January – March: Calving Season
This period sees the herds in Tanzania’s Serengeti start moving south into southern Serengeti, Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation area. The wildebeest and zebra are dispersed across the plain – feeding on the lush grass and fresh water. Most wildebeest calves are born in a short window around February. Towards the end of March, the last grass has been munched up, the herds are preparing for the next leg of their action packed journey.
April – June: Pre-crossing
The ideal spot to catch a glimpse of the herds is in southern Serengeti plains. The wildebeest begin their northward trek searching for grass and fresh water and can be found in Serengeti’s central and western corridor. End of May/early June sees a large part of the herd still in the Serengeti by the Grumeti River. You’ll spot hundreds of thousands of wildebeests – joined by herds of zebras and a couple of Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelles.
July – September/October: The Crossing
Coming from the Serengeti to Masai Mara, the Mara River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. Watching the frantic herds of the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion. Why? Five-metre-long crocodiles, that is why. Book early – as this is the Big Event.
October – December: Journey Back
In October, your best bet of seeing the Migration will be in the Mara conservancies, where it is much less crowded. November is the onset of short rains, which prompts the wildebeest to leave the bare Mara grassland into the replenished Serengeti. With fresh grass back in the Serengeti, the wildebeest are clustered in the southern and north-east part of the park. Calving season is about to start. The cycle continues.