Perhaps you have seen the Wildebeest migration when watching the Lion King and wondered what it’s really like in real life. Seeing over one million animals migrate is a very thrilling experience for onlookers that experience this.
It is one of the best things to do when you are touring Tanzania and you don’t only get to see the wildebeest only but also thousands of other animals that include lions, hyenas, and zebras.
Because of that diversity, it is a game of life and death for other animals that are also migrating. How can you get to experience the great migration to its full in Tanzania? Here are the best times to see the great migration in Tanzania.
Constantly moving cycle
Throughout the year, the wildebeest migrate around the Tanzanian Safari and in the first two months, they are usually found at the Southern Plains. That’s where they give birth to almost 300,000 calves within a period of a maximum of three weeks.
Within three minutes of birth, the calves are already ready to stand up and within 5 minutes, they are ready to run off with the herd.
Their large numbers make it impossible for lions and hyenas to prey on them all and because of that, they make it to the months of March and April.
During those months, the herd pushes north and west until they reach the central and western parts of the Serengeti, near Lake Victoria. In June and July, the herd crosses the Serengeti, where they cross over the Grumeti and Mara River to their destination in Kenya.
During your Tanzanian Safari, hire a good agency that has expert guides to help you in climbing Kilimanjaro or staying with the Maasai. The same guides will be able to help you plan the great migration tour as well. It will be a great experience to get to see this mega natural event before your eyes.
When is the best time of the year to visit?
Around the months of August and September, the entire great herd heads to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Although this cycle may seem very predictable, it is anything but that. It is predominantly dependent on weather conditions and the beginning of seasons.
When the land dries up, that’s when they cross to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Although the cycle happens throughout the year, you should still plan your travel itinerary to better experience this powerful movement.
To do so, you need to align the time you travel with the dry season. The Tanzanian Safari has different seasons than the rest of the world because it is mostly divided into two instead of four. Tanzania only experiences what they call the dry and wet season and that is what affects the great migration.
During the wet season, the animals are few and they have plenty of food, so it may not be the best time to visit. However, in the dry season, the entire herd will be out in full force and will be heading north to get drinking water and food. The dry season is usually between July and at the beginning of October.
What is the ideal spot to witness this?
To get to see the great migration more fruitfully, you can perch up the Serengeti National Park to see the Wildebeest and other animals cross. Also, you can go to the Grumeti River to witness the herd drinking water and pass through. The Grumeti River cuts through the Serengeti horizontally and it can be a perfect spot to watch the animals cross.
There are crocodiles in the river and that makes drinking a challenge for the animals because they are usually attacked by these predators. That’s a true manifestation of how this is a game of life and death because the drinking and passing through should be very quick