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when is the great migration in Tanzania ?

Karibu sana Tanzania! (Welcome to Tanzania!)

When is the great migration in Tanzania ?
The Great Migration in Tanzania occurs throughout the year, offering travelers various opportunities to witness this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon. From January to March, the herds gather in the southern Serengeti for calving, presenting a remarkable spectacle of new life. July to August marks the peak of river crossings at the Mara River as the migration moves into Kenya’s Masai Mara, but these crossings can also be observed from the Tanzanian side as their are coming from Tanzania. From September to October, the herds often cross back to Tanzania as they continue their journey to central Serengeti through Lobo Area, providing additional chances to witness this extraordinary event.

The Great Migration in Tanzania is a breathtaking natural event that fascinates both travellers and wildlife enthusiasts. Millions of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles are on an epic journey across the vast plains of East Africa every year. They traverse the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya in search of fresh grazing lands and water sources. The Great Migration in Tanzania is a remarkable phenomenon, often referred to as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth.’ It is a testament to the resilience and dynamism of the natural world. When is the great migration in Tanzania occur? This article explores the timing, routes, and significance of the migration in the broader ecosystem.

when is the great migration in Tanzania ?

Experience the awe-inspiring wonder of the Great Migration in Tanzania. This is one of nature’s most extraordinary spectacles. Each year, millions of wildebeest and other wildlife make the treacherous journey of hundreds of miles in search of greener pastures. Witnessing this epic migration is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will leave you in awe of the natural world.

Tanzania has vast and diverse landscapes, making it the perfect stage for this incredible event. The animals’ journey takes them from the Serengeti plains to the Mara River banks, with stunning backdrops along the way. Thousands of wildebeest risk their lives in their quest for survival, thundering across the plains. Witnessing the migration’s drama, intensity, and sheer scale is a spellbinding experience.

To see this spectacle, timing is crucial, as the Great Migration is a constantly shifting phenomenon. The herds move in a circular pattern. They are guided by seasonal rains and the availability of fresh grazing. The wildebeest gather in the southern Serengeti from January to March to give birth to their young. This creates a mesmerizing sight of newborn calves. As the dry season sets in, the herds start their perilous journey towards the northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara in Kenya. They cross crocodile-infested rivers and evade predators along the way.

Experience the power and beauty of nature during the Great Migration in Tanzania. Witness this unique event that will captivate you.

when is the great migration in Tanzania ?

African safari lovers often ask when the is Great Migration in Tanzania! However, the Great Migration is not a one-time event, but a year-round journey that reveals new and exciting chapters every month.

This guide provides all the essential details, like the best time to go to the Serengeti,  from the most unforgettable moments during the Great Migration to the prime locations in the majestic Serengeti that offer unrivaled views of this epic journey! Get ready to be amazed by nature like never before!

January to March: Period of calving Sasson

From January to March, the southern Serengeti Ndutu region transforms into a bustling hub of activity as the calving season kicks into high gear. Amidst a landscape teeming with predators, the wildebeest herds settle in Ndutu are, making it their temporary home. February emerges as the peak of this enchanting period, with a staggering influx of around 800 new wildebeest calves gracing the plains daily for approximately three weeks. It’s a heartwarming spectacle that showcases the resilience and vitality of nature in its purest form.

Fun Fact: Did you know that during the calving season, the wildebeest females synchronously give birth within a condensed timeframe to maximize the calves’ chances of survival? This phenomenon, known as synchronous calving, ensures that predators are overwhelmed and unable to prey on all the newborns at once.

Our recommendation
We advise booking your accommodation in advance, especially since there are limited options available at Ndutu. Mid-range accommodations typically range from $200 to $300, while luxury options may cost between $400 and $500.

April to June: Central Serengeti and Western Serengeti

As April showers herald the transition from the rainy season, the resilient wildebeest herds in Tanzania gear up for their next audacious journey. With thunder as their cue, they eagerly pack up and migrate northward, crossing the Grumeti River en route to the western corridor of the Serengeti in search of fresh grazing and water. This migration, spanning April to June, is not just a mere trek but a daring adventure, reminiscent of brave adventurers responding to the call of the wild.

