Best time to visit Tanzania for the wildebeest Migration, crossings, and calving season
The Great wildebeest migration in Africa, also known as the Serengeti – Masai Mara migration, is one of the few remaining large terrestrial wildlife movements on the planet. There are no defined start or endpoints for the Migration because it is a year-round movement of about two million animals across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. The animals follow an age-old route searching for new grazing land and water, triggered by East Africa’s rains. This epic journey takes the wildebeest from Kenya’s Masai Mara plains to Tanzania’s Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater’s edge before circling up and around in a clockwise direction.
As the year starts, the animals break up into mega-herds of thousand or hundreds in preparation for calving season in the rich fertile plans near lake Ndutu, south of Serengeti national park. The calving season, which takes place from late January to around march, is a spectacular event in which over 8000 baby wildebeest are born every day. With vast calves born during this season, this attracts many predators, especially the big cats. With the predators looking for a perfect time to kill targeting the birthing mother or the young calves, this brings plenty of action as female wildebeests line up to protect other weak wildebeests that cannot defend themselves. The calving offers a beautiful experience when having your migration safari at the beginning of the year.
Migration: April to June
April ushers at the beginning of long rains in Tanzania, and with it, you will see scattered herds of wildebeest thought-out Serengeti. The Migration starts as the megapacks split in search of fresh pasture, taking the journey north of Serengeti with the main aim of reaching the Mara River. The Migration, which takes place around April to June, offers terrific views of vast columns of wildebeest, sometimes up to 40 kilometers in length, moving their way up Serengeti. Although it may be a bit challenging to know exactly where the herds are during this season, the Migration offers fantastic views on millions of animals with some action on the way from predators who target the young, weak calves.
Mara River Crossings: July to August
As one of the most fascinating requested wildebeest migration events, the Mara crossings are a must-see for any adventurous safari traveler. Get ready between July to August and witness this amazing wonder of the world. During the crossing, you will see millions of wildebeests toss themselves into the raging waters of the Mara River. Although the action does not all happen in one day, the Mara crossings present amazing views. You will watch both vital and young, inexperienced calves cross the unforgiving river where hulking crocodiles are eagerly waiting to get their prey. By the end of August, surviving wildebeest have made it across the Mara river and grazing in Masai Mara.