How Many Migrations Are In Serengeti : The Great Migration is by far a powerful African wildlife experience, also best referred to as Africa’s race for life. The Great migration is a year-round event, a circular journey and the river crossings are never predictable. At times, these mammals stay put for 2 weeks and in some instances, they can cross like 4 times in a single day.
During the wildebeest migration, over 2 million wildebeest begin their journey to the Masai Mara National Reserve from the Southern Serengeti National Park (SNP) in Tanzania. The movement rotates within the Maasai Masai-Serengeti ecosystems with new birth often recorded from January, February to March where over half a million calves can be born.
How many wildebeest migration every year?
A total of about 1.5 million wildebeests migrate in a circular loop each year. The powerful movement concentrates within the Maasai Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. The annual movement Northwest occurs towards the end of the rainy season –May/June and entirely, the great migration is considered among the 7 wonders of the world.
Why do wildebeest migrate?
The wildebeest movement is mainly to search for greener pastures and water. With company of other grazers such as gazelles and zebras, wildebeest trek over 800km in huge numbers each year. They time the season that coincides with greening of nutritious grasses in some places. The amazing bit though is that other than wildebeest, there are higher chances to spot several predators. When the areas savanna plains dry up, these wildlife are forced to relocate to other places in search for pasture, especially in the western corridor. The overall migration results into a clockwise movement from the South, North, West, and back to the South.
When to visit Serengeti for the Great Migration?
The Great Migration in Serengeti is excellently experienced from late June to August and January, February to March. The peak migration season is from late June to early September. The must-visit spots in Serengeti to witness this lifetime movement include the Grumeti River, Mara River, Ndutu and others. From December, January, February to March, majority of these mammals will be giving birth.
After wildebeests have given birth by February or March, they start to drift northwestwards around April in search for fresher grass of the Central Serengeti. A thousand plus other grazers including zebras and smaller antelope families accompany the queue of the migration. From May, columns of wildebeest move long kilometers as different wildlife begin converging around the Moru Kopjes nearby Dunia Camp.
The Dunia Camp is one of the sites that offer excellent sights of wildebeest migration and the mating season starts again towards the end of May. The male wildebeest battle head-to-head during this season. The journey proceeds but at leisure with zebras, gazelles and wildebeest grazing.
The migration begins gathering momentum and wildebeest converge in huge numbers around the Western corridors of Serengeti. It is during this period when Ubuntu Migration camp is relocated to follow the migration and offer excellent access for tourists to observe the wildebeest while they cross the Grumeti River.
The wildebeest herds make up a huge concentration around the pools and channels of the Grumeti River where they will be crossing as they proceed with their journey. The River crossing via Grumeti may not be as gigantic as that of the Mara but you will be guaranteed of amazing encounters of these mammals as they navigate through the crocodile infested waters. It should also be noted that May is a low season at Ubuntu, but visitors are guaranteed of exceptional game views.
From June, September begins to experience the dry season and it is during this period when huge concentrations of wildebeest confine around the western Serengeti along the Southern banks of the Grumeti River. The river crossing via Grumeti comes with challenge, especially from the crocodiles. Towards July, 1000s of wildebeest and zebras head off to the North on the Western edge of Serengeti National Park taking even what is described as riskier barrier –the Mara River North of Serengeti N.P. July marks the high season to witness the wildebeest migration crossing on Mara River. It is around July when you can retire for a night at Asilia’s Mobile Migration Camps, or Sayari Camp and others.
August to October
From August to October, the herds of wildebeest encounter actual challenge of Mara River crossing and several of them can be spotted along the Northern side of Maasai Mara while others concentrate around the Northern Serengeti N/Park. September-October marks the end of the chaos and migration columns begin slowing down.
What to pack for Serengeti migration trip
Essentials to include on your packing list for migration safaris include safari hat, shoes, safari clothes, a good camera, insect repellents, sun protection, a sweater, binoculars, first aid kit, rain jacket and more.
Getting to Serengeti NP
The best way to get to Serengeti for a holiday by air and road. By road, you can drive our comfortable 4×4 tourist vehicle from Arusha to Serengeti, about 6-7 hours to the Northern circuit of Tanzania. By air, you can fly up to any of the 7 airstrips dotted in and around the airport.
In summary, Serengeti National Park is found along the Northern circuit of Tanzania, one of the best regions that en-rich visitors with wildlife experiences including the great wildebeest migration and big five game (elephants, lions, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos).