Wildebeest Migration Safari Diaries

The wildebeest migration safari is an annual mass animal migration in the Masai mara and Serengeti Eco system. The migration involves a movement of millions of wildebeest, Thompson gazelles, zebras across the open plains searching for fresh pastures. The wildebeest migration safari is a wildlife wonder to look out for when visiting Kenya and Tanzania for a classic African wildlife experience.

The annual animal movement features the mating, calving and growth stages that keeps the crowds alive. A number of these are also targeted by the deadly predators the ecosystem has from Lions to the deadly crocodiles in the River Grumeti and Mara. Despite all these challenges, the births along the trail keeps the animals in the migration going year in year out.

All these happen in a particular month transcending into another. This helps travellers to know the best month or stage to catch up with the migration.

Wildebeest Migration Safari. African Safaris
Wildebeest Migration. Courtesy Photo

Wildebeest Migration safari Month by Month

The wildebeest migration being an annual migration gives a unique experience each month or quarter. The calving period is a great time to view the newly borns and how they adopt with the deadly open savanna’s. The River Crossings are the most anticipated as wildebeest struggle crossing the paths of the deadly crocodiles. Let is briefly look the the wildebeest migration safari activity month per month. For anyone planning a safari featuring the migration this would help to know when to visit or what to expect at a particular month.

December to February

The rains in November favours growth of pasture that the wildebeest continue to feed on as they slowly drift south of Serengeti. From mid November throughout January Southern Serengeti is the best place to catch up with the migration. More wildebeest continue calving reaching the peak in February.

A Serengeti Safari around February is humbling as you might get to see wildebeest births in the wilderness. The predators use this time attacking the young and  isolated wildebeest as the crowd slowly moves towards Central Serengeti.

March to April

These months are wet and high chances of rainfall. This however does not deter the wildebeest migration journey in Central and western Serengeti. There is often plenty of pastures to feed on and much it is a low tourist season, the migratory birds set in making a wildebeest migration safari even more enjoyable.

While in Tanzania ensure to book your accommodation strategically to catch up with the live a action wildebeest migration.

May to June

As May sets in, the wildebeest move towards Northern Serengeti always driven by the need for fresher grazing grounds. May is also a transition month from the wet to the dry season and a great time for wildlife viewing.

The wildebeest plus other major herbivores continue sweeping across the north as they prepare for their adventure in the Masai Mara. The rains in March and April increase the water levels of Grumeti River but by June it starts reducing and the wildebeest start their River crossing quest. At the Grumeti River you can spot some crocodiles but River crossings are not as enjoyable as the Mara River crossings. Nevertheless, it is always fascinating to see the bold wildebeests that take the first jump leading the whole group.  

July to September

The July to September period doubles as the peak tourist season and it is very significant time for a wildebeest migration safari. It features the migration River crossings in the Serengeti and Masai Mara Ecosystems. Two major Rivers are Grumeti and Mara. These are home to some of world’s deadliest Nile crocodiles that the Wildebeest have to overcome on their journey northwards to the great Masai Mara.

The wildebeest River crossings start in July as the wildebeest would have reached Western Serengeti. The major first River Crossing obstacle they meet is River Grumeti and tense but quite a sight to see for adventure lovers. Towards the end of July, the surviving herds of the wildebeest continue to northern Serengeti. From early to mid August, the crowds proceed through northern Serengeti into Masai Mara and cross the Mara River yet another obstacle on their journey.

In the Mara region they get to enjoy the lush grasses that act as hiding places for worlds’ fierce predators especially the lions. While in the Mara ecosystem, the wildebeest traverse the northern Mara conservancies before starting their journey back to the Serengeti. Here they once again Cross the Mara River an event that attracts a number of tourists.

For those interested in the River Crossing, the best time to catch up these in Serengeti is early July. From Mid July to September Masai Mara would be place to be.

