Kenya Vs Tanzania During Migration
What to choose for Safari first between Kenya and Tanzania during migration?
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Answers ( 2 )
Lucky you – this is one the easiest choices to make! If you can only travel in, say, February, then you will be definitely heading to the Serengeti in Tanzania because that’s where hundreds of thousands of wildebeest (along with other grazers like zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and topi) will be having thousands of adorable calves. To take advantage of their wobbly legs, predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and spotted hyenas move in, making this one of the most bittersweet moments in the Migration year.
If you can only travel later in the year, like in November, then, once again, the choice is made for you: you’ll be heading to the Masai Mara in Kenya. That’s where the majority of the wildebeest will be, taking advantage of the fresh grazing after the first spring rains.
Essentially, you will have to go where the wildebeest are. You can’t decide you want to see the Migration in March in the Mara – they simply won’t be there!
If you are hoping to see the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti or Masai Mara, you will need to plan your safari around where the migration is at a particular time.
Both parks are in the same eco-system, so the animals move freely over an invisible, man-made border.
The animals can go where they want but people can’t – unfortunately, the border crossing that lies within the parks is not open, so you have to go out of the parks and around if you want to get from one to the other (which can take a couple of days in either direction) or you can fly.
The migration is always a little unpredictable, as the herds follow the rains, so nothing is guaranteed unless you splurge on a high-end mobile safari that moves with the animals.
The below information can help to predict:
January, February & March
During this time the wildebeest move down to the southern part of the park, near to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the entrance to the Serengeti.
Wildebeest calving season takes place between late January and February where round 8000 wildebeest are born every day which drives the predators wild.
April & May
This is a bit of a transitional time for the herds, as well as the main rainy season. They’ll be making their way upwards and along the western corridor up towards the Grumeti River.
June to July
Towards the end of June, the herds start to gather in the northern Serengeti, ready to make the crossing over to Kenya. This is a great time to be in the northern Serengeti.
August, September & October
This is the peak season and a very good time to spot the migration in the Masai Mara or just south of the Mara River on the Serengeti side. At this time of year, the herds are crossing over from Tanzania into Kenya, taking their chances in perilous rivers and trying to avoid being eaten by crocodiles. It’s pretty spectacular when you see a crossing.
If you are planning to visit the Serengeti at this time, you will need to do a more expensive fly-in mobile tented camp/lodge safari or take a longer driving safari.
So, if you’re coming from Arusha or Moshi plan to do a safari for at least 5 or 6 days on safari to allow you the time. Most shorter safaris only get you as far as the Central Serengeti. Check with your safari operator.
However, the Masai Mara is quite a lot smaller, so you should be able to see the migration (season permitting) regardless. And if you’re really lucky, you may even see a river crossing.
November & December
Another transitional period as the herds are moving back from the Masai Mara to the Serengeti and tend to be spread out throughout the north and eastern Serengeti, moving down towards the Ngorongoro Conservation area ready for calving season.