Great Wildebeest Migration

Guide to Wildebeest Migration Safari

The annual wildebeest migration is one of the spectacles on earth and also regarded as the world cup of Africa by wildlife enthusiasts as millions of wildebeest and thousands of Zebras and gazelles embark on a journey of survival on what is regarded as a circle of life in the animal kingdom.

As the thunder of hooves are hard below the dusty clouds of some of Africa’s open savannah plains that will clearly indicate that the wildebeest have embarked on their journey as they are seen in millions being followed by thousands of zebras, gazelles and sometimes elands.

The migration always involves rutting season (matting) and calving season which all takes place in the greater Serengeti eco-system.

According to our expert guides, the wildebeest migration circle starts from May and June in the great plains of southern Serengeti with the rutting season as the wildebeest cows go on oestrus and the bulls fight to mate with the cows what is regarded as wildlife noise population the Serengeti as the wildebeest start their tough journey from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains to Kenya’s Masai Mara national reserve, as more of the activity takes place in the Serengeti and the gestation period of the wildebeest only takes place in the Masai Mara in Kenya and the rutting season and the calving season takes place in the lush unbelievable plains of the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro conservation area.

Basically, the wildebeest start their journey from southern Serengeti after mulching all the green grass in the area, the huge herds are then seen making their journey across the small Grumeti river which is easy to cross before approaching the dangerous brown waters of Mara River which are filled with huge crocodiles and to make it worse the state of the water currents make the journey even harder with record deaths of the wildebeest recorded through drowning which is heavily attributed by human activities in the areas that are outside the grater Masai Mara and Serengeti ecosystem.

Guide to the Annual Wildebeest Migration pattern

The guide to the annual wildebeest migration will help you understand the movement of the wildebeest before booking a safari; our guide will help you understand where the wildebeest are more likely to concentrate this usually helps travellers to choose what they want to experience in the circle of the annual wildebeest migration.

May-June (southern Serengeti-Ndutu river- Mara River before crossing)

Activity: wildebeest rutting (mating) season.

Lodge option: Singita Grumeti camps

In May the wildebeest are moving in large huge herds with the young ones towards the Mara River, in the Serengeti, the water holes are almost dry and the wildebeest are aiming for the brown waters of the Mara River.

Late June the wildebeest arrive the shores of the Mara River as they prepare for the toughest part of the journey as the massive Crocodiles wait for the prey in the river.

Being unpredictable any anytime in July the wildebeest will embark on the journey to Masai Mara national reserve in Kenya.

In brief, the wildebeest rutting season (mating season) is far one of the spectacular build-ups to the annual wildebeest migration which involves heavy fights among the bulls as they try to take control of the on heat cows between May and June as the herds move from southern Serengeti to towards the Ndutu river before gathering at the end of June at the banks of the Mara river as the herds make a decision on when to start the survival for the fittest journey across the Mara River.

July-August-early September Kogatende and Lamai triangle

Activity: (epic and spectacular Mara River crossing).

Lodge: Nomad Lamai Serengeti

After a lot of life-threatening scenes at the end of June, now one member of the Family will break the silence and jump in the brown waters of the Mara River despite the threats of the predators in the water and on land across the Masai Mara plains and that marks the begging of the wildebeest migration from Serengeti to Masai Mara from July till early or mid-September the herds will be crossing to the Masai Mara to Mulch the green grass, September is pretty tricky for the migration however please contact Wilderness Explorers Africa for a safari in September wildebeest migration pattern.

October (Masai Mara plains)

Activity: survivors celebrate their success and the non-survivors perish in the brown waters.

Lodge option. Nomad Lamai Serengeti.

Usually, this is a happy ending period for the wildebeest that make it during the Mara river crossing and the Masai Mara national reserve is spectacular for game viewing and usually, the area receives a good number of tourists please book In advance for the best safari experience.

October is no drama as the dry season approaches its peak, there might be early rains in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti eco-system and the wildebeest will start slowly moving back to the Serengeti plains through Loliondo in the east.

November (South and East of Seronera and Ndutu area).

Activity: Journey back to the Serengeti starts for the short green grass.

Lodge: Nomad Lamai Serengeti.

In a ‘normal year,’ the short rains have begun, propelling the wildebeest to leave the over mulched grasslands of the Masai Mara and back into the rejuvenated Serengeti settling in the south and eastern Seronera valley and the Ndutu area of Ngorongoro conservation area and during this period the cows now start to approach the end of their gestation period and getting ready for the calving season. Bear in mind that the rain can be late or early, which is also unpredictable however you can ask our specialist on the state of the river crossing based on the information provided by the wildebeest hard tracker.

December (northeastern Serengeti in the Lobo area)

Activity: the cows prepare for the calving season).

Lodge: Klein’s camp or Lobo mobile camps.

Fresh grazing sees the wildebeest clustered in the north-eastern Serengeti (around Lobo in particular) in December, as well as the southern Serengeti. As this is close to the start of the Calving Season, the predators move in again, and the cycle of life begins all over again.

January-February (Ndutu plains Serengeti).

Activity: calving season in Serengeti.

