Tanzania

The Great Wildebeest Migration


Imagine, if you can, half a million wildebeest stretched over the plains in a patient and never ending search for food. Add to that 300,000 zebra, 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles and about 30,000 Grant’s gazelles. Furthermore, imagine the lions and hyenas pacing along the flanks of the herds in their quest for weakened animals. Now you will have an idea of the great migration, an annually recurring wildlife spectacle. The Serengeti migration continues the whole year. The cycle begins in May when the grass on the southern plains has been consumed and the herds start moving slowly through the western corridor to the north. This is also the breeding time, in which the bulls build and defend their harems until they are completely exhausted. The migration reaches the Maasai Mara by the end of July, where the herds remain until September. Then they start turning back – following the rain - through the Lobo area back to the south of the Serengeti. In December they reach the southern plains again and stay there while they give birth and gain energy from the nutritious grass. In a period of three weeks between February and March 90 percent of the females give birth (about 50,000 animals). Calves can stand within seven minutes and are able to escape from a lion within two days. The herds remain in the south to strengthen their young before they withdraw to the north in order to start the cycle again.

It is important to remember that the migration is heavily dependent on rainfall, which is becoming increasingly difficult to predict. The Serengeti is a beautiful park year round with a huge quantity of game, and makes an excellent destination for your safari.

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I would like more information