Month by month Annual Wildebeest Migration Guide

June, July & August Migration Patterns

The rutting season (mating season) usually starts in May-June, and you can expect to see fierce fighting between competitive males as they vie for the attention of females that are in the oestrus heat ready to mate with the dominant males.

By July, the herds head north towards the fresh grass of the Masai Mara plains in order to get there they must face one of the greatest obstacles of their journey as they have to cross the brown waters of the Mara River.

The dramatic river crossing is one of the most exciting events of the Great Wildebeest Migration which is hard to predict exactly when the river crossing begins but some of the hard tracker statistics over years indicate that usually the wildebeest start crossing in July, but the precise timing depends on the rains.

The wildebeest and zebra grow into a ‘mega-herd’ before attempting to cross the Mara River to continue their journey north, With treacherous water currents and Nile crocodiles lurking in the muddy waters and lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas waiting on the river banks, only the strongest survive in what is termed as the epic and spectacular wonders of the world.

During the course of their migration, an estimated 220,000 wildebeest die either from predator attacks, thirst, starvation or pure exhaustion or drowning during the epic river crossing.

September & October Migration Patterns

The herds migrate to Kenya’s Masai Mara national reserve as the Wildebeest beasts go in search of fresh grass to graze.

This is a wonderful time to be on safari in Masai Mara. As the rains begin in October, the herds begin their long journey south back to the Serengeti following the new grass.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that life becomes easy, as danger still lurks in the form of hunting pride of lion and packs of hyena.

November & December Migration Patterns

The short rains start in Tanzania at the end of October or early November, drawing the wildebeest and zebra back to the plains of the southern Serengeti which are green and lush once more.

The bulk of the herd arrives back in the Serengeti for the rainy season. The Wildebeest may begin to give birth and prepare to complete the cycle over again next year!

For safari packages to see the thunder hooves in Serengeti and Masai Mara contact our team of specialist safari consultants for a perfect safari holiday.

January, February & March Migration Patterns

Over a million wildebeest and zebra spend the first months of the year in the great plains of the Serengeti, feeding off the short grass and preparing for migration.

The majority of wildebeest calves are born here in February, with around half a million new calves in the Serengeti that month. As the Southern plains become picked over, the herds begin to spread west and prepare for their migration north in the spring.

This makes for an incredible sight on game drives – you can expect to see new-born calves and you might be lucky enough to witness a birth, plus you’re likely to see plenty of predator action.

The wildebeest encourage their new-borns to get on their feet immediately and join the herd where there is safety in numbers. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas and rare wild dogs wait in the surrounding areas ready to prey on the weak and vulnerable members of the herd.

An easy kill isn’t always guaranteed as the female wildebeest instinctively head to the short grass plains so that they can see predators approaching and they form a barricade around birthing mothers to protect them and their young, ensuring the majority of the new-born calves survive.

Towards the end of the short dry season (usually end of March), the short-grass plains of the southern Serengeti begin to dry out and the wildebeest and zebra start to head towards the western woodlands.

April & May Migration Patterns

April usually brings the first signs of migration, with hundreds of thousands of wildebeest beginning their arduous journey across the western plains and finally north.

The herds move through the Ndoha and Dutwa plains, adjacent to the Mbalagweti River. Herds may begin to pile up near the Mbalagweti and Gumeti Rivers, awaiting the crossing, a dangerous obstacle for the animals.

Tips planning a safari to witness the epic Mara River crossing

Based on the information provided by the month by month wildebeest migration pattern travellers wanting to witness the great and phenomenal Mara River crossing must consider booking a safari from mid- July to end of August as this could see them have high chances of the witness the wildebeest cross from Serengeti to the Masai Mara or they can also book a safari from late October to early November as the wildebeest make a return journey from Masai Mara to Serengeti in time for the wildebeest calving season.

Tips for planning a safari to witness the wildebeest calving season

As many people’s attention is drawn on the great wildebeest migration and many travellers tent to ignore one of the most spectacular and action-packed wildebeest calving seasons that usually starts in January and the peak is in February before ending in early March as estimate 75000 wildebeest calves are born in the presence of the predators that are always waiting for the easy kills so the best time to witness the annual wildebeest calving season is in February.

Planning a safari to witness the wildebeest rutting season

Wildebeest rutting season (mating season) is also one of the dramatic