Everything To Know About Grumeti River And Great Wildebeest Migration

Everything To Know About Grumeti River And Great Wildebeest Migration : The crocodile-infested Grumeti River is one of the first challenges the wildebeests face on their Great Migration journey from Tanzania’s Serengeti to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. The Grumeti River, often overlooked by her bigger sister, the Mara River, is no less spectacular once the wildebeests come. Visit between May and June for the best chance of seeing them.

The Grumeti River flows westward into Lake Victoria from the Serengeti National Park’s western corridor. The western corridor is 50 kilometers long and is made up of huge savannah grasslands, riverine woodland, undulating hills, and shaded acacia groves.

 Because of its remoteness, this section of the Serengeti is rarely visited. Those that go this far, however, are rewarded with a wide range of year-round species, including giraffe, hippo, cheetah, elephant, enormous Nile crocodiles, and healthy leopard and lion populations.

 Because of Grumeti’s distant position, you will not be disturbed by a trail of safari cars. During the Great Migration, approximately 30 safari vehicles congregate on the banks of the Mara River, but Grumeti’s banks will be inhabited by half as many vehicles.

Although increasingly unpredictable, the marching column of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope crosses the Grumeti River every two weeks between May and June.

 The nearby Grumeti Reserve is one of the few sites in the Serengeti where you can explore the African wilderness on foot for a few hours. Alternatively, take a hot air balloon through the early morning skies for a bird’s-eye perspective of the river and plains. There are only a few options for lodging in the western corridor all year, but during peak season, mobile camps that follow the movement are set up.

GRUMETI RIVER VS. MARA RIVER CROSSING? WHICH ONE TO VISIT

Grumeti River

The Grumeti River is an excellent choice for people who prefer to avoid visiting the parks during the peak season, which runs from mid-June to September and is more expensive. The Grumeti River crossings normally take place within a one- or two-week timeframe in May and June, although exact timing is tough to forecast because the migration follows the rains.

 River crossings on the Grumeti are most common as the wet season ends and the dry season begins. As a result, sporadic rains are predicted, which may impact roadways and scheduled excursions. The grass is also usually longer and greener, making it more difficult to spot wildlife.

The Grumeti River is located in the Serengeti’s isolated western corridor, which might easily add 3–4 hours to your journey if driving—an important consideration if you are short on time. Daily flights to Grumeti Airport are another option; however, they can be costly. There are usually fewer lodging alternatives in this area, with only a few year-round and mobile campers.

The Mara River

The Mara River crossing normally takes place during the dry season, when the grass is short and animals are lured to water sources, providing greater viewing possibilities. Because river crossings occur more regularly on the Mara River, the odds of spotting one are substantially higher. They are also more dramatic because, unlike the Grumeti, the river is faster, deeper, and bordered with steep river cliffs.

Accommodation is more established in the districts surrounding the Mara River, with more affordable options. However, Mara River crossings do take place during peak season, which means more people and greater fees.

Everything To Know About Grumeti River And Great Wildebeest Migration
Mara River Crossing

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE GRUMETI RIVER?

May through September is the finest time to visit the Grumeti River. Plan your river crossings Safari from May to June. If you want to see a river crossing, try for mid-to-late May to avoid any lingering showers towards the conclusion of the rainy season. Rainstorms are frequently strong and abrupt, causing events to be canceled at the last minute. However, if you want a more private safari experience, the western corridor is ideal until September.

WHERE SHOULD I STAY AROUND GRUMETI RIVER

Singita Sabora

Singita Sabora Tented Camp is located on the Great Migration Path in the Grumeti Reserve and offers only nine safari tents, all elegantly designed in a sleek and modern safari style. They offer an exclusive luxury safari experience and are strategically positioned for breathtaking views.

 The tents are fully air-conditioned and en-suite, with hot showers and bathtubs. They have a dressing room, a reading space, and a private balcony with a view of the watering hole, allowing you to see wildlife from the comfort of your daybed.

 Activities such as archery, stargazing safaris, mountain biking, and tennis are available in addition to game drives and guided nature walks. Singita takes pride in being environmentally friendly, with minimally invasive designs that use local materials, solar energy, and water efficiency. They also contribute significantly to local community and conservation efforts.

Serena Kirawira

This luxury 25-tent lodge in the Serengeti’s Western Corridor overlooks the Kirawira Plains and is reminiscent of the early twentieth century.

It’s tastefully furnished with Edwardian trunks, four-poster beds, sepia photos, patchwork quilts, and brass accents. The bathrooms are luxurious, with dual sinks on mahogany counters, tiled floors, waterfall showers, and flushing toilets.

Extra indulgences include hairdryers, butler service, and early morning wake-up calls with fresh coffee. Meals are lavish affairs, with five-course menus that include soups, salads, roasts, sorbets, and full English breakfasts. The Kirawira Serena offers bush breakfasts, picnics, and dinner under the stars, so guests are not constrained to eating only in the dining rooms.

HOW DO I GET TO THE GRUMETI RIVER?

Because of its remoteness, the best way to reach the Grumeti River is via plane. Several airlines operate daily scheduled flights to the Grumeti Airstrip from Arusha, Dar es Salaam, and Mount Kilimanjaro. It takes less than two hours to fly.

If traveling by vehicle, the Ndabaka Gate provides the quickest access to the Grumeti River and the Western Corridor. It is approximately a 9-hour trip from Arusha. It takes about 3-5 hours to drive from Seronera (centre Serengeti) or the main entrance at Naabi Hill. If you book your safari with us at Focus East Africa Tours, we will arrange all transportation for you.

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