© Be here between July & September. Widebeest and Zebras crossing the Mara
The Great Migration of Wildebeest between Tanzania and Kenya is considered to be one of the greatest natural phenomena. Follow the year-round migration here where you can see this remarkable event at different times of the year
One of the most famous natural events in the world is the Great Migration that occurs in the Serengeti ecosystem between Tanzania and Kenya. About 1.4 million wildebeest, 200 000 Zebra and 500 000 Thompsons gazelles are constantly on the move in a continual search for grazing and water.
Accommodation Nearby the Grumeti & Mara Rivers
The Great Migration can be viewed from any of the Kenyan Safari lodges and guides will travel out of the Greater Masai Mara Game Reserve into the smaller Masai Mara Reserve to optimize game viewing. The herds are typically seen grazing and slowly trekking along their migration path. The Grumeti and Mara rivers attract the largest herds during the dramatic river crossing and safari-goers are likely to witness the most exhilarating congregation of these wildebeest along the banks of the rivers.
Below are the accommodation options closest to the Grumeti and Mara Rivers, offering optimal migration viewing.
The ultimate way to view the migration would be during a special hot-air balloon safari or to follow the large wildebeest herds on our Follow the Migration package...
The Best Time of Year to See the MigrationDecember to May
This is the time of year when the wildebeest give birth on the plains of the southern Serengeti National Park. The young learn to walk within minutes of being born and can soon keep up with the herds. The first animals start to head northwards and cross into the northern Serengeti in May.April - June
The herds pass through the central Serengeti - heading in a North-westerly direction towards an area referred to as the Western corridor and their first major obstacle, the Grumeti River and passing out through the Seronera area.
The Uncertainty Principle
©Migrating wildebeest crossing the Mara River.
It is a common misconception that the migration takes place twice a year, as the animals are always on the move. Their sheer numbers mean that they are constantly eating themselves out of food and so they are constantly in search of fresh grazing.
It is hard to predict where the wildebeest and other wildlife will be from year to year. The wildebeest's movements are dependent on the rainfall and good grazing. This article will hopefully serve as a rough guide to where you will experience the best game viewing.
Essentially, the animals are following the rains. This cycle takes all year - so you can be sure of seeing it, if you happen to be in the right place on the right day. This phenomena is something that cannot be predicted with any certainty however, your tour operator will get you into the area.
Of course the moments of high drama that draw the tourist is when they attempt to cross the Mara and Grumeti Rivers. Here they have to evade the jaws of huge Crocodiles and certain death. The times of the year when the majority of the animal's attempt this crossing is in September, but this does not mean that you cannot see the great herds throughout the year.
The Historic Context
It is a common misconception that this migration is a historic phenomenon. In the early years of the 20th century, the wildebeest population was almost wiped out until vets inoculated the wild herds.
Consequently the herds flourished and soon grew to over a million. The Serengeti could not provide enough food for such numbers, and so the herds started moving in search of food, thus creating this yearly cycle.