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The Great Annual Migration

Witness Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle: the Great Annual Migration. Top of many people’s safari bucket lists, this is one of the most supreme, natural wonders imaginable, with more than one million stampeding wildebeest and other grazing animals travelling the 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara and back again.

Watch in wonder as more than 1.5 million wildebeest, and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle, migrate during the changing seasons, across the Grumeti River and the Serengeti plains to the open savannahs in Kenya, only to venture back again later in the year. It’s the greatest wildlife show on earth, with the pounding hooves a soundtrack to nature at its most dramatic.

When and where to see the Great Annual Migration

Although there’s no exact telling of the Great Annual Migration’s cycle, the pattern remains fairly predictable with the migration itself occurring continuously throughout the year. Here is where and when you’re most likely to see the spectacle for yourself:

December to March

These few months are the calving season, so you’re likely to see females and their young on the grassy plains of southern Serengeti and the nearby Ngorongoro Conservation Area in their thousands. As the herds exhaust the grass, around March time, they’ll move to the central Serengeti areas of the Seronera Valley and Kusini for more luscious grazing spots.

April to June

Rainy season arrives, drawing the herds to the river crossings where, by June, they’ll be stomping and snorting, eager to move on to their next destination. Those who dare begin the jump into the Grumeti River, at risk of crocodiles and strong currents, to start the next leg of their journey as the rain depletes.


The journey towards the Masai Mara begins as the herds meet on the Mara River, their final hurdle. As they cross the boundary between Tanzania and Kenya, the wildebeests and their fellow travellers must keep their nerve and stay alert for big cats that stalk the crossing for prey. It’s this time of year that you’re most likely to enjoy the busy, chaotic river crossing that has made the migration so famous: the animals move and pulse together, their instinct telling them to keep moving and find fresh grazing on the other side of the water. It’s an iconic, dramatic, phenomenal sight.

August to October

Once the herds have reached their final destination, the Masai Mara, they’ll remain here for the coming weeks, at times splitting across the northern boundary, before re-crossing the Mara River to Serengeti’s National Park in October.

November to December

The herds will cross the Mara for the last time that year and wander south through the Serengeti, hunting for fresh grass and a spot to mate.

And so, the cycle of the Great Annual Migration begins once more; a never-ending story of survival.

Witness the Great Annual Migration for yourself

To find out the best time to visit, and to book your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa to see the Great Annual Migration, call our Destination Specialists today and tick this off your must-see list.