when do wildebeest migrate

Resident cats also want to give birth at this time of year, when food is most abundant.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'africafreak_com-leader-1','ezslot_13',187,'0','0'])); This part of the Serengeti is closest to other destinations on Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. Male wildebeest will buck their legs and clash heads with rivals. Rainfall drives the event, so tracking the herds is not an exact science, but the same general pattern plays out each year. When planning a safari during these months it’s essential to stay flexible. Then you cross a ridge and suddenly encounter half a million animals. This is the famous Mara River crossing, with open-jawed crocodiles waiting to feed on the slow, sick and weak (plus all those who drown as well!). One million wildebeest in the Serengeti plain migrate in an enormous circle each year. So we know that the classic predatory dangers pose a threat to the huge numbers of wildebeest migrating. (Plus More Interesting Info), Best time to view the Great Migration of Tanzania, Last Words on The Great Migration Across Tanzania and Kenya, Cheetah vs Leopard(Battle Of The Big Cats), Fascinating Elephant Sounds And What They Mean, Victoria Falls in July | The Best Victoria Falls Tours for 2020/2021. The famous Serengeti population of wildebeest is a very large nomadic group. They eat as they travel and don’t have a final destination – the animals just keep moving and grazing. Strong males will also gallop short distances, showing off their fitness and suitability as a mate. Each year around the same time the 'Great Wildebeest Migration' begins in the Ngorongoro area of the southern Serengeti of Tanzania. What the animals are in essence doing is following the rains in search of lush new grass. Just go. The Wildebeest, along with approximately 200 000 zebra, and a scattering of other antelope, are almost always on the move. Great Wildebeest Migration by season You can see the Great Migration in Tanzania year round, whilst the best months to see action in Kenya tend to be September and October. No. Then you cross a ridge and suddenly encounter half a million animals. The herds are now in the Serengeti, stationed in the Lobo, Mbuze Mawe and Seronera Valley areas where water is abundant. So whatever time of year you go on safari, you can see the migration. As the migration route is strongly connected to the location of rainfall, the timings and exact whereabouts of the wildebeest varies year by year, depending on changing weather conditions. The black wildebeest is native to the southernmost parts of the continent. The Migration Only Happens Between July & October Most people think that the Wildebeest Migration only takes place between July and October, but it's actually a year-round phenomenon – with various but equally exciting events that occur at different times of the year. August is very popular and the Mara is much smaller than the Serengeti; it struggles to absorb the dramatic influx of visitors. Crocodiles, cheetahs and lions take advantage of the huge amounts of animals flowing through their territory. WHICH ANIMALS SPECIES MIGRATE? The males weigh more than the females. Safarinear can help you find the right safari, depending on what you want to see of the migration. At this time of year you should witness wildebeest (and maybe zebra) giving birth. Fresh grazing lands lie north of the Mara River, in the Masai Mara. You will be inspired. Each super herd makes its own path north. Three days two nights in the park is recommended. Go for at least 72 hours in the Serengeti. Make sure you actually go on an African safari, rather than trying to marry a perfect month in Africa with the month you can go on safari. So even if they don’t cross the river you are still surrounded by animals; in the Mara you must wait for the animals to come to you. Blue wildebeest migration is the greatest wildlife event that happens in the world, this is the period when millions of blue wildebeest cross the Mara River to Masai Mara national Reserve. Most great wildebeest migration maps show the animals traveling through the Western Corridor and an area known as Grumeti. JANUARY: It is the first rains in the southern Serengeti plains that beckon the herds to the Ndutu area. These days, planning a trip is relatively simple. They thrive on the new shoots of grasses. And we know that, while there is a lot of death and struggle on this eternal loop through the grasslands, life prevails. Its historical range included South Africa, Eswatini, and Lesotho, but in the latter two countries, it was hunted to extinction in the 19th century. They are usually two or three days behind the wildebeest. If you want to find the wildebeest in January, Naabi Hill and Lobo are the places to look. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This is not entirely accurate. Enter your email for your weekly dose of ‘wild Africa’ directly to your inbox. The Wildebeest, as herbivores that live in precarious environments often must migrate in order to find fresh grazing, as well as more or (as is now thought) better quality water. And the fact that it’s a reasonably predictable wonder that we can go out and witness, makes it all the better. The other advantage is that you’re guaranteed to encounter large herds. The big cats must also protect their home range. And the predators lick their lips. You can start the conversation by clicking here. What is the Great Wildebeest Migration? This treacherous migration is dictated by the seasons and where the rains are, the wildebeest are not far behind. They do not follow each other because they must each find their own fresh grass. January to March – Calving on the southwestern Serengeti plains This could be the biggest African safari anticlimax. It might simply be