January Wildebeest Migration Safari Pattern

By January, most of the herds have congregated in the Ndutu Plains for the annual wildebeest calving season as 300,000-400,000 calves are born in what is regarded as an action-packed period as many predators are attracted to feast on the easy kill calves that are not fully trained by the cows to defend themselves from the attacks and usually the predators also have the cubs.

Ndutu is in the Ngorongoro crater and conservation area which means rich, nutrient soils for the newly born calves to give them the best start in life in the wild.

Start of the Wildebeest Calving season in the Serengeti plains

By mid-January, calving season has started and an estimated 75,00 calves are born daily in the tough conditions a midst large predators. With thousands of grazers in the area which is phenomenal to see and experience, the young calves also attract an immense number of predators between January to February and early March making the Ndutu plains attracts the biggest concentration of predators anywhere on the planet, which only means one thing; seriously explosive predator action and this is one of the once in a lifetime safari experiences as many calves fight for survival before embarking on the annual wildebeest migration across from Serengeti to Masai Mara.

Why you should see the January-February wildebeest migration safari pattern

Late January is one of the absolute best times to see the thousands of Migrating wildebeest herds but more congregated herds are seen in February during the peak of the wildebeest calving season, you will also have the best chance of catching the big herds, as by this time the majority will definitely be fully into calving season creating spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.

Arriving at the Ndutu area at the end of January or early February is the best bet for travelers as the annual wildebeest hard tracker information has seen this as the epic and spectacular action-packed safari adventure with lots of calves born and some taken by the predators.

Areas where to stay during the January-February wildebeest migration Safari pattern

Ndutu plains

Consisting mainly of sweeping grasslands, the Ndutu area in the northern part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area joins the Serengeti. As such, it forms part of the annual migratory route of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, antelope, and their predators who come to graze and calve between November and March, depending on the rains. The forests around Lake Ndutu and small koppies are also home to prolific resident wildlife.

The Ndutu area forms the north-western part of the Ngorongoro Conservation area, which covers an area of just over 8,000 km² and includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the Olduvai Gorge, forests, mountains, and the vast plains of Ndutu stretching unfenced to Serengeti.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is famous not only for its beauty and wildlife but also for allowing human habitation. The local Maasai tribe still live on subsistence farming within the area. It is not unusual to see a Maasai herdsman with his cows heading over sweeping grasslands dotted with wildebeest and zebra.

Central Serengeti

The Central Serengeti, lying at the heart of this spectacular national park, is the most popular region in the reserve for its abundant wildlife, large numbers of big cats, and quintessential Serengeti landscapes of acacia-studded savannah. Resident wildlife makes this part of the Serengeti a fantastic year-round destination, but the months of April to June and October to December, when the herds of the Great Migration pass through the area, are when it’s at its peak.

Seronera valley

Encompassing a sizable portion of Central Serengeti, this vast valley teems with wildlife. The valley’s river keeps the vegetation plentiful, supporting herbivores throughout the year. Wildebeest, zebras, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, and many other species can be spotted here on any given day. A large amount of prey also draws the highest population of predators. The golden grassland rustles with the movement of roaming lions, cheetahs, and hyenas. This is also one of the best places to find the park’s elusive leopards.

Recommended places to stay during the January Serengeti wildebeest migration safari in Ndutu?

Chaka camp Ndutu plains

Chaka Camp, which is a mobile camp designed to be lightweight enough to move seasonally, is located in the Ndutu area from December through March. The camp relocates to Western Serengeti from May through June, and again to Northern Serengeti from July through November.

From December through March, the wildebeest migration moves in and out of the Ndutu area. Ndutu is located in the Ngorongoro conservation area just south of Serengeti National Park.

Chaka Camp’s location provides easy access to prime game viewing areas around Lakes Ndutu and Masek. In addition to the almost two million wildebeest and zebra that move through the area each year, Ndutu is home to cheetah, lion, giraffe, and hundreds of bird species. During February’s calving season, the wildebeest give birth to estimated 75,00 calves a day.

Serengeti safari camp

A million and a half and zebras can’t be wrong and this camp never settles for less. this canvas home-from-home and its indomitable crew are on the move year in and year out from one sweet Serengeti site to another guided by the movements of the wildebeest migration pattern and their quest for evergreen grass.

Along with it comes out highly trained naturalist guides and all the trimming of the classic safari.

Ubuntu Olakira camp

Olakira is one of the finest mobile camps in the Serengeti. It follows the same route as Serian in that it moves twice a year. From July to November they’re in the north of the Serengeti in the Kogatende region. Then from December to March, they move back down to a fantastic spot in the Ndutu plains. At Olakira you are guaranteed great guiding, lovely food, and a luxurious but authentic safari camp. Its position in the north is unbeatable as you can actually see the river crossing from the comfort of the camp.

Kiota Namiri camp

Namiri Plains is a must for any cheetah enthusiast. The cheetah numbers here are vast and there’s plenty of everything else too. Being owned by Asilia, Namiri Plains will most certainly deliver a world-class safari experience. It’s not often that new areas open up in the Serengeti so we highly recommend a stay here.

Dunia camp

Another lovely safari camp from Asilia, it is almost identical to Olakira in style.  The difference with Dunia is that it is placed very centrally in the Serengeti, fantastic for game viewing all year round.  They have also found themselves a nice little corner from which they can enjoy the landscapes and views without the hustle and bustle of other vehicles that you often find around this area of the Serengeti.

Considering witness the Mara river crossing?

The Mara River crossing is one of the spectacles on earth as millions of wildebeest and thousands of zebras embark on a journey across the dangerous Mara River during the July-October annual activity as the wildebeest, zebras and gazelles cross from the plains of the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in what is regarded as the world cup of Africa by wildlife enthusiasts.


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 Febuary?
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?



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All you need to know before traveling
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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