When to see the Great Migration in the Serengeti?

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 tops the bucket list of every safari enthusiast.

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 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.

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