The Wildebeest Migration Cycle

December, January, February, March Serengeti National Park / Ngorongoro Conservation Area Highlights: 35 species of plain game on transit.
The Serengeti National Park / Ngorongoro Conservation Area are perhaps the most extraordinary wildlife sanctuary in the world. In the months of December through March the legendary vast open grasslands of the southern Serengeti and the Conservation Area hosts enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra.

More than 35 species of plain game, including wildebeest and zebra, as well as an extensive variety of birdlife inhibit this park reaching up to the sister game reserve the Masai Mara. The thundering hooves of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra at the height of the annual great migration create a never to be forgotten experience.

January, March - Calving Season
The vast wildebeest herd gives birth between January and March on the short grass plains of southern Serengeti. During the rainy season the plains are green and it is easy to detect potential predators. In the calving season the herds concentrate at the Ndutu and Salei plains (Southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area) attracting the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and hyena.  

April, May -Western Corridor of the Serengeti, close to the Lake Victoria

In April and may the wildebeest will slowly head northwest from the short grass plain to the Serengeti’s western corridor and the Grumeti River. Here they meet their first handle menace Nile crocodiles waiting for the scared to stumble at the crossing. Conservation Area to the long lush grassy plains and woodland western Corridor of the Serengeti, close to the Lake Victoria. Heavy rainfall has set in. The migration moves slowly towards the central Serengeti woodlands onwards to the western corridor. Wild flowers have fully blossomed experience the sight and sounds of African wilderness.

June -Lamai Wedge and the Mara Triangle
As the end of May approaches the masses wildebeest have exhausted the Western Corridor's best pastures and the herds must move further north. On entering the Lamai Wedge and the Mara Triangle marks breeding time May through June. This is a transitional period between the rains and the dry season.

July, August, September, October-Ikorongo

Game Controlled Area heading northwards to Mara River
The migrating game is in the Ikorongo Game Controlled Area heading northwards to Mara River. This marks the onset of the greatest world spectacle, as the migration crosses the Mara River where the crocodiles makes crossing uncertain for the wildebeest. The migratory animals are looking for the sweet grass across the Kenya border Maasai Mara National Park. The determined animals must cross the river for the die has been cast either they die of starvation, from the Jaws of the crocodiles or the marauding predators of the savannah.

Best place to be based is the western part of the Maasai Mara; here visitors wait across the River Mara to watch as the dramatic Survival for the fittest saga. Between July and October the wildebeest reside in the Mara.

From July to October
Hundreds upon thousands of animals follow the rainfall pattern on a 500-mile circular route across Serengeti towards the fertile northern plain of Masai Mara Game reserve in Kenya and back. The wildebeest calving season is linked to the rut, which takes places at the end of the rains in May and June. It is amazing how the majorities of calves are born during the migration safari and within a few minutes mother and child joins moving herds and therefore avoid predation.

Game moves into the Ngorongoro Crater

Clouds are starting to building up and roaring of thunder can be heard far off a signal of the pending rain. The wildebeest begins to move southwards in the hope of the new rain season. As November ends the migration is making its way back to the southern Serengeti and early in the year they once again give birth. The circle of life is complete. The migration settles and grazes in the short grass lands on the southern plains. Game moves into the Ngorongoro Crater. Seronera has permanent water and the migration will move to the south if the rains fall. Zebra are foaling.

*Note - the migration is a natural event and the timing varies month by month; year by year
please note this is a general picture of the migration cycle and not a précis and definite program. The annual wildebeest migration is a spontaneous natural phenomenon and predicting the actual timing of the migration is impossible. Therefore we cannot be held liable for any misrepresentation of the current ongoing events in East Africa.

Please consult with your Tuzurusafaris representative for up to date reports when planning your safari

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: arrival Nairobi   Day 2: Nairobi excursion  Days 3/4/5: drive to Samburu- Game viewing. Days 6/7: Mount Kenya Day 8 Nakuru  Days 9/10/11: Masai Mara-Migration Game viewing. Overnights intimate luxury Camp Masai Mara  Day 12: Home bound flight via Nairobi

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