Migration! Two million animals on the move
East Africa's annual wildebeest migration is one of the world's most astounding wildlife spectacles.
One of the greatest wildlife spectacles in East Africa
The wildebeest herds are constantly searching for fresh grass after the rains, moving north from the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania to Kenya's Masai Mara and back again in a roughly circular clockwise pattern.
Migration river crossings
There are known common points where the herd cross the rivers in their path, and the lodges close to these are always full when the migration is around. You never know when the herds will cross but this is one of the sights of the natural world which photographers and wildlife enthusiasts yearn to see. For the wildebeest it's a dangerous time though as crocodiles are waiting!
River crossings in Kenya
In the Masai Mara, the migration herds cross both the Mara and the Talek Rivers. They don’t just cross once, but since they stay in the Mara for a few months from about July to October, they cross to and fro.
River crossings in Tanzania
In the Serengeti you might see a river crossing at the Grumeti River in the far west. This is most likely around May-June, though being dependent on the rains, can happen any time from about April to early July. In the north, more spectacular rivers crossings are seen when the herds cross the Mara River to get to the Masai Mara, usually around mid-August-September.
Perhaps the migration's best kept secret and another fascinating facet of this amazing spectacle is calving season. Around February an astonishing half a million or so wildebeest are born, with as many as 8,000 being born in a single day! The calving season can carry on into March as zebras and gazelles also give birth to their young.
The wily predators are quick to follow. The calves are vulnerable and easy pickings for hungry predators. It's a tense time for everyone, wildlife and spectators alike. This is nature and a fight for survival.
How to do plan an annual wildebeest migration safari
Tanzania: For most of our clients we arrange a private guide and vehicle, giving them the flexibility to watch wildlife for as long as they want and stop when they want.
Kenya: Privately-guided safaris are also possible here, though it is common to fly into the Mara and take shared game drives with the guides from the camp or lodge.