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The Great Migration, also known as the "Wildebeest Migration," has been listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. This is the stage on which the 'greatest wildlife show on earth' plays out, as more than two million wildebeest along with gazelle and zebra stragglers charge towards better grazing areas - making it the most unique safari experience in Africa.
The Great Migration generally moves in a clockwise motion through the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya, and then back again forming one big circle. The herds visitors can see is dependent on the time of year and location they are visiting. The exact timing and route of the migration changes from year to year and is entirely dependent on the rains. Our safari experts will help you plan your dream East Africa experience - get in touch!
The annual rains hit the Serengeti allowing the female wildebeest to give birth. By March or April, the area has dried out and become desolate again so the massive grouping of animals are forced to move northwards towards Lake Victoria where they begin the mating season. After this, they head towards the Maasai Mara in June or July and this is where most people witness the sight of thousands of animals galloping across the plains and crossing the notoriously, crocodile-infested Mara River.
In Tanzania, the best time to witness the migration is divided between two different periods. In the Southern Serengeti it is in February and March. The animals are grazing and can be seen in their immense numbers. It is also a good time to see the animals dropping their young. In contrast, river crossings are best seen between July and September in the northern Serengeti.
River crossings are the best during this time as various wildlife species cross back and forth between the two areas. In September, the animals cross back into the Serengeti. After September, there is still a tail end of the migration which lags behind the main herds. If you are late, you can still hope to catch the last of them. The animals then go back to the Serengeti plains from where they started at the beginning of the year and start the whole process again.
Our favourite tours showcasing the best of The Great Migration in Africa
A selection of our favourite places for The Great Migration in Africa
Accommodations for every kind of traveller
Safari lodge | Ngorongoro Crater
Tented safari camp | Serengeti National Park
Tented safari camp | Mara Conservancies
Tented safari camp | Maasai Mara National Reserve
Safari lodge | Grumeti Game Reserve
Safari lodge | Chyulu Hills National Park
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