The Great Wildebeest Migration - 7 Days

Great Migration serengeti

This is the Great Wildebeest Migration. It is the annual migration of giant herds of grazers across Northern Tanzania and Kenya is a truly spectacular event. Over two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles move through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems in search of green pasture, in a regular pattern. This is surely one of the greatest wonders of the natural world.

Great Migration Safari Holidays: the basics 

You can see the Great Migration in Tanzania all year round they migrate in a circular motion around the Serengeti National Park as such it is an ongoing event. Below we will dissect where the wildebeest usually are at different times of the year.

 

The Great Wildebeest Migration is rarely in the Masai Mara Kenya; the herds only ever venture there as an extension of their grazing lands in the northern point of Tanzania if they need to for fresh pastures. You can only find the migration in Kenya within a few months of the year when they head towards the border, and even then, most of the herds are still mulling around the northern parts of the Serengeti anyway…

The Annual Migration overview: the best times to visit The Serengeti Migration 

July – October: This is when the wildebeest are in the northern Serengeti plains, and you have a chance of seeing up to thousands crossing the great Mara River. As the sight of the wildebeest crossing the so dramatic, it is considered by many the most desirable time to see the migration.

 December – March: Currently the wildebeest are in the southern area of the Serengeti, more specifically in Ndutu which is actually in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and it is calving season. Along with the river crossings, this is a real highlight of the wildebeest’s journey and a fabulous time to see the herds congregate on the dramatic sweeping plains of the south. February is the only time of year when you are almost guaranteed to see the big herds all together as they always come south for calving season.

The rest of the year: In November, April, May and June the migration is “in between” locations and as such these months are slightly transitional times to see the herds. November is the short rains, April and May are the long rains and as such the grass is green in these months accross the Serengeti, so the wildebeest are more dispersed than in the prime time of July – October and December – March. Thus, you don’t get as many of those condensed big herds which people get excited about!
Although we try to be as comprehensive as possible, something that is quite difficult to express on paper is a lot easier to explain over the phone, so please do just give us a call for a simple overview of the Migration’s route.

Wildebeest facts: Why does the Great Migration occur and  why do the Wildebeest Migrate?

The wildebeest migrate around the Serengeti, and into the Masai Mara for the sole purpose of following the rainfall. For their calving from December – March they always begin their cycle in the Southern Serengeti area of Ndutu and follow wherever the grass is greener… Whilst we have a good idea of where the wildebeest should be at any given time of year, it really does depend on where the rain falls. The wildebeest are notoriously unreliable, as although they generally all head from south to north Serengeti and back around again, they often zig-zag along the way, making it sometimes impossible to predict where the big herds will be at any given time.

Day 1
Arusha – Lake Manyara National Park

Non game-viewing travel time: 2½ hours

Distance: 130 km

Pick up from Arusha and transfer to Lake Manyara national park.

We arrive in time for lunch at the lodge and after lunch do we head into the Lake Manyara National Park for an afternoon game drive. This national park is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park), located at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment. The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Lake Manyara’s unique tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos attracted by the algae in the lake.

Dinner and overnight as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Meal Plan: Lunch and Dinner

Day 2
Lake Manyara – Serengeti Plains

Non game-viewing travel time: 6 hours

Distance: 205 km

After breakfast we head towards the Serengeti National Park, via the beautiful high lying farmland of Karatu and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. En route we stop at Olduvai Gorge, the “cradle of mankind,” where the Leakey family uncovered the fossil of Homo habilis, who lived 1.75 million years ago. Or may optionally visit an authentic Maasai village where you will be welcomed into a traditional Maasai home and experience this unique culture. We arrive in time for lunch and enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Serengeti National Park, deep in the heart of this famous migration corridor.

With its wide-open spaces, bright blue skies and creature-filled landscape in the afternoon, we will discover why the fabled Serengeti typifies the dream of “Old Africa.” Large prides of lions laze in the long grasses, plentiful families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trumpet to each other across the plains, while giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland and the whole range of African wildlife present themselves in awe-inspiring numbers.

