Wildebeest Migration (Great Migration)

The wildebeest migration, often referred to as the Great Migration, is one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet. This annual journey takes place in East Africa and involves the movement of over 1.5 million wildebeest, along with hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles, across the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara in Kenya.

Here’s a detailed overview:

Wildebeest Migration Timing and Route

  1. Calving Season (January to March): The migration begins in the southern Serengeti, where the wildebeest gather to give birth. This is a time of plenty, with lush grass available for the newborns.
  2. Movement North (April to June): As the rains end and the grass begins to dry up, the herds start moving northward towards the central and western Serengeti. This period involves crossing the Grumeti River, which is filled with large crocodiles waiting for a meal.
  3. Crossing the Mara River (July to October): The most dramatic and dangerous part of the migration occurs when the wildebeest reach the Mara River in the northern Serengeti and Maasai Mara. The river is deep and fast-flowing, and crossing it involves great risk from drowning and crocodile attacks. This crossing is often the highlight for many visitors and wildlife photographers.
  4. Return South (November to December): After the rains return to the southern Serengeti, the herds make their way back south to begin the cycle anew.

Wildebeest Migration Ecological Impact

Wildebeest Migration
  • Predator-Prey Dynamics: The migration is crucial for maintaining the ecological balance. Predators such as lions, cheetahs, and hyenas follow the herds, relying on them for food.
  • Grassland Health: The grazing patterns of the wildebeest help to keep the grasslands healthy by promoting new growth and preventing overgrowth.

Wildebeest Migration Conservation and Challenges

Wildebeest Migration
  • Human-Wildlife Conflict: As human populations grow, the migration routes are increasingly encroached upon by agriculture and settlements.
  • Climate Change: Altered rainfall patterns can disrupt the timing and success of the migration, impacting both the wildebeest and the ecosystems they support.
  • Conservation Efforts: Both Tanzania and Kenya have established national parks and reserves to protect the migration route and its wildlife. Organizations also work on initiatives to mitigate human-wildlife conflict and promote sustainable tourism.

Viewing the Wildebeest Migration

Tourists can witness this natural wonder through guided safaris in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara. The timing of the visit is crucial to catch different parts of the migration, with many opting for the dramatic river crossings or the calving season.

The wildebeest migration is not only a breathtaking spectacle but also a vital natural process that supports one of the most diverse and dynamic ecosystems in the world.

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A Guide to the Wildebeest Migration


On Wildebeest Migration tour, all visitors must have a valid passport with at least 4 consecutive blanks pages.  Any applicable visa and/or relevant documentation are the responsibility of the traveler.  For further information on Visa requirements visitors are advised to contact their nearest Kenya or Tanzania Embassy or Consulate.




GMT +3


220 Volts/AC50Hz. Sockets are UK style, 3 pin square plugs. Power is from the government in the city/major towns and generator with inverter back up in the Safari Lodges and Camps.

CURRENCY: Foreign currency must be changed at the Bank, Bureau de Change, and Hotel/Safari lodge/Camp/Resort.   Major Credit Cards, Master card, Visa, American Express, are usually accepted throughout the country.  Where credit cards are accepted, the payment will normally be recorded in US$ regardless of the card’s default currency.


Dress is mainly informal and should be comfortable as well as practical. Something warm should be brought along for early morning and evenings. Safari clothes are available from hotels/lodges/camps.


Where possible, travel light. Baggage space on safari is limited to medium suitcase or soft bag per person plus reasonable amount of hand luggage. There is 15 Kilogram per person limit on all flights to the wildlife sanctuaries. Excess luggage must be stored in your arrival hotel.


You will find many different of opinion of what is safe and what is not. We recommend for peace of mind, to drink local Bottled Mineral water. It is important to drink plenty of water especially during the hotter months. We would recommend that guests drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration.


East Africa is a safe and secure destination; however, it is a good idea to take a few precautions.  Kindly consult your GP or local doctor at least 6 weeks before you travel, with regards: Malaria prophylactics. East Africa is a known malaria area and preventive measures are essential. You are advised to take one of the recommended anti-malarial drugs.  Be sure to wear long sleeved shorts and trousers after sunset and spray the exposed parts of your body with a mosquito repellent spray Remember to protect yourself from direct sun rays with sunscreen cream or safari hat.


For those guests with specific dietary requirement, please ensure we are notified prior to travel


As a guideline and dependent on how happy you are, we would suggest the following: The General Hotel/Lodge/Camp Staff – Approximately U$ 10.00 per person per day Driver Guides – Approximately US$ 15.00 to US$ 20.00 per person per day


Please be careful when photographing public buildings, airports, bridges, the national flag and people in uniform.  Ensure that you have sought permission before photographing local people and their villages.  If in doubt, please check with your guide.

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