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when is the best Time to See the Great Migration

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By William Sanga

When is the Best Time to See the Great Migration: Discovering the Wonders of the Great Wildebeest Migration – An Epic Journey Across the African Savanna

The Great Wildebeest Migration is a spectacular natural event that occurs annually in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in Africa. It involves the movement of vast numbers of wildebeest, zebras, and other plains animals in search of food and water. When is the best time to see the Great Migration? The migration typically begins in late December or early January, when the wildebeest and zebras start to move from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. They follow a circular route through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, covering a distance of around 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) over the course of the year.

During the migration, the animals face numerous challenges and dangers, including predators, crocodiles, and sometimes drought and famine. However, migration is also a vital part of their natural lifecycle, allowing them to access new pastures and ensuring the survival of their species. The Great Wildebeest Migration is a popular tourist attraction, drawing many people to the Serengeti-Mara region to witness the event. It is considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. When is the best time to see the Great Migration? The ideal time varies depending on the specific stages of the migration, but generally, the peak river crossings at the Mara River occur between July and September, offering the most dramatic and awe-inspiring views of this natural phenomenon.

Best Times to Witness the Great Migration: A Seasonal Guide

November – January

When is the best time to see the Great Migration? The migration cycle of Serengeti National Park begins during this period, as animals move from Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve to the southeast part of the Serengeti. This dry season in Tanzania sees approximately 1.7 million wildebeest, accompanied by 260,000 zebras and 470,000 gazelles, moving to the Serengeti’s short-grass plains. This time is also the mating season for zebras, making it vital to the future of these species.

February – March

Wondering when is the best time to see the Great Migration? In February, the migration passes through the southern part of Serengeti National Park and into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This period is the peak season for wildebeest fertility, crucial for the formation of the next generation. New wildebeests are born during this season, and visitors can witness the calves walking with the herd, protected from predators and able to run at incredible speeds within just a few days.

By early March, as the fodder near Ngorongoro disappears, wildebeests begin their migration to the western part of the Serengeti, heading towards the Grumeti River region.

Migration Seasons


The big herds of animals move to the central part of the park named Seronera. This period is the rainy season in Tanzania. Heavy and prolonged rainfalls give animals tens of thousands of square kilometers of fresh grass for their nutrition.

May – June

This is the end of the rainy season. Herds of wildebeest continue to move to the west, to the region named Western Corridor. On their way, they must cross the Mbalageti and Grumeti rivers. National Geographic and Discovery Channel continue to organize expeditions and film the incredible Grumeti River crossing, capturing the danger of the herds charging through crocodile-infested waters. It is a truly exciting thing to watch and seeing it all live, in person can never be matched with a television episode.


July is the beginning of the dry season in Tanzania. There are no rains, and animals continue to move to the north, towards the border with Kenya along the Grumeti region. At the end of August, this amazing cycling of animals reaches the borders of monitoring areas of Ikorongo (where there is the famous German Fort Ikoma, described in Bernard Grzimek’s book “Serengeti Shall Not Die”).

August – October

At the end of September, the migration reaches the border with Kenya. In October, during the peak of the dry season, most of the animals have migrated to the Maasai Mara in Kenya where there is a lot of fresh water and plenty of grass.

Great Migration Rivercrossing

When is the Best Time to See the Great Migration?

Generally, here at Williamson Adventures, we offer custom-made safaris that can include witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration, with options such as “Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti Migration Safari.”


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