The greatest wildlife show on earth with top tips on how to catch the migration – best guides, areas, wildlife & prices
Every year, over a million wildebeest thunder across the plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara in a never-ending cycle; moving with the rains to find the freshest pastures. Accompanying them are thousands of zebra and gazelle, with resident predators like lions and crocodiles enjoying their mobile feast. The reserves are teeming with life – and death. Depending on the time of year, they can be teeming with tourists, too.
As such, a migration safari requires careful advance planning. The busiest and most expensive times usually coincide with the frenetic crossings over the Grumeti or Mara Rivers. These occur as the migration first moves northwards into the Mara usually around July and August. Here, the wildebeest stay until around October, before stampeding back into Tanzania. Timings are never certain, however, and can fluctuate dramatically depending on rainfall levels.
Convoys of 4WDs are best avoided by staying in smaller, mobile camps at private sites rather than in the bigger, brasher lodges available in both Parks. Expert guides and early mornings will help you lose the crowds, too. Another option is to travel at a different time to see the migration, perhaps in the calving season in January and February, when up to a quarter of a million calves are born in the southern Serengeti Plains.
Consult the map on how the migration works and read some important guidelines on how to plan a wildebeest migration safari.
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