The wildebeest migration cycle begins in early December (or sometimes as early as late November), where the wildebeests start migrating majorly towards Serengeti national park, while some cover the southern and eastern parts of Soronea, areas around Ndutu and the northern part the Ngorongoro conservation area. Get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make a Wildebeest Migration safari based on your travel wishes: Get expert planning advice and new trip ideas from Africa’s leading These areas are safer because predators can be easily spotted making it … This intelligence mechanism is known as, wildebeests in the Serengeti national park, 5 Days Serengeti National Park tour (Ndutu and Seronera safari), 7 Days Serengeti & Uganda Wildlife safari, 8 Days Serengeti, Masai Mara & Bwindi safari, 5 Days Serengeti and Ngorongoro Wildlife Safari, Game Drive north of Serengeti National Park, Serengeti National Park Entry fees for 2021, Serengeti National Park as Africa’s leading national park. Yes, send me Go2Africa’s newsletter. Wildebeest leaping into the Mara River Great Migration Not all wildebeest are migratory. This migration covers an area of about 26,000 square kilometers which is accompanied by a lot of amazing facts anyone would get astonished about hearing. The weather is cooler and much drier and while there are fewer bugs, there is more dust so prep your camera equipment accordingly. Mathematics tells us that from the mentioned fact, then almost 7500 calves are borne on every single day on the plains of Serengeti national park were birthing takes place, on the course of this birthing period. We know that the wildebeest (and a smattering of zebra and antelope) will cross the Mara River – but nobody knows exactly when. We wish we could predict the crossings, but no-one can. There are several mobile tented camps that keep moving as per the movement of wildebeests. Wildebeests are majorly classified into two groups, the black wildebeest and the blue wildebeest. Huge Nile crocodiles, that's why! This is, once again, why it’s important to plan for as much time on safari as possible. Book as soon as you know you want to go – don't procrastinate! You'll be out on early morning and late afternoon game drives – the sun is at its weakest during these times. Remember, the Serengeti and Masai Mara's abundance of wildlife and wide open landscapes make them fantastic year-round safari destinations. This migration covers an area of about 26,000 square kilometers which is accompanied by a lot of amazing facts anyone would get astonished about hearing. January is a tough month to predict. The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the last mass terrestrial wildlife movements left on the planet. +255-759-317-158 Every year many thousands wildebeest and zebras die during the strenuous and dangerous migration because of hunger, thirst, weakness or predators like lions, cheetahs or hyenas, who are on the trail of the herd. We recommend combining the Masai Mara with Amboseli and Laikipia, or adding the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and the Rift Valley Lakes to the Serengeti. Key Facts to Remember The bulk of the Migration takes place in the Serengeti. The appearance of the wildebeest is more or less resembling to a buffalo with an ox’s head and decorated with the horses’ mane. Wildebeest Migration Cycle ( the great wildebeest migration) is described as the circular movement that wildebeests take across the East African plains of the savannah. The conservancies around the Mara are much less crowded and, not only will you still be able to witness the Migration, you will also directly contribute to the Maasai communities who have lived there for thousands of years. The wildebeest migration cycle is now approaching its initial starting point, and this shows that it has approached its halting point. Sometimes the herds stay put for two weeks, other times they could cross four times in one day! This means that when the fertile females finally reach the Mara, Talek and Grumeti Rivers many months later, they are heavily pregnant, making their feat even more incredible. The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is just that: one system that has been artificially divided by humans. These include the other animals such as zebras (which take the second rank in number after the wildebeests), gazelles, and a few impalas. Kenya or Tanzania: Which is Best for Safari? The survivors celebrate by feasting in the northern Serengeti and begin crossing into Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve. The ever-moving columns of wildebeest, joined by a host of companions, follow an age-old route in search of grazing and water. You cannot fly in for two nights, see a river crossing and fly out again – nature simply doesn’t work that way! The 800 kilometer trek of the immense wildebeest herd is the largest mammal migration on earth. This great panic and confusion of the wildebeest on the Mara River offer a very interesting scene, some days they might cross the river and be seen crossing back on the next day as a result of confusion and panic. info@serengetiparktanzania.com. In the early days of July, scarcity of water on the Grumeti and pasture