There is no real beginning or
end to a wildebeest's journey. Its life is an endless pilgrimage!
From the vast Serengeti plains to the champagne colored
hills of Kenya's Masai Mara over 1.4 million wildebeest and
200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa's
great predators, migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800
miles each year in search of rain ripened grass.
There is no real beginning or end to a wildebeest's
journey. Its life is an endless pilgrimage, a constant
search for food and water. The only beginning is at the
moment of birth. An estimated 400,000 wildebeest calves are
born during a six week period early each year - usually
between late January and mid-March.
DECEMBER, JANUARY, FEBRUARY, MARCH
The Serengeti National Park / Ngorongoro Conservation
Area is arguably the most impressive wildlife sanctuary in
the world. During the months December through March the
seemingly unending plains of the southern Serengeti and the
Conservation Area are inhabited by enormous herds of
wildebeest and zebra. The great herds graze on rain ripened
In the calving season (late January through mid March)
the herds concentrate at the Ndutu and Salei plains
(Southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area)
attracting the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and
During this period the migration is best observed from
Ndutu Safari Lodge, Kusini Camp or any of several private
tented camps used by mobile safaris such as our "Wildlife
Adventure by 4x4 Safari". These include campsites in the
Ndutu / Naabi area.
During the months April and May the depleted plains are
unable to sustain the endless herds. The migration, sweeping
west and north, moves from the short grass plains of the
southern Serengeti / Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the
long grass plains and woodland of the Serengeti's western
Corridor, almost to Lake Victoria. This period is during the long rains and is considered
off season for wildlife viewing in East Africa as roads are
often impassable. Ndutu Safari Lodge, Kusini Camp and the
Serengeti Serena Lodge are fine for wildlife viewing during
this time. So are campsites in the Ndutu / Naabi area.
By the end of May the wildebeest have exhausted the
Western Corridor's best pastures and the herds must move
further north. Entering the Lamai Wedge and the Mara
Triangle, breeding occurs May through June. This is a transitional period between the rains and the
Grumeti River Camp, Migration Camp and Kirawira Camp are
also options. Seronera and Moru area campsites are best.
JULY, AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER
By July the countless herds have amassed along the
swollen Mara River - a final barrier from the short sweet
grasses of the Masai Mara. Sometimes the crossing place they
have chosen is shallow allowing the majority of animals to
pass safely. In other areas the waters boil with drowning
wildebeest and slashing crocodiles.
Between July and October the wildebeest reside in the
Mara. We recommend Governor's Il Moran Tented Camp as the
leading safari camp in the Masai Mara. Other tented camps
include Governor's Main Camp, Little Governor's Camp and
Bateleur Camp. Tanzanian lodges recommended during this time
include Kirawira Tented, Migration Camp, and Grumeti River
Camp. Kirawira and Moru area campsites are best.
The arrival of the short rains call the migration
southward. During the short rains of November the wildebeest
migration is best viewed from either Lobo Wildlife Lodge or
Klein's Camp. Campsites in the Lobo area are best.
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.
Note - The migration is a natural event and the timing varies month by
month; year by year, further determined by rainfall patterns…