For those seeking to witness this spectacle firsthand, planning a safari between April and May offers a front-row seat to the action. Picture massive herds of wildebeest streaming through the Moru Kopjes towards the Western Corridor, creating a mesmerizing sight as thousands congregate along the banks of the Mbalageti and Grumeti rivers.

However, amidst the awe-inspiring migration lies a perilous challenge for the wildebeest. As they brave the river crossings, they face formidable adversaries in the form of crafty crocodiles and stealthy predators, adding a thrilling element of suspense to their journey.

Fun Fact: Did you know that during this migration period, the wildebeest herds can stretch for miles, forming an impressive spectacle visible even from space? It’s a testament to the sheer scale and magnificence of nature’s wonders.

July to August: The great Mara river crossing

Experience the ultimate adventure of the Great Migration as wildebeest herds journey from the breathtaking western Serengeti to the northern Serengeti!

Witness heart-stopping crossings of the Grumeti River during July and August, as the drama unfolds and risks escalate. Nile crocodiles lurk beneath the surface, ready to strike at any daring crossers, while lions await on the opposite bank, poised to pounce! Marabou storks and vultures circle above, anticipating the potential feast below! The game viewing experience is spine-tingling, fiery, and utterly captivating!

Tanzania’s peak season is in July and August due to these thrilling wildlife encounters! To avoid the crowds, it’s highly recommended to secure flight tickets, accommodations, and Great Migration safari slots well in advance! Experience the most dramatic Mara River crossings as thousands of wildebeest bravely navigate the treacherous waters! Don’t miss this spectacular event!

September to october: Moving back to Tanzania and again Mara River crossing

As September gives way to October, the return migration of the great wildebeest from Kenya’s Masai Mara to Tanzania’s Serengeti begins.

This movement marks a pivotal moment in the annual migration cycle. After months of feasting on the lush grasslands of the Masai Mara, the vast herds of wildebeest, zebra and other ungulates begin their arduous trek south, crossing the treacherous Mara River once again.

Crossing the Mara in the opposite direction brings its own challenges and dangers. Hungry crocodiles lie in wait, ready to ambush any animal that gets too close to the water’s edge. Meanwhile, the river’s steep banks present a formidable obstacle to the weary travellers, testing their strength and resolve.

Despite the risks, the instinctive drive to return to the nutrient-rich plains of the Serengeti drives the herds forward. Their journey is fuelled by the promise of fresh grazing and the need to reunite with other members of their species.

For safari enthusiasts, witnessing this epic migration in reverse is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The sheer size of the herds, combined with the raw intensity of their struggle for survival, creates a spectacle that is both awe-inspiring and humbling.

September offers the perfect window to experience the wildebeest migration on safari without the crowds. This period offers a unique opportunity for those seeking a more exclusive adventure. Less crowding means a more uninterrupted experience. It’s an ideal moment to capture the raw intensity of nature’s drama as the animals navigate their journey with remarkable determination.

As October progresses, the migration reaches its climax, with thousands of animals streaming across the savannah in a seemingly endless procession. It’s a sight that captures the essence of the African wilderness and leaves an indelible impression on all who witness it.

best time for wildebeest migration
when is the great migration in Serengeti

November: Central to southern Serengeti migration

In November, the Great Migration continues its journey through the Serengeti as the herds move from the central plains to the southern reaches of this vast ecosystem.

As the short rains begin to fall, the landscape changes, with fresh grass sprouting across the southern Serengeti plains. This seasonal greenery acts as a beacon to the migrating herds, drawing them south in search of food.

The migration at this time is characterised by huge herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles moving in unison across the open savannah. It’s a spectacle of unparalleled scale and beauty as thousands upon thousands of animals traverse the landscape, their hooves pounding the earth in a synchronised rhythm.

For wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike, November offers an incredible opportunity to witness this natural phenomenon up close. The southern Serengeti provides a stunning backdrop for capturing iconic images of the migration, with its sweeping plains and dramatic skies adding to the sense of drama and majesty.

As the herds continue their journey south, predators such as lions, cheetahs and hyenas lie in wait, taking advantage of the abundance of prey. This dynamic interplay between predator and prey adds an extra layer of excitement to the migration as each day brings new challenges and opportunities for survival.