on the neighboring areas will be observed. This makes this wildebeest migration cycle the largest overland migration, which occurs repeatedly each year. We also know that rain will trigger the wildebeest to move onto fresh grazing – but nobody knows exactly when the rain will fall. The major reasons for the deaths of these wildebeests includes attacks from hungry predators like the lions and crocodiles, or it might be from starving when they encounter drought. If you want inter-connecting tents or family suites, book as early as possible as there are limited numbers of these available. The wildebeest herds usually gather on the eastern side of the Serengeti in January, anywhere between Lobo and Naabi Hill. Ministry order Subscribe to Our Newsletter Thanks to the wildlife researchers who spent their time in observing and documenting these for the sake of many like us. Take at least one pair of trousers, closed shoes that can cope with mud, and a fleece or waterproof jacket. The Wildebeest Migration is a year-round, circular journey and the river crossings cannot be predicted. There’s a lot of movement from north to south as the herds await the first Serengeti rains. It is in this period where birthing takes place. If you intend to follow the wildebeest migration from the beginning till the actual crossing, this is where routes become a necessity. This contributes much to the deaths of the wildebeests on the course of their annual migration cycle. The herds break up into smaller groups. By June most of the wildebeests will be nowhere far from the Grumeti River. This … The herds will be spread out, making the most of water and food. The name wildebeest has its origin from Dutch which means wildebeests of wild cats, named mainly due to its hairy mane and horns. This increases your chances of seeing births, kills or crossings. They will all be heading toward the south, making their way through Longido (specifically the western part of Longido). The herds have reached the western Serengeti and are peering closely at the brown waters of the rivers they have to cross. We highly recommend ending at a lodge or camp that's located away from the herds to enjoy a bit of tranquility and a diverse game viewing experience. Privacy Policy, © 2021 Go2Africa (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved, Complete Guide to a Wildebeest Migration Safari, 3rd floor, Longkloof Studios, Darter Road. 1. The good grazing of the Southern Serengeti, Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation Areas means the herds remain in the far south. Just imagine about one and half million wildebeests migrate each year. The appearance of the wildebeest is more or less resembling to a buffalo with an ox’s head and decorated with the horses’ mane. Subscribe to Our Newsletter You could book any of … It's the chief reason why so many travellers venture to Kenya and Tanzania for a Migration safari, especially around mid-year. Bulls may occupy territories, usually about 100 to 400 m (300 to 1,300 ft) apart, but this spacing varies according to the quality of the habitat. If you are a keen photographer, your best opportunities may occur around midday when the sun and glare are at their harshest, so make preparations to accommodate this. The private conservancies adjoining the Masai Mara offer exclusivity, luxurious accommodation and excellent game viewing in sole-use areas. Some 1.2 million animals loop … Wagons roll! In addition to that, there will also be a number of hungry lions eagerly waiting for the wildebeests in the grazing plains of Serengeti plains, something which drastically reduces that number of the wildebeests. One great challenge on this route is crossing the Mara river, which has proven to be a great obstacle for them. In … The Migration is a fluid, often unpredictable affair. For a newly born gnu, it takes only between three to seven minutes before it starts walking on its own. Almost 250,000 wildebeest are killed during the migration, not due to predation, but as a result of exhaustion, hunger and thirst. The great wildebeest migration from the Serengeti plain in Tanzania to the northern Masa Mara region in Kenya is a treacherous trip. February marks the start of this Great Migration, all the way to March preceding the long rainy season when wildebeest spend their time grazing and giving birth to approximately 500,000 calves within 2-3 week period, This is one of the seven wonders of world that happens annually in different sections of Serengeti.The most recognized migration is the one of trans destination between Tanzanian Serengeti and Kenya Maasai Mara national reserve passing through the Mara River East of Grumeti River through Lobo. Head for the central and western Serengeti – the herds are usually there and getting ready for the toughest part of their odyssey. Predators follow the Wildebeest Migration closely, waiting for an opportunity to strike as the great herds traverse across their different territories. The Serengeti ecosystem is … The first rains on the southern plains trigger a … +256-778-967-795 Africa’s Wildebeest Migration. Bear in mind that the rain can be late or early, which is also unpredictable. This is a very general breakdown of more or less where