The Spectacular Great Wildebeest Migration

Wildebeest Migration Crossing the River

The Great Wildebeest Migration is a natural wonder that takes place every year in Tanzania and Kenya. This annual event sees over two million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles traverse the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems in search of fresh grazing grounds. The migration is considered to be one of the most spectacular wildlife events in the world, attracting thousands of visitors from around the earth.

What is the Great Wildebeest Migration?

The journey of the Great Migration begins in the southern Serengeti in Tanzania where the wildebeest give birth to their calves between January and March. They, along with zebras and gazelles then begin their northward migration in search of greener pastures. On their journey they cross the Grumeti and Mara rivers as they make their way towards the Masai Mara, Kenya. The migration is a continuous cycle that spans an area of approximately 30,000 square kilometres.

This incredible spectacle is considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of Africa and one of the Ten Natural Wonders of the World. It has been taking place for over a million years, with the exact reason for the migration still not fully understood. However, it is believed that the wildebeest follow the rains and move in search of fresh grazing grounds to ensure their survival.

What Month is the Wildebeest Migration?

The huge herds of wildebeest can be seen year round. In Tanzania, The Serengeti National Park offers visitors an opportunity to witness the wildebeest as they make their journey towards Kenya. However, the fabulous river crossings are best viewed in the Kenya side as they cross over the Mara River between July and October.

Why is the Great Migration so Famous?

This natural phenomenon showcases the power and diversity of nature. With such large numbers of animals moving through the area, it also attracts impressive predators such as lions, hyenas and crocodiles. This makes it an ideal time to witness the circle of life in action.

Which Lodges are Best to Stay in to See the Wildebeest Migration?

Singita Grumeti, Tanzania

This luxury camp is located in the path of the migration and offers excellent wildlife sightings. It also offers a variety of activities, including game drives, hot air balloon safaris, and guided bush walks.

Serengeti Under Canvas, Tanzania

This mobile tented camp moves with the migration, offering guests the opportunity to be in the heart of the action. It offers a traditional safari experience with comfortable tents and excellent guiding.

Governors Camp, Kenya

Located in the Masai Mara National Reserve, an ideal location for witnessing river crossings. This camp offers a traditional safari experience with comfortable tents and is a great camp for families.

Sanctuary Olonana

Located on the banks of the Mara River, this camp offers guests a front-row seat  with the main river crossings happening just 40 minutes away from camp meaning you are never far from the action.

These are just a few options, and there are many others to choose from. When considering a camp, its important to consider the location, quality of guiding, activities on offer and your budget. It is also advisable to book early, even a year in advance, to avoid disappointment. Sense Earth can help you here.

The Great Wildebeest Migration is an extraordinary natural phenomenon that takes place every year and has been for over a million years. Unsurprisingly it remains one of the most spectacular wildlife events in the world. Witnessing it is an unforgettable experience which offers a glimpse into the power and beauty of nature. Also read about the Elephant Rescuers.


Author: Kim Messervy-Evans

At the age of 20 I packed my bags and headed to South Africa where I studied for 6 months and qualified as a FGASA Safari Guide. Since then I have been involved with travel. Even when I’m not working I’m following around my pilot husband to different European cities. Travel is addictive!