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Annual Migration - The greatest show on Earth


The earth trembles with the thundering of a million hooves, as the heaving herds fill the plains to chase the rains in the epic annual struggle for survival, known as the Great Migration. Every year, estimated 1.5 million wildebeest and 200 000 zebras complete the 1800 mile circuit from the Ngongorogoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, through the Serengeti, across the border into Kenya and the Maasai Mara and back again.

It is the greatest show on earth, a natural spectacle like no other and a life-changing experience. At Chief's Tours, we aim to ensure you have front-row seats away from the crowds to this spectacular event. Many people think that the great wildebeest migration only happens once a year, but the migration is, in fact, an all-year-round event - with each time of year offering a unique wildlife experience. Let Chief's Tours provide you monthly information on this natural masterpiece. 

What to expect in each month of the year? 

JANUARY 

January is a tough month to predict.

There’s a lot of movement from north to south as the herds await the first Serengeti rains. January, like June, is a hard month to predict because the herds’ movements depend on when it starts to rain on the southern plains. Female wildebeest are carrying calves and are almost ready to give birth. The herds move swiftly, in search of favorable grasslands to provide sustenance for the arrival of their young.

FEBRUARY 

February is the easiest month to predict where the migration will be in the Serengeti.

February is calving season – a period when wildebeest, zebra and other migratory animals give birth to their offspring. Once the calves are born, the herds don’t move much. The chance of witnessing a wildebeest birth is high. Predator interaction is also very likely, as lion and leopard move into the region to prey on young and vulnerable calves.

MARCH 

March is the last month that the mobile camps operate in the Serengeti. Use them to stay close to the action. 

March can be fairly wet. Grasslands are lush and green, providing much-needed sustenance to the large wildebeest herds. The herds move slowly and predictably, as the one-month-old calves are fed constantly. The glut of calves makes easy prey for predators. Expect lots of lion and leopard encounters.

APRIL 

April is wet in the Serengeti, but you'll love it. Bring your sense of humor and a raincoat. 

Don’t be scared of the long rains in April. It rains mostly in the evening and days are generally clear. The main effect of the rains is that the plains will be wet, and the black cotton soil slippery. If you can deal with the rain and slippery roads, you’ll be rewarded with excellent sightings. We highly recommend April as one of the most consistent times to see the herds. This is when they slowly get going as the newborn calves and foals get mobile.

MAY 

May is a great time for action photography as the herds move quickly to the Serengeti’s western corridor. 

May is the wettest month in the Serengeti. Roads can be slippery and tricky to navigate. The herds gather speed in May as the calves’ legs should have become fully operational by now. They also feed less frequently, so bigger distances can be covered each day.

JUNE 

June is traditionally the Grumeti River crossing period. The herds are spread out, so expect longer, rewarding game drives. 

June marks the end of the rainy season. The plains are lush and green. The wildebeest herds cover great distances. Driving times between leading and trailing herds can exceed three hours.

June is traditionally the Grumeti River crossing period, but this is mainly dependent on the water level of the Grumeti River. There is seldom enough water in the river to produce dramatic crossings like those seen at the Mara River in July and August.

JULY 

July marks the start of the Mara River crossings as well as the mating season in the Serengeti. 

July is a warm month. As the dry season approaches, the Serengeti landscape becomes arider. The wildebeest herds begin moving faster in search of water and greener grass, making their way across the Grumeti and Mara River. Expect to see crocodile encounters. 

AUGUST 

August is your best month to see the dramatic Mara River crossings in the Serengeti or Masai Mara. 

August is a hot and humid month as the dry season kicks into overdrive. The wildebeest herds will continue their search for lush, greener grass and by doing so, attempt to cross the dangerous, crocodile-infested water of the Mara River.

SEPTEMBER 

September is your last chance to see the epic Mara River crossings in the Serengeti or Masai Mara. 

September offers more hot and dry weather, as the dry season continues in the Serengeti and Masai Mara. Most of the wildebeest have crossed the Mara River, and the majority of the herds will be in the Greater Masai Mara area, eating the lush green grass resources before venturing north towards the private conservancies (Mara North, Olare Orok).

OCTOBER 

October is a good time to see the wildebeest herds move back into the Serengeti. 

October will be milder, as the dry season approaches its climax. You might even experience early rain in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. The wildebeest herds are in the Masai Mara, but will start to slowly move back into the Serengeti moving through Loliondo in the east.

NOVEMBER 

November might bring rain, but it’s still a good time to see the wildebeest in the Serengeti. 

November brings cooler weather, as the early rains start to fall in the Serengeti. The wildebeest herds are now in the Serengeti, stationed in the Lobo, Mbuze Mawe and Seronera Valley areas where water is abundant.

DECEMBER 

December is a busy and wet month, but you can still track the herds in the Serengeti. 

Expect wet weather in December, as the short rains begin to fall in the Central Serengeti. The wildebeest herds will move quicker now, as far south as possible, towards the Southern Plains which they usually reach within a couple of days.

 

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Thank you for considering us. We look forward to bringing you the best safari experience! 
Contact: +255 732 973893 / +255 7555 49872 
Email: info@chiefstours.com | Website: https://chiefstours.com/
Address: P.O.Box 8544, Chagga Str., Moshi, Tanzania 

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