When is the best time to see the great migration?

When is the best time to see the great migration? East Africa’s Great Migration is the safari trip that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Each year, hundreds of thousands of zebra, gazelle, and 1.4 million wildebeest travel from Tanzania to Kenya. The astounding numbers draw nature enthusiasts from all over the world to witness the thrilling river crossings or the first steps of the 500,000 newborn wildebeest calves.

However, did you know that the Great Migration is a continuing phenomenon? It runs throughout the year, with a new safari experience being offered every month. You may discover a detailed explanation of when to visit the Serengeti’s Great Migration and which of its four districts offers the finest front-row view of all the action in our guide.

The Great Wildebeest Migration has earned the moniker “The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth” for a good cause. Millions of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles embark on a yearly roundtrip migration between Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park between May and December. It creates the ideal environment for an exciting safari experience since predators are always watching their every move. But it’s not entirely clear what will happen.

It’s a natural phenomenon and depends on the rains, environmental factors, and animals.

Consider the breakdown of the ideal times to view the Great Migration as a general guideline. “What happens if you’re visiting Tanzania outside of these months?” you ask. You’ll still see animals, I suppose. You are sure to see the herds traversing the boundless plains because the Serengeti is so large and home to millions of animals.

The best time to see the great migration: Month-by-month breakdown.

One of the most incredible natural events on the planet is the Great Wildebeest Migration. A staggering number of animals cross the Mara River from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains into Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve from July to October.

It’s an incredible sight that you shouldn’t pass up! Month by month, here is when to expect the migration.

December to March: The great migration calving season.

 Tanzania: a significant migration when is calving season and when is the optimum time to view the great migration? In Tanzania, the circle of life starts in the Southern Serengeti. The herds wander between the Ndutu region and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where the calving season starts, after leaving the Central Serengeti.

By January, the rain had stopped, leaving behind a feast for the herds of herbivores. As the ladies get ready to give birth, the wildebeest gorge themselves on the newly emerged grasses in the area of Lake Ndutu and Kusini.

Between late January and March, around 8,000 calves are born a day. There are 500,000 wildebeest in all.

The calves begin to roam with the vast herd 10 minutes after birth when they take their first steps. Predator activity results from the large herd defending its young against ravenous animals. This is one of the finest times to reserve a Great Migration safari in Tanzania if witnessing this spectacular show is high on your bucket list.

April to May: The herds move from Ndutu to central Serengeti.

 Tanzania – ndutu to central Serengeti – when is the best time to see the great migration

The wildebeest herds migrate to the Central Serengeti in response to the call of thunderstorms, leaving behind a desolate environment in the south.

You can observe enormous herds moving across the Moru Kopjes and towards the Western Corridor if you schedule a safari for April or May. On the banks of the Mbalageti and Grumeti rivers, thousands of animals converge here. The only problem? There are crocodiles and other creatures waiting at the perilous river crossing.

June: The Grumeti river crossing begins in the western Serengeti.

When is the ideal time to view the Great Migration in Tanzania, at the Grumeti River Crossing? The Great Migration drama began in June. You won’t get bored even though the Grumeti and Mbalageti river crossings are less exciting than the northern crossings.

As the wildebeest try to cross the murky waters, crocodiles pounce on them, and testosterone-fueled males begin the rutting season.

Maasai Mara wildebeest Migration
Maasai Mara wildebeest Migration

Since this is the Great Migration’s shoulder season, it’s a great opportunity to book a less expensive safari package and avoid the crowds in the Northern Serengeti.  The Great Migration crosses the Northern Serengeti River between July and August.

Tanzania: a significant migration When is the ideal time to view the great migration in northern Serengeti?

Are you seeking for the Great Migration experience that is most in demand? The herds proceed from the western Serengeti to the northern Serengeti into Kenya’s Maasai Mara National  Reserve, leaving the Grumeti River crossing in their wake.

As the animals try to cross the Mara River, the risks increase. As the herds pass across the waterways, Nile crocodiles snap their teeth, while on the opposite side, lions are poised to pounce.

Marabou storks and vultures soar above, waiting to feast on the unfortunate few who don’t survive. The viewing of the game is thrilling, frenzied, and unequalled. It is hardly unexpected that this is Tanzania’s peak season given the amount of activity. Reserve your travel, accommodations, and Great Migration safaris in advance. It quickly gets full.

September to October: Masai Mara and northern Serengeti.

The herds go on to Kenya’s Masai Mara after the drama of the Mara river crossing. However, that doesn’t imply that the safari you had in Tanzania during these months was boring.

On the quest for new grass, some of the animals are still present in the northern Serengeti. The animals can be seen foraging throughout the plains, crossing the river again, and avoiding predators. The herds will return from Kenya in the first or second week of October and travel from the Northern Serengeti to the Central Serengeti.

November: Central to southern Serengeti migration.

 The cycle starts over when the cattle leave Tanzania and return. The animals set out from the north to travel to the southern plains and the newly emerging grasses. Want to avoid missing the migration? Plan a safari to the Seronera Valley and the centre of the Serengeti. It is less crowded around predator sightings and calmer than the park’s northern parts. The only drawback? The wet season has arrived.

While you might have less than perfect weather, it’s an excellent time of year to catch the migrating birds returning to Tanzania. Safari discounts are another benefit of the absence of tourists and storms. You may purchase safari packages for approximately half the cost and discover lower lodging prices.

How to see the great migration herds.

Tanzania – great migration herds 1 – when is the best time to see the great migration

Do you want to increase your likelihood of observing the calf births and river crossings? What to anticipate from the various Serengeti National Park transportation alternatives is listed below.


 Serengeti National Park allows for self-driving. You can, indeed! Despite this, we do not advise it. The Serengeti is so large (14,763 square kilometres), it’s easy to get lost. Additionally, a 4WD vehicle is required, and some of the roads (such as the one connecting Naabi Hill gate with Seronera) are infamous for being difficult to drive on.

Tanzania – hot air balloon safari.

 When is the best time to see the great migration?

Book a hot air balloon safari above the Serengeti for something unique that you’ll talk about for years. When you take off before the sun rises, you can observe the environment come to life while softly gliding over vast herds of wildebeest and other animals.

It’s a special opportunity to witness the Great Migration and see the Serengeti’s vast size and the wandering herds from above.

What months are the Great migration?

Traditionally, July through October are the finest months to view the river crossings. On the other hand, you may observe the herds traversing the Serengeti all year long.

When in Tanzania is the ideal time to view the big migration? The Great Migration is best viewed between July and October. As the herds cross the perilous Mara River, the conditions are ideal for a thrilling Tanzania safari adventure with predators waiting on land and in the water.

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