the herds are during the year – bearing in mind that the entire Migration is triggered by rain, which can be early, late or on time: The herds are in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, moving back down south from the north-east region and into the area of the Southern Serengeti, Lake Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation Area (they do not enter the Ngorongoro Crater – those are resident wildebeest). The greatest movement of wild animals in the world, the great wildebeest migration, happens in a region of about 1000 square kilometers in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park and cross over into Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve and later turn back to do it all over again every year. The Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park experience high visitor and vehicle numbers during safari’s peak or high season (about June to October). One of the most sought-after experiences for wildlife and nature enthusiasts, the Great Migration is the ever-moving circular migration of over a million animals across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. And Dr Nzuki said yesterday that blocking the migration route would decimate - an d even annihilate - the great wildebeest migration: the main reason for touring both the Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The Great Wildebeest Migration - the annual migration of giant herds of grazers across Northern Tanzania and Kenya is a truly spectacular event. Wildebeest migration The annual Great Migration of wildebeest and other herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. This inaugural migration commences right after the termination of early October rains, and it is mainly to enjoy themselves with the fresh green grass on the plains of Serengeti. Wildebeest is a common name given to the Gnu species from the Bovidae family which is just but an herbivorous group of mammals. It's important to know where to go and when to go on a Wildebeest Migration safari to ensure your expectations are met. Nature lovers have called it … The bank is steep, the current strong. Once they are settled on the southern part, they will wait until the short rainfall seasons terminates, and starts their cycle again. The Great Migration: Map of the Wildebeest & Zebra Migration Follow the Great Wildebeest Migration The migration of nearly two million wildebeest and zebra across the plains of Tanzania's Serengeti and Kenya's Maasai Mara is one of the oldest and last great land migrations on the planet. If you want productive predator action, the Southern Serengeti supplies it with lions, brown hyenas, leopards and even wild dogs taking advantage of vulnerable calves. This pushes the wildebeests and their associating animals to herd towards Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Due to the all-time assurance of food and favorable environmental conditions, most calves are born in February something which makes them spread across the plains as the result of an increase in number. On fact file today we have an astonishing fact about this largest overland migration in the whole globe. Some arrive at the water and swim over immediately; some arrive and spend days hanging around grazing; some arrive and turn back to where they came from. ACROSS the world, migratory animals like wildebeest — which rely on movement to find food, water and calving grounds — are under threat. Here is where most deaths due to predators begin which prevent all beasts and zebras to successfully cross the river. The Migration Only Happens Between July & October. Water sources are starting to dry out as the dry season begins to bite, hence the march towards the Mara River. They are generally still in the south but the grasses have all been munched up, the last calves born, and the herds are starting to gather in preparation for the next leg of their journey. This will be late November or early December, and it is the very right time for them to make their way toward the green pastures on the Serengeti plains hence the second cycle of migration starts automatically. I have been reading through this forum in the past weeks and got some idea in planning a Safari for August 2020. If you're looking for expert planning advice, look no further. You need a passport to cross; the wildebeest are exempt. As mentioned, it is impossible to predict crossings – they generally occur any time between May and September. Just imagine on the course of the mysterious journey of these wildebeests, around 400,000 calves are born usually in the early weeks of February. The animals break up into mega-herds of thousands or hundreds of individuals at time. A new study was published this week describing an endangered long-distance wildebeest migration in the Tarangire ecosystem of northern Tanzania. Importantly, the study notes that these populations are not under threat, and their movements are mostly unrestricted. See our The bulk of the Migration takes place in the Serengeti. Copyright © 2021 Serengeti National Park, Wildebeest Migration Cycle ( the great wildebeest migration) is described as the circular movement that wildebeests take across the East African plains of the savannah. In a 