The Great Serengeti Wildebeest Migration

The Great Serengeti Wildebeest Migration ,the annual wildebeest migration that takes part throughout the Serengeti and Maasai Mara ecosystem is one of the most spectacular events on the wildlife calendar and described as “the greatest show on earth” – but finding the right dates of the migration is a completely different story. African DMC and other Partners Gosheni Safaris, Tanzania & Kenya Safaris, have been documenting the migration patterns and routes over the last 10 years and during that period, there has not been many times the wildebeest migration was in the same exact location during the same dates as the year before. Therefore, there is a lot more skill involved in booking the correct accommodation and safari for the migration than just looking at what happened last year!! Migration Prediction

June – The Great Wildebeest Migration moving north between the Western Corridor (Kirawira) and through the Grumeti Reserves. The herds of wildebeest are currently spread in long columns travelling northwards, and are expected to reach the Mara River during the last week of June and the first week of July. Permanent mobile camps are feverishly been erected in this area in preparation for the Wildebeest arrival, and the permanent camps and lodges ( including the newly built Lemala Kuria Hills due to start operating on 9th July) are well positioned for this. Good rain all over the northern part of Tanzania has left an abundance of grass all round, areas that were burnt over the last few months are all covered in short green grass and this makes for plenty of good grazing. TANAPA continues to burn blocks of land in the central and northern areas of the Serengeti. Clients that stayed at tented camps in the Western Corridor in the last few evenings have had a wonderful experience being surrounded by migratory wildebeest and witnessed several different prides of lion and a few leopards around the water holes in the region, so the big cat predators are definitely getting ready for the migration herds to arrive at the perennial water holes and rivers.

June To July – Central and western Serengeti, here it is important to know that you should book both the central Serengeti camps and lodges and the traditional western corridor camps and lodges (Makoma side as well as Mbalageti side), Ikoma would also be in the path of the migration but limited roads and having to re-enter the park is fairly frustrating. Singita Grumeti’s Sabora plains will come into play already and also &Beyond’s Grumeti River Camp is perfectly located. Mobile camps on the western corridor would also be good.Late July I would use Singita’s new Mara Camp in the north

July To End September – Book your river crossing safaris now, we are already taking substantial “Both sides of the Mara River” safaris and we are already struggling for space at the best located camps and lodges, Olakira Camp and Lemala Camp still has very good locations and Sayari and Lamai Serengeti would both be good permanent camp / lodge options. Again early July would be risky (combine Mara River with the western corridor or Singita Grumeti Reserves) and from end July onwards combine the northern Serengeti with the Masai Mara’s south western properties.

October To December – Still a long way off but depending on next year’s short rains you would be save to again book the north eastern Serengeti properties in combination with the south western Masai Mara properties, Naibosho and Keekorok areas combined with Bologonja and Lobo will work perfectly, Klein’s Camp is ideal and Migration Camp also. Mara Encounter and Naibosho has a good product from October to December also.

December To Mid-January – There has been good rain and we predict that the herds will slowly move south over the next 3 months, they will not be in huge herds as they would be when it is dry but they will be wondering around aimlessly as usual when there is an abundance of grass and water available. Accommodation from November to January that will put you in the right areas would be anything from Lobo to the central Serengeti’s camps and lodges. Migration Camp and Mbuzi Mawe would be good and even Four Season Lodge and Serena Serengeti will have you close enough.The special camp sites east of Seronera will also be good.

Mid-January To End March – Combine the southern Serengeti / Ndutu areas with the central and south western Serengeti, a good combination would be to combine Ndutu with either Maswa game reserve or Kusini Camp, Kusini has very good all round game and February March is ideal for that part of the park. I don’t think the herds would be at Ndutu early this year so early January might be too soon to book Ndutu only, so combine the south with the central Serengeti to be safe this year. Ndutu Safari Lodge, Lake Masek, the mobile camps at Naabi and Olduvai Gorge and even the camps at Maswa would all be within range, in combination with the central Serengeti camps and Lodges

April To End May – A wonderful time of the year to be on safari, you are virtually guaranteed the migration on the southern plains or towards Moru Kopjes and it is also low season, I personally spend a lot of time on safari in the rainy season training staff and consultants and I find April May one of the best times to both see the migration and also have a far less crowded safari experience, pack a sense of humor and we give you some gumboots, the herds should be at Moru and in the central Serengeti, Elewana’s new camp would be right in position and Sopa Lodge is perfect during the long rains. No mobile camps would be available but lodges are open.

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