The Great Migration of Africa is one of the most fascinating events of the wild that a wildlife lover can witness. It is the great annual journey of 1.5 million wildebeest along with nearly 200,000 Zebras and some other animals like antelopes from the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania to the grasslands of Maasai Mara in Kenya.
This great journey begins as the lands of south Serengeti become dry and the animals head north in search of food and drinking water. They continue their journey until they cross the Mara River between the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Many wildebeest and zebras perish along as they become victims of crocodiles, Leopards, lions and other ferocious animals. The great struggle for survival of these animals truly makes for a spectacular and powerful sight.
The Great Migration (Month by Month)
January to March
The herds roam around on the short grass plains in southern Serengeti where the females give birth in the safety of their numbers. Soon February moves into March and short grasses get exhausted. The herds then start moving northwest to the areas of Kusini and the Seronera Valley and thus begins the great migration.
April to June
The herds prepare to cross the Grumeti River of Serengeti where they must avoid the crocodile teeth at all cost. Quite a few perishes in the way from crocodile attacks and strong river flows.
This is the time when they must cross the Mara River that marks the boundary between Serengeti of Tanzania and Maasai Mara of Kenya. They must stay alert for the attacks of the carnivores.
August to December
After staying two months in the Maasai Mara, it is time for the herds to head back home. As the grasses get exhausted and birth time approaches they start wandering back south to Serengeti and to new beginnings.
What to Pack for The Journey
Two most essential things are Binoculars and cameras. A quality camera will certainly turn you into a seasonal photographer. It can get a bit chilly during the morning time so don’t forget to pack some warm cloths. You might need to do some walking in the sun so a pair of boots, and a hat will be useful. Remember your anti malarial pills just in case. And for currency, keep some small change of US dollars.
Where To Stay
Whether you stay in a permanent lodge or a mobile camp is up to you. Different package may include different options. Of course, lodges are more luxurious and comfortable but mobile camps give you a more wild sensation. These mobile camps can contain 8 – 10 bed tents and a large communal dining tent. It is always more fun to stay in a tent and enjoy the ambiance of African nature.
The Best Time and Place
The Great migration is a vast event. But if anyone was the get the best possible experience of watching this event, then the best place would be the Mara River from July to mid August. During this time, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will see some wildebeest crossing the river. You may even catch the rare footage of Crocodiles and big cats preying on them. You can arrange your trip with expert travel guides who track their movements. These guides will also be able to guide you to the pride of the lions that patiently wait to attack the herds.