Wildebeest migration safari, Serengeti safari, Tanzania wildebeest safari
Tanzania Great Wildebeest Serengeti Migration Safari. This great spectacle of nature is an iconic safari option for avid travelers, nature lovers and those who want a little more from their African experience.
Tanzania Great Wildebeest Serengeti Migration Safari. From the Serengeti in Tanzania, to the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Great Wildebeest Migration attracts thousands of nature enthusiasts, filmmakers and photographers who come from around the world to witness one of Africa’s most dazzling cycles of life.
Tanzania Great Wildebeest Serengeti Migration Safari. It is rated as one of the world’s most spectacular natural events – every year over a million wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem, taking in two different countries, Tanzania and Kenya and making time for birthing, courting and mating on the way.
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Serengeti Wildebeest Migration is the only World single phenomenon, where large retinue of wild animals make movement searching for fresh pasture and water. Wildebeest Migration it is the largest single movement of wild animals in the world. This phenomenon has been listed as one of the World Natural Wonders. It real gives an exceptional inspirational for a dream nature Tanzania Safari particularly in the Northern of Tanzania with Reuel Travel the safaris destiny. About 1.5 million of Wildebeest with hundreds thousands of zebras, elands, gazelles together with the trailing group of predators leave their calving ground found in the Southern area of Serengeti around March and April heading for the next water sources. The herds trek through south-central Seronera into the Western Corridor and Grumeti arriving in the month of April and May and staying at this area until June, then around July or August they cross the dangerous Maara River moving towards Masai Mara where they will last just for a short period of time before crossing again the same death-defying river as they are heading back to Serengeti National Park. But this time they will be taking the bearing of Lobo and Loliondo in Eastern Serengeti around October and November. The herds precede to Southern Serengeti area the calving ground with arrival around December where they will stay till March before get back In the same circle
Tanzania Great Wildebeest Serengeti Migration Safari. The timing dates for migration differ depending on annual rains and renewal of fresh pasture which may seasonally occur earlier or later in some years. However the event is worth the effort to have a photo Tanzania Safari as the multitudes of wild gnus pour themselves in the endless plains of Serengeti driven by instinct or necessity in such a way that they act as one entity, pursuing their destiny to rut, mate, dare and die in this impossible dangerous tour. However the migration ensures the ultimate survival of the wildebeest and the continuance of the Serengeti eco-system of which they are the primary-spring. Their epic tour is one of violence and endurance as they battle onwards, past granite kopjes where cheetah or lion lie in ambush through flood-swollen and infested crocodile rivers, over parched plains scorched by wildfire to sanctuary in the north. Then homing in on distant rains, they circle back again daring greater hazards by the same water, by exhaustion by predators, shading the quarter of their numbers by wayside. To appreciate the enormity of this event you must engage by tracking and observing from 4WD game-watching vehicles, firming on the ground or in the air in the hot balloon to zoom in on the action as if the endless grasslands were your theatre with your own cast of millions acting out their ancient ritual fro you alone.
JANUARY: The herds are in Tanzania’s Serengeti, moving south from the north-east region and into the southern Serengeti, Ndutu area and Ngorongoro Conservation area – which often means out of the confines of the (unfenced) national park itself. It is calving season – prepare yourself for lots of wobbly babies… and lots of heartbreak as predators swoop in.
FEBRUARY: The good grazing of the Southern Serengeti, Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation areas means the herds remain in the far south.
MARCH: They are still in the south but the grasses have all been munched up, the last calves born and the herds are starting to gather in preparation for the next leg.
APRIL: Make sure you are on the southern Serengeti plains – the wildebeest begin their northward journey, and many have left already and are in the central and even western Serengeti.
MAY: Wagons roll! The massed herds are on the go, huge columns of up to 40km in length can be seen as the wildebeest funnel up into the central and western Serengeti.
JUNE: Head for the central and western Serengeti – the herds are there and getting ready for the toughest part of their odyssey.
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JULY: Book early – it is the Big Event: river crossings. The herds have reached the western Serengeti and Grumeti Reserves and are peering closely at the brown waters of the rivers they have to cross. Why? Huge Nile crocodiles, that is why.
AUGUST: The survivors celebrate by feasting in the northern Serengeti and begin crossing back into Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. You need a passport to cross; the wildebeest are exempt.
SEPTEMBER: The herds break up into smaller groups – about half of the animals remain in the northern Serengeti, the rest are swapping stories in the Masai Mara
OCTOBER: Your best bet is the Masai Mara but bear in mind it is a far smaller reserve than the Serengeti and there may be a lot of other visitors. The conservancies in the Mara are much less crowded and, not only will you still be able to witness the Migration, you will also be benefitting the Maasai communities who have lived there for thousands of years.
NOVEMBER: The short rains have begun, propelling the wildebeest to leave the now denuded grasslands of the Masai Mara and back into the rejuvenated Serengeti.
