Wildebeest migration is a famous journey by the wildebeest from Serengeti national park across the Ndutu and Seronera areas until they cross the danger zones of the Maraa River into Masai Maraa Plains. This migration is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The world’s greatest wildlife migration, featuring up to 1.5 million wildebeest and thousands of zebra and gazelle, happens every year in East African countries of Tanzania and Kenya.
This massive crossing can be witnessed best in the morning at around 0900 hours to 1100 hours and sometimes in the afternoon at 1500 hourrs to 1600 hrs. They zigzag the Mara ecosystem in their entire stay in Kenya at different times in huge herds together with the Zebras where they will be hunted down by the big carnivores. They travel through large distance very quickly for they are on the run always and this ensures that they get the grass to feast on as well as they are well dispersed within the massive Mara plains.
There is however no set circuit that occurs between Tanzania’s Serengeti plains in the south and Kenya’s Maasai Mara in the north between May and December each year. But that isn’t precisely the whole story. Don’t let methodical maps claiming to predict the pathways take your intelligence for granted. Since this is a completely natural process that depends on weather, environmental factors, and the animals themselves, the timing and route that’s well-known—from the southern Serengeti through the Western Corridor up to the Maasai Mara then back to the start through the Loliondo and Lobo area—is more of an estimation than a reliable roadmap.
As your safari experts, we always provide guidelines for when and where to visit. Even if you attempt to see the migration when it isn’t following its “usual” pattern due to an unusually dry or wet season, odds are high that you’ll most likely see thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles in any given area. There are millions of animals involved, remember? So you’re sure to catch a few making their way across the vast region.
What’s the best time to witness wildebeest migrations?
The best time to witness the wildebeest Migration is through June and July (central or western corridor of Grumeti area) and August to September in the north of the park mostly known as Kogatende area. During these months, herds are making their way between Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara so this is when you’ll have the best chance of seeing a river crossing. Come early October, the rainy season in Tanzania will commence, and the herds will embark on their return journey back to the Serengeti. Animals are easier to spot since they concentrate around waterholes and rivers and the vegetation is less thick. Mostly sunny and there is very little rain.
Where to be or stay for the best wildebeest Migration experience?
From April each year, various animals start to set out across the Serengeti plains in search of more grass and a dependable water supply. For the following months, they’ll encounter myriad obstacles from predators to river crossings on their hundreds of mile trek. Below we share with you a breakdown of wildebeest tentative travel schedule, so you can plan your own accordingly.
Period between December to April
With plenty of green pastures and water sources, the southern part of Ndutu area in Serengeti is the place to be during these four months when the wildebeest are mostly staying put. Depending on rainfall, herds can be seen between the Ndutu area and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which is just southeast of Serengeti National Park. Roughly in February, wildebeest are calving to more than 500,000 calves in a 2-3 week period, so if seeing baby wildebeest or predatory action is a priority, this could be the best time for you to go. Look out for our wildebeest calving safari and book your life time trip
As a fact, within 10 minutes of birth, wildebeest calves are on their feet, so they’re ready to keep up the pace with the herd
Period between May and June
With the rainy season starting to call it a day, the south and east plains of the Serengeti dry out, prompting the beginning of the migration. This usually starts in April or May, and herds begin to move north and west, although not all as one group. Some will head to the Western Corridor and the Grumeti River (where you might spot a crocodile) before proceeding north, and some may also go up through the Loliondo area or through the Seronera area and into Lobo area.
Period between July to October
This is traditionally thought of as the best season to view the wildebeest migration. Between July – October, the wildebeest move into Kenya’s Maasai Mara, crossing the Mara River in large numbers. These river crossings are among the most sought after moments of the migration. If witnessing the river crossing is top on your bucket list, this when you should plan your trip to catch a herd tromping through the water. Check here to see the best route to opt for.
Period between October to November
The wildlife drama is not over yet! The migration starts to work its way south into Tanzania plains, so there will be plenty to see in the southern Maasai Mara in Kenya and in Northern Tanzania (Kogatende area)
Be part of our safari family by planning your trip with us and we shall deliver the most breathtaking African memories. Come undertake the Wildebeest Migration journey.