Top 4 Things You Need to Know About the Great Migration in The Serengeti : You heard about it from your Tanzanian friends? Did you watch television? Or perhaps you saw it in a movie. Here are some important details about the Serengeti’s great wildebeest migration. Over a million animals move continuously in a circular pattern across the Serengeti-Mara environment during the Great Migration, one of the most popular wildlife and nature experiences. In pursuit of grass and water, columns of wildebeest migrate continuously with a large group of friends.
The animals travel through the Serengeti up and around in a clockwise pattern towards the Masai Mara in Kenya after calving in the southern region of Tanzania’s Serengeti, close to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, before returning again toward the end of the year. As thousands of creatures are killed by predators and thousands more are born, replenishing the population and maintaining the cycle of life, tremendous drama is constantly present along the way. Here are top 4 main things you need to know about the great wildebeest Migration:
- What is the great wildebeest migration?
Every year and every season, tens of thousands of wildebeest migrate across the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and East Africa, from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya. Around 1.7 million wildebeest make up the migration, together with hundreds of thousands of other animals, including over 250,000 zebras and 470,000 gazelles.
- Where Does It Happen?
Although the herds migrate throughout the year, there are times when they move and times when they stay put. The wildebeests arrive at Ngorongoro in November and December. The migration is based on rainfall seasons, with brief rains often beginning in early November. They remain here for the entire year, giving birth to over 500,000 children during that time. They begin their intermittent northward migration in April, passing through the Maasai Mara in late August before beginning again.
- Why do they migrate?
They are looking for better-quality water and newer pastures to graze on. Seeking a secure location to give birth as well as defense from danger for their unborn children.
- Why is it so popular?
You will never see anything like it anywhere else in the world—millions of animals converging on a single location, scurrying across wide plains, feeding, and giving birth. The crossing of the Grumeti and Mara rivers in July, when crocodiles are waiting, is one of the most well-liked safari attractions. Although it may appear cruel, the Serengeti’s animal life cycle is normal. When you visit the Serengeti and observe the Great Animal Migration, it will be an unforgettable experience.
THE MOVEMENT OF THE GREAT MIGRATION THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
The wildebeest migration is perpetually in motion throughout the year, whether they are delivering calves or trying to Traverse Rivers while dodging predators. Continue reading to learn where the Great Migration often occurs throughout the year:
The Great Migration in January, February, and March
Every year, around January, the migration will have completed its journey south and will be entering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area along the eastern fringe of the Serengeti. The plains are abundant in nourishing grass, providing the herds with the ideal environment for rearing their calf calves.
Despite the fact that this migratory circuit has no actual beginning or finish other than birth and death, it seems logical to refer to the wildebeests’ breeding season as the migration’s beginning. The herds move onto the short-grass plains around Olduvai Gorge and the lower northern slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater highlands in late January or early February. In a span of two to three weeks, around 400,000 calves are born here, or almost 8,000 calves per day. The plethora of young calves puts the predators in the area on high alert, and they can easily hunt due to the overwhelming number of wildebeest, Top 4 Things You Need to Know About the Great Migration in The Serengeti
The Great Migration in April and May
After giving birth in February and March, the wildebeest herds start to migrate northwest toward the greener grass of the middle Serengeti around April. Along the way, they are followed by large numbers of zebra and smaller herds of antelope. At the end of May, columns of wildebeest stretch for several kilometers as the animals begin to gather by the Moru Kopjes, close to Dunia Camp, one of the few Serengeti lodges that offers migration viewing at this time of year. Dunia Camp is one of the few places in the Serengeti that offers this service. Male wildebeest engage in head-to-head combat as mating season approaches at the end of May. The trek continues leisurely throughout “the rut,” with the wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle grazing along the way.
The wildebeest in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti begin to converge in large numbers as the journey gains momentum. The Ubuntu Migration Camp will have moved by this time of year to accompany the migration and provide visitors a chance to see the wildebeest cross the Grumeti River. Massive herds gather around the river’s pools and channels, which they must cross in order to continue their voyage. Even though it’s not as impressive as the renowned Mara crossings, there are still enough wildebeest for the Grumeti crocodiles to have a veritable feast.
The Great Migration in June and July
Once the dry season begins in June, large herds of wildebeest can be found in the western Serengeti and along the southern banks of the Grumeti River. The first of many difficult and nervous river crossings that any migrating animal must undertake is the crocodile-infested river.
The tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra continue to migrate north along the park’s western perimeter as June turns into July, heading for an even riskier barrier: the Mara River to the north of the Serengeti. These river crossings are without a doubt among the most thrilling animal events on the planet. Although the timing varies according to the season, they typically begin in July as high season begins.
In July, the herds are often located in the Northern Serengeti. Those animals that successfully navigated the Mara River later in July will also be present in the Masai Mara, where guests of Rekero Camp can observe river crossings directly from the camp’s main deck while on a Kenyan safari.
The Great Migration in August, September, and October
By August, the herds had successfully crossed the Mara River and were dispersed throughout the northern Masai Mara, with many of them still present in the northern Serengeti. When the river is flowing freely, waiting predators, raging currents, and the chaos at the crossings can result in a significant loss of life. But even in years when the water flows rather softly, crocs still cause damage, in addition to lions and other large predators who watch the banks and are ready to ambush any wildebeest that cross over. There is no single crossing; at some locations, there are only a few people, while at others, a large group of animals is moving continuously for hours, Top 4 Things You Need to Know About the Great Migration in The Serengeti
The main commotion had subsided by September or October, and the migrant columns had started to slowly travel east. However, as they are ready to cross the Mara River once more for their return trip southward, the wildebeest will have to contend with its high floods once more.
The Great Migration in November and December
The wildebeest migrate from Kenya into the eastern Serengeti past the Namiri Plains, a region renowned for exceptional cheetah sightings, in the aftermath of the East African brief rains in late October and early November. By December, they have covered the entire eastern and southern regions.
The Serengeti’s southernmost grasslands are rich with rain in the first few months of the year. This attracts large herds of zebra and other plains animals, as well as herds of wildebeest. As the new calving season begins, the cycle continues.
WHERE TO STAY
When you are seeing the Serengeti Great Migration, you can choose to stay in a high-end hotel or lodge, tented camps, or moderately priced lodgings. You can also choose to go camping at a campsite where you can set up canvas tents at TANAPA-selected spots. You will have a unique experience watching all of the creatures move as they migrate.