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When is the best time to witness the Wildebeest Migration
edited September 2008
We want to go Kenya's Masai Mara or Tanzania's Serengeti to witness the famous Wildebeest Migration. When is the best time to go, and where is the best place to witness it?
The Wildebeest Migration is one of the world's most amazing wildlife experiences. The best time to witness the migration from the Serengeti and the Masai Mara is between June and August when around one and a half million wildebeest - along with hundreds of thousands of zebra and Thomson's gazelle - gather and prepare to cross the Grumeti River. The exact timing changes every year as it is a spontaneous event and influenced by the availabilty of grazing. The animals can arrive in the Mara as early as July, but they normally arrive between August and September. They stay in the Masai Mara in October and November before gradually migrating back to the Serengeti in December and January. This is a great website to find out more information with regular updates: www.wildwatch.com/great_migration. There are a some very good camps near the Grumeti River crossings. Another option is a riding safari, where you can ride amongst the massive wildebeest herds.
July is the month of high activity. Although June and August are equally good.
I have a discussion in this forum called Wilderbeest Migration in the Masai Mara.
why is it better to visit in july or aug. versa feb or march when the wildebeasts are calving?
I wnt to see the see the migration across grumeti river during reverse migration ( from masai mara TO serengeti). is november a good time? do crocodiles still lie in wait at this time?
edited August 2011
The wildebeest migration starts in Tanzania to head towards the Western Serengeti in June. The best time to see the migration is generally between June and August when the wildebeest congregate and prepare to cross the famous River Grumeti. The Migration can easily be sighted in Kenyas Maasai Mara between July and September and spectacular sightings are as they cross the crocodile inhabited Mara River. The wildebeest remain in the Maasai Mara between October & November. Between the end of November and January the wildebeest gradually begin their migration from the Maasai Mara back towards the Serengeti
The number of animals that are involved in this spectacular, natural phenomenon is staggering. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million wildebeest and at least 300,000 zebras and gazelles set out from the plains of the Serengeti to start their nomadic voyage that will take them over almost 2000 miles in the coming year.
The world's most spectacular sights truly happen at the mass crossing of the swollen Mara River. The animals will gather hesitantly in huge numbers on the river banks, unsure of when to take the plunge. The other wildebeests behind the frontline keep amassing into hundreds of thousands until the pressure on the front is too much to bear. They finally take the leap; and when they do, even the waiting crocodiles scatter to the flanks. The fear of being trampled by the millions of wildebeest is too real for even a crocodile to risk a head-on affront. Hundreds upon hundreds make death-daring- high leaps into the water, that the splash makes a swash like a million waterfalls
edited August 2011
Yes, October/November are good months to view the migrating wildebeests from Kenya's Maasai Mara Game Reserve to Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. However the river crossing is always unpredictable and the spectacle of crocodiles feasting on the helpless wildebeests at crossing point is always a chance one has to take....
Wishing you a nice viewing
How about Feb. I'm thinking of staying at the Olarro Lodge in mid Feb. Has anyone heard any reviews about Olarro located in the Masi Mara & is Feb a good time to go?
Which place you suggest if one wants to visit during 1st week of August masai mara or sarangetti ???
from July to august is the best time and u will see it clearly if u go to Masai Mara
i would recommend Kenya late June to august the mass start pouring into the Kenya Masai Mara reserve where fresh, tender
and mineral-rich grass is already waiting. Here they meet the resident Mara populations which
add up to about 150,000. Also commonly referred to as the Loita plains herds, they spend most of the season northeast of the Mara. When it gets dry, they pour into the interior of the Mara in search of greener pastures.
Finally, the gnus (wildebeests) venture into the river. This gregarious coordinated behavior of the herds, usually teamed with zebras, creates an unimaginable scene.the mass start pouring into the Kenya Masai Mara reserve where fresh, tender
and mineral-rich grass is already waiting.
The migrating herds spend roughly 3 to 31/2 months in the Mara crossing through Sand River, which is a tributary of the Mara along the boundary of Kenya and Tanzania. They trek westwards and cross the Mara river and sometimes the Talek river. Usually around this time heavy rains on the Mau Escarpment (origin of Mara River) fill the Mara river to the brim.
Is it possible to visit the Mara in January and catch the wildebeest migration in reverse, so to speak? Is it less dramatic when they return to Tanzania? Also, I have heard that an incredible way to witness the migration is to go on a hot air balloon safari - can anybody recommend a good tour operator that offers this kind of thing?
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