Serengeti Great Migration

Great migration of wildebeest in Serengeti is the movement of vast numbers of mammals include wildebeest, large numbers of zebra, gazelles, eland and impala within the Serengeti Ecosystem. These move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable. They migrating throughout the year, constantly seeking fresh grazing and, it’s now thought, better quality water. The precise timing of the Serengeti wildebeest migration is entirely dependent upon the rainfall patterns each year – here we explain how the broad pattern works.

The wildebeest and buffalo populations have multiplied, benefitting the main predators – lion, cheetah, and hyena. But the ecosystem is delicate and volatile, easily affected by drought, disease or overgrazing. Every effort is therefore being made by the Tanzanian government to conserve this unique heritage for all mankind. For the time being at least, the ‘Serengeti Shall Not Die’.

This migration, month by month, is shown on the map on the right side of this page – the moving yellow ball represents the main herds.

 

Serengeti Great Migration Movements in Detail

Month by month Serengeti animal migration is shown on detail below and the Map on the right side of this page
September – October

The Wildebeest Migration herds are normaly in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya enjoying the short grass. In the end of October the wildebeest migration start moving to the south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November

 

November – April

The short rains begin around early November a little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. These are south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The short rains begin around early November a little after this, in late November and December, the herds of the wildebeest migration arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. These are south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu and include the north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Depending with the rain condition of the year in this month the wildebeest migration tend to move towards the Maswa Game Reserve border but once the long rains start the herds return to the Ndutu area and complete calving and start moving to central area in March and April.

 

May – June

The migration seem to be moving north seeking for fresh grazing and water. The area around Moru Kopjes and west of Seronera is then hectic with a series of moving columns, often containing hundreds of thousands of animals – joined by many zebra, and a scattering of Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles.

Some herds of wildebeest migration head due to north of Seronera, but most are usually further west. Around June the great migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River, which has some channels which block or slow their migration north. The wildebeest then congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it’s not continuous – and so whilst they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River’s large crocodiles, these aren’t usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.

Some migration herds head due to north of Seronera, but most are usually further west. Around June the wildebeest migration is often halted on the south side of the Grumeti River, which has some channels which block or slow their migration north. The wildebeest then congregate there, in the Western Corridor, often building up to a high density before crossing the river. The river here is normally a series of pools and channels, but it’s not continuous – and so whilst they always represent an annual feast for the Grumeti River’s large crocodiles, these aren’t usually quite as spectacular as the crossings of the Mara River, further north.

 

July – October

The herds continue moving northwards during July and August, often spreading out across a broad front: some heading through Grumeti Reserve and Ikorongo, others north through the heart of the Serengeti National Park.

The Migration herds spread out across the northern Serengeti, where the Mara River provides the migration with its most serious obstacle. This river gushes through the northern Serengeti from Kenya’s adjacent Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Watching the frantic herds of the Serengeti wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River can be very spectacular; there are often scenes of great panic and confusion. It’s common to see herds cross the Mara River north on one day, and then back south a few days later.

By October the wildebeest herds are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots which follow the rains on the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti in November.

 

 

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