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At the heart of the Serengeti Ecosystem lies an ancient phenomenon that is one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife events; The Great Wildebeest Migration. A movement of approximately two and a half million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the adjoining Masai Mara in Kenya.

A general guide to the Wildebeest Migration.

At the heart of the Serengeti Ecosystem lies an ancient phenomenon that is one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife events; The Great Wildebeest Migration. A movement of approximately two and a half million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the adjoining Masai Mara in Kenya.

Im Herzen der Serengeti findet Jahr für Jahr ein altes Phänomen statt, welches zu den beeindruckendsten Ereignissen in der Tierwelt zählt – die „Great Migration“, die große Wanderung der Gnus. Etwa zweieinhalb Millionen Gnus mit ihren Jungtieren, Zebras und Gazellen machen sich von der Serengeti aus auf den Weg in die Maasai Mara nach Kenia.

A general Guide to the Wildebeest Migration

serengeti-migration-mapJanuary – March: This is the beginning of the calving season; a time when there is plenty of rain ripened grass in the Ndutu and Salei plains (Southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area). The herds concentrate in this area hence attracting the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and hyena.

February: The wildebeest spend their time on the short grass plains of the south eastern part of the ecosystem, grazing and giving birth to approximately 500,000 calves within a 2 to 3 week period: a remarkably synchronized event.

  • Best observation point: a luxury mobile camp in the Ndutu / Naabi area or from Ndutu Safari Lodge.

April – May/June: The Wildebeest migration joined by many Zebra, and scattering of Thompson’s and Grant gazelles move north to the plains and woodlands of Serengeti’s Western Corridor with some of the front runners stretching to  the centre of the park at Seronera.

As the rains end in May the animals start moving northwest into the areas around the Grumeti River where they typically remain until late June. The Grumeti River is their first real obstacle; here gigantic Nile crocodiles wait for the hesitant wildebeest to stumble at the crossing.

  • Best observation point: Faru Faru River Lodge, Sasakwa Hill Lodge, Sabora Plains Tented Camp, Grumeti River Camp, Migration Camp, and Kirawira Camp. Seronera and Moru area campsites.

July/August: The main migration of wildebeest, zebra and eland head north, arriving on the Kenyan border late July / August for the remainder of the dry season. The Thomson’s and Grant's Gazelles move only east/west.

September - October: The herds reform and meander in the northern Serengeti along the Kenya and Tanzania border along the mighty Mara River. Watching the frantic herds of the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion.

  • Best observation point: Sayari, Singita Mara, Bushtops, Migration Camp, or a mobile camp in the Kogatende area.

November/December: With the start of the short rains, the migration starts moving south again to the short grass plains of the south east, usually arriving in December in time for calving in February.

  • Best observation point: Klein’s Camp, Campsites in the Lobo area.