Epic. Awe inspiring. Breath taking. There are times when even the biggest superlatives fail you.
The famous crossings of the Mara River are just one dramatic moment in an annual event featuring over a million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles. Each year they move from the southern plains of the Serengeti in a clockwise sweep through the Serengeti Western Corridor to their northern range in the Northern Serengeti and Maasai Mara.
The calving that takes place each year in mid-February, when half a million wildebeest give birth inside a week, is an equally epic spectacle. This event occurs during the wet season when the land is vivid, green and plentiful – a completely different experience from the dusty, dry landscape most people associate with safaris.
The rut and exodus from the Serengeti short grass plains follows in May, and in June the wildebeest come face-to-face with the gargantuan crocodiles that inhabit the dwindling pools of the Grumeti River in the Western Corridor.
Wildebeest Migration Experiences:
The Serengeti migration from a tented camp
If you're thinking of travelling to the Serengeti to see the wildebeest migration, consider spending at least some of your time in a tented camp. And...
The Migration River crossings
Each dry season, tens of thousands of wildebeest brave the torrent of the Mara River - not to mention its fearsome crocodiles – on their annual migrationIn many ways the world famous crossings of the Mara...
The Serengeti Wildebeest Calving
Every year in mid February roughly a million wildebeest gather on the short grass plains of the Southern Serengeti to give birth. Extraordinarily all 400,000 calves are born in the space of a single week....
The Rut and the start of the migration
The wildebeest migration isn't all about river crossings...One of our favourite times is late May when the herds - in their hundreds of thousands - begin to move off the southern plains on their long journey...
Zambia’s Liuwa Plains - the other migration
Serengeti-Mara is not the only migration - every year in the far west of Zambia tens of thousands of Wildebeest, accompanied by Tsessebe and Zebra, converge on the Liuwa Plains in search of fresh grazingFor...
How can I see the migration?
The migration is worth seeing at almost any time of the year. To give you the best chance of seeing the immense herds we use tented camps that up sticks and move every few months. The style of camps varies from a simple lightweight set-up with minimal clutter to more elaborate and stylish tented camps, but both use the same migratory concept. Whichever you choose, the guiding is exceptional.
When do the river crossings take place?
River crossings on the Mara River start in July and continue until late October and occasionally (subject to the weather) early November. To be on the safe side, it’s best to aim for late July to late October.
What are my chances of seeing a crossing?
Most of our clients do see a crossing, but this takes patience and a little luck. Don't expect to see a crossing in a single day – you’ll need to spend at least three days in the area to give yourself the best chance.
What about seeing the calving?
This happens inside a week in mid- to late-February. The exact timing depends on the weather, so it’s best to be late to be certain of seeing some action. It’s totally different from the mass migration. The herds are spread out on the short grass plains so don’t expect to see huge densities. Instead there are scattered herds that extend as far as the eye can see.
A word of warning...
There's a danger that if you go looking for one thing to the exclusion of all else, you'll miss an awful lot. So with the migration, if all you are seeking is a crossing, our advice would be to see that but also take advantage of the secret corners that are overlooked as soon as the migration has left. Serengeti is always exceptional and we like to use light camps to explore some of the quieter parts when nobody else is there. Ask us more about how to do this.