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Book A Tanzania Safari To Watch The Greatest Show on Earth: The Wildebeest Migration

Looking at Tanzania as your next Africa safari destination? Then you ought to know this! The most interesting Tanzania safari activity that can be left out by travellers is a Tanzania wildlife safari tour. Many of the Tanzania tour itineraries include Serengeti National Park for it offer unexplainable moments to travellers that make their way they’re including the wilderbeest migration; “the greatest show on earth”.

I know you’re re wondering what I mean by the greatest show on earth! It is the Serengeti wildebeest migration. The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of vast numbers of the Serengeti’s wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle, eland and impala. Standing in your 4×4 safari van, 4×4 extended land cruiser, 4×4 safari minivan watching this show is the best gift you can ever give yourself on a safari in Tanzania. These animals move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable because they migrate throughout the year. They migrate because they constantly seek fresh grazing and better quality water. The precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration wildlife safari in Tanzania is entirely dependent on the rainfall patterns each year.

Where, How and Why do the Wildebeest Migrate? 

The wildebeest migrate around the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania into the Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya for the sole purpose of following the rainfall. These wildebeests normally begin their migration cycle in December – March in the Southern Serengeti area of Ndutu following routes where the grass is greener. Since their movement is predictable, we have a good idea of where the wildebeests are at any given time of year. Yes, because they look for greener pastures, their location depends on where the rain falls.

The wildebeest are extremely unreliable, although they generally all move from south to the northern side of Serengeti Park and back again, they often move in a zig-zag form along the way, making it sometimes impossible to predict where the big herds will be at any given time.

The wildebeest migration is an annual event where you witness off over 1.5 million wildebeest accompanied by hundreds of thousands of zebras and numerous other antelope species as they search for pastures greener. The animals follow a clockwise movement through the Serengeti National Park Tanzania following the rains for the lavish of grass.  They travel a distance of over 500Sq. Km, however; it is troubled with the danger of numerous many predators such as lions, cheetahs and crocodiles that prey on the animals. Watching their movement during your Kenya wildlife safari or Tanzania wildlife tour is a truly amazing spectacle.

Overview of the best time to visit the Serengeti Wildebeest migration

Between the months of July – October is the best months to tour Tanzania, it is during this time that you can witness the migration. During this time, the wildebeest are in the northern Serengeti plains, giving you the chance of seeing up to thousands crossing the great Mara River. This is the most dramatic moment to as sight the wildebeest hence making it the most desirable time to see the migration.

Between Decembers – March, the wildebeests will have crossed to the southern area of the Serengeti, more specifically in Ndutu which is actually in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and it is calving season. Along with the river crossings, this is a real highlight of the wildebeest’s journey and a fabulous time to see the herds assemble on the dramatic sweeping plains of the south. February is the only time of year when you are almost guaranteed to see the big herds all together as they always come south for the calving season.

For the rest of the year, November, April, May and June it is not easy to witness this migration because the wildebeests at this time are “in-between” locations. November is the short rains; April and May are the long rains. This is the time when the grass grows. When you visit during this time, you don’t get as many of those condensed big herds which people get excited about!

Basics for the great migration safari holidays

You can see the Great Migration in Tanzania all year round. They migrate in a circular motion around the Serengeti National Park as such it is an ongoing event.

The Great Wildebeest Migration is rarely in the Masai Mara Kenya; the herds only ever venture there as an extension of their grazing lands in the northern point of Tanzania if they need to for fresh pastures. You can only find the migration in Kenya within a few months of the year when they head towards the border, and even then, most of the herds are still contemplating around the northern parts of the Serengeti anyway.

Featured Park: Serengeti

Serengeti National Park is one the most popular Tanzania safari destinations. It's the country's oldest park.