November is a major moving month, as the herds head through the Serengeti towards the southern short-grass plains. This month sees the mega-herds on the move as the actual ‘Great Migration’ takes place.
Towards the beginning of November, the Mara river is still the place to be with river crossings still happening. However, the first herds will be reaching the central Serengeti, so there is a good argument for splitting your time between two locations in the park – Kogatende and Seronera/Moru is often perfect. From the 15th onwards, river crossings are rare, so we often suggest that clients focus on areas around the central Seronera river valley and Moru (south of central).
Mara Serena Safari Lodge is perfectly situated for a Great Migration safari across the plains, this Masai Mara safari lodge has excellent facilities and services for a wonderful safari tucked away on a hillside with spectacular views.
Safari guide Jacupa Martinez captured a very huge crossing at point no 7 from the Lamai Wedge to the Kogatende.
Immerse yourself in the Great Migration at Olakira Migration Camp. You’ll feel the earth vibrate during winter crossings of the brave wildebeest as they face the mighty rivers in the north, or be moved by the mass summer calving on the south’s grassy plains.
Safari guide Frank Gabriel witnessed a massive herd crossing point no 0 moving towards the southern Serengeti again from Lamai Wedge.
Serengeti seclusion at Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge! Lemala Kuria Hills Lodge is perfectly positioned in the northern Serengeti’s Wogakurya Hills, in the path of passing wildebeest herds as they move to the Mara and back. The Mara River is the place to be, with river crossings proving to be the main attraction.
On the north-western border of the renowned Serengeti National Park, you’ll find the Grumeti Game Reserve: a migratory corridor for herds of animals naturally passing through the area. The remote, lush location offers a far greener safari experience than if visitors were to venture further east. Rolling hills, rivers, and woodlands patchworked into the terrain extend resplendently as far as the eye can see.
The reserve closes for two months of the year in April and May but the most successful game-viewing times follow directly after and are said to occur between late June and early October.
Visitors to Grumeti will find themselves endlessly entertained. Twice-daily game drives may be undertaken to spot the wildlife or those wanting to get up close and personal with the land can take to the plains on the back of a horse and race among zeals of zebra and towers of giraffe. A number of lodges are located in the park, offering guests a secluded and opulent safari experience.
Resting against a hillside with panoramic views of the Serengeti plains and Mara River in the distance, Sayari Camp effortlessly combines luxurious living and the wonder of the African landscape at its most natural. A year-round destination, guests can watch in awe as dramatic scenes unfold when wildebeest cross the Mara or enjoy the park at more quiet times when the area’s permanent wildlife crawl out of the woodwork.
October is a good time to see the wildebeest herds move back into the Serengeti!
Fred saw the wildebeest heading south, through the western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park's Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November.
By October, most of the herds have reached the grasslands of the Masai Mara. It's a short stint, however; in November, they begin their journey back to the southern Serengeti to be there in time for the green shoots on its plains. They arrive by December when the cycle starts to pick up again.
It is situated very close to the river's popular crossing points, yet tucked away from the busy roads - which means less passing vehicles and more privacy. You will also have access to additional river crossing points where there are less crowds and better viewing opportunities.
By late October, when the short rains start falling on the Serengeti's short-grass plains, filling seasonal waterholes and bring new flushes of growth, the wildebeest start heading south again.
The herds trek down through the eastern woodlands - 90% of the female wildebeest are pregnant with the calving season that generally starts in February. Tightly grouped as they pass through the wooded country, the wildebeest scatter and spread out again once they reach the open plains of the Serengeti.
The herds are yet again in a pretty identical position in the northern Serengeti area of the Kogatenda and Lamai. The early light rains are pushing the herds south, however, this takes a long time as there are many of them!
The chances are even if you are visiting the north in late October, that a good few of the herds will still be lingering in the north.
The Great Migration is on the move, heading back down south, as the Masai Mara is starting to get hotter. The grassy plains have been denuded and the rain clouds are gathering in the Serengeti.
The predators follow the mighty herds, but only as far as their territories allow them to. The cats and hyenas are loathed to enter one another's territory. During this season, the lioness have cubs that they must feed and take care of, so they can not go too far away.
Henryk Sarat waited for about four hours while the herds traveled along the river and stopped at multiple points to sniff if there were any crocodiles in the water. In this instance, there was a hippo that wanted to attack a crocodile. This is a perfect example of where an "enemy of an enemy is my friend".
The hippo was just relaxing and sleeping in the water and all of a sudden, thousands of wildebeests trample over the hippo. The hippo ended up swimming away because it wasn't sure what was going on. The hippo's day was for sure ruined. It was hilarious watching the hippo confused!
There are crocodiles in the river and other predators waiting elsewhere. Unbeknownst to Maralee Park, there was a lioness hiding in the tall grass waiting for the right moment to attack. It happened so fast that Maralee Park didn't see it right away, but in the action happened in front of them - a lioness attacked one of the wildebeest. After a few minutes, Maralee Park's ranger moved the vehicle a little closer. The lioness actually killed at least 2, maybe 3 wildebeest while they were there.
Kenya’s Masai Mara is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife viewing areas and the jewel of Kenya. The nearly 600 square mile Masai Mara National Reserve is remarkable for its year-round density of big game wildlife and spotting Africa’s Big Five is almost a guarantee. It’s a no-brainer when selecting a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. The one thing you might not have considered for your safari, though, is taking to the skies in a Masai Mara hot air balloon safari. And a hot air balloon Masai Mara experience simply needs to be on your bucket list.
