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Migrating to the Serengeti

Migrating to the Serengeti

Every year well over a million wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem. According to David Attenborough, this is one of the world’s most spectacular natural events.

Personal travel manager, Gail Hughes, specialises in safari tours and shares her experience witnessing the migration across Kenya and Tanzania with us here.

To book a place on Gail’s 2016 September safari package, get in touch with her here.

When and where to go

The annual migration is a continual, cyclical movement, in which you have to be in the right place at the right time to witness it.

It’s best to stay at mobile camps that follow and track the migration throughout the year so that you’re in the best location at any given time.

January – February

In January the herds will be in and around the southern plains of the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation area and Ndutu, where they will be getting ready to give birth.

February is the start of the calving season, and predators such as cheetahs will be close behind. This is the perfect time to travel; besides witnessing thousands of wildebeest giving birth, there are less tourists and therefore great value for money when staying at these mobile camps.

March

Herds are still feeding on the green grass and the last of the babies have been born by the end of March. The herds begin to get ready to move as the grass thins out and the wet season commences. This is also the time that mobile camps start to pack up until May.

April brings the “long rains” and many camps close up until May. The migration will now have moved into the central and western part of the Serengeti.

May – June

In May and June, the mass herds continue their long journey to the central and western corridors of the Serengeti. This is a great time to see the herds in action – you’ll be surrounded by wildebeest as they head toward the Grumeti river and the Northern Serengeti to get ready for the crossing of the Mara river (where crocodiles wait patiently!).

July – September

Herds start searching for fresh grass in July and August. Now is the time to witness the spectacular river crossings. The best vantage points are in Northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara.

The herds have broken up by September, with some stragglers staying in the Northern Serengeti whilst the mass herds are now across the river.

October

This is the peak tourist period for Masai Mara, so be sure to stay outside of the National Park; you’ll encounter less tourists, brilliant guides and be able to do other activities such as guided bush walks and night game drives, as well as giving back to local communities.

November – December

The short rains arrive in November, and grass in the Serengeti is replenished. The wildebeest, zebra and antelope make their way back across the river into the Northern Serengeti. By December, they are spread out between Lobo and Central Serengeti, ready to start their journey back towards the Southern Plains… and so the circle of life begins again.

Other sights to see

  • After arriving at the safari gateway, Arusha, Tanzania, meet your guide in the early morning, explore Tarangire National Park, renowned for its large elephant population, beautiful landscapes and large baobab trees.
  • See how the locals live on your way to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. There are some great roadside markets too.
  • Stop at Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its birdlife and tree-climbing lions before spending a night on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater with spectacular views down into the crater.
  • Spend a night or two in Nairobi where you can visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, feed the giraffe at the Giraffe Centre or learn more about the history of Nairobi.
  • Visit the Spice Island of Zanzibar – it’s only a flight away, and is the perfect way to end a safari.

For your next unique adventure, contact your Personal Travel Manager or find one here.

Gail Hughes
Location
Based in Narangba, QLD
Trading Hours
Monday to Friday 09h00 - 17h00

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