The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of vast numbers of the Serengeti’s wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, and smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, eland and impala. These move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable. They migrating throughout the year, constantly seeking fresh grazing and, it’s now thought, better quality water. The precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is entirely dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year. Many tourists in Tanzania and Kenya in the next few months will be looking for an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the exodus.
The wildebeests are ever on the move and predictions are hard to make but a few tenative ones have been, so maybe if you are hoping to see this amazing journey or view thousands upon thousands of wild animals move from one destination to another here is a brief over view so you can pick your time to travel. A Tanzania safari to Serengeti is the perfect trip to take during this time.
MARCH TO MAY
The herds spread out as the rains fall, then can be seen massing with their young. By April they are shifting slowly north into the central Serengeti. May finds them moving in columns into the Western Corridor whose grasslands are maintained by the flood waters of the Mbalageti and Grumeti Rivers.
JULY TO AUGUST The cool, dry months. The herds mass on the western wooded grasslands. The famous rut usually occurs in the Seronera area, then crossing the Grumeti, two flanks can appear rapidly moving west and out of the park, with the other flank heading north towards Lobo, reaching the Mara usually by Aug. The migration has to cross the Mara River in the Masai Mara where crocodiles will prey on them. This is one of the highlights as the animals try and cross the Mara River alive risking the flood waters and the jaws of crocodiles.
SEPTEMBER TO OCTOBER
The nomadic herds are found on the well watered expanse of open and bushed grasslands of the Mara as these are usually the driest months in the Serengeti. The short rains are not far away.
NOVEMBER TO FEBRUARY
The herds head south feeling the rains coming, moving into the eastern woodlands of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation area. By Jan they settle on the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti, Dec to Jan being the peak for the birth of zebra foals and late Jan to Feb of wildebeest calves. The predators are close by. Calves are usually on their feet within 3 minutes but the young are very vulnerable.
The wildebeest migration has been referrede to as ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth” and one of the seven new wonders of the world!