Best Time to see the Great Wildebeest Migration

Best Time to see the Great Wildebeest Migration

A Serengeti safari is not complete without spending some time to witness the great migration. Do you what is the best time to see the great wildebeest migration? If you know then you are good to go, if not, keep reading this article up to the end.

What is the Great Wildebeest Migration?

Before we start to talk about the best time to see the great wildebeest migration, It’s better for you to know what is? What is so special about the great wildebeest migration?

The Great Wildebeest Migration is simply the movement of animals from one location to another in search of the good pasture. This happens between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Animals on these parks are free to move to each country, regardless of the border between these two countries.

Animals involved in this migration are millions of Wildebeests, thousands of Zebra and a hundred other animals like gazelle, impala and more. The number of Wildebeest seems to be the issue here and this why the movement granted their name.

During the migration, the herds move up to 2000 kilometers from the southern part of the Serengeti plain and Ngorongoro crater to Maasai Mara and then back to southern Serengeti. This has happened for so many years of their existence.

What is so special about the Great Wildebeest Migration?

During the movement, a lot of drama and the struggle to live happens. Thousands of wildebeest die during this migration and thousand of newborn Wildebeest born evenly.  Predators, Scarcity of good pasture, and sickness cause this death of wildebeest.

The big deal here is watching a million of animals concentrated in savannah plain while predators like Crocodile, Leopards, Lions, and Cheetah are on their hunting business. Watching this by your eyes sometimes you may think you are on the Lion King movie. The braveness, tactics, speed, and strength of these predators are unimaginable.

Following and watching the great Wildebeest migration in the natural environment is a spectacular opportunity for researchers, photographers and nature lovers.

The Grumeti river is an amazing place to watch the great migration as the herd will cross this river on their way to Maasai Mara. Predators especially crocodile are in the high season of getting easy food when the herd is crossing the river.

The Great Migration: month by month

The herd of the great migration is always on the move in a cycle all the year. We will show you a month by month movement so you know where to see the migration once you arrive.

January: Southern Serengeti

In his month the heard movent to the Southern part of the Serengeti National park. This month, this area is pretty fresh with covered grass caused by rainfall in November and December.

Predators also know this schedule!

February: Calving in Southern Serengeti

Ndutu is known as the place where Wildebeest give birth to offspring. Wildebeest prefer to give birth to this area because of the new fresh grasses and the open landscapes of this area. They prefer to give birth to this area because it is easy for them to see predators.

Up to 500,000 newborn wildebeest will be born in this area.

March: The Move

This month, the babies have become stronger and they will be approaching the end of their season in Ndutu. The heard will start moving across the southern plain in search of fresh grass toward central Serengeti.

Predators also follow the move as this is their best opportunity for getting an easy prey.

April: South to Central Serengeti

The herd has already swollen by fresh and nutritious grass. On the move, they left a completely barren landscape on the southern of Serengeti.  They will still keep the search for fresh grass, eat and this leads them to the west and north of Serengeti towards Maasai mara.

May: Central to Western Serengeti

Wildebeest and other migrating zebras and gazelle are heading towards the river back of Mbalageti and Grumeti. This is where survival for the fittest drama is going to happen. Their trick will be crossing the river towards a new promising land of the fresh posture, the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Predators also are in their signal of

June to July: Western Serengeti to North

This month, the herd have already reached to the back of the river. Wildebeest cross over the Grumeti River toward the north. The migrating animals here presents the annual feast to the river’s large crocodile.

Wildebeest will continue to northwards while spreading out to cover the northern part.

August, September, October: Northern Serengeti / Mara River Crossing

At this time we can witness the highest concentration of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle along mara river. Before being able to reach the other side of the Mara river, they have to face a dangerous mara river crossing. This one is more challenging than crossing the Grumeti River. The Nile crocodile is now their time to get their annual feast which they might have waited for almost a year!

November: The return

In November most of the herds are starting to move back to south Serengeti. At this time the herd approaches the south through western Loliondo and the Lobo Area. Sometimes the movement can be urgent when rainfall has become an issue to them.


The herd is expected to reach the southern circuit this month although sometimes it can be a challenge to stay there. If the southern of Serengeti had no rain the heard would choose to stay to a permanent water source like central Serengeti or Lodge.

So what is the best time to see the Great Wildebeest Migration?

This depends on your interest and what you want to achieve. June, July and Early of August could be your best option for you to experience the highest population of Wildebeest crossing the river. If you prefer to go for calving season, January and February could be your perfect months to add on your list.

What you have to note is; The Great Wildebeest Migration is a natural event, don’t expect the cycle to continue smoothly all years. The weather has a large influence on the great migration and the herd will respond and change their movement at any time.