The Great Migration in the Serengeti National Park is an impressive spectacle that repeats more of several hundred years and annually attracts many tourist to East Africa. Some hundred thousands of wildebeests, antelopes and zebras gather in huge herds, beginning their way towards the valleys with new grass. Many of them die while crossing, some of them are eaten by predators and others are trampled by their frightened relatives. Few of them simply do not stand such big loads and separate from its herd.
The Great Migration in the Serengeti National Park takes place all year round, because of its big size it is possible to meet herds in different parts of the park. Everything depends of the rainy season.
If you want to see The Great Migration we will give you recommendations of spotting areas in the park during each season.
The migration cycling in the Serengeti National Park begins exactly in this period when animals move from Kenyan the Maasai Mara National Reserve to the south-east part of the Serengeti, at the border with the crater of Ngorongoro volcano. At this time there is a dry season in Tanzania and approximately 1,7 million of antelopes, accompanied by 260 000 of zebras and 470 000 gazelles, move to the valley covered with short grass. These two months are the peak in fertility for zebras.
In February the migration passes in generally in the south part of the Serengeti National Park and in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This period is the peak in fertility for antelopes. Big herds with calves are moving around savannah chased by predators. Unfortunately, this crossing is too hard for many yang antelopes and they become victims of predators and scavengers who follow herds on their footsteps.
By early March the fodder near the Ngorongoro disappears and antelopes have to migrate to the western part of the Serengeti, to the region of the Grumeti River.
The big herds of animals move to the central part of the park named Seronera. This period is the rainy season in Tanzania. Heavy and prolonged rainfalls give animals many tens of thousands of square kilometers of fresh grass for their nutrition.
This is the end of the rainy season. Herds of antelopes continue to move to the west, to the region named Western Corridor. On their way they overcome Mbalageti and Grumeti Rivers. In this period the famous channels National Geographic and Discovery organize expeditions to the Serengeti to film amazing shots about the overcoming of deep rivers with crocodiles for which the migration is a real feast.
It is the beginning of the dry season in Tanzania. There is no rains and animals continue to move to the north, towards the border with Kenya along the Grumeti region. In the end of August this amazing cycling of animals reaches the borders of monitoring areas of Ikorongo where is the famous German Fort Ikoma, described in Bernard Grzimek’s book “Serengeti shell not die”.
In the end of September, the migration reaches borders with Kenya. In October, during the peak of the dry season, most of animals migrate to the Maasai Mara National Reserve where there are a lot of fresh water and the fodder.