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DECEMBER: Fresh grazing sees the wildebeest clustered in the north-eastern Serengeti (around Lobo in particular) as well as the southern Serengeti. Calving begins again, the predators move in again, and the cycle of life begins all over again.
5 Reasons people miss the Great Wildebeest Migration and how to avoid it happening to you
Imagine travelling hundreds of miles to see and experience the spectacular herds of the Great Wildebeest Migration, only to arrive at your destination and find out that you’ve missed it by one week. How disappointing! Luckily for you, we’re here to help. Here are five reasons people miss the Great Wildebeest Migration and how to ensure that this doesn’t happen to you.
Wrong place, wrong time
After months of preparation and waiting for you for your safari to begin you arrive at the lodge with no wildebeest in sight. For whatever reason, the herd decided to change its route and can’t be viewed from your accommodation, or reached by safari vehicle. You’re at the wrong place at the wrong time.
How to prevent this:
Operating daily scenic flights over the Serengeti, Captain Joel Fernandes from Coastal Aviation offered a great suggestion on how to prevent the disappointment of just missing the herds.
“We drop off clients and pick them up again on a daily basis and have done this for many years. Some clients are disappointed because they did not see the migration just because they were not informed where to go and didn’t know who to ask. If you are going to come all the way to East Africa then you might as well give yourself the best chance to come see this wonderful phenomenon. We want to be part of helping people see the migration, that’s why we provide up-to-date migration location information to clients out there in real time. We do this in hope of getting more people to be at the right place at the right time.”, says Fernandes.
To see where the wildebeests are right now or will be at a future date, check out our interactive wildebeest migration map.
Staying in one lodge
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When you stay in one lodge for your entire safari holiday you take a big risk of missing the migratory herds. When booking your getaway, you can’t be 100% certain the herds will be in the area where your lodge is located for the duration of your stay.
Carel Verhoef, an East Africa expert working for Discover Africa, offered some advice on booking accommodation for your safari.
“Book two or three lodges in the neighbouring areas, for maybe two nights each. This way you increase your game drive area and chances of seeing the migration. Besides that, it can also improve your total safari experience. Every wilderness area is slightly different, with vegetation and landscapes that vary. Every lodge has a different ambience too, and it’s great to experience more than one”, says Verhoef.
Booking too late
The wildebeest migration is a popular, once in a lifetime experience. With limited accommodation in the areas that give you a front-row seat to migratory herds, you’ll find most lodges are sold out a year in advance. This leaves you to choose from lodges that are further away from the action, lowering your chances of seeing the migration. Don’t forget about busy holiday seasons too – they play a big role in the accommodation availability.
Knowing everything there is to know about the availability of rooms and when to book accommodation, Sales Manager of Asilia Africa, Adele Roux sheds some light on the matter.
“When our mobile camps are at Ndutu or the Mara River, rooms are easily sold out more than a year in advance. We cannot add more beds because there is just not enough water and capacity for more guests, especially in the south. Mobile camps are dependent on water and that is the Serengeti’s biggest limiting factor. My advice is, book early to have options.”, says Roux.
Cheap tour operator
There are some tour operators that are not real Africa enthusiasts. They are working for the money and will not do everything in their power to make your safari experience unforgettable. These operators will simply say that the herd is not in the area instead of driving the extra kilometers, to ensure you get your sighting. It’s operations like these that often use inexperienced guides and trackers who don’t know where they can find the herds or where the best viewing spots are.
Godfrey Kimaro is a ranger in Tanzania National Park and knows every tour operator in the area. Kimaro offers advice on how to decipher between a cheap operator and an authentic one.
Kimaro says, “It can be very difficult to find out which tour operators are reliable and which aren’t. Every operator will have a nice website with beautiful images, but still, you will only really experience it when you are at the lodge and on a game drive. A reliable source to use for more information on an operator is Tripadvisor. Here you can find lots of reviews from recent travellers on all lodges, tour operators and what they experienced.”
Too crowded for comfort
Peak season is usually very busy, especially around the time of river crossings and when calves are born. This time of year it’s not uncommon for guests to struggle to take a photograph without another safari vehicle in the shot.
Having the pleasure of experiencing the wildebeest migration twice, Richard Davies shares the vast difference of his safari experience based on the time of year he went.
“The first time we went to the Masai Mara was during September 2010, and the river crossings were crowded by minibusses. We visited the “Mara Triangle” just because that was what we were told to do. However, for the 2012 migration season, we went a little earlier – at the beginning of August – to catch the start of the crossings. We spent half the time on the Serengeti side and the other half on the Mara River close to the Mara / Talek River confluence. The experience was magical. What a difference it makes when you are well informed.”, says Davies.
If you want to see what it looks like, here’s a one-year photo journey of the great wildebeest migration. If you’re keen to get up close and personal with the animals, we also have a variety of unique migration safaris to choose from.
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