Dinner and overnight in the Seronera area, as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3
Full Day Game Drive in Serengeti

Early morning after breakfast, you will spend the whole day on a game drive in the Serengeti National Park and have lunch at a picnic spot en route. Your guide will try his best to find the animals and will make sure that you can see the animals from the best spot in the park. Naturally, the migration also attracts predators and with luck you might see a kill in action.

Dinner and overnight as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4
Game Drive in Serengeti

Early morning after breakfast, you will spend the whole day on a game drive in the Serengeti National Park and have lunch at a picnic spot en route. Your guide will try his best to find the animals and will make sure that you can see the animals from the best spot in the park. Naturally, the migration also attracts predators and with luck you might see a kill in action.

Dinner and overnight as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5
Serengeti Plains – Ngorongoro crater.

Non game-viewing travel time: 4 hours

Distance: 145 km

Be one of only a few fortunate people to glide in a Hot Air Balloon over the Serengeti Plains (available at supplementary cost by pre-arrangement). Floating silently above the awakening bush, while spotting wildlife and enjoying the amazing scenery of Africa, across rivers and over numerous small villages.

After a relaxing morning and an early lunch, you will proceed with a game drive to Ngorongoro. There, the driver guide will continue elaborating the animals and natural beauty of Tanzania on the way to Ngorongoro Crater, describing the en-route animal.

Dinner and overnight in the Ngorongoro area, as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6
Ngorongoro crater tour.

You will start your day early in the morning in the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the most beautiful havens for wildlife in the world, with your picnic on board. You will descend into the crater floor, Africa’s Garden of Eden with abundant wildlife, a site infamously dubbed the world’s eighth wonder. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro National Park supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park, is it’s dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. We will visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the southwestern corner, which is one of the main features of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here.

Dinner and overnight as per the standard and type of accommodation option requested.

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7
Tarangire National Park – Arusha

Non game-viewing travel time: 4 hours

Distance: 190 km

After breakfast, we drive to Tarangire National Park, for excellent game viewing. Tarangire is a small park which offers some excellent sights. Generally in the dry seasons Tarangire comes alive as wildlife and birdlife congregate on the Tarangire River, which is a permanent source of water. In the late afternoon depart for Arusha arriving by 1400 hrs where the safari ends. The group should tip the guide around $20 a day. You will be taken to your hotel or airport, which ends our safari services.

No accommodation on this day.

Meal Plan: Breakfast and Lunch

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Full board accommodation whilst on safari in the above mentioned en suite tented camps and lodges
  • Private safari guide
  • Private 4 x 4 safari jeep with pop up roof for game viewing
  • Transfers in both directions between the International Airport
  • Park fees
  • Crater fees
  • All meals whist on safari
  • On safari – Vehicles equipped with ice chest with mineral water, wildlife guidebooks.
  • Government taxes, VAT and service charges relating to accommodation and included meals

PRICE EXCLUDES

  • International flights
  • Tanzanian Visa
  • All things of personal nature
  • Tips for guides and cooks
  • Alcohol
  • Items not specified in terms and conditions
  • Extended tours not specified in the main package

Kindly take note of the following:

Rates are quoted based on two guests sharing and single supplement rates apply on single room occupancy

The rates quoted are subject to change without prior warning if there are any increases in bed levies, park fees, fuel, sales tax or VAT, third-party services or any other circumstances beyond our control in the countries featured in this itinerary

On occasion the itinerary may be in a different order or using alternative lodges according to road conditions and availability.

Other Safari Important Notes

  1. ELECTRICITY
    All lodges and camps will have electricity although many work off generators with limited times.

The power supply in Tanzania is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.

  1. INTERNAL FLIGHTS/BAGGAGE
    Please note each passenger is only allowed a total of 15kgs of checked and carry-on luggage combined, and must be in small soft-sided bags. This is strictly enforced by airlines and outside of our control. extra luggage can be left in storage in Arusha (by arrangement prior to travel
  2. YELLOW FEVER
    It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country visited. Please check in with your local health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
  3. ACCOMMODATION
    Please note all accommodation listed below is not guaranteed, but is indicative of the types of accommodation used.
  4. COMBO TRIP
    Please note that this tour combines with other Mkama Tours to Tanzania. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with Mkama Tours to Tanzania, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another Mkama Tours to Tanzania, after your trip concludes.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

The Great Wildebeest Migration

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