Going on a breathtaking trip to Serengeti, Tanzania, to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration with your own two eyes is one of the most exciting adventure experiences you can ever have in your life!
The Great Wildebeest Migration, a natural wonder and one of the most amazing spectacles in the world, is a popular bucket-list experience that takes place all year.
But did you know that there are specific months and locations where it all happens?
Given the vastness of the Serengeti, it is critical to understand where to find the migratory herds in order to witness the world wonder in all of its splendor.
Here is a quick guide to help you out:
January to February
Herds have fun on the short-grass plains of the Ndutu area, the northern portion of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the southern Serengeti. The mother hooves get ready to give birth since the calving season begins by the end of January.
Throughout this season, around 8,000 baby wildebeests are born every day. Be in awe as you watch the newborn hooves running around with their feeble legs right after coming out to the world.
Unfortunately, predators are also there searching for food. As adult wildebeest protect the fragile mothers and their young, starved predators plan a savage attack. These are the months when you will see lots of drama and action.
The final batches of calves are born this month, with the hooves preparing to move to the north. The herds are dispersed all over the southern plains of the Serengeti, feeding on the remaining grass. Rainstorms are also common as March comes to an end.
April to May
Tanzania sees long rains from April to May, making them the wettest months of the year, allowing the vegetation to be green and lush. You can find the wildebeest herds around Central Seronera throughout these months. While traveling north to the western region, the wildebeest are joined by many gazelles and zebras that will travel with them across the rivers and land.
June marks the start of the iconic river crossings. You can see herds around the Western Corridor. Once they reach the south portion of the Grumeti River, they gather around to cross the series of channels and pools.
Nile crocodiles are waiting for them in the river. Some action can also be seen throughout this time. However, since the river is shallow without a continuous flow, the phenomenon is only a “practice” for the hooves because they know that their greatest feat will happen farther north.
July to September
These are the months when the incredibly bloody crossing on the Mara River takes place. Millions of wildebeests, along with thousands of kudus, gazelles, and zebras, rush frantically through the river, infested with predators, as they struggle for survival to reach the other side, which is the Masai Mara National Reserve. The spectacular event that continues until October is known as the “World Cup of Wildlife.”
Predation, exhaustion, and starvation cause the deaths of thousands of migrating hooves during the river crossing. A feast on the Masai Mara’s fresh grass serves as a celebration for the survivors.
Other ungulates that remained in the Serengeti feasted on the northern Serengeti’s grasses. As October ends, the migrating herbs return to the southern Serengeti, where water and grasses are now abundant with the start of the short rains.
The majority of the remaining herds in Mara begin to move down south as they pass through the Lobo area of the Serengeti and western Loliondo.
Herds cluster around the southern and northeastern Serengeti regions, feeding on the areas’ verdant grasses. This is when wildebeests know that calving season will soon start, with the migration cycle starting all over again.