The Great Wildebeest Migration
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Tanzania Wildebeest Migration
Tanzania Wildlife Experiences
The Great Wildebeest Migration
The Great Migration’s main protagonists, the nearly 2 million wildebeest, begin their migration in the Serengeti’s south, with the birth of 1⁄2 a million calves between January and March. The air is full of new life and action during these months, which is a favorite season for many seasoned Serengeti guides. On this page, you may learn everything there is to know about Africa’s largest wildlife festival.
Why do wildebeest migrate?
The massive wildebeest herd’s 800-kilometer journey is the world’s largest mammal migration. The migration occurs during the wet season, when the nutritious grasses on the short-grass plains green up. Because predators can easily be seen in these areas, they are a safe place for calves to be born. The plains, on the other hand, become parched, forcing the wildebeest to migrate west in search of greener pastures. The grasses in the ecosystem’s northern reaches receive the most rainfall, but they are the least nutritious. This is the wildebeest’s dry-season retreat, at least until the south greens up. As a result, there is a clockwise movement from south to west to north and back to south.
Tanzania Wildebeest Migration Seasons
The Wildbeests Migration Year Cycle
The annual migration of two million ungulates, mostly wildebeest but also large groups of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, and eland through Serengeti National Park is Africa’s, if not the world’s, greatest wildlife spectacle. The Serengeti migration follows a fairly predictable annual cycle, dictated by local rainfall patterns, despite variations from year to year. The Great Migration cycle is divided into four phases:
The main calving grounds can be found southeast of Seronera, where typical Serengeti plains extend all the way to the Ndutu area near Ngorongoro. The short rains in November and December prompted their relocation to this area. The wildebeest remain in this area until the end of the long rains, which occurs at the end of April or early May. The good news is that this section of the Serengeti National Park is easily accessible, and the landscape becomes lush during this time of year.
This is the time when the wildebeest, after feasting on the short green grasses of the southeastern Serengeti and giving birth to their offspring, begin preparing for their 800-kilometer journey. The actual start date could be between late April and early June. This is the time to witness one of the world’s greatest natural phenomena: more than a million marching animals in a column up to 40 kilometers long. The herd will migrate towards the Western Corridor during the migration.
When the Grumeti River obstacle is overcome, the herd moves north and begins crossing the next major obstacle, the Mara River, in July or August. So many iconic Great Migration photos have been taken at the Mara River crossing. Following this crossing, the herd migrates to Kenya’s northwest plains and the Masai Mara National Reserve. The months of August and September are considered to be the worst months to visit Serengeti National Park and witness the Great Migration as the herd moves into Kenya’s Masai Mara.
Crossing the Mara River northbound means the herd will cross again back south. This usually happens in October, but it can happen earlier. During this time, the herd will traverse the northern plains and the Lobo area. This section of Serengeti National Park is rarely visited, so if you want to see the migration in peace and quiet, this is the time to go. In late November, the wildebeest return to the short-grass plains and calving grounds around Ndutu. And from here, the Great Migration begins a new. And the Great Migration is continues.
Best Time to Witness the Great Migration
It is entirely up to you whether you want to plan your Serengeti safari around the Great Migration. As previously stated, the Serengeti is a year-round destination due to its vast size and unparalleled wildlife viewing. The chances of being at the exact location of the Great Migration herd crossing a river (either the Grumeti or Mara River) are very Slim, But it is a possibility.