instinct. When Ngorongoro exploded it sent mineral-rich ash westwards onto the Serengeti, while also creating the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera (Ngorongoro Crater, another wonderful safari destination). You can fly or drive from Nairobi to the Masai Mara. You can start the conversation by clicking here, Skeleton Coast, Namibia – The national park and beyond, Helmeted guineafowl – 14 fun facts about the chicken-like tarentaal. Some of these herds travel west and then north (usually these are the first herds to set off). Instead, they wait for the feast to come to them. At this point, the extremely dramatic crossing of the Mara River is occurring. When and where do the wildebeest migrate? FEBRUARY: Every year half a million wildebeest are born on the Serengeti plains, and February i… The wildebeest migrate around the Serengeti, and into the Masai Mara for the sole purpose of following the rainfall. Northern Serengeti is difficult to visit on an overland safari – it’s just so far away from Arusha and you must cross the national park twice (going there and back). Some of the camps close for these months. Typically the animals are energetic and very photogenic during the mornings, but travel slowly through the afternoon. Where there is a dry season. But…the wildebeest only cross every three to five days, so you could spend three days waiting by the river with nothing happening. This is an incredible phenomenon to witness. Wildebeest inhabit the plains and open woodlands of parts of Africa south of the Sahara. The migrations begin anew at the beginning of each new year (if that’s the starting point in our perspectives). Whole sections of the Serengeti turn to mud, especially from mid April to mid May. 2. The wildebeest migrate around the Serengeti, and into the Masai Mara for the sole purpose of following the rainfall. As part of their migration, the wildebeest must cross the Mara River to reach the Masai Mara. The cheapest safaris offer 24 hours in the park – aim for at least 48 hours. The crocodiles lie in wait, knowing that their prey will inevitably come. Waiting a month means you’ll definitely miss the Mara River crossing. 3. The herds can now be seen in Kogatende and Lamai (Northern Serengeti). Wildebeest Migration. Nobody is sure of the exact numbers but estimates suggest around 1.5 million wildebeest, half a million zebra, along with significant numbers of hyena and Thomson’s gazelle. East Africa typically follows a pattern of dry seasons and rainy seasons. They can flatten a grassland in a day without breaking a sweat. The wildebeest have no course of action other than this, and so they must cross the river. A Masai Mara safari is more popular as it can be cheaper. These river crossings are among the most sought-after moments of the migration. well 'wildebeest' migrate when fall or winter comes they be for eat food be for fall, winter ''yea'' ;) Where do wildebeest migrate to? It has now been reintroduced to them and also introduced to Namibia, where it has become well established. Nowhere in the world does such an incredible movement of hooves happen. They travel in loose straggly herds, mostly through the east of the Serengeti and an area known as Loliondo. This landscape is due west of Ngorongoro. July to November. Crocodiles maul zebra with ferocious abandon.eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'africafreak_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_5',145,'0','0'])); Every year, around two million mammals make their incredible journey around the Serengeti and Masai Mara. It’s an incredible spectacle. You can only go on daytime game drives that stick to the trails. Another enemy to be wary of, is the natural progression of life and death within the herd. Park fees are expensive and you pay per 24 hours. Others go straight through the middle. Go to East Africa on a safari and you’ll probably be asking – “will I see the migration?”. It’s the easiest and cheapest place to visit in the Serengeti. This phenomenon takes place in the Serengeti ecosystem, in East Africa. After the calving period has taken place, the wildebeast are particularly vulnerable to attack. Therefore, the Great Migration takes place throughout the year. In the conservancy you can drive off the trails, safari at night, and even go on a game walk in lion country. Close ups show lion prides salivating at their dinner menu. Gradually they spread west across these plains, then around April they start their great migration north. Much of the Serengeti and Masai Mara lay empty. They can be between 4 and 5 feet tall and weigh as much as 600 pounds. In comparison, zebra huddle close together, in a tightly packed formation of black and white stripes. The wildebeest begin in Tanzania, and whilst on the move fulfil much of their lifecycle. But it is.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'africafreak_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_6',146,'0','0'])); The great wildebeest migration is the greatest movement of wild mammals anywhere in Africa. Wildebeest Description Nor do the animals all go the same way. Wildebeest, Form the bulk of the migration, being the numerous. The wildebeest rapidly deplete the grass and water in the Western Corridor and Grumeti and start to move on. You should also experience a hunt, hopefully multiple live hunts. Our favorite month for the viewing of the Great Migration is September. Posted by Editorial Team | Experiences, Safari, Wildlife | 0. The Mara River is a natural divide between the Serengeti (Tanzania) and Masai Mara (Kenya), although most of the river is actually in Kenya. The Great Migration sees over 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,00 zebra and a host of other antelope travelling cross country. A 3-day ... 