The wildebeest migration is a world-famous phenomenon that occurs annually in the Masai Mara area.
The wildebeest migration is a world-famous phenomenon that occurs annually during the months of July to November in the Masai Mara area. At this time, literally millions of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest move into the Masai Mara National Reserve, and to their calving grounds. The animal babies are usually due during the months of December and January, and this also occurs in the Masai Mara. When the birthing period is in progress there are two contradictorily interesting experiences. Firstly, the sight of the beautiful new fawns, foals and calves is amazing, and secondly, it is a time when predators are often seen, coming to grab a quick and easy meal. In addition, predator babies (cubs and pups) are very likely to be about as they are now learning how to catch prey and survive in the wilderness. As you can imagine, with all this action going on, fantastic photographic opportunities are available.
The migration is driven by rainfall, and is a wild and dangerous journey for the thousands of herbivores involved. Lions and hyena are constantly following their progress and there are several crocodile-infested rivers that they need to cross. This immensely impressive natural event’s splendour is incredibly hard to describe – you really need to be there to fully appreciate its magnificence!
The great migration timetable
Of course, to see this phenomenal mass movement of animals you need to be in the right place at the right time. Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice. At the beginning of the year, in January, the wildebeest are moving south from Tanzania’s Serengeti. At this time there are lots of calves experiencing their new world for the first time. In February they are in the Southern Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation area, enjoying the good grazing.
By March the herds are preparing to move again, as the calving is complete and the grazing is low. From now till April they begin their move from the Southern Serengeti plains to the central and western areas of the Serengeti. In April and May you can enjoy the long columns of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle in up to 40km stretches. The herds remain in this area for a while, but towards the end of June they begin to make their way to the northern Serengeti and into the Masai Mara National Reserve.
In September half are in the Masai Mara area and half are in northern Serengeti, while in October and November there is lots of action in the Masai Mara when the herds begin to move back to the southern Serengeti region. In December, calving begins again, and lots of predators are out and about.
The Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara National Reserve lies in the Great Rift Valley and is an unfenced area that allows the wildlife to roam freely. It is a wild and untamed land that is often described as the ultimate place for a safari. Its huge, open skis and wide savannahs are the perfect background for family-fun or romantic getaways. There are huge numbers of wildebeest, zebra and lions in the reserve, and amazingly, there are also over 570 recorded species of birds. A true bird-lover’s paradise!
The park covers an enormous area of 1510 square kilometres. The Mara River runs through it, and it is the home of the Big Five and the Maasai people. A cultural experience with the Maasai people is certainly recommended. A selection of lodges provides visitors with accommodation and meals. Most are luxurious with plenty of facilities. Its best to book early if you plan to visit during the time of the migration, but if you would prefer to stay away from the crowds then we can help you find a private reserve area that restricts the number of vehicles passing through. A three-day stay or longer is recommended, especially if you want a really nice collection of photographs.
Whether you’re looking for luxury sojourn or a laid-back holiday with affordable accommodation, we can make it happen!
Once we have all your information and understand the vision for your holiday, we’ll start planning your trip.
With all your plans in place, all you need to do is pack your bags, hop on a plane and travel over land and sea to your destination of choice!