What is the Serengeti great migration?


What is the Serengeti great migration? We plan to Visit Tanzania and we hear great things about the Serengeti Migration!

Answer ( 1 )

  1. Known as the Serengeti great migration (great migration for short or wildebeest migration), the Serengeti great migration is one of the world’s most spectacular natural events. Every year, around about the same time, over a million wildebeest, zebra and antelope (to a lesser extent) migrate clockwise around the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem (approx. 1,930 km).

    Birthing (‘calving’), courting and mating happen along the way, as well as the battles that play out between prey and predator. Movements of the herds may vary from month-to-month, as the great migration is not an exact science and is dependent on the rains.

    • January/February/March – From January the herds are firmly in the Serengeti as they begin to move further south towards the Ndutu plains and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The short rains of November, the previous year, mean the plains of the Serengeti provide rich grazing areas. These three months are known as calving season which means a lot of new-born calves finding their feet, while trying to avoid the predators that are swooping in for an easy meal.


    • April/May – Make sure you are on the plains of the southern Serengeti as the wildebeest, zebra and antelope begin to move northward through the ‘western corridor’ and central Serengeti. You’re in for rumbling hooves as the columns of wildebeest, 30 – 40 km (20 – 25 miles) long, migrate for greener plains.


    • June – The herds (with predators in wait) take a breath in the central Serengeti and western corridor as they get ready for the toughest part of their journey.


    • July – The wildebeest and other migrating game face their biggest hurdle so far – crossing the Grumeti River. The wildebeest will not only have to contend with the murky waters, but with the Nile crocodiles that lie in wait beneath the surface.


    • August – For their hard work, the wildebeest celebrate by grazing on the plains of the northern Serengeti. They also begin their crossing into the Masai Mara National Reserve – which first means crossing the great Mara River. Unless you’re a wildebeest or one of the other grazers, you will need your passport to get into the Masai Mara.


    • September/October – The herds move back and forth between the Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park (SNP). Some wildebeest may even cross back and forth between the Mara River up to ten times during a migration season, looking for good grazing areas.


    • November – The short rainy season has begun and now it’s time for the herds to move south for better grazing in the Serengeti. For the wildebeest that have made it this far, they will have to contend with hungry predators that lie in wait.


    • December – Fresh grazing means the herds are gathered in the north-east (around the Lobo woodlands) of the Serengeti and move further south towards the Seronera plains. Calving begins again, predators move in and the whole cycle begins again.


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