We are often asked when the best time is to see the wildebeest migration on safari in Africa. Truth be told, the wildebeest migration is a year-round phenomenon as the herds circle around the Serengeti and Masai Mara reserves in Kenya and Tanzania. At times the herds congregate in the Masai Mara and at other times they spread out in the Serengeti. For more on the year-round wildebeest migration, see this post.
Here are five ways to see the Wildebeest Migration on an African Safari in Tanzania and Kenya.
Crossing the river - the Mara & Grumeti Rivers
The image everyone has in mind when thinking of the Wildebeest Migration is that of panicked herds crossing the Mara River. Predators put pressure on the rear of the herds while down in the muddy waters crocodiles wait their turn to pick off the weakest animals. Few people realize that the river crossings only take place during a few days of the year. The herds cross the Grumeti River in June/July and the Mara River between August and November - this is when you can capture some of the most stunning video and photographs. View tour
Remote and exclusive - Mobile Tented Camps
The Northern Serengeti is the most remote location to see the Wildebeest Migration. Few people dare drive the long and bumpy tracks from the south and so the area is the domain of intrepid travellers who fly in and stay in exclusive luxury tented camps, complete with a private butler, hot bucket shower and flush toilet. This is the ultimate remote getaway in the midst of the vast herds.
Green Season - great photography at low-season rates
The Green Season from March through June offers the best light and conditions for photographers on safari in Africa. The light is soft and golden, the air is crisp and clear, making colours pop, and sunsets offer skies with dramatic stacked cloud formations. View tour
Calving season - predators galore
Late January to early February sees the Wildebeest Migration return to the Ndutu Plains in the Southern Serengeti. It is here that the calving seasons takes place - at its peak up to 8000 calves are born every day, There is nothing quite like seeing a baby wildebeest take off running within minutes after it is born, a necessary survival technique. Because with the presence of so many young animals come the predators: lions, hyenas, and cheetahs show up in large numbers wiating for a tike to kill. View tour
Budget conscious - camping safaris
For those willing to stand the rigours of sleeping in a tent using a mat and sleeping bag, camping safaris are the only way to see the migration at a very low cost. Time your trip wisely and you may just get lucky that the campsite you are in is within striking distance of the massive herds of the wildebeest migration. View tour