Photo Blog: When & Where to Witness Africa’s Great MigrationApril 30, 2019
Be in the know about which areas in East Africa to visit and at what times of the year so that you can book your ultimate Great Migration safari!
Undoubtedly one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife experiences, the Great Migration in East Africa sees 1.5 million wildebeest and thousands of zebra and antelope driven by instinct across the plains of Tanzania and Kenya in search of new grazing lands and water sources.
Each time of the year presents opportunities for different wildlife sightings and while this natural process can change with varying weather conditions, environmental factors and the animals themselves, there is still a loose monthly guideline that can be followed:
May to June
As the plains of the Serengeti National Park begin to dry out, the herds move out in search of new sources of water and nutritious grasses further north and west. Some take the route that leads them through the Western Corridor and Grumeti River before going north. Others journey through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area taking them into Loliondo or Seronera before meeting up together in the far northern regions of Tanzania.
While particular wildlife sightings can never be guaranteed on safari, the sheer scale of this migration makes it almost impossible to miss out completely. The game animals preoccupy themselves with grazing on the plains and drinking from watering holes. A vast sea of brown wildebeest extends as far as the eye can see and is broken up only by groups of monochromatic zebra and small, lithe antelope.
July to November
Many safari enthusiasts consider this the best time to encounter the Great Migration because the potential for excellent predator action increases over this time. The herds move into Kenya, where predators lurk in the shallows of the Mara River and on the grassy plains of the Masai Mara Triangle, waiting to catch their next meal.
As the wildebeest bound down the banks of the river, the weak can be crushed in the stampede and those crossing the river slowly may get caught and drowned by crocodiles. This mass movement of game attracts big cats like lion and cheetah, who stalk them through the long grasses before chasing down those on the fringes of the group that are most vulnerable.
December to April
Following the rains back down into the southern parts of Serengeti, the herds wait for the perfect conditions to give birth. About half a million calves are born during a two- to three-week period, and the youngsters need to be up and walking 10 minutes after being born if they are to survive. Endurance is not only needed to make the journey but also to outrun the land predators that target the weaker and more vulnerable young.
Contact us to discuss when and where you should be for your ultimate Great Migration safari in Africa.
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