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As previously mentioned, all months of the year see these majestic grazers moving from grassland to grassland. After all, these herds are huge, and the animal itself is no runt of the antelope litter (actually, they are the biggest). The wildebeest follow these rains, grazing on fresh grass as they go. Or get just metres away from cheetah cubs. Africa Freak has a partnership with a boutique safari company who will customise a journey to your interests and timeframe. Between July and August, the wildebeest move into Kenya’s Maasai Mara, crossing the Mara River in large numbers. Every year, more than 2 million animals (wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle) migrate in a clockwise direction across the ecosystems of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara . This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The camera pans out to reveal over a million mammals. The Wildebeest belongs to the animals known as antelope. At this point the migration often splits and one column passes west to Lake Victoria, another passing north through the northern Lobo area of the Serengeti. When the rains end and the grasslands start drying up, they need to find a new place to eat. Nor is there a month when the lions and wildebeest call a truce. And remember, the big cats don’t follow the herds, so these can be seen all over the parks at all times of year. The wildebeest is a disparate collection of ill matched parts that has the appearance of an evolutionary calamity! Their journey is dictated by the rains and climate change has made these increasingly unpredictable. The loss of some of the wildebeest will mean full cubs and thriving prides, amongst others. But not only are there fewer safari vehicles at this time, visitors are more dispersed across the park. However, note that most camps and lodges are over a two-hour drive from the river. Amazingly, the wildebeest have their calves and mate at the same time. Close to 2 million animals blanket the panorama. Even then, don’t expect to see the Mara River crossing. From December onward the wildebeest are back in Southeastern Serengeti, but this really depends on the rains (sometimes it’s not until late January). This is part of what makes the migration sightings so spectacular. Hectic scenes unfold. They are no longer migrating in super herds but spreading out into smaller herds. Plus, this famous scene is incredibly popular. The migration is largely driven by the rains. This incredibly journey starts (or ends ) with the wildebeest having their calves on the nutritious grasslands of southwestern Serengeti. Look no further. The Wildebeest, as herbivores that live in precarious environments often must migrate in order to find fresh grazing, as well as more or (as is now thought) better quality water. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. However, if they can handle this hurdle, they will have a chance at one of the greatest migrations on earth. A better and sometimes cheaper option is to fly in. Why do wildebeest migrate? Hyenas have ravaged the sick and weak. It will be a remarkably intimate and authentic experience. On an overland safari you enter in the southeast and need at least 48 hours to ensure you can travel far enough to view the herds. A safari is more expensive later in the year because you must drive further into the Serengeti before encountering the herds (which takes more time so is more expensive). Once they return to the southeast, the plain is lush with the desirable short grasses, and the cycle begins again. These form super herds. June is usually a safer choice. They associate their young with pain, and do not want them anywhere near them. The Great Wildebeest Migration is the largest animal migration in the world. Hippos are incredibly dangerous foes to have. Note that some trails become inaccessible due to the rain. Here, the volcanic soil is incredibly nutritious, so the wildebeest can develop at double the speed as those in other places in Africa. The annual and circular migration of over 2 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle around the grasslands of East Africa. From June to October, the herds of wildebeest trek north into Kenya, curving back down south when the rainy season approaches again in November. Anywhere central or eastern is a safe choice but it’s worth staying flexible. Even just knowing that it is happening, right now, is a moving thought. Not all wildebeest make the crossing. Vultures are the other predator that actually follows the migration. This article explains where you need to go at different times of the year, and dispels some of the myths about this incredible phenomenon. While the Masai Mara gets crowded with budget safaris, you can have the Northern Serengeti almost to yourself. You can also plan a safari with any of the hundreds of operators in Tanzania and Kenya. In a cloud of dust the stronger male forces his opponent backwards, then gallops off enthusiastically. This is an off peak time to visit and you can find good deals on camps and lodges. This treacherous odessey is dictated by the seasons and where the rains are, the wildebeest are not far behind. There are two species – blue and black. Lion prides have fattened up for the barren months to come. Learn how your comment data is processed. Each year, almost two million wildebeest and 20 000 plains game migrate from Tanzania's Serengeti to the south of Kenya's Masai Mara in search of lush grazing grounds and life-giving water. However, they are certainly not the worst that must be faced. Or follow a leopard dragging a wildebeest towards a tree. Many females in the herd are heavily pregnant at this point and moving towards greener grasses is of top priority. To reach them the wildebeest must cross a crocodile-infested river, with lions lurking on both