Every year, millions of wildebeest, zebra and other antelope make their way to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, and back. This annual journey is known as the Great Migration, and to witness it is a once in a lifetime experience that top to the bucket list of every safari enthusiast.
When to see the Great Migration in the Serengeti?
- December – March: If you’d like to observe large populations you will find them in their home, the Serengeti plains. Here, you will also find other grazing animals such as zebras and gazelles who often migrate alongside the wildebeest. The January – March period is usually when the mass birthing of wildebeest calves takes place. As calves make easy victims for predators, you will also likely to find an abundance of lions, hyenas, leopards, and cheetahs lurking nearby.
- April – May: In this period of the year, depending on the amount of rainfall, groups of animals may already be making their moves to migrate west and north of the Serengeti to seek for greener plains and woodland.
- Late May – Early July: This period is usually when the Great Migration begins and the western Serengeti makes the best location to observe the movement. As rainfall stops, the animals start moving to the north and join other herds, forming a much larger herd. It is also considered the wildebeest’ usual mating season.
- July: At some point during this month, the herd is likely to have reached one of the migration’s biggest obstacles – The Grumeti River, which the animals would have to cross to continue their journey to Kenya. Crossing this river can be dramatic and presents a huge challenge thanks to its depth as well as the abundance of crocodiles. As it is a highly risky crossing, some may fall prey to the river and/or predators and would not make it to the other side.
7 Days Great Migration Safari.
Day 1: Arrival
Our driver will meet you at the airport and drive you for your overnight stay at
Mid-range: Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar accommodation.
Luxury: Gran Melia Arusha or similar accommodation.
Day 2: Boma Masai – Lake Manyara National Park
After breakfast you will drive to Mto Wa Mbu, a village situated 2 hours from Arusha. There you will visit a Masai Boma situated next to the Great Rift Valley. You will be welcomed by the Chief of the Village and discover how they live and get to know their traditions. Enjoy a beautiful walk around this beautiful landscape.
After picking up your lunch boxes in Mto Wa Mbu, you will drive to Lake Manyara NP for game drives until early evening. Lunch in the park.
The loveliest I have seen in Africa” said the novelist Ernest Hemingway about Lake Manyara. It’s a small park with stunning and versatile scenery. The most famous habitants are the tree-climbing lions. Lake Manyara is also the home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world.
Before sunset exit the park and drive for your dinner and overnight stay.
Mid-range: Kirurumu Lake Manyara or similar accommodation.
Luxury: Escarpment Lodge or similar accommodation.
Day 3: Serengeti National Park
After breakfast drive with picnic lunches through Ngorongoro Highlands to Serengeti National Park with game viewing along the way. Drive to the central part of the park, Seronera. Seronera Valley supports a much greater diversity of resident wildlife than anywhere else in the Serengeti. Resident prey attracts the highest concentration of large predators in Africa (lion, hyena, leopard and cheetah).
In the early evening you will arrive for your dinner and overnight stay at
Mid-Range: Serengeti Tortilis Camp or similar accommodation.
Luxury: Melia Serengeti or similar accommodation.
Day 4: Serengeti – Ndutu
Game drive at sunrise in Serengeti. Return to your accommodation for breakfast. After breakfast game drive along the way as you start your drive with picnic lunches towards Ndutu Area for afternoon game drive.
Dinner and overnight at
Mid-range: GNU Migration Camp or similar accommodation.
Luxury: Ndutu Under Canvas or similar accommodation.
Day 5: Ndutu – Ngorongoro
Game drive in Ndutu. Observe the new born wildebeest calves taking their first steps. Gradually drive towards the Ngorongoro Highlands with wildlife viewing along the way.
Dinner and overnight stay at
Mid-range: Ngorongoro Ang’ata Camp or similar accommodation.
Luxury: Ngorongoro Sopa lodge or similar accommodation.
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater – Tarangire National Park
Around 6am, after breakfast, descend down the Ngorongoro Crater which is about 2000 feet deep and 14 miles wide. We will spend the day exploring the Ngorongoro Crater which is a World Heritage Site, home to nearly 25,000 animals, giving you a very real chance of spotting the Big5 namely lion, elephant, endangered black rhino, buffalo and leopard plus countless other African mammal species.
Witness the magnificent array of habitats, each with its own unique wildlife and flora. Lunch at the Crater floor.
In the afternoon ascend the crater and drive for your dinner and overnight stay at
Mid-range: Tarangire Tortilis Camp or similar accommodation.
Luxury: Sopa Lodge Tarangire or similar accommodation.
Day 7: Tarangire – Arusha
Leave with lunch boxes to Tarangire National Park. Game drives and lunch in the park. Good location near the main road, only about 100 km from Arusha and the diversity of animals and vegetation make Tarangire one of the best parks in Tanzania.
The park is often referred as the home of elephants. Large herds (even 50 – 100 individuals) can be seen roaming among the huge baobab trees. Other animal species to be spotted are e.g. zebra, giraffe, different antelopes, lion, cheetah, vervet monkey and mongoose. Before sunset you will drive back to Arusha for your dinner and overnight stay at
Mid-Range: Ilboru Safari Lodge or similar accommodation.
Luxury: Gran Melia Arusha or similar accommodation.