The Great Migration in the Serengeti

If you have been lucky enough to see nearly two million animals thundering across the plains of the Serengeti then Africa will have touched your very soul. The vast numbers in these wide open plains and woodlands coupled with the fact this is the world's last surviving great migration; is a deeply moving sight.During their migration the wildebeest are the basic food for many predators and there is little chance a wildebeest is dying of old age. There is an estimated 3,000 lions and 7,000 hyenas with many other predators profiting as much as they can; from the wildebeest meat avalanche that thunders through the Serengeti.Be warned though; the migration is not a constant phenomenon and timing a visit to coincide with the surges of activity that climax with the crossing of the Grumeti River is not so easy.

A more reliable and equally impressive time to visit is during the calving season in February - this being a favorable time of year for the lion of the south Serengeti.The wildebeest and zebra's migrate between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, constantly driven by their search for fresh grazing. The timing of the annual wildebeest migration depends on the rains.

The rains are notoriously unpredictable as the migration is spontaneous. The wildebeest migration starts to head towards the Western Serengeti in May or June.The best time to see the migration is generally between June and August when the wildebeest congregate and prepare to cross the Grumeti River.

If you are in the Masai Mara [The Kenyan side of the Serengeti] you can expect the wildebeest to make their arrival as early as July, but they generally arrive between August & September and remain in the Masai Mara between October & November. Between the end of November and January the wildebeest gradually begin their migration from the Masai Mara back towards the Serengeti.There is much to see and experience in the Serengeti with each month having its special events.

Whilst the great migration is indeed spectacular it is by no means all there is to see here. So welcome [in Swahili Karibu] to the Serengeti and enjoy everything it has to offer.

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By: Ian Williamson

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