Information for your Safari
Also known as one of the most spectacular nature shows in the world or simply as the ‘World Cup of wildlife’.
In this annual event in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem more than 1.3 Million wildebeest migrate through the endless planes in search for fertile green pastures. The antelopes are joined by other animals like zebras, Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, eland and impala. Together they form the largest terrestrial mammal long distant campaign in the world.
The illustration on the right tries to show the path of the migrating main ‘super’ herd – if one includes the smaller fragmented herds it would fill almost half of the map. The animated map therefore should only be used as a basic reference / starting point.
This everlasting loop of movement normally starts in February / March in the southern part of the Serengeti (close to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area). This is the time of the year where the Wildebeest are giving birth to approximately 500,000 calves within a very short period of about 3 weeks. When the rain season ends in May, the animals start moving northwest into the areas around the Grumeti and Mara River. In the beginning of July the herds begin with their river crossings – this is where the very famous pictures of countless documentary movies are being shot. Vast amounts of animals trying to reach the other side of the river safely through a narrow crossing with crocodiles and other predators waiting for their fair share of the huge feast.
In July/August the grazers arrive in the northern part of this approximately 30,000 km² ecosystem known as the Masai Mara. In this Kenyan part of the Serengeti the herds stay until the end of the dry season. With the start of the short rains in early November they move southwards to arrive in time for the calving season to start this never ending circle again.
More than 250.000 wildebeests die during this annual migration, either from exhaustion, hunger, thirst or because of predators. As a keystone species, these animals are extremely vital to the whole ecosystem. Not only do they provide a steady flow of fresh food for plenty of famous predators like i.e. lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena and the ‘environment police or cleanup crews’, carrion eaters and scavengers like the African White-Backed Vulture, with their excrement they also spread nitrogenous fertilizers that are vital for next year’s green pastures.
Important facts for visitors
This ‘World Cup of wildlife’ attracts over a million travelers every year. For most of our clients experiencing this migration firsthand is a truly remarkable and unique experience. It is the combination of the view, the smell, the sounds and the ground vibration that will rise your adrenaline level, touch all the senses and to appreciate the magnificence of this savage nature.