Serengeti ! The endless plain ! Is the only remaining natural grazing ecosystem to be found on Earth. The vast open plain is the heart of the complex stretch away as far as the eyes can see and throb with life in an endless annual rhythm that is maintained by a migrating herd of millions gnuu and the best known population of great predators, lions and spotted hyenas on the frontline to be found on the earth.There is no real beginning or end to a wildebeest’s journey. Its life is an endless pilgrimage, a constant search for food and water. The only beginning is at the moment of birth. An estimated 1000,000 wildebeest calves/ are born during a six week period early each year – usually between late January and mid-March.
The migration calendar below summarizes the location of wildebeest migration each month of the year.
Wildebeest Annual Migration Calendar
The Wildebeest herds are in the northern areas of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and in Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve. Wildebeest cross the Mara River daily. Guests staying at the Governor’s Camps in the Mara and at Migration Camp in the Serengeti have seen hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra daily.
At this time there is a trend of cool mornings and warm days in Kenya’s Masai Mara. The migrating herds of wildebeest and zebra graze the Mara grasses. The northern and central areas of the Serengeti have received some very heavy rain showers and the herds have followed their noses in search of lush, green grass. The end of the month of October is marked by large river crossings as wildebeest and zebra leave the Mara on their long trek down south.
The herds now stretch from Lobo from the Tagora plains area to the central Seronera area and down to Naabi Hill. It is common to receive patches of wet weather in the Serengeti towards the end of the dry season (in October), so the rain may just be this and not an early onset of the short rains. If this is the case, it will dry out rapidly and the wildebeest will head back north until they feel the real rains start.
The arrival of the short rains causes the migration to move southward. During the short rains of November, the wildebeest migration is best viewed from Klein’s Camp. Campsites in the Lobo area are best.
As November ends the migration makes its way back to the southern Serengeti and early in the year they once again give birth. The circle of life is complete.
In December, January, February & March;
The Serengeti National Park / Ngorongoro Conservation Area is arguably the most impressive wildlife sanctuaries in the world. During the period from December through March, the seemingly unending plains of the southern Serengeti and the Conservation Area are inhabited by enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra. The great herds graze on rain ripened grass. We feel this is the best time to visit the Serengeti.
In the calving season (late January through mid-March when over 80% of the wildebeest give birth (over a period of a few weeks)) the herds concentrate on the Ndutu and Salei plains (Southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area) attracting the attention of predators like lions, cheetahs, and hyenas.
During this period the migration is best observed from a luxury mobile camp in the Ndutu / Naabi area or from Ndutu Safari Lodge.
In April & May;
During the months of April and May, the depleted plains are unable to sustain the endless herds. The migration, sweeping west and north, moves from the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the long grass plains and woodlands of the Serengeti’s Western Corridor, almost to Lake Victoria.
During this period, the long rains start and this is considered off-season for wildlife viewing in East Africa as roads are often impassable. Ndutu Safari Lodge, Kusini Camp, and the Serengeti Serena Lodge are fine for wildlife viewing during this time. So are campsites in the Ndutu/Naabi area.
By the end of May, the wildebeest have exhausted the Western Corridor’s best pastures and the herds must move further north. Entering the Lamai Wedge and the Mara Triangle. Breeding occurs in May and June.
This is a transitional period between the rains and the dry season. Faru Faru River Lodge, Sasakwa Hill Lodge, Sabora Plains Tented Camp, Grumeti River Camp, Migration Camp, and Kirawira Camp are good options for viewing the migration at this time. Seronera and Moru area campsites are best.
In July, August, September & October;
By July the countless herds have amassed along the swollen Mara River – a final barrier from the short sweet grasses of the Masai Mara. Sometimes the crossing place they have chosen is shallow allowing the majority of animals to pass safely. In other areas, the waters boil with drowning wildebeest and slashing crocodiles. Please note that the vast majority of travelers do not witness the wildebeest crossing of the Mara as the timing and duration varies widely each year – in years of little rain very few wildebeest cross the Mara River into Kenya.
The giant Nile crocodile are waiting their turn as the big migration enters their areas. The richness of the wild fauna of Serengeti is dazzling, but it is all living in the rhythm of seasons, with a range of variation that extends all the way from exuberance to misery. Declared as the one of seven natural wonders of the world, its contents is magnificent than ever on the Earth.The annual migration, when millions of animals, including wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and giraffe, move from the Maasai Mara in Kenya to Serengeti in Tanzania, was chosen by Americans as a new Wonder of the World. “Covering about 10,000 square miles of land that teems with life, the Serengeti is home not only to some of the most diverse wildlife on earth, but the start and finish line for one of the world’s last great migrations.” Serengeti national park offer the diverse of accommodation from lodges, several campsites both public/special and premium all over the park. Blessing Safaris can BOOK FOR YOU either for special or premium campsites within or outside the park.