Welcome to the Serengeti wildebeest migration - 7 Days

migration in serengeti

The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of vast numbers of the Serengeti’s wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, and smaller numbers of Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle, eland and impala. These move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable. They migrating throughout the year, constantly seeking fresh grazing and, it’s now thought, better quality water. The precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is entirely dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year – here we explain how the broad pattern works.

This migration, month by month, is shown on the map on the right side of this page – the moving red represents the main herds. For more information on the Serengeti migration area and the wildebeest migration, see also:

Month by month: the Serengeti wildebeest migration

The short rains begin around early November. A little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. These are south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Dispersed across these plains, wildebeest and zebra are everywhere – feeding on the fresh, nutritious grasses. They stay here through January, February and March, with most wildebeest calves born in a short window around February. Gradually they spread west across these plains, then around April they start their great migration north.

By May the Serengeti’s wildebeest all seem to be moving north, migrating to seek fresh grazing and water. The area around Moru Kopjes and west of Seronera is then hectic with a series of moving columns, often containing hundreds of thousands of animals – joined by many zebra, and a scattering of Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles.

Some of the migration then head due north of Seronera, but most are usually further west. Around June the wildebeest migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River, which has some channels which block or slow their migration north. The wildebeest then congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it’s not continuous – and so whilst they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River’s large crocodiles, these aren’t usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.

The wildebeest migration continues moving northwards during July and August, often spreading out across a broad front: some heading through Grumeti Reserve and Ikorongo, others north through the heart of the Serengeti National Park.

September sees the herds spread out across the northern Serengeti, where the Mara River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. This river gushes through the northern Serengeti from Kenya’s adjacent Maasai Mara Game Reserve. 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. It’s common to see herds cross the Mara River north on one day, and then back south a few days later.

By October the wildebeest herds are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November.

Then the whole Serengeti Wildebeest migration starts again

Day 1
Arrival – Arusha

Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport on arrival and transfer you to Kibo Palace Hotel for Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 2
Arusha – Lake Manyara- Ngorongoro conservation area

Leave Arusha at 0800 hrs and proceed to Lake Manyara national park for full day game drives with packed lunches – proceed to Ngorongoro conservation area for dinner and overnight stay at Ngorongoro Serena lodge . Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay this park a visit. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world — a fact that makes for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.

Day 3
Ngorongoro Crater Tour

Early breakfast then descend into to Ngorongoro Crater for a full day crater tour with packed lunches ascend for dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge. The Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World,’ a visit to the crater is a main draw card for tourists coming to Tanzania and a definite world-class attraction. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is home of Ngorongoro Crater. It was formed some 2.5 million years ago from a volcanic mountain sinking due to inactivity, and was initially thought to be higher than Tanzania’s famous Kilimanjaro. The crater has evolved into a unique and integral part of Tanzania’s eco-system. The crater is actually a caldera, measures 22.5 km’s across and the rim walls stand 600m high. Views from within and from the rim are breathtaking (as can be seen from the picture). The crater houses 30,000 animals and a large variety of birds, which rarely move from the area due to the availability of water through wet and dry seasons.

Day 4
Serengeti Ndutu Plains

After breakfast drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area via Olduvai Gorge archaeological site. At Olduvai palaeo-anthropological diggings and discoveries have taken place over many years, by, among others, the famous husband-and-wife team of Louis and Mary Leakey. After leaving Olduvai we will soon be passing through multitudes of wildebeest en route to the renowned Ndutu Area, ideally situated under classic umbrella-thorn acacias in the heart of the southern Serengeti where we spend the afternoon viewing herds of wildebeest/Zebras and predators. Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Savanna Camp or Angata Tented Lodge

Day 5
Migration Trails

The next 2 days will be spent exploring the grassy plains and woodlands in the area, tracking the massed herds of wildebeest and zebra, witnessing the birth of new calves and trailing predators such as lion, cheetah and hyena on the hunt. The area also teems with other wildlife, including elephants, eland, various gazelle species, Kirk’s dik-dik, giraffe and the elusive leopard. Serengeti Savanna Camp or Angata Tented Lodge Serengeti is easily Tanzania’s most famous national park, and it’s also the largest, at 14,763 square kilometres of protected area that borders Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Park It is the Migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back. The Wildebeest travel through a variety of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat. Join us to explore the different forms of vegetation and landscapes of the Serengeti ecosystem and meet some of their most fascinating inhabitants.

Day 6
Migration in Serengeti

The next 2 days will be spent exploring the grassy plains and woodlands in the area, tracking the massed herds of wildebeest and zebra, witnessing the birth of new calves and trailing predators such as lion, cheetah and hyena on the hunt. The area also teems with other wildlife, including elephants, eland, various gazelle species, Kirk’s dik-dik, giraffe and the elusive leopard. Serengeti Savanna Camp or Angata Tented Lodge Serengeti is easily Tanzania’s most famous national park, and it’s also the largest, at 14,763 square kilometers of protected area that borders Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Park It is the Migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back. The Wildebeest travel through a variety of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat. Join us to explore the different forms of vegetation and landscapes of the Serengeti ecosystem and meet some of their most fascinating inhabitants

Day 7
Depart Day

Breakfast then drive to Arusha to arrive by 1500 hrs, drop off to the airport to board your home bound flight.

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 inquiry via the form below.

Welcome to the Serengeti wildebeest migration

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