Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara National Reserve  : Fact, the Great Wildebeest Migration is renown as the movement of a million of wildebeest from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania northwards into the adjoining Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya. More fact, wildebeest migration is one of the world’s most spectacular and stunning display of wildlife behaviors.

The migration takes place every year with the animal’s primal instincts guiding them towards greener pastures following the climatic rain fall patterns over the Serengeti – Maasai Mara eco system.  Those planning to book for the wildebeest Migration safari in Kenya Masai Mara, the best seasons we recommend you to visit the starts from Mid-July to October.  From the Mid-July its when the migration typically starts with highest concentration of herds of wildebeest starting the move into Masai Mara. The migration takes place till end of October and between September to October the experience is more worth a visit.

Although number vary every year, to past migrations the number have seen upto 1.5 million wildebeest, close to a million Zebra and wide range of other animals under take the long trek that lasts for several weeks. Unfortunately, their journey always face danger as they cross the crocodile infested Mara and Talek rivers along the way, during which many cannot escape the giant Nile crocodiles lying in wait for their prey.

Tourists planning a safari to Kenya often have many questions related to the migration and below are other frequently asked questions about wildebeest migration safaris;

What time of the year is the Wildebeest Migration?

The Wildebeest Migration into Masai Mara typically starts in July and ends late October, a great season to see large wildebeest herds which actually gather at the northern rim of Serengeti as they near the Mara. These initial herds sometimes known to gather at a perfect adventure for days on end without crossing over to the Mara, hence the final leg of the movement starts is difficult to predict.

So, what is the best time to visit Masai Mara to see the Migration?

We recommend you to choose Mid July to late October as the best time to see the migration. Kind in mind it is gradual event that takes places over several weeks at different locations along the Serengeti -Masai Mara border. If we were to narrow it down to the best of best month to see the migration is from the last week of August to first of October.

Where do the wildebeest migrate to and from?

Well, the movement of the wildebeest is from Serengeti crosses over to Masai Mara and is dictated by factors like climate, pasture and mating and calving seasons. Always keep in mind the wildebeest migrate through the year in a generally clockwise direction covering vast areas reaching into Southern, Central and Western Serengeti before the year long trek brings them to Masai Mara around the month of July to August. Their journey migrate back to Serengeti happens around late October though this is less beautiful and more like a slow dispersal.

How do you see the Wildebeest Migration?

Wildebeest Migration in Maasai Mara National Reserve 
Wildebeest Migration in Maasai Mara National Reserve

You can see the wildebeest Migration during a safari game drive in the Masai Mara Game reserve which is best done in specialized vehicles driver by well skilled driver-guides.  There are range points where the wildebeest cross the rivers, it may be necessary to reach and station oneself at these points during a day long outing in the reserve as some of the lodges and camps are located an hour’s drive from the ideal vantage points. Most travelers visit Masai Mara purposely to adventure this world’s great migration event – best watched when crossing the river. Therefore, that is the best time to spend while watching at these crossing points, which by the way tend to vary every year while staying within a generally similar sub locality to the reserve.

Month By Month Wildebeest Migration

Many people think that the Great Migration usually happens once in a year, but the migration is in fact throughout the year around the phenomenon event -offering different gorgeous and exciting wildlife experience at various times of the year.

The river crossing is one of the most liked events of the migration and usually happens in the peak safari season, therefore the assumption that this is the only time of the year when the wildebeest are on move and on great adventure.

The wildebeest in Masai Mara usually cross the Mara River around late July to August and goes to September and again on their return to south, to around the last two weeks of August to early October. Thus, the best time to track and see the annual wildebeest migration in Masai Mara.

December to April

Depending on the two seasons of the year ‘’rain season’’, the herds can be seen south of Serengeti National Park between Ndutu plains and Ngorongoro plains. Thus, the best place to visit during these four months to the far south of Serengeti.

Around February, there are high chances of witnessing a wildebeest birth. During this period, herds of wildebeest can be seen move swiftly, in search of favorable grassland to offer sustenance for the arrival of their young. Best time to adventure predators like lions and leopards while moving on this region to prey on the young and vulnerable calves.  At the end of March to early April – the herds move slowly and predictably to start their northward journey, yet many can be left already in the central and even western Serengeti.

May to June

In between the month of May to June, it can a great to time of the year when the migratory herds all seem to be moving north, in search of fresh grazing and water. The migration is usually in wide column of up to 40 kilometers/25 miles in length which sometimes be seen as the wildebeest funnel up into central and western Serengeti, where hundreds of thousands of animals can be seen -joined by variety of zebra and Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles. Note, June marks the end of rainy season, traditionally this in the Grumeti River Crossing period, but it depends on water level of the river and from Grumeti River you have a chance to spot Nile Crocodiles.

July to September

This is usually the most preferred time of the year to watch the frantic herds of the wildebeest crossing the Mara River.

October to November

This can be gorgeous time to observe wildebeest herd are migrating back to south, though western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Par’s Lobo area, returning to the green shoots. Then, in normal year the short rains begin in November – by this time of year herds can be in the Serengeti, stationed in the Lobo, Mbuze Mawe and Seronera Valley areas where water is too much. Fresh grazing allows seeing the wildebeest clustered in the north -eastern Serengeti at the same time to the southern Serengeti. The calving begins again and the predators tend to move in again, and the cycle of life begins all over again.

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