Wildebeest and zebras in the Serengeti are the actors of “the greatest show on Earth”, they are part of the largest migratory movement of wild animals anywhere in the world, about 2,000,000 ungulates constantly moving in search of pastures and water across the vast Serengeti ecosystem. We’ll try to summarize the stages here below while bearing in mind that migratory patterns cannot be predicted with precision because they are closely linked to the rain trends and the availability of water. Seeing the migration in the Serengeti is simply the best you can get from a Safari in Africa.
MIGRATION SAFARI – DECEMBER TO APRIL (7 days, 6 nights) download
Between December and April the herds gather on the short grass plains, which stretch from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to southern Serengeti. It is calving season, 80% of the newborns see the light between January and February and predators seem to know it well. It is a great time to visit south-central Serengeti.
MIGRATION SAFARI – MAY TO JUNE (7 days, 6 nights) download
The rains are over in May and after exhausting the pastures of the short grass plains the herds begin to head north, taking different routes through central Serengeti and the western Corridor. The main event at this time of year is the migration river crossings, which should be taking place here in Serengeti West throughout this mid May to end June period. The migration herds should have started arriving into the western Corridor of the Serengeti around late April and by the end of May they should be starting to mass in big numbers. The Grumeti River may be little more than a stream, but it is absolutely packed with crocodiles. This is a favourable time for river-crossings we have all seen in documentaries.
MIGRATION SAFARI – JULY TO OCTOBER (6 days, 5 nigts) – (by plane from North-Serengeti) – download
MIGRATION SAFARI – JULY TO OCTOBER (8 days, 7 nights) download
MIGRATION SAFARI AND LAKE NATRON – JULY TO OCTOBER (8 days, 7 nights) download
The migrant herds head north, towards the dry season grazing grounds known as the Mara Triangle. It is a great time for the epic crossings of the Mara River, haunted by huge crocodiles. The first wildebeest to arrive at the river are very reluctant to cross, but as the pressure builds from the rear they are eventually left with little choice and the spasmodic crossings begin.By the end of August some wildebeest cross into Kenya and enter the Maasai Mara, while many others stay in in Tanzania. In actual fact there as much of the Mara River in the Serengeti as there is in the Kenyan Maasai Mara. But whereas on the Kenyan side there is accommodation for in excess of 5000 visitors which translates into heavy tourist pressure, over “our side” there is just a handful of excellent small camps. Limited accommodation means low numbers of visitors, northern Serengeti remains light on traffic, even in high season.