Prepare to embark on an journey that unveils one of nature's greatest spectacles – the Great Wildebeest Migration. A phenomenon that captivates hearts worldwide, this journey of survival beckons travelers from every corner of the globe. At Ololo Safaris, we invite you to delve into this FAQ guide, which answers the most common questions surrounding the Great Migration, a phenomenon that unfolds in the heart of Kenya and Tanzania.
Understanding the Great Wildebeest Migration
The Great Wildebeest Migration is an annual odyssey, where millions of wildebeests, as well as some zebras, traverse the expansive Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve. Their relentless journey? The pursuit of fresh grazing pastures.
The right time to witness
This dramatic spectacle is an ongoing cycle, but one of the best times to visit occurs between July and September. During this time, the herds courageously navigate the Mara River, facing the perils of crocodile-infested waters, while predators like lions and cheetahs seize the opportunity for abundant prey.
Viewing the Great Migration is one of the most popular requests for East African safari itineraries. To secure your first choice of accommodation in your preferred location, you may need to book your trip 12-18 months in advance.
Set aside time To improve the likelihood of seeing the herds, you will want to spend time in more than one location, so make sure your trip is long enough to do so. We’d recommend staying at two to three camps for a few nights each, and choosing good combinations where the transfers between the camps can be practical and even an enjoyable part of the experience.
Understanding the cause
The migration is spurred by the primal drive for sustenance – food and water. As the dry season unfolds, and the grasslands wane, the herds embark on a tireless journey in search of flourishing pastures and life-sustaining water sources.
When are the best times to visit
While July to September is revered as the apex of the Great Migration, the journey is a symphony of distinct phases, each with its own allure:
January - February: Calving Season: Witness the circle of life as an estimated 400,000 wildebeest calves enter the world, while predators capitalize on the vulnerable young.
March - April: Grumeti River Crossing: A quieter yet compelling experience near the Grumeti River, framed by the western Serengeti's landscape.
May - June: Moving North: As herds move northward through the Serengeti, revel in an intimate encounter with lush landscapes and fewer crowds.
July - August: The Mara River Crossings: A suspenseful display as herds confront the Mara and Talek River's currents, flanked by predators. A truly heart-stopping spectacle. The river crossings usually start in July, but the timing all depends on the rains.
September - October: The Maasai Mara: Witness the herds grace the Maasai Mara's lush savannah plains, painted against a stunning backdrop – a photographer's paradise.
November - December: The Trek South: When the rains begin in November, the herds usually cross back to the Serengeti from the Masai Mara and head back towards the now fertile southern Serengeti.
WHEN & WHERE TO SEE THE GREAT MIGRATION
Where luxury meets nature
A plethora of luxury lodges and tented camps adorn the Serengeti and Maasai Mara, offering lavish comfort paired with front-row seats to the migration's majesty. At Ololo Safaris, we always like to plan our guest's trips well ahead for peak season demand and due to our strong relationships built with our partner camps, can often secure early season rates for our clients.
Beyond the Migration
Beyond the migration's s drama, there are a variety of activities to experience whilst on safari. Delve into the Maasai people's captivating culture, a testament to Africa's rich heritage. Take to the skies in a hot air balloon safari, or develop your tracking skills and wildlife knowledge by going on a guided walking safari usually in the private Naboisho or Mara North conservancies.
Your conservation contribution
We choose eco-friendly accommodations and responsible operators to actively partake in safeguarding these fragile ecosystems and their remarkable inhabitants.
Capturing timeless moments
Arm yourself with a good camera and lens for captivating wildlife shots. The golden hours of dawn and dusk offer perfect lighting, while patience unveils nature's most enchanting scenes.
Prepare to be blown away by the grandeur of the Great Wildebeest Migration – an unparalleled natural spectacle that will forever etch its beauty in your heart. Join Ololo Safaris in Kenya and Tanzania for an odyssey of wonder, a tapestry woven with the threads of survival, awe, and harmony. As you stand amidst the epic migration, you'll witness the raw power of nature's symphony, a tale as old as time and as awe-inspiring as the African wilderness itself.