Have you been dreaming of an African safari? If so, you’ll want to know about the Great Migration—one of Mother Nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles.
Every year, millions of wildebeest join zebra and gazelle on an 1,800-mile journey from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park into Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. It’s a remarkable event that takes place over several months, and there are some surprising facts about it that you may not know. Let’s look at 5 of them!
1. It Doesn’t Just Take Place in the Serengeti
While it is true that the Serengeti National Park is where the Great Migration begins, it isn’t where it ends! The animals don’t just cross one river; they follow seasonal rains across much of East Africa, including parts of the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. From the southern Serengeti, the herds move south-west to the vast Ndutu area where calving happens. The long march northwards begins in April, culminating the Western Corridor of the Serengeti, and finally over the Grumeti and Mara Rivers into the Masai Mara. Have a look at our guide on when to go for the migration for more detail.
2. There Are Different Seasons and Times to Go
Generally, the June – August period is considered the most popular time to visit East Africa for the Great Migration, as visitors want to see the thrill-inducing spectacle of the river crossings. However, there is also excellent game viewing and sighting of the Migration in its various stages – from the birthing in Ndutu to the long northwards stretch into the Western Corridor which is widely considered one of the best spots to watch predators in action.
3. Migratory Camps Move with the Herds
One of the most authentic ways of experiencing the Great Migration, is to book one of the mobile camps, which will set up for a few weeks of a time in an area known to be close to the herds. This ensures you’re in the best place for all the action during that season. If you come again the following year and stay at the same camp, you may find that it is in a different location altogether! The mobile camps are exceptionally well equipped and serviced, with little unexpected luxury additions too.
4. It Isn’t Just Wildebeest
Sure, these majestic creatures get most of the attention when it comes to the Great Migration thanks to their sheer numbers (estimated at 1 million!), but they are far from being alone on this long journey! They are joined by hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle who also make their way across East Africa during this incredible event each year.
5. You Need To Plan Ahead
Those wishing to witness the Great Migration should plan ahead if they want to ensure they get a front-row spot in one of the very popular lodges or camps in the Mara or Serengeti. If you’re interested in witnessing either the crossings in mid-2023 or to travel to East Africa for the migration later in the year, then chat to one of our experienced Travel Planners now to ensure you don’t miss out on this truly spectacular natural wonder.
Witnessing the Great Migration is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience no wildlife enthusiast should miss out on. Now that you know more about what makes this event so unique—from its multi-country route through East Africa to its diverse array of animal species—it’s time for you to start planning your trip so you can discover its wonders first hand!
With proper preparation and planning, a migration safari through Tanzania or Kenya could be just what you need for an unforgettable adventure into nature’s grandeur. Browse our Great Migration safari packages to see wildebeest and wildlife alike. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.