'normal year' the short rains have begun, propelling the wildebeest to leave the now denuded grasslands of the Masai Mara and back into the rejuvenated Serengeti. You can even go further afield and easily add top destinations like: Chat with someone who's been there. All the guides and drivers were always on time and very pleasant. This pushes the wildebeests and their associating animals to herd towards, On fact file today we have an astonishing fact about this largest overland migration in the whole globe. ‘Cow’ is a name shared by both our domestic milk-providing animal as well as a female wildebeest, meanwhile, it’s well and good if you call the male gnus bulls. Lodges and camps are small and fill up very quickly. Your best bet is the Masai Mara, but bear in mind it is a far smaller reserve than the Serengeti and there may be a lot of other visitors. Blue Wildebeest Migration. East Africa's Migration, Safari & Highlands, Top 5 Tips for Booking Your African Safari, 10 Best Luxury Safari Camps & Lodges in the Serengeti, Rutting (a period of sexual excitement, reproductive activity and mating battles between males). Over two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles move through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems in search of green pasture, in a regular pattern. Wildebeests were colored with the habit of staying and moving together in monumental groups. Lodges and camps fill up fast, especially for a Great Migration safari from June to October. The Masai Mara and Serengeti combine easily with each other, and each can also form the focal point of a larger safari itinerary. They are not alone in their journey since they have a few similar species which do give them an escort. River crossings cannot be predicted, but generally occur between May and September. We saw the wildebeests moving towards specific routes, and repeats the same cycles every year but no wonder they have leaders nor the mechanism to overcome various obstacles they encounter on their way. The timing of the migration coincides with greening of nutritious grasses on the short-grass plains during the wet season. Note: the above are approximate dates only. This is mainly because their migration routes are being cut off by fences, settlements, farms, roads and other developments, and the areas where they roam are getting smaller. A Wildebeest Migration experience can get busy, noisy, smelly, and far removed from a general Big 5 safari. During this period not all the wildebeest and zebra follow the same route some travel further west than others who head northwest. However, animals are just trivial rays of light caught on earth for a short timeframe to lighting up our days, and eventually, they get their crown and turn to their eternal life. An estimated 3 percent of the herd can't survive the clockwise circuit, whether due to predation, exhaustion or natural elements. There is one reason which has triggered everyone’s’ thirst for researching more about this Bovidae family of animals, which is their massive migration throughout the year. Choose and arrange your timing according to what you want to see and experience. Not even the wildebeest know when they're going to cross! Why? The Great Migration refers to the continuous movement of vast numbers of wildebeest accompanied by large numbers of zebras and gazelles searching for food and water between Tanzania and Kenya. If you have mobility challenges, ask for rooms as close to the mess areas as possible to avoid long walks, often on soft sand. The wildebeest do have historical crossing areas and you may spend days staked out in the hope of seeing the action. Thanks to the wildlife researchers who spent their time in observing and documenting these for the sake of many like us. Remember that although up to two million wildebeest, zebra and antelope form the Migration, they are not all in a single herd. Across the world, migratory animals like wildebeest – which rely on movement to find food, water and calving grounds – are under threat. The Serengeti is not fenced, so the herds are free to move where they can find grazing. Natural phenomena occur all over the world, but very few can compete with the sheer size of the annual Wildebeest Migration through the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem. All are completely customisable to your personal timing, budget and preferences. The annual wildebeest migration through Tanzania and Kenya is one of the world's greatest animal wonders. Serengeti Wildebeest Migration route map The below maps show the migratory path of the Serengeti Wildebeest and Burchell's Zebra. Tip: although many people think of Africa as a hot place, the rain can cool things down dramatically. This is the most favorable place for this time due to the availability of water on the river and the assurance of green pasture from the forests surrounding the Grumeti river. If you are on a budget, choose good-value accommodation so that you have extra time on safari. Book Early – At Least a Year in Advance. However, it is very dangerous due to the large starving crocodiles situated in the river standby to convert any thirsty wildebeest coming for water into a delicious dinner. The Annual Migration Overview. A