Safari 101: What to Expect During the Wildebeest Migration Safari
The Great Migration has been named the New 7th World Wonder. There is nothing else like it in the world and it is a definite bucket list experience.
What makes the Migration a great safari destination?
The best thing about the Great Migration is that it is a year-round event. There is no off-season and even a one- or two-week trip is enough to leave you awestruck.
The herds travel across the Serengeti in search of better grazing and you can expect different experiences throughout the year based on where the herd is located on their migration path and whether you travel during a rainy season, calving season or river crossing – but more on that later.
How you’ll get around
You will most likely fly into either Kilimanjaro International Airport or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport depending on whether you are beginning your Migration Safari in Tanzania or Kenya.
You will be met by a welcoming team member and transferred to your accommodation, or travel by light aircraft, depending on your itinerary. Your tour operator will be able to arrange all transport and transfers which takes away the burden of getting from one place to another.
Where to stay
The lodges and luxury tented camps offer exquisite views of the African landscape. An African sunset in the Serengeti is something you will never forget.
The landscapes alone are awe-inspiring enough but to top that off you will be treated to wildlife right on your doorstep. The Migration is a year-round attraction, but as the herd moves throughout the year, your accommodation would depend on when you are travelling.
Your tour operator will ensure you are stationed at the right spot so that you don’t miss any of the action.
When is a good time of year to travel?
The movement of the Migration is governed by the seasonal rains. With the different seasons and movements of the herd brings different experiences.While the rainfall can be loosely predicted, the Great Migration has two distinct seasons: Green season (January to March) and Dry Season (July to September).
There is often a reduction in rates during the green season as the lush vegetation makes game viewing more challenging, although this is a great time for birding and the wildflowers are in bloom.
For the most thrilling migration activity lookout for the Mara River crossing (July to September), where the herd attempts to cross crocodile inhabited waters, and the calving season (January to March) where an estimated 8 000 young are born.
This is the best time to experience the sheer volume of the migration. The new-born are fragile, easy targets for predators – providing an action-packed experience – not always suitable for the faint-hearted.
The long rains of April and May provide enough water and grazing for the animals to spread out over the entire southern Serengeti plains.
Herds move slowly and predator interaction is commonplace.
May and June make it into the top three best possible times to see herds on migration safaris.
A great time for action photography as the herds move quickly to the western corridor.
From October to December the herds are scattered throughout the north-eastern Serengeti.
At this time of year, it’s not uncommon to find animals in front of your camp in the evening.
A day on safari: what to expect
Let’s head to the Serengeti for our virtual day on safari.
Picture yourself waking up in a luxury tent in the African bush. Enjoy breakfast at the lodge, or head out on a dawn safari and take breakfast with you.
Take a game drive, exploring the region and seeing lions, leopard, buffalo and huge herds of elephant, while migratory wildebeest, zebra and buffalo crowd the plains.
Or take things up a notch and take a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the plains and view the migration from up high.
Spend the day relaxing by the pool, or embark on a walking safari, balloon safari, village tour or enjoy some bird watching and feast on a bush lunch with local beers.
End the day gathered around a campfire, sipping on sun-downers, while you absorb the incomparable African sunset before dinner.
Keen to learn more about the types of holiday you could experience with Discover Africa? Check out a few sample itineraries here.
But remember: each trip we book is completely custom designed to your specifications. They are as unique as you are!
It’s the guides who make the trip
Experienced guides know where the animals tend to congregate, and they communicate with other guides to find out what’s been spotted where.
A knowledgeable guide can help you see exactly what you want to see on your trip.
No matter where you decide to take your Migration Safari, we can set you up with some of the best guides in the world.
All our guides are knowledgeable, local people who know their regions intimately and can explain them well.
Our long-standing relationships with local guides mean that they know what we want and expect and deliver every time.
Email us at : firstname.lastname@example.org to book your slot today!