Full Working Guide For A Safari Wildebeest Migration

Full Working Guide For A Safari Wildebeest Migration

Full Working Guide For A Safari Wildebeest Migration : Wildebeest Migration also Known by various names such as the Great Migration, Serengeti Migration, and Masai Mara Migration, the Great Wildebeest Migration in Africa is one of the planet’s final great terrestrial wildlife migrations. It’s the main cause of the large number of tourists that go on Migration safaris in Kenya and Tanzania, particularly in the middle of the year.

One of nature’s greatest paradoxes is the Migration: although timing is crucial, the animals’ movements are unpredictable. Though the exact date is unknown, we do know that the wildebeest (along with a few zebras and antelope) will cross the Mara River. Additionally, we are aware that rain causes the wildebeest to migrate to new grazing areas, but no one can predict with certainty when the rain will fall.

Luckily, Focus East Africa Tours have been organising safaris to witness the Wildebeest Migration in East Africa. For the best possible price, we have assisted thousands of travellers in finding the best location at the best time. You don’t need to search any farther for professional planning guidance. This helpful beginner’s guide to a safari during the Wildebeest Migration includes all of our expert advice. Below is the information that makes up our full working guide for a safari wildebeest migration.

Is it Possible to Forecast the Migration River Crossings?

No, not even the wildebeest are able to predict when they will cross! Some reach the water and swim over right away, while others stay for days grazing; still others reach the water and swim away. Although it would be nice, nobody is able to predict the crossings. For this reason, if you want to witness a river crossing, it is advisable to spend as much time as possible on Kenya safari along the Mara river.

When Does the Wildebeest Migration Take Place?

Most people mistakenly believe that the wildebeest migration only happens from July to October, but in reality, it is a year-round, circular migration that features a variety of equally exciting events. The popular river crossings typically take place between June and October, which is when Migration safari is at its busiest, leading to the misconception that this is the only time of year to see or move wildebeest.

Full Working Guide For A Safari Wildebeest Migration
Wildebeest Migration Masai Mara National Reserve

Where Does the Great Migration Begin? The Gnu Migration is initiated by the rains in East Africa, and the animals follow a traditional path in search of new grazing and water. This epic journey takes the wildebeest across the plains of the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, all the way south into Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, before circling up and around in a clockwise direction. The Great Migration is a fluid, year-round movement of approximately two million animals across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, and it has no set start or end points.

Why Do African Wildebeests Move?

Most people agree that the wildebeest’s reaction to the weather plays a major role in determining the course of Africa’s Great Migration. They travel in response to precipitation and the emergence of fresh grass, essentially acting on an innate need to locate food in order to survive. There is no scientific evidence to support the theory held by some experts that distant lightning and thunderstorms are what cause the wildebeest to move.

An Analytical Look at the Great Migration Month by Month

The lengthy and erratic rainy seasons that formerly prevailed in Tanzania and Kenya have become less regular and predictable due to climate change. The entire wildebeest calendar will be out of order if the rains arrive early or late. This is yet another reason it’s critical to budget as much time as possible for your safari. Nature just doesn’t operate that way; you can’t fly in for two nights, see a river crossing, and then fly out again. This is a very broad guideline for the herds’ locations throughout the year, keeping in mind that rain—which can fall early, late, or on schedule—is the primary cause of the entire Gnu Migration:


The herds have moved south from the northeast region into the region around Lake Ndutu in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Without fences, the Serengeti allows the herds to roam freely in search of grazing areas. Bear in mind that while the Serengeti Migration comprises up to two million wildebeest, zebra, and antelope, they are not grouped together in a single herd. Thousands or even hundreds of individuals at a time form mega-herds among the animals.

February to March

Over 8,000 new born wildebeests are born every day during calving season! Thus, get ready for a lot of unsteady calves and heartache as vicious predators attack. While hyena clans, packs of wild dogs, and hit-and-run jackals contribute to the spectacle, the Serengeti’s big cats take centre stage. The circle of life is portrayed as a live-action drama in this melancholic ballad.

The herds stay in the southern plains of the Serengeti until March, when they begin a slow westward migration, if the brief rainy season (November to December) yielded good grazing.


The long rainy season (April through May) has begun, and the herds are usually heading northwest towards the Moru and Simba Kopjes. With testosterone-fuelled battles between males vying for the privilege of mating with receptive females, the exciting rutting (breeding) season is well underway.


As the wildebeest funnel up into the central Serengeti, enormous columns of up to 40 kilometres (25 miles) in length can occasionally be seen. The massed herds are moving. With the calves’ increased strength, everyone is moving a little faster now.


Typically, the wildebeest are in the centre of the Serengeti National Park, preparing for the most difficult portion of their journey. It’s possible that some of the herds have already crossed the Grumeti River.


The Grumeti region and the northern Serengeti are now home to the Great Migration, which is glancing closely at the dangerous Mara River that they must cross to enter Kenya. Why? For big Nile crocodiles, that is!

As previously stated, river crossings are completely dependent on the rainy season and the frequently erratic behaviour of the wildebeest, making accurate forecasting impossible. To secure a lodge on or near the river, it is essential to book your Wildebeest Migration safari in Africa up to a year in advance. This will reduce the amount of time you must travel to lookout points. There are known crossing spots for wildebeest, and you can stake out an area for days in the hopes of observing the activity. To make sure, we advise selecting a mobile safari camp that follows the Migration.


Most people agree that August is the greatest month to see the magnificent river crossings that occur between the Masai Mara and the northern Serengeti. Passports are required to enter Kenya, although they are not required for wildebeest. The public can visit the Masai Mara National Reserve, but if you’re looking for a more exclusive safari experience, check out the private conservancies that border the reserve.


Smaller groups of wildebeest separate from the herds because not all of them migrate to Kenya. In the Masai Mara, animals trade war stories with each other; less than half of the animals in the northern Serengeti are left. As a result, while it’s still possible to see wildebeest in the Serengeti—just not in the mega-herds—the Masai Mara is, generally speaking, the greatest location to see the Migration in September.


The Masai Mara National Reserve remains your best option, but keep in mind that it is a much smaller reserve than the Serengeti and that there might be a lot of other tourists there. Not only can you still see the Migration in the nearby private conservancies, but you will also be helping the Maasai communities who have been living there for thousands of years. These conservancies are much less crowded. Additionally, you can partake in activities that are prohibited in the national reserve, such as walking safaris, night drives, and off-road game viewing.


A “normal year” would see the start of the brief rains, which would encourage the wildebeest to return to the restored Serengeti and abandon the now-depleted Masai Mara grasslands. Remember that the rain is also erratic in terms of when it will arrive.

The herds are usually in motion, but occasionally they can be seen in the north-eastern Serengeti, where they may divide into smaller groups to travel south.


The wildebeest migrate south in search of fresh grazing, traversing the northern and eastern Serengeti to gorge themselves and get ready for another daring, three thousand-kilometre (1,900-mile) journey.

In summary, the above article information needed to come up with a compilation of our full working guide for a safari wildebeest migration.

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