Drop a Line

+255 764 501 774

Email Address

hello@travelrouteafrica.com

Visit office

P.O.Box: 6714, Moshi, Tanzania

Serengeti Migration Safari

Africa’s race for life.

The Great Wildebeest Migration

The journey for the key players in the Great Migration, the roughly two million wildebeest, starts in the south of the Serengeti, with the birth of half a million calves between January and March. A favourite season for many of the seasoned Serengeti guides: the air during these months is full of new life and action.

Why do wildebeest migrate?

The 800 kilometer trek of the immense wildebeest herd is the largest mammal migration on earth. The timing of the migration coincides with greening of nutritious grasses on the short-grass plains during the wet season. These areas are safer because predators can be easily spotted making it an ideal place for calving. However, the plains dry and the wildebeest are forced to move in search of greener pastures in the western corridor. The northern extension of the ecosystem has the highest rainfall, but the grasses are the least nutritious. This is the dry season retreat for the wildebeest, at least until the south becomes green again. The result is a clockwise movement from the south, west, north, and back to the south.

Talk to Our Expert

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Tanzania specialists

+255 764 501 774

What you will experience on your Serengeti migration safari

Embarking on a Serengeti migration safari is an unparalleled journey into the heart of Africa’s wilderness, where the rhythm of nature orchestrates an awe-inspiring spectacle. As the golden sun rises over the vast plains, your senses will awaken to the sights and sounds of the wild. The great migration, a natural phenomenon where millions of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles traverse the Serengeti in search of fresh grazing lands, unfolds before your eyes. You’ll witness the thunderous hooves of these animals as they traverse the open savannas and meandering rivers, navigating through obstacles with a primal determination.

Throughout this immersive adventure, you’ll encounter an array of wildlife at its most raw and untamed. Herds of elephants peacefully meandering across the landscape, majestic lions lounging under the shade of acacia trees, and graceful giraffes silhouetted against the horizon will all become part of your daily encounters. The Serengeti is a photographer’s paradise, offering countless opportunities to capture the essence of Africa in its purest form.

Beyond the wildlife, the Serengeti offers an intimate connection with nature. You’ll experience the warmth of traditional Maasai culture, engaging with local communities and learning about their ancient customs and harmonious coexistence with the land. Evenings bring a different kind of magic as the African sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors during breathtaking sunsets, followed by a blanket of stars that seem to stretch endlessly across the heavens.

The Serengeti migration safari is not merely a trip; it’s a soul-stirring odyssey that leaves an indelible imprint on your spirit. It’s an immersion into a world untouched by time, where the untamed beauty of nature and the primal essence of life converge to create an unforgettable experience that will resonate within you long after your journey comes to an end.

The Great Migration in detail

When planning your Serengeti safari you probably want to include seeing the Great Migration. So how do you ensure to be there when it happens? The long and short of it is that you can’t. It is important to realize that the decision of when to visit the Serengeti always involves an element of risk. We have detailed the Great Migration below, and this is what usually happens, but keep in mind that there are no guarantees.

The annual migration of two million ungulates, wildebeest but also enormous groups of zebra and Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle and eland, through Serengeti National Park is the greatest wildlife spectacle of its type in Africa, and perhaps the world. Although variations occur from year to year, the Serengeti migration follows a reasonably predictable annual cycle, dictated by local rainfall patterns. The Great Migration cycle breaks up into the following periods:

We can find the main calving grounds in the area southeast of Seronera: typical Serengeti plains stretch all the way to the Ndutu area near Ngorongoro. Triggering their move to this area are the short rains in November and December. The wildebeest stick around this area until the end of the long rains, end of April, early May. The delightful news is that this section of Serengeti National Park is easily accessible and that in this period the landscape becomes lush. February is usually calving season in the Ndutu area and the southeastern plains: the very best time to visit this area. As wildebeest, zebra and other ungulates are so many, and give birth to so many calves, the spectacle works as a magnet for predators. As early as March or April the herd may move again in search of greener pastures. Seeing the actual migration in this period is more difficult, but chances are that you will encounter very large herds on the move.

This is the period that the wildebeest, after having feasted on the short green grasses of the southeastern Serengeti and after having giving birth to their offspring, start getting ready for their 800 kilometer long trek. The actual starting date may be anytime between late April and early June. This is the time to you may have the privilege to see one of the greatest natural phenomena in the world: more than a million marching animals in a column up to 40 kilometers long. During the migration, the herd will move towards the Western Corridor, where they will face the first major obstacle: crossing the Grumeti River. Many animals don’t survive the crossing as they are being awaited by the area’s population of oversized crocodiles ready to feast. The herd may congregate on the southern bank of the river and stay there for up to two weeks before crossing the river.

When the Grumeti River obstacle has been taken, the herd moves further north and starts crossing the next big hurdle, the Mara River, in July or August. The Mara River crossing is where so many iconic Great Migration photos have been taken. After this crossing the herd flocks to the northwest plains and Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The August – September period is considered being a bad time to visit Serengeti National Park and see the Great Migration as the herd moves into the Masai Mara in Kenya. However, migration patterns show that about half of the herd stays on the Tanzanian side, in the Mara Serengeti area. In this period, smaller herds of wildebeest (well consider small… herds may count up to between 500 and thousands of individuals) frequently cross the Mara River, back and forth, for no apparent reason. This is an excellent time to stay at one of the Serengeti Mara camps.

