Wildebeest Migration is a spectacular experience on earth involving thousands of wildebeest and zebra across Serengeti plains, moving from southern Serengeti to northern Serengeti where the Masai Mara Reserve located in Kenya. Each year wildebeest accompanied with zebra and gazelle migrate clockwise between Tanzania and Kenya searching for fresh pasture and water.
Wildebeest migration spends most of time in Serengeti plains about 88%. Wildebeest utilize southern plains for calving due to abundance of short grasses rich in mineral nutrients, before migrating to western corridor of Serengeti after exhausting southern plains resources. Upon reaching western corridor the migration starts to cross the Grumeti River home to Giant Nile Crocodiles heading further north to approach Mara River located along borders of Tanzania and Kenya.
During Mara River crossing thousands of wildebeest lost lives due to various calamities other attacked by Nile Crocodiles of Mara River. After reaching Masai Mara Reserve the wildebeest spend short time before returning back to southern plains of Serengeti for calving.
During December some of wildebeest herds start to arrive to southern plains of Serengeti. For better chance and opportunity for viewing and experiencing wildebeest migration is within Tanzania but also combination of both countries Tanzania and Kenya is possible for more experience of viewing wildebeest migration.
Wildebeest Migration Circle
December to March
The herds congregate near Lake Ndutu in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. An estimated 500 000 calves are born during a two to three weeks window in February. This mass calving draws many predators. The area consists of plains of short grass, which contains lots of calcium and is the perfect nutrition for lactating mothers and young babies.
Accomodations: Ndutu Lodge, Lake Masek Camp, Lake Ndutu Camp. Ndutu Katikati Camp, Ndutu Under Canvas, Chaka Camp, Kimondo South, Olakira South, Ubuntu South, Dunia, Namiri Plains
April to May
As the rains come to an end and the ground dries, the herds start making their way north into the Southern Serengeti. They graze and move slowly as they have their young calves travelling with them and the grass is still fresh. Late April & begins of May the herds moves to central Serengeti. May is the mating period and males do fierce battle for a mate.
Accomodations: Serengeti Katikati camp, Serengeti Sopa Lodge, Serengeti Serena Lodge, Four seasons lodge, Dunia camp, Namiri camp
June to July:
The wildbeest migration splits in two, one group moves to the west into the Western Corridor and cross the Grumeti River. The other herds proceed to northern Serengeti. Mid-July the 2 herds meet north of Serengeti along Mara river and the river crossing starts but timing all “depends on the rains”.
Accomodations: Lobo Lodge, Mbuzi Mawe Camp, Chaka camp, Mara under canvas, Serengeti Serena Lodge, Soroi Serengeti Lodge, Kiota Camp, Grumeti Camp, Mbalageti Serengeti Camp, Kirawira Serena Camp, Migration Camp, Ubuntu camp, Kimondo camp, Olakira camp, Sayari camp, Namiri camp
August to October:
The herds can be found in the Northern Serengeti as well as in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. Daily river crossings can be seen at the Mara and Talek rivers. This is often the base of the most exciting crossings!.
Accommodations (Tanzania): Chaka Camp, Mara Under Canvas, Ubuntu camp, Kimondo camp, Olakira camp, Sayari camp.
Accommodation (Kenya): Rekero, Mara Bush Houses, Encounter Mara, Naboisho camp.
End of October to November
The herds usually cross back to the Serengeti from the Mara and head towards the now fertile Ndutu Area. The herds travel fast and cover long distances in a single day. By the beginning of December, Ndutu starts seeing the herds return to calve, and for the whole process begins again.
Accommodations (Tanzania): Lobo Lodge, Mbuzi Mawe Camp, Kiota Camp, Bukubuku Camp, Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Serengeti Serena Lodge, Ubuntu North, Kimondo camp, Olakira camp, Sayari camp, Namiri camp
Accommodations (Kenya): Rekero, Mara Bush Houses, Encounter Mara, Naboisho camp