Wildebeest Migration – a Must See

by Sandy Salle on March 19, 2019

Our clients are always interested in “where do I go next” after they have visited Africa for the first time.   The must do’s on your first trip are of course a game safari along with 2 of my personal favorites — Cape Town and the Cape Winelands.  Our next recommendation would be to East Africa, specifically to see the migration of the wildebeest.

The timing of the migration depends upon the annual rainfall and if there are any fresh pastures which may occur earlier or later depending on the year.   As water sources dry up in the South, there are over 1.5 million wildebeest that inspire this photographer’s dream itinerary to see the migration of the wildebeest along with thousands of zebras, gazelles and elands.  Their predators — lions, cheetahs and leopards — are not too far behind tracking all the herds.

There is no fixed table of events. All depends on the coming of the rains, which can vary by several weeks, but in Serengeti National Park, light short rains usually fall in November and December, when the migrating wildebeest and zebra herds return to the southern Ndutu plains to crop fresh grass in the company of elands.  In February, every day for about three weeks, an estimated 8000 newborn foals stagger to their feet within minutes of being dropped and follow their mothers.  You are charmed by the spectacle of new life and certainly will be moved by this event.

The long rains in northern Tanzania occur between April and May when the grass plains blossom with short-lived flowering plants. Then the herds turn northward through the western Serengeti corridor and along the central outskirts. The Grumeti River crossing is a perilous trap in June and July, haunted by giant Nile crocodile.

To see this natural phenomenon, you can track and observe from 4×4 game-viewing vehicles, filming from the ground or in the air which allows you to zoom in on the action with your cast of wildebeest acting out their ancient ritual for you alone.

But this is just one of the many adventures that await you in East Africa — you can climb Mount Kilimajaro, travel the Mahale Mountains on a chimp trekking safari, or visit the 2 million year old wildlife dense Ngorongoro Crater.  You can even spend the night at a coffee plantation! 

If this sounds like what you are dreaming of for your next trip, please call us at 1-800-940-9344 or email us at hoainfo@hillsofafrica.com so we can begin turning your dream into reality.


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