In November, the central-southern Serengeti migration reaches its peak and offers a truly unforgettable safari experience for those fortunate enough to witness it first hand.

when is the great migration in serengeti ?

Month
Location
Recommendation
Aditinal Information
January
Ndutu area (South Serengeti)
Min 3 Nights : 2 Ndutu 1 Central Serengeti
February
Ndutu area (South Serengeti)
Min 3 Nights : 2 Ndutu 1 Central Serengeti
Late January and February is the best time to see wildebeest calving
March
Ndutu area (South Serengeti)
Min 3 Nights : 2 Ndutu 1 Central Serengeti
April
Central Serengeti
Min 2 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti (long Rains)
Long rains,not best for safari
May
Central and Western Serengeti
Min 2 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti
June
Western Serengeti
Min 3 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti 1 Western Serengeti
Best chance to see migration crossing Grumeti River in Western Serengeti
July
Western Northern Serengeti
Min 4 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti 2 Northern Serengeti
Best chance to see migration crossing Grumeti River in Western Serengeti
August
Northern Serengeti (Mara River Crossing)
Min 4 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti 2 Northern Serengeti
Best chance to see migration crossing Grumeti River in Western Serengeti
September
Northern (Mara River Crossing) and Central Serengeti
Min 4 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti 2 Northern Serengeti
Best chance to see migration crossing Grumeti River in Western Serengeti
October
Central Serengeti
Min 2 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti
November
Central Serengeti
Min 2 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti (Short rains)
Short rains
December
Central Serengeti
Min 2 Nights : 2 Central Serengeti

frequently asked question

what month is great migration?

The Great Migration unfolds throughout the year, with animal behavior evolving in sync with their locations during different seasons. From January to March, the herds congregate in the southern Serengeti of Tanzania for calving before heading northward. By around July, August, and September, the spectacle of river crossings commences as the animals migrate into Kenya’s Masai Mara. Towards the end of the year, the herds start their journey back southward into Tanzania.

Best Month for Witnessing River Crossings

The most opportune months to witness the dramatic river crossings at the Mara River are July and August. During these months, the herds undertake their formidable crossings. From September to October, they often continue to cross back and forth. Following this, the herds begin their migration towards the Central and Southern Serengeti.

Can you see the Great Migration from Tanzania?

The Great Wildebeest Migration can be observed from Tanzania during the dry season (from January to March) when the herds gather in the southern Serengeti to calve. From around June to October, the migration typically moves northwards, crossing into Kenya’s Masai Mara, making it visible from both countries. Finally, from November to December, the herds return to the southern Serengeti in Tanzania.

Is the Great Migration worth it?

The Great Migration is undeniably worth experiencing. Witnessing hundreds of thousands of animals moving together is a breathtaking spectacle. Additionally, because numerous other species depend on the wildebeest and zebra for food, the Migration attracts a variety of wildlife, leading to unique sightings of diverse species throughout the landscape.

When is wildebeest calving season?

Calving season for the Great Migration takes place at the beginning of the year, starting from late January and continuing through March. This period sees the birth of thousands of baby wildebeests, offering a unique opportunity to witness the circle of life amid the migratory journey.

How to Ensure an Exceptional Great Migration Experience as a Traveler

For an optimal Great Migration experience, consider booking a guided safari with reputable operators well-versed in the area and the animals’ migration patterns. Tailor your visit to coincide with the season and specific migration events you wish to observe.

Consulting expert advice on the top accommodations and viewing locations can enhance your experience further. Lastly, adhere to your guides’ instructions and regulations to ensure both your safety and enjoyment throughout the journey.

About the author : Allano Fred

Meet Allano, the founder of Active Wonders Safaris Tanzania, a tour company dedicated to crafting transformative safari adventures for more than a decade. Allano, hailing from Tanzania, nurtured a profound connection to the region’s cultures and customs since childhood. Join his odyssey and discover the essence of the African Safari encounter via Easy Travel’s social media platforms and blog.

Looking to plan your Migration Safari?

Excited to plan your Tanzania adventure or have questions about the Great Migration? We’ve got you covered! Let’s make your travel dreams a reality or clear up any queries you have about this incredible event. With our expert guidance, we’ll tailor an unforgettable experience to fit your budget and preferences. Contact us today and prepare for an epic journey!

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