October to November

By this time the wildebeest start slowly drifting towards northern Serengeti. Those visiting Tanzania during this time of the year the best place to catch up with the migration is the Serengeti Lobo Area. The month of October being a transition month from the dry to wet season, the rains set in especially towards the end. This gives a boost to vegetation growth enabling the wildebeest enough pastures for grazing.

The calving period also starts and with the young ones coming in it reboots and rejuvenates the wildebeest population. The lush vegetation however attracts a number of predators that sometimes target the young ones. Survival in the Serengeti is by chance but many survival despite the attacks from the predators.

Plan your visit to magical Kenya and Tanzania to be part of the never ending Wildebeest migration safari adventures. Remember these feature classic African encounters of major wildlife species including birds and predators.

There are a number of tented camps and lodges where one can stay to enjoy the wildebeest migration. Some tented camps are temporary and change to new locations depending on the movement of wildebeest. Now that the peak season has set in it is time to book your bucket list adventure to either Serengeti or Masai mara. The best time for these safaris are early mornings as you get to see the early risers some returning from hunting. 

Wildlife Safari Tales of The Serengeti Wilderness

Serengeti national park is one stop wildlife destination located in northwestern Tanzania. Serengeti is famous for the wildebeest migration an exodus of animals including hartebeest, wildebeest and antelopes  seeking for fresh pasture.

The name Serengeti was derived from a Maasai word “Seringit” meaning endless plains explaining the geographical nature of the park.

The Serengeti ecosystem covers an area of 30,000 square kilometers combining Serengeti national Park and other small game reserves. With this vast size, the Serengeti plains are homes to various wildlife species with natural wonders like the wildebeest migration.

The wildebeest migration is the second largest animal migration on Earth an excellent experience for nature enthusiasts and animal lovers.

Wildlife in Serengeti

The Serengeti area boosts various wildlife species with East Africa’s big five mammals like Lions, Elephants, buffaloes, Leopards and Cheetahs. Its one of the wildlife destinations with large lion populations and best place for seeing these fierce cats. The total Lion population here is estimated at 3000 and its supported by the many herbivores the lions prey on.

Other predators in Serengeti include African Leopards, Cheetahs, spotted hyenas, wild dogs though these are a bit scarce.

Serengeti has many East Africa’s grazers including many antelope species like the topi, elands, gazelles, water-bucks, zebras and the wildebeest. Major giants include elephants, giraffes, hippos often sighted in large groups of up to 100 of them in one place.

For birders, Serengeti is a birders haven with over 1000 bird species recorded including native and migratory bird species. Often seen birds include the Fischer’s lovebird, Silver-bird, Eagles like the Verreaux’s eagle, rufous-tailed weaver among others.

Serengeti has many wildlife habitat landscapes like rivers, swamps, grasslands, kopjes, all acting as homes to the diverse wildlife species. Rivers like Grumeti are homes to large crocodile populations and hippos in the shallow waters.

Zebras and Topi in the Plains of Serengeti National Park Tanzania
Wildlife in Serengeti NP. Courtesy Photo

Tourist Activities in Serengeti

Game drives are the most common activities in Serengeti done seeking to meet the major wildlife species in the park. Early morning game drives offer nocturnal wildlife encounters especially the big cats lions lions, leopards and cheetahs.

You also get to see early risers and enjoy sounds of nature plus a morning sunrise over the Serengeti horizon. You can opt for mid morning and evening game drives that are equally rewarding.

There are air balloon safaris that give an aerial view of the park offering a wide coverage of sight seeing. This offers great views of the herds of animals even those on the wildebeest migration.

For more intimate experiences with wildlife then guided nature walks are best options in Serengeti. These are often led by local Masai warriors and trained park rangers with great knowledge about the wildlife in Serengeti.

Birding is widely done in Serengeti national park and various birds are often spotted freely flying over the Serengeti plains.

Best time to Visit

Serengeti national park can be best visited in the dry seasons with minimal disturbances of rainfall. Rainfall usually occur in the two dry seasons from March to May and from October to November.

For remarkable East African wildlife safaris visit Serengeti national park in Tanzania and have your Serengeti and African wildlife tale.