When is the best time to see the great migrations
When is the best time to see the great migrations?

Overview :

Where to see  Great Migration 

Want to see Tanzania’s wildlife in its full splendor? `Then, visit during the best time to see the great migration.

The Great Migration is East Africa’s most bucket-list-worthy safari experience. Each year, 1.4 million wildebeest,  a round trip between Tanzania and Kenya, accompanied by hundreds of thousands of zebra, and gazelle.

The mind-boggling numbers attract wildlife lovers from around the globe to watch the suspenseful river crossings or the 500,000 newly born wildebeest calves take their first steps.

But did you know the Great Migration isn’t a one-and-done event? It’s a year-round cycle, with each month offering a different experience. In this guide, you’ll find a complete breakdown on when is the best time to see the Great Migration and which of the Serengeti’s four regions has the best front-row seat to all the action.

Where to see the great migration

Great Annual Wildebeest Migration
Where to see the great migration?

The Great Wildebeest Migration holds the title of “The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth” for a reason. Each year, roughly between May and December, millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle begin a roundtrip journey between Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara. With hungry predators following their every move, it sets the scene for an unforgettable safari experience. But this event isn’t wholly predictable.

It’s a natural phenomenon and depends on the rains, environmental factors, and animals.

Think of the below breakdown as a general guideline of the best time to see the Great Migration.

“What happens if you’re visiting Tanzania outside of these months?” you ask.

Well, you’ll still see animals. The Serengeti is vast, and there are millions of animals involved so you’re bound to witness the herds walking across the endless plains.

The best time to see the great migration: Month-by-month breakdown

The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the most amazing natural phenomena on earth. From July to October, an incredible number of animals migrate from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains across the Mara River and into Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve.

It’s a breathtaking sight that you won’t want to miss! Here’s when to see the migration, month-by-month.

December to March: The great migration calving seasons

 

April to May: The herds move from Ndutu to central Serengeti

 

Wildebeest Migration Ndutu
Wildebeest Migration Ndutu

April to May: The herds move from Ndutu to central Serengeti

Leaving behind a barren landscape in the south, the wildebeest herds follow the call of thunderstorms to the Central Serengeti.

Book a safari between April and May, and you’ll see massive herds move through the Moru Kopjes towards the Western Corridor. Here, the animals congregate in the thousands on the banks of the Mbalageti and Grumeti rivers.

The only problem? It’s a treacherous river crossing with crocodiles and other predators lying in wait.

June: The Grumeti River crossing begins in the western Serengeti

Grumeti river crossing begins in the western Serengeti
Grumeti River crossing begins in the western Serengeti

June: The Grumeti River crossing begins in the western Serengeti.

In June, the drama of the Great Migration starts. While the Grumeti and Mbalageti river crossings aren’t as intense as the northern crossings, you will not be bored.

The crocodiles in the murky waters pick off wildebeest as they attempt to make their way across, and testosterone-fuelled males kick off the rutting season.

As this is the shoulder season for the Great Migration, it’s a fantastic option if you want to avoid the crowds in the Northern Serengeti and scoop up a cheaper safari package.

July to August: The great migration northern Serengeti river crossing.

 wildebeest Migration
wildebeest Migration

July to August: The great migration northern Serengeti River crossing

Are you looking for the most sought-after Great Migration experience? With the Grumeti River crossing behind them, the herds move from the west to the Northern Serengeti into Kenya’s Maasai Mara.

…And the stakes get higher as the animals attempt to cross the Mara River. Nile crocodiles snap their jaws as the herds trample through the waters, and lions are ready to pounce on the other side.

Above, Marabou storks and vultures stalk the skies, ready to feast on the unlucky few who don’t make it. The game viewing is sensational, frenzied, and unmatched.

With so much action, it’s not surprising this is Tanzania’s high season. Book your flights, lodging, and Great Migration safaris early. It fills up fast.

September to October: Masai Mara and northern Serengeti

 

Wildebeest Migration Tour
Wildebeest Migration Tour

After the drama of the Mara River crossing, the herds move on to Kenya’s Masai Mara. But that doesn’t mean your Tanzania safari experience is dull over these months.

Some of the animals remain in the northern Serengeti on the lookout for fresh grass. You’ll find the animals wandering over the plains, re-crossing the river, and running from predators while in search of food.

By the first or second week of October, the herds will come back from Kenya and move from the Northern Serengeti to Central Serengeti.

November: Central to southern Serengeti migration

wildebeest-migration
wildebeest-migration

November: Central to southern Serengeti migration.