 

Crossing the Mara River northbound means that, at one point, the herd needs to cross the river one more time before commencing the trek back in a southerly direction. This usually happens in October, but sometimes earlier. In this period the herd will cross the northern plains and Lobo area. This section of Serengeti National Park is little-visited, so if you are looking to see the migration in relative quietness, this would be the time. The wildebeest return to the short- grass plains and calving ground around Ndutu in late November. And from here, the Great Migration starts all over again.

 

When to visit?

It is a matter of choice whether you would like to plan your Serengeti safari around the Great Migration. We have mentioned earlier that the Serengeti is a year-round destination as it covers a vast area and offers unparalleled wildlife viewing. Chances that you will be at the exact spot of the Great Migration herd crossing a river (either at the Grumeti or Mara River) are very slim. Also, the timing of herd movements cannot be guaranteed. However, if you choose the right part of the Serengeti: the southeast and Ndutu from December through to May, the Western Corridor from May to July, the Serengeti Mara area from July trough to October, and the northern Serengeti and Lobo area in October and November, large herds of wildebeest and their entourage should be easily located.

Go Wild with Us

Other Ideas for Safari Vacations in Tanzania

Whether you want to stay in simple or luxurious accommodation, have a particular passion for wildlife, art or experiencing the great outdoors, or you're planning a trip for a special occasion, we can create an itinerary to match your interests and tastes.
Family
Safari For

Family

Tanzania Cultural Expeditions
Safari With

Tanzania Cultural Expeditions

Hot Air Balloon Safari
Serengeti Adventure

Hot Air Balloon Safari

Couples
Safari For

Couples

Horseback Riding
Adventure

Horseback Riding

Tailor Your Safari Holiday to Tanzania
100% Flexible

Tailor Your Safari Holiday to Tanzania

ENQUIRE NOW
Our testimonials

What our traveler say about our services

We have been receiving reviews from our served clients and Travel Route Africa is rated 5/5 by customers. This honor is given to us by customers because we always remain committed to all our customers to do whatever is needed by them to make their safari fully satisfied.
Charless G
Charless G
2023-12-18
Verified
An epic adventure My experience with Travel Route Africa was absolutely fantastic. If you're looking for a travel company that combines expertise, personalization, and top-notch service, look no further. I wholeheartedly recommend them for an unforgettable and stress-free travel experience.
NorthStar54434543444
NorthStar54434543444
2023-12-14
Verified
Ema My friends and I went on safari with Travel Route and we had an amazing time!! I recommend Travel Route!!
asha M
asha M
2023-11-05
Verified
Amazing trip with friends ???? We had an amazing trip to ngorongoro … was such a great experience…. Good customer service…. We spent a whole day enjoying the view of beautiful ngorongoro… we had our favorite lunch… everything was perfect… i hope to bring my family again … thank u
Megz
Megz
2023-11-02
Verified
Wonderful Experience!! I really enjoyed spending time with my family visiting the beautiful Tarangire National Park. Tariq and the team were very accommodating and made sure all our need and wishes were catered too hence making the experience one to definitely remember. Looking forward to booking them in the future for a well deserved visit to Serengeti!! would def recommend to anyone looking to enjoy a safari visit
Taty
Taty
2023-10-26
Verified
Moshi kilamanjaro I went to moshi and did the waterfall coffee tour. The tour was amazing and fun. The locals were so kind and accommodating. Tariq was a great tour guide. Even though Im afraid of heights they made me feel safe during the hike. Getting to the waterfall was a Beautiful experience. I would recommend this company to a friend. Moshi is so beautiful I wanted to live there.
gilard
gilard
2023-10-18
Verified
well organised trip and affordable prices I loved my trip up Kilimanjaro withTravel Route. I was picked up at the airport by Emmanuel. The hotel I stayed at the day before the trek was nice and even had a pool which was good for relaxing before the climb. I went on the Machame route, which was great. It's beautiful and the climb was manageable. The guides were encouraging, helpful, cheerful and knowledgeable. The tents we stayed in on the climb were nice and we even had sleeping mats, which made for a comfortable sleep. The food on the climb was plentiful and better than I expected it to be. Overall it was a great experience and I would highly recommend Travel Route to anyone thinking about about climbing Kilimanjaro.
Downtown G
Downtown G
2023-10-18
Verified
Best experience Had a lovely Trip in Tanzania thanks to travel route would definitely recommend them for your trips they have fair and suitable prices and service .Be assured to get the best experience with them cheers!
Charlie R
Charlie R
2023-10-15
Verified
Trip was absolutely amazing, From the Itinerary to the Wildlife our guide was so professional with a lot of stories Highly recommended. Best in the Wild, the team is so friendly makes every guests feel comfortable, very professional and informative
Malcom K
Malcom K
2023-08-16
Verified
Highest Point of Africa with Friends An incredible experience with Travel Route Africa on Mount Kilimanjaro! The guides (Inno, Tadei, Urio, Tariq, too many names to mention:) were knowledgeable and supportive, ensuring safety and comfort. Well-planned itinerary from Niko and the team, breathtaking landscapes, and a fantastic team. A dream fulfilled with my friends as we summited Kilimanjaro together. Highly recommended!
Amoyi M
Amoyi M
2023-08-16
Verified
6 DAY MARANGU ITINERARY if you need to enjoy your tour in Tanzania especially hiking mount kilimanjaro this company are the well expert. Every single day towards our Dream was spotless. The whole team made the experience unique and precious and something that we will never forget.
Suggested Tours

Our Tanzania Safari Holiday Packages

//
Our customer support team is here to answer your questions. Ask us anything!
Let's Talk