The Greatest Show on Earth:
Africa's Wildebeest Migration

The Greatest Show on Earth: Africa's Wild Migration

What is the Great Migration?

Each year, almost two million wildebeest and 20 000 plains game migrate from Tanzania's Serengeti to the south of Kenya's Masai Mara in search of lush grazing grounds and life-giving water.

This treacherous Odessey is dictated by the seasons and where the rains are, the wildebeest are not far behind. This epic journey from north to south spans almost 3000 kilometres and is virtually endless.

The Great Migration
The Great Migration

This great spectacle of nature is an iconic safari option for avid travellers, nature lovers and those who want a little more from their African experience.

Rather than having a start or endpoint, the Great Migration moves rhythmically in a clockwise direction, making herd tracking unpredictable.

It is for this reason that our Herdtracker app was created; to help you track the wildebeests' movements and plan the safari of a lifetime. Choose from our existing safari packages or tailor-make your own journey according to your budget. 

governors moran camp safari | The Great Migration
Governors Moran Camp Safari | The Great Migration

Below, you'll find some useful resources that detail when to go, where to stay and what to expect along this unforgettable journey.

Our experienced safari experts, as well as affiliate camps and guides on the ground all, work together to provide you with up-to-date information on where the herds are, as well as the predators that stalk them. 

 

Interesting Facts about the Great Migration

1. The Serengeti, along with Egypt's Nile River, the Sahara Desert (which stretches across 11 countries), and Botswana's Okavango Delta, has been appropriately dubbed one of Africa's seven natural wonders.

2. In addition to being one of the most valuable animal habitations in the world, the property is also highly meaningful because it is on the Maa people's ancestral land. The Maasai are an African tribe that still performs many of their ancient rites, which is extremely important to the region.

3. The biodiversity of the Serengeti National Park is the world's oldest. It is home to a diverse range of plants and animals that can be found nowhere else on the planet.

4. The Serengeti not only has a diverse variety of species but also has a diverse range of lodging options. You might think you'll have to rough it, but that's not the case; there are plenty of spacious campgrounds and bush lodges to fit even the most discerning traveller's tastes.

5. In the Mara River, crocodiles waiting for the herds drown their prey by clutching them in their powerful jaws and dragging them below the water, twisting them to smash them into bite-size bits. A crocodile's tail can be used as a secondary weapon and can lunge more than half its body length out of the water to catch a possible victim.

northern serengeti mara river crossings | The Great Migration
Northern Serengeti Mara River Crossings | The Great Migration

6. There are about 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and a host of other antelope migrate through the country during the Great Migration.

7. The Serengeti ecosystem is home to over 3,000 lions that accompany the migratory herds across the reserve.

8. Tanzania is well-known for its Swahili culture, which is widely practised in the country. This means that while travelling through the beautiful Serengeti, make sure to sample some of the local Swahili cuisines and inquire about how this can be accomplished at your lodge.

Calving Season | The Great Migration
Calving Season | The Great Migration

9. While night drives are not allowed inside the Serengeti national park, many of the world-class lodges in and around the area provide nighttime game drives on the outside, and the Serengeti's lack of fencing means that seeing great game during nighttime drives is a possibility.

10. Since they eat various sections of the same species of vegetation, zebra and wildebeest will coexist peacefully.

Wildebeest jumping into the Mara River

What to expect and where to stay each month of the year

Many people think that the great wildebeest migration only happens once a year, but the migration is in fact an all-year-round event -- with each time of year offering a unique widlife experience.

Select a month below to find out what each month offers in terms of weather, wildlife, migratory movements, predator interactions, river crossings and where the best place to stay is, to get the most out of your trip to see the great wildebeest migration.

Our Recommended Migration Safaris

Asilia Africa

Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings (10 days)

Experience one of Africa's greatest spectacles – smell the dust and hear the noise of thousands of animals crossing the Mara River

$ 11,990

£ 8,635

R 170,433

9,945

per person

10 days
Game viewing

Green Season Wildebeest Migration Safari (11 days)

This four-in-one calving season safari includes not only the Serengeti, but Tarangire, Lake Manyara and the Ngorogoro Crater

$ 9,865

£ 7,104

R 140,227

8,183

per person

11 days
Lion cubs

Affordable Green Season Safari in Tanzania (8 days)

From Lake Manyara to the Ngorogoro Crater and the Serengeti, this Tanzania safari offers real value and shows off the burgeoning green world of Tanzania's rainy season migration 

$ 7,240

£ 5,214

R 102,914

6,005

per person

8 days
August Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days) - Migration Wildlife Safaris

August Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days)

Experience the drama of the nature's greatest spectacle in the Tanzania

$ 7,165

£ 5,160

R 101,848

5,943

per person

10 days
July Wildebeest Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days) - Migration Wildlife Safaris

July Wildbeest Migration Safari with HerdTracker (10 days)

Experience the drama of the nature's greatest spectacle in the Serengeti National Park

$ 7,165

£ 5,160

R 101,848

5,943

per person

10 days
Mara and Serengeti Combo Safari (7 days) - Migration Wildlife Safaris

Mara and Serengeti Combo Safari (7 days)

Combine two prime destinations in one week of wonder

$ 5,750

£ 4,141

R 81,734

4,769

per person

7 days
World Cup of Wildlife Migration Safari with HerdTracker (9 days) - Migration Wildlife Safaris

World Cup of Wildlife Migration Safari with HerdTracker (9 days)

This is the stage on which the greatest wildlife show on earth and plays out, as it is by far the greatest mass movement of land mammals on the entire globe.

$ 6,625

£ 4,771

R 94,172

5,495

per person

9 days
June to July Wildebeest Migration Safari in Tanzania with Herdtracker (9 days) - Migration Wildlife Safaris

June to July Wildebeest Migration Safari in Tanzania with Herdtracker (9 days)

If the great migration is on your travel bucket list, then this memorable safari in Tanzania is ideal for you.

$ 11,370

£ 8,188

R 161,620

9,431

per person

9 days
Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days) - Migration Wildlife Safaris

Affordable Ngorongoro and Serengeti Safari (6 days)

We're offering our guests the chance to explore two world-famous destinations in under a week

$ 4,725

£ 3,403

R 67,164

3,919

per person

6 days
Epic Grumeti River Crossing Migration Safari (10 days) - Migration Wildlife Safaris

Epic Grumeti River Crossing Migration Safari (10 days)

Join HerdTracker on a wildebeest migration safari in the Serengeti National Park's Grumeti region

$ 7,410

£ 5,336

R 105,330

6,146

per person

10 days
wildebeest migration map animated

Planning a trip to see the wildebeest migration, but not sure when or where to go?

Find out where the herd will be, and what to expect each month of the year, using our migration map with monthly predictions.

Our experts predict how the wildebeest migration will move based on previous years migratory patterns and real time updates received from pilots, rangers and safari guides in the Serengeti.

View migration map and monthly prediction

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts