SERENGETI MIGRATION SAFARI
The 800 kilometer trek of the immense wildebeest herd is the largest mammal migration on earth. The timing of the migration coincides with greening of nutritious grasses on the short-grass plains during the wet season. These areas are safer because predators can be easily spotted making it an ideal place for calving. However, the plains dry and the wildebeest are forced to move in search of greener pastures in the western corridor. The northern extension of the ecosystem has the highest rainfall, but the grasses are least nutritious. This is the dry season retreat for the wildebeest, at least until the south becomes green again. The result is a clockwise movement from the south, west, north, and back to the south.
The migration involves millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles traveling across the plains in search of food and water. The animals are constantly on the move, with the wildebeest alone covering a distance of over 1,800 miles during their migration.The migration is triggered by the seasonal rains, which create new grass growth and water sources. The animals move in a circular pattern, following the rains and the availability of food and water. The migration is not a single event but rather a continuous cycle, with different herds following different routes at different times of the year.The migration is a vital part of the Serengeti ecosystem, providing food for predators such as lions, hyenas, and crocodiles. It is also a major tourist attraction, with visitors coming from all over the world to witness the spectacle.
How the Great Migration moves throughout the year
The Great Migration is an annual event that involves the movement of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other grazing animals across the Serengeti ecosystem in Tanzania and Kenya. The migration is a cyclical process that is largely driven by seasonal changes in rainfall patterns, as the animals move in search of water and fresh grazing land. The migration can be roughly divided into three main phases: 1.December to March , 2.April to July, 3.August to November
1: December to March
During this time, the animals are spread out across the southern Serengeti and northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. This is the rainy season, and the herds are attracted to the lush grasses that grow after the rains.
2: April to July
As the dry season sets in, the herds start to move north in search of water. They cross into Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve in search of fresh grazing land, crossing the Grumeti and Mara Rivers along the way. This is a particularly dramatic part of the migration, as the herds must navigate crocodile-infested waters and steep riverbanks.
3: August to November
During this period, the animals gradually make their way back south into Tanzania, following the rains and fresh grasses. By November, the herds have returned to the southern Serengeti and the cycle starts again.
Serengeti Migration FAQs
What animals are involved in the migration?
The Great Migration involves millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles, as well as smaller numbers of other grazing animals such as eland and impala.
When does the migration occur?
The migration is a year-round process, but the most dramatic stages typically occur between June and November, as the herds move north into the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya and then back south into the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Why do the animals migrate?
The migration is driven by the need for the animals to find fresh grazing land and water. As the seasons change and rainfall patterns shift, the herds must move to find new sources of food and water.
Where is the best place to see the migration?
The migration covers a large area, so there are many opportunities to see it from various vantage points. Some of the best places to see the migration include the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, and the Grumeti Reserves in Tanzania.
Is it safe to witness the migration up close?
While the migration can be a thrilling sight to behold, it’s important to exercise caution and follow the guidance of trained guides and park rangers. The animals can be unpredictable, and it’s important to maintain a safe distance at all times to avoid disturbing or provoking them.
What happens If someone cant continue climbing? does the entire party descend?
We offer excellent client-to-guide ratios, therefore if someone cannot continue, one of our guides will descend with them while the rest of the party continues.
How long does the migration take?
The migration is a continuous process that lasts throughout the year, but the herds typically spend several months in each location as they move between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara Reserve.
How far do the animals travel during the migration?
The distance covered by the herds can vary from year to year depending on rainfall patterns and other factors. However, the migration can cover distances of up to 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) in total.
What are some of the challenges the animals face during the migration?
The migration is a perilous journey that involves crossing rivers, evading predators, and navigating difficult terrain. The herds must contend with crocodile-infested waters, steep riverbanks, and the threat of lion, leopard, and cheetah attacks along the way.
What is the best time of year to see the migration?
The timing of the migration can vary from year to year, so there is no one “best” time to see it. However, the period from June to November is generally considered the best time to witness the dramatic river crossings and other highlights of the migration.
How many animals are involved in the migration?
The Great Migration involves millions of animals, including up to 1.5 million wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of zebras, and smaller numbers of gazelles and other grazing animals.
How do the animals know where to go during the migration?
The migration is driven by instinct, as the animals have evolved to follow the seasonal patterns of rainfall and food availability. They are also believed to use visual cues such as landmarks and the positions of the sun and stars to navigate.