Early migration makes for great savings on Tanzania or Kenya safaris

March 25, 2015

Reports from our team in the Serengeti in Tanzania have confirmed it – the wildebeest migration is in full swing – several months earlier than is expected.

Earlier this week, vast herds of wildebeest were seen arriving in the central areas of the Serengeti, near the Grumeti River, signifying the start of one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet.

“We originally thought it was a couple of strays that had broken away from the main herd but then tens of thousands started flooding in” one lodge manager told The Telegraph newspaper.

Wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the Serengeti Mara Migration

The weather (and subsequent grass conditions) is thought to be the major factor in defining when the herds start to move. This year, good rains over Christmas meant the calving season began early on the southern plains. Subsequently, the weather in the Serengeti has been extremely dry, forcing the wildebeest to move north earlier than usual, into the so-called ‘Western Corridor’ that includes the Grumeti. The wildebeest normally reach the Grumeti area some time in May, congregating on the banks of the river and starting to cross in June, to continue their long journey into the northern Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara. But with this year’s early arrivals, it looks like crossings will start in April – a whole 2-3 months ahead of ‘schedule’.

Whilst this only serves to proves the old maxim that wild animals can never be predictable, it does mean tourists can make great savings on last minute migration safaris. Properties situated on the path of the herds do not enter their ‘peak season’ until June or July, so travelling in April and May is a lot more affordable.

For example, anyone booking our Migration & Gorillas tour, with four nights in the northern Serengeti, will save up to US$1,840 per person by travelling in May rather than July to October, and those travelling with on our Best of Kenya safari (which culminates in spending 3 nights in the Maasai Mara at the elegant Cottars 1920s Camp) will save nearly $1,300 per person by booking in June rather than August.

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the great migration, 2015 may be the year to make that dream come true. Contact our team for a customized migration safari, tailor-made just for you!

Posted by Anne-Marie Weeden

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