crossing proceeds as the animals enter the neighboring Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Thousands of animals die while the survivors celebrate as they feast on the fresh grasses in Masai Mara.

September

Large herds of wildebeests, antelopes, kudus, gazelles, and zebras continue herding in the Masai Mara Game Reserve.

October

Animals start moving back from Kenya into Tanzania. They head to the Lombo valley and Grumeti Reserve.

November

The rains begin in November, triggering the animals to move southwards towards western Loliondo (fertile plains of Serengeti).

December

During this last, the herds cluster in south Serengeti and then disperse into the plains to feed on the fresh pastures as the calving season starts. The cycle begins again

Explore FAQs

Get answers to common questions about traveling to see the Great Migration for a hassle-free experience.
Which months are the best time to visit?
The best time depends on preferences. March-June is less crowded, offering grazing views and predator action. July-October is best for Mara Crossing.
Yes, guaranteed, but key events like calving and river crossing make it memorable.
You’ll still enjoy the migration’s spectacle, witnessing wildlife and predator interactions.
Early game drives, tracking herds. Flexible plans due to unpredictable wildlife movement.
Longer stays increase chances of witnessing key events like river crossing.
Yes, all-inclusive packages with meals, transport, and park fees.
Optimal locations depend on migration activity; guides assist in strategic choices.
Lodge, luxury tented camp, or mobile tented camp options available, each offering unique experiences.
Shorter stays, booking with agents, off-season visits, and midrange accommodation options reduce costs.
Yes, family-friendly safaris with comfortable accommodations suit all ages.
Follows herds’ movements, unpredictable routes. Regular safari explores parks with set itineraries.
Yes, combine with museum visits, beach tours, or Kilimanjaro hikes for a diverse experience.
High-quality buffet meals with options for dietary preferences like gluten-free and vegan.

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