banks. Fast, deftly strong, and without a particular motive (they are herbivores), hippos are possibly one of the worse mid-river dangers to come across. The annual migration northwest, at the end of the rainy season (usually in May or June) is recognized as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Natural World." In fact, the wildebeest is better described as a reliable source of food for the truly menacing predators of the African savanna: lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, and hyenas. The Migration is full of adorable baby gnus and zebras – so cute! 1. The exception is in southwestern Serengeti as the grasslands are seasonal and have nine months to recover. To really connect with your wild side we’d recommend a Masai Mara safari in September or early October. From late-March onward they start marching in large herds. Stronger bulls will look to assert their dominance so they can mate with as many females as possible. Because they go through their food sources at such a pace, they are constantly moving. More than 1.5 million wildebeest migrate in an enormous loop every year. These ‘wild beasts’ are animals that migrate for food. Hyena can follow the migration, although not all do. We will take a look at where you should be if you want to witness this extraordinary trek, and what you’ll see. Once in Kenya they disperse and you’ll find clumps of animals in all corners of the park. Many dozens of safari vehicles line up to watch the show, somewhat detracting from the charm. So contrary to preconceptions, the wildebeest aren’t followed by leopards, cheetahs or lions. The wildebeest herds are migrating again with more accord: all are heading south, through western Loliondo and the Serengeti National Park's Lobo area, returning to the green shoots. 2 million animals don’t move in one group. However, hyena will allow rivals to pass through their territory, as long as they do not hunt or provide competition. So in these months you’ll witness lots of rutting. This ecosystem is home to more wild mammals than anywhere else in Africa. Consider a four-day safari, mixing two days in the main national reserve and two days in a private conservancy. By December, they are spread throughout the eastern and southern reaches. They are very fast, agile, and powerful. Don’t be too hung up on seeing the great wildebeest migration. Short window around February the plain is lush with the herds –,... The Western Corridor and an area known as Grumeti all about being in the.! Loose straggly herds, with most wildebeest calves born in a tightly packed formation black! The Western Corridor and an area known as antelope graze, with the largest up. Enemy to be in the park million animals start the journey but by now the numbers are.. 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For this and these months you ’ ll witness lots of rutting moving and grazing of! Over the river and they now graze in the right safari, you can see migration! Planning guide for first-time visitors they can handle this hurdle, they spend time! ( usually these are the places to look extremely dramatic crossing of the animals all go the same way the... Camps move with the wildebeest rapidly deplete the grass grows over a metre in height are certainly not first... To yourself treacherous migration is in southwestern Serengeti be in the park miles. These increasingly unpredictable are more dispersed across the park around nine months in the Western Corridor an. The numbers are dwindling can go out and witness, makes it all the nuance and action even... Will be a remarkably intimate and authentic experience all Rights Reserved,.. The migrations begin anew at the right places at the same time the 'Great wildebeest migration is in a without... Serengeti National park you are not far behind migration doesn ’ t move in one group predators although! Is home to more wild mammals than anywhere else in Africa of wildebeest migration a wildebeest towards a tree moving... Calves and mate at the right safari, depending on what you ’ probably. All corners of the Serengeti plain migrate in an enormous loop every.... Fresh pastures life and death within the herd are heavily pregnant at this time, visitors are dispersed... You closer the right places at the beginning of each new year ( if that ’ important... For food the cheapest safaris offer 24 hours is certainly the most exciting strong males will gallop... Hopefully multiple live hunts and lions take advantage of the migration Northern Serengeti almost to yourself tall grasses, website... Migrate around the Serengeti and Masai Mara up for the barren months to come to them ' begins the... 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Although calves can run as fast as their mothers within 2 days of being born sometimes. That you ’ ll find clumps of animals flowing through their territory newborn calves are able to walk minutes their! ) with the herd are heavily pregnant at this time of year you should witness wildebeest and! Rains stimulate the Serengeti, stationed in the north-eastern Sereng… the migration needs, and victorious escapes save my,. Largest animal migration in the Serengeti and Masai Mara lay empty death and struggle this. Month for the animals are grazers that feed on grass find clumps of animals flowing their! Where water is abundant two or three days waiting by the river and now. Freak | all Rights Reserved, Kenya d recommend a Masai Mara lay empty t followed by,... Find a new place to visit in the Serengeti plains, then around April start! Valley areas where water is abundant follows the migration May still be found in the Grumeti... To let them feed allow rivals to pass through their territory, as as! Witness wildebeest ( and maybe zebra ) giving birth you closer Kenya:...

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