Lodge: Serengeti safari camp and Ubuntu camp.

Here the calving season starts in the Serengeti particularly in the Ndutu areas which attracts a lot of predators and it’s one of the action-packed months of hunting activities are more likely in this month and it’s one of the best months for doing a safari in the great Serengeti plains.

March-April (Simba kopjes, moru and kusini).

Activity: Wildebeest start their journey, Masai Mara).

Lodge: Ole serai luxury camp.

In March the wildebeest are generally still in the south Serengeti but the grasses have all been munched up, the last calves born, and the herds are starting to gather in preparation for the next leg of their journey.

In April the wildebeest generally begin their northward journey, and many have left already and are in the central and even western Serengeti.

April marks the start of the wildebeest migration. In April, the waterholes start to dry up and the southern Serengeti plains have been mowed to stubble by more than a million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle grazing there. As a result, small herds gradually merge into vast columns of wildebeest on the march – it’s a spectacular sight: the mega herd covers the vast plain to the horizon.

Planning a wildebeest migration safari in east Africa

Our Wilderness explorers Africa expert safari consultants in African Destination management will help you tailor a perfect safari to witness the epic and spectacular Mara River crossing.

We receive annual hard tracker information which should help us give our client information while in Uganda or Rwanda in a gorilla tracking safari of what is happening in the Serengeti.

Travellers tips for a perfect wildebeest migration safari
  • It’s important to note that the annual wildebeest migration safari is best when staying at the mobile camps across the Serengeti and the Masai Mara Ecosystem.
  • Being one of the wonders of the world the great wildebeest migration safari attracts many travellers between mid-June and early October so an advance booking of at least a year may be required in order to select and secure the action-packed areas during the migration.
  • To be on top of this adventure clients can book a gorilla tracking safari a few weeks after the beginning of July before arriving at the Serengeti in time for the spectacular river crossing-we may be able to provide clients with a tip of what is happening as of that mid-July through our guides on the state of the migration meaning if the wildebeest have started crossing or not.
  • it’s best to combine both Serengeti safari and Masai Mara safari during the wildebeest migration safari.
  • This is considered a trip of a lifetime however we advise clients to prepare the way in advance to get the best of the safari for more information contact Wilderness Explorers Africa for the best safari in east Africa.
When to book a safari to Serengeti

An advance of one year is advisable in order to secure the best safari camps that are strategically located in the prime wildlife areas and the action parked Zones.

There are two phenomenal times to visit the Serengeti for the wildebeest migration for those wanting to witness the Mara river crossing should consider booking between Mid-July to early October and for those wanting to experience the wildebeest calving season should consider visiting in Late January to Mid-February and this will allow you to see big herds as they gather for calving and at the same time start their Journey back to the Mara eco-system.

Usually, June is the rutting season so there is still much fun but this may not be compared to the epic and spectacular river crossing.

Best time to witness the annual wildebeest migration

There are two phenomenal times to visit the Serengeti for the wildebeest migration for those wanting to witness the Mara river crossing should consider booking between Mid-July to early October and for those wanting to experience the wildebeest calving season should consider visiting in Late January to Mid-February and this will allow you to see big herds as they gather for calving and at the same time start their Journey back to the Mara eco-system.


4 Days Private Serengeti & Ngorongoro Safari
4 Days Ndutu Calving Migration Safari
5 Days Wildebeest Migration Safari
7 Days Soul of Tanzania Safari
7 Days Wildebeest Migration Safari
9 Days Fly-in Wildebeest Migration Safari
10 Days Wildebeest Migration & Zanzibar Safari
10 Days Spectacular Mara River Crossing Safari
12 Days Best of Tanzania & Kenya Safari
12 Days Luxury Tanzania & Kenya Safari


Wildebeest Rutting Season
Wildebeest Calving Season
Balloon Safaris
Photography Safaris
Mobile Camping Safaris
Filming Safaris
Flying Wildebeest Migration Safari


Singita Mara River Tented Camp
AndBeyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp
AndBeyond Kleins Camp
AndBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas
Ehlane Plains Camp
Four Seasons Safari Camp
Kaskaz Mara Camp
Kirawira Serena Camp
Kusini Kopjes Kambi
Mbuzi Mane Tented Camp
Naona Moru Camp


Where are the Wildebeest in January?
Where are the Wildebeest in February?
Where are the Wildebeest in March?
Where are the Wildebeest in April?
Where are the Wildebeest in May?
Where are the Wildebeest in June?
Where are the Wildebeest in July?
Where are the Wildebeest in August?
Where are the Wildebeest in September?
Where are the Wildebeest in October?
Where are the Wildebeest in November?
Where are the Wildebeest in December?






Camping Safaris
Visit the Masai People
Olduvai Gorge Museum
Seronera River Serengeti
Seronera Valley Central Serengeti
Ndutu Area Plains
Olduvai Gorge
Bologonja Springs
Lobo Valley
Grumeti River
Kogatende Area
Long Grass Plains
Masai Kopjes
Makoma Hills
Moru Kopjes
Simba Kopjes
Turners Springs
Naabi Hell’s Gate
Retinah Hippo Pool
Lamai Triangle