Every year, over 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. If you’re there at the right time, you can spot herds of wildebeest and zebra stretching to the horizon.
The Serengeti Wildebeest migration
December to March
The Southern Serengeti’s huge grass plains extend into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. From December to March the Serengeti Migration congregates around Lake Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. When it reaches the area the herd splits up and spreads out leaving wildebeest herds as far as the eye can see. Ndutu Lodge and Kusini are the only permanent lodges in the area; Kusini is best towards the end of the period whereas Ndutu Lodge works throughout. Asilia’s Dunia Camp is also a good option at the beginning of December and again when the herds push north in March.
April to May
The Wildebeest migration moves north into the plains of the southern Serengeti with front runners stretching out to the Western Corridor and centre of the park at Seronera. Asilia’s Dunia Camp is a great option at this time as are any of the central Serengeti hotels such as the Serena or Sopa. Early herds may well have pushed up to the Grumeti River Camp, Kirawira and Mbalageti Lodge area of the Western Corridor.
By June there are wildebeest herds spread from the Western corridor through the heart of the park. One group tends to head West into the Western Corridor and crosses the Grumeti River before leaving the park and entering the exclusive Singita Grumeti Reserves. This herd will then head up through the Ikorongo game reserve on the Serengeti’s Western corridor before the front runners arrive into the Kogatende area in July. The other herds head directly to the north of the Serengeti, passing straight up the middle through Seronera, Lobo and up to the Bologonja river area near the Eastern border with the Loliondo reserve at Kleins. It is true to say that at this time herds can be anywhere from the Western corridor through to the Eastern side of the park. Splinter herds will break from the main herds, covering huge areas in their search for fresh grasses. We would recommend Grumeti River Camp, Faru Faru, Sasakwa, Sabora, Mbalageti Lodge and Kirawira for the Western corridor, whereas some herds will have pushed up as far as Migration camp in the Northern Lobo area. Late July will see any of the Kogatende permanent lodges having good herds, Serengeti Lamai and Sayari Camp being the places to go towards the end of July.
August through to October
From August through to October the herds are in the Northern Serengeti at Kogatende as well as in Kenya’s Masai Mara. River crossings often happen daily here. With only a fraction of the visitor numbers that flock to the Mara, Kogatende is an exceptional destination. Given that the herds are simply following local rainfall, some move north, some move south, and many move in both directions in the same day. The sprawling mass moves in a circular fashion throughout these months – and as a result this is a fantastic time of year to see the herds.
In late October and November the herds start their second Great Migration south towards the fertile lands of the Ndutu plains where the rains will have rejuvenated the grasses since the herds were last there earlier in the year. This can be a tricky time to catch the mega herd, as it covers vast distances every day.
By the beginning of December, the herds are returning to Ndutu to calve, and the whole process is ready to start all over again. However, we must reiterate, wildebeest are not the most predictable of animals! The Migration is also entirely dependent upon rain, with the herds constantly searching for fresh grasses. As a result, it is a challenge to predict with any confidence where the herds will be during any particular week, and therefore to decide where best to stay. Our migration map is a great indicator of what the herds are ‘supposed’ to do throughout the year; choosing a permanent camp for your Tanzania safari that is located in the ‘right’ area for the time of year will clearly increase your chances, but there are no guarantees. Once again, the very best way to catch the herds is to stay in one of the Serengeti’s famous mobile camps, which move with the herds.
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Unforgetable Migration Safari experience
Me and my girlfriend booked a very last minute private migration safari with East Safaris. Emanuel was extremely helpful from the outset, providing a customized itinerary on short notice and allowing us to pay via a bank transfer.
The camps booked by East Safaris were absolutely stunning, excellent food and service, and very reasonably priced compared to all the other quotes we received.
The safari itself was everything we had hoped for. We spent 4 night in Serengeti following the migration in north Serengeti, we where verry luck to see all the actions between predators(lion) and wildebeest, mara river crossing was extremely unforgetable experience to watch.
Our driver Fadhil was a total gem. Very friendly, happy to adjust the itinerary to whatever times.
If booking safari with East Safaris I highly recommend requesting Fadhil.
Thanks again to Emanuel and his team for unforgetable first Safari experience!
We will come bak again.
The hospitality was amazing ,we hard best service ever and the best tour
Me and my family had the most amazing safari experience. Emanuel Planned everything for us, very easy to communicate itwith him, and open for suggestions. Our guides Fadhili were experts on everything from the animals, to the roads, to the driving, to the people (Masai Cultural trip). We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have had their experience in choosing the parks we visited and the timing of the excursions each day, we literally saw thousands of animals! all Big 5 Animals. We were so close to a lion sleeping in a tree that we could have reached out of the truck and pulled his tail! I highly recommend this "7 Day Tanzania safari experience" safari which covers Tarangire park, Serengeti park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara park. Thank you so much Emanuel and your team, you're the best.
Very satisfying arrangements and perfect service!
We have just ended our wonderful holidays in Tanzania, all arranged by East Safaris!
We (my son, my daughter and I) went on a 6 days track to mt. Kilimanjaro and afterwards 3 days of safari at Tarangire, Ngorongoro crater and lake Manyara! We have been very satisfied with the service and arrangements made, and Emanuel and his staff took very very good care of us! We will highly recommend East Safaris - they act in a professional way, they keep what’s promised and never let you down! Thank you for a wonderful experience! 🏆🏆🏆
Tripadvisor rating score: 5.0 of 5, based on 3 reviews.