The Masai Mara is still busy at this time of the year, as it is a smaller area with a lot of camps! We always recommend sticking to the Serengeti between July and November, if you are looking to catch the migration.
Visiting Kenya at this time of the year is not integral to the route of the great migration, but more of an offshoot from their main Serengeti path. The herds don't see the country border and think "we must go to Kenya" - It is just an extension of their circular route which essentially revolves around the Serengeti.
The best area to encounter the herds in October is in the Northern Serengeti at the Kogatende or the Lamai Wedge if you are looking to catch some good river crossings. You should not anticipate their move to the south in your choice of camp, as river crossings are still happening and should not be missed if you are in the Serengeti at this time of the year.
There is nothing more exotic than staying in the wild and being one with nature yet not compromising comfort and relaxation. This intimate migration camp, conveniently nestled in the Kogatende area, is a semi-permanent mobile tented camp perfect for anticipating movements of the great migration. It offers splendid views with a fresh breeze and it features first-class amenities that guarantee luxury accommodation even in the midst of the wild. Listen to the sounds of nature and simply take in this once-in-a-lifetime experience of being in the wildlife setting of Africa.
Once the herds arrive in the northern Serengeti, they do not simply head straight for the Masai Mara then head south - but they linger criss-crossing over back and forth through the Masai Mara. It is not a single mass movement, but more a chaotic gathering which can mean river crossings happen daily from July all the way through until late October.
Safari guide John Letara who left Kogatende yesterday morning reported that most of the herds have left the northern Serengeti and they are heading towards the Kirawira area and the woodlands of the Serengeti.
Nade witnessed thousands of wildebeest and zebra in the Masai Mara.
Between August and October, good game-viewing becomes possible throughout the whole Masai Mara area as the millions of wildebeest and zebra “mow” the grass down, making it palatable even in the normally long grass areas.
For the last two weeks, there have been light rains that are pushing the herds south. However, this takes a long time as there are so many of them! The chances are even if you are visiting the north in late October, that a good few of the herds will still be lingering in the north.
Want to stay up to date? Get live wildebeest migration updates via email.
Tucked within a grassy corridor that links the Lake Ndutu area with the Moru Kopjes and Hidden Valley is the seasonal Woodlands Camp. During the calving season, this area is teaming with wildebeest as hundreds of thousands of pregnant females converge to give birth. While most properties are compacted in a central location, Woodlands Camp is slightly removed from the main tourist venue, allowing for more privacy without sacrificing access to this awe-inspiring event.
Chaka Camp, is a mobile Serengeti safari camp designed to be lightweight enough to move seasonally, is located in the Ndutu area from December through March. The camp relocates to Western Serengeti from May through June, and again to Northern Serengeti from July through November.
From December through March, the wildebeest migration moves in and out of the Ndutu area. Ndutu is located in Ngorongoro Conservation Area, just south of Serengeti National Park. Chaka Camp’s location provides easy access to prime game viewing areas around Lakes Ndutu and Masek. In addition to the almost two million wildebeest and zebra that move through the area each year, Ndutu is home to cheetah, lion, giraffe and hundreds of bird species. During February’s calving season, the wildebeest give birth to 8,000 babies a day.
From May through June, Chaka Camp relocates to Western Serengeti. The wildebeest migration is generally in this area during this time, and crossings over the Grumeti River are sometimes seen in this area. Access to Central Serengeti is also possible from this area as the drive is only two hours.
From July through November, Chaka Camp is located in Northern Serengeti. The camp is close to the Mara River, allowing easy access to several river crossing points in the area. During this time of year, the wildebeest migration is crossing the Mara River back and forth from Tanzania to Kenya. River crossings are common with crocodiles, hippos and large cats scattered throughout the area.
Like the wildebeest that are the stars of the Serengeti Annual Migration, the Olakira camp is a wanderer; a luxurious under-canvas camp that moves with the seasons, forever following the herds to ensure you have a front-row seat to the greatest show on earth.
Fine linens, finer dining and a touch of nomadic romance are the hallmarks of this authentic East African safari camp. Whether it’s at the river crossings of the northern Serengeti, the breath-taking scenery of the Lamai Wedge, or on the great grassy plains of the south, the intimate Olakira camp ensures the best of the Serengeti is always right on your doorstep.
December to March typically coincides with ‘calving season’ in the Serengeti and Ndutu Wilderness Camp is ideally located so visitors can view this spectacle. Nestled under shady trees, on the Ndutu plains, this camp allows guests to enjoy the wealth of wildlife that has made these sun-soaked plains so renowned.
Like the animal it is named after, Camp Zebra follows the wildebeest migration to the northern part of the Serengeti National Park in June, July, August, September, October and November; and to the southern part of the park from December till March. Camp Zebra is closed from the middle of April till the end of May each year.
Camp Zebra consists of six accommodation tents, each of which can be used for single, double (or twin) or triple occupancy. Each sleeping tent consists of a bedroom area, dressing area and ensuite shower and toilet. The dressing area, shower and toilet are all “open air” so as to heighten the experience of living as one with your surroundings. Despite being able to enjoy some breathtaking views as you prepare yourself for the day ahead, privacy is still assured due to the clever design of our tents. As an added convenience, each tent is provided with sufficient electricity for lighting as well as for charging mobile telephones, cameras, tablets, laptop computers or any other electronic devices you may carry with you.
Camp Zebra is Serengeti camping at its finest. The mobile nature of the camp makes it easy to follow the wildebeest herds as they complete their long journey, ensuring the best wildlife sightings during the incredible Great Migration in Tanzania. See our HerdTracker app for the latest migration updates.