crucial point is the crossing of the river Mara in the east of the Serengeti. As April approaches, when the newly born calves have acquired enough energy and adaptations to the environment, the migration starts again heading towards the north. This unity was unity is observed even better during their annual migration, where a very huge group of wildebeests migrate together from one point to the other without leaving any of their fellows behind. Sometimes the herds stay put for two weeks, other times they could cross four times in one day! Around October, all wildebeests in the migrating herd will now be taking the same route merging together the minor herds formed while migrating from Grumeti. It’s the same for wildebeests, whereas almost 2500 wildebeest die on each single wildebeest migration cycle. Just imagine on the course of the mysterious journey of these wildebeests, around 400,000 calves are born usually in the early weeks of February. Wildebeests are majorly classified into two groups, the black wildebeest and the blue wildebeest. Remember, this is safari's high season and when the popular river crossings happen, but you can see the herds any time of the year. Your best chance of seeing river crossing may involve spending all day at a site where the wildebeest have massed. Black wildebeest herds are often nomadic or may have a regular home range of 1 km 2 (0.39 sq mi). We've helped thousands of travellers to be in the best possible place at the best possible time for the best possible price. The wildebeest migration cycle begins in early December (or sometimes as early as late November), where the wildebeests start migrating majorly towards Serengeti national park, while some cover the southern and eastern parts of Soronea, areas around Ndutu and the northern part the Ngorongoro conservation area. Many new ones are born during the great wildebeest migration cycle, while some die as well on the way before reaching their destination. Book your Wildebeest Migration safari up to a year in advance to get a lodge on or as close to the river as possible – this cuts down on travel time to lookout points. The national reserve is open to members of the public so for a more exclusive experience, head for the private conservancies that border the reserve. Fortunately, we've been planning Wildebeest Migration safaris since 1998. Even the weather was perfect with just a few hours of rain during the whole trip. This is the part of the cycle where other animals such as the zebras and the gazelles join, In the early days of July, scarcity of water on the Grumeti and pasture on the neighboring areas will be observed. This is the part of the cycle where other animals such as the zebras and the gazelles join the migration. It’s no easy task for the wildebeest. So, thank you Maureen – not even a tiny detail might be improved – it was all perfect. It is believed that due to the repetition of the same cycle of migrations for thousands of years, the wildebeests developed an intelligence mechanism of systematically identifying, exploring and overcoming all the obstacles encountered on their way as a single group rather than in individual bases. Click on each map to get more details on the migration during a particular month. Each have different advantages, but choosing one depends on what is important to you: Tips for Choosing Migration Safari Accommodation. The animals are strung out across a large area – there are always fore-runners and stragglers. Wildebeest is a common name given to the Gnu species from the Bovidae family which is just but an herbivorous group of mammals. Most people think that the Wildebeest Migration only takes place between July and October, but it's actually a year-round phenomenon – with various but equally exciting events that occur at different times of the year. The wildebeest migration route. Mathematics tells us that from the mentioned fact, then almost 7500 calves are borne on every single day on, The wildebeest migration cycle begins in early December (or sometimes as early as late November), where the wildebeests start migrating majorly towards, As April approaches, when the newly born calves have acquired enough energy and adaptations to the environment, the migration starts again heading towards the north. There is no real beginning or end to a Wildebeest’s journey, life is an endless pilgrimage, a constant search for food and water. safari travel specialists. You'll also be offered activities not permitted in the main reserve, such as night drives, bush walks and off-road game viewing. Densely-packed wildebeest cross the Mara River – which separates Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti ©Frank Gabriel Much loss of life amongst the animals happens at this stage of the cycle due to the state of a dilemma caused by the panic of crossing the river during its overflow alongside with the starving predator animals waiting for the wildebeests as their meals. Huge herds totaling up to 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle move in an 800 km circuit clockwise through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem in search of the best pastures and access to water. 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