With the herds returning to Tanzania, the cycle starts to begin again. Moving from the north, the animals begin their journey to reach the southern plains and the freshly sprouting grasses.

Don’t want to miss the migration? Plan a safari for the central Serengeti and Seronera Valley. It’s quieter than the northern regions of the park, and you won’t have massive crowds around predator sightings. The only downside? It’s the rainy season.

While you might have less-than-perfect weather, it’s an excellent time of year to catch the migrating birds returning to Tanzania.

The lack of crowds and storms has another bonus: safari deals! You’ll find lower rates at lodges and scoop up safari packages for almost half the price.

 what are the best packages for migration Safaris?

The Best packages recommend  for Wildebeest Migration Safari

5 Days Wildebeest Migrations

9 Days Wildebeest Migrations

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What to see in Serengeti Park Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park is a large national park in northern Tanzania that stretches over 14,763 km2 (5,700 sq mi). It is located in eastern Mara Region and northeastern Simiyu Region and contains over 1,500,000 hectares (3,700,000 acres) of virgin savanna. The park was established in 1940.

The Serengeti is well known for the largest annual animal migration in the world of over 1.5 million wildebeest and 250,000 zebra along with smaller herds of Thomson’s gazelle and eland. The national park is also home to the largest lion population in Africa. It is under threat from deforestation, population growth and ranching.

 

What to see in Serengeti Park Tanzania

 

Serengeti National Park, located in Tanzania, is a world-renowned destination that offers an unforgettable wildlife experience. Spanning over 14,750 square kilometers, this vast conservation area is teeming with diverse ecosystems, abundant wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes. In this blog post, we will explore the remarkable sights and the best times to visit Serengeti National Park, ensuring that you make the most of your adventure in this natural wonderland.

What is expected to be seen in the Serengeti National Park?

The Serengeti Great Migration, a must-see for nature lovers, is undoubtedly the highlight of Serengeti National Park.. Annually, 2 million wildebeest, along with zebras and other herbivores, undertake a remarkable quest for new grazing lands.. The Serengeti’s animal movement is awe-inspiring, revealing the raw power of nature across vast plains.

 

Serengeti Wildebeest Migrations
Serengeti Wildebeest Migrations

Big Five Safari:

Serengeti National Park is home to the legendary African Big Five—elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and rhinoceros. Embark on an exciting safari adventure to catch glimpses of these iconic creatures in their natural habitat. The Serengeti offers exceptional opportunities for Big Five sightings, especially the lions and elephants, which are relatively abundant throughout the park. Exploring the Seronera region, the Grumeti River will increase your chances of spotting these majestic animals.

 

Serengeti National Park
Serengeti National Park

Balloon Safaris:

For a unique and unforgettable experience, consider taking a hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti national park. At sunrise, drift above vast plains for breathtaking panoramic views and a birds-eye perspective of the wildlife. In the air, watch for wildebeest herds, giraffes stretching gracefully, and predators prowling the savannah as you glide. Balloon safaris offer a truly magical way to immerse yourself in the beauty of Serengeti’s landscapes and wildlife.

 

Serengeti Hot Air Balloon Safari
Serengeti Hot Air Balloon Safari

The Seronera Valley:

The Seronera Valley, located in the heart of the Serengeti National Park, is often referred to as the park’s central hub. This region is characterized by a network of rivers, which provide a permanent water source and attract a rich diversity of wildlife. The Seronera area offers exceptional game-viewing opportunities throughout the year. Here, you can witness the thrill of a lion hunt, encounter graceful cheetahs in pursuit of their prey, or admire the acrobatics of leaping impalas. It’s an ideal location for both day and night game drives.

 

Acacia Seronera Luxury Camp

Hot Springs and Kopjes:

As you explore the Serengeti, take a moment to visit the hidden gems within the park—its hot springs and kopjes. The hot springs, such as the Mbalageti and the Ngare Sero, offer a unique contrast to the surrounding grasslands. These oases attract a variety of bird species and serve as watering holes for thirsty animals. The kopjes, rocky outcrops scattered throughout the park, provide a picturesque backdrop for wildlife photography and offer a vantage point for spotting predators, such as leopards and lions, lazing in the sun.

Discover Serengeti’s Seasonal Wonders:

The Great Migration: Witness Nature’s Most Spectacular Show:

The Serengeti is renowned for hosting the Great Migration, one of the planet’s most extraordinary wildlife spectacles. Each year, over a million wildebeests, along with zebras and gazelles, embark on a treacherous journey in search of greener pastures. The migration follows a cyclical pattern dictated by rainfall and grass availability. Plan your visit from December to July to witness the epic event of herds traversing vast plains and encountering river crossings in Serengeti.

 

Serengeti Wildebeest Migrations Tour
Serengeti Wildebeest Migrations Tour

Dry Season Prime Time for Wildlife Viewing:

From late June to October, the Serengeti experiences its dry season. This period offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities as animals gather around water sources, resulting in more concentrated sightings. The vegetation is less dense, making it easier to spot elusive predators such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs. Additionally, the lack of rainfall ensures comfortable temperatures during the day, making it a preferred time for visitors to explore the park.

 

Tanzania Wildebeest Migrations
Tanzania Wildebeest Migrations

Calving Season: 

The Serengeti’s calving season occurs between January and March when wildebeests give birth to their young. This period presents a unique opportunity to observe adorable baby animals taking their first steps in the wild.

Witness New Life:

Observing newborn wildebeests maneuvering through a predator-filled world reveals captivating survival instincts in action. Predators, including lions and hyenas, are also more active during this time, as they target vulnerable newborns.

 

ndutu-calving-season
calving-season

Birdwatching Extravaganza:

The Serengeti is not only a paradise for mammal enthusiasts but also a haven for birdwatchers. Over 500 bird species call this park home, including ostriches, eagles, vultures, and the vibrant lilac-breasted roller. Best time for birdwatchers is the wet season (Nov-May), when migratory birds from Europe and Asia join residents.. The lush landscapes and abundant insect life during this time attracted a plethora of feathered wonders.

 

Birding in Serengeti
Birding in Serengeti

 

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Serengeti Wildebeest Migration

Majestic Wildebeest Migration: Witness Nature’s Spectacle in Tanzania

The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the most awe-inspiring natural events on the planet, and a significant part of it takes place in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. This epic journey of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores captures the imagination of travelers and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. Spanning vast grasslands, river crossings, and diverse landscapes, the Wildebeest Migration is a testament to the marvels of nature.

Great Annual Wildebeest Migration

Great Annual Wildebeest Migration

The Serengeti National Park, located in northern Tanzania, is the primary stage for the Wildebeest Migration. Covering an area of approximately 14,750 square kilometers, it is one of Africa’s most renowned wildlife destinations. The park’s name, Serengeti, means “endless plains” in the Maasai language, and it aptly describes the vast expanse of grasslands that stretch as far as the eye can see.

The migration is a cyclical phenomenon that revolves around the availability of fresh grazing. Migration is ongoing throughout the year, with the most remarkable part happening from July to October. Millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores migrate from southern Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve for greener pastures.

The journey of the wildebeest is influenced by the seasonal rains and the growth of fresh grass. During the Serengeti’s dry season, herds gather in the south where grass is plentiful in the early months. With rains, herds head north in Serengeti, seeking fresh grazing in the western corridor, driven by instinct.

The western corridor, with its lush grasses and ample water sources, becomes a crucial staging point for the migration. Here, the wildebeest gather in vast numbers, preparing for the daunting river crossings that lie ahead. The most famous and treacherous of these crossings occur at the Mara River, which separates Tanzania and Kenya.

River crossings are the epitome of the Wildebeest Migration

The Mara River crossings are the epitome of the Wildebeest Migration’s drama. Thousands of wildebeest gather at the river’s edge, hesitating before taking the plunge into the crocodile-infested waters. The crossings are chaotic and unpredictable, as the wildebeest battle strong currents, steep banks, and lurking predators. Crocodiles lie in wait, ready to seize any opportunity to snatch their next meal. It is a spectacle of raw survival instincts and a true test of the wildebeest’s resilience.

Witnessing a river crossing is a thrilling experience, but it requires patience and a bit of luck. Crossing timings and locations vary yearly due to factors like rainfall and food availability, but with planning and guides, visitors can witness this incredible event.

 

Serengeti Mara River
Serengeti Mara River

To gain a unique perspective on the migration, many travelers opt for hot air balloon safaris over the Serengeti. At dawn, floating above the vast plains offers a stunning panoramic view of wildebeest herds, the landscape, and wildlife. It is an unparalleled way to appreciate the scale and grandeur of this natural phenomenon.

For those who prefer to be closer to the action, mobile camps and guided safaris are popular options. These camps move along with the migration, allowing visitors to be in the midst of the wildebeest herds and witness different stages of the journey. Staying in a mobile camp immerses you in the sights,

 

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TANZANIA TRAVEL AGENCY
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With over 10 years of experience, our team will help you choose the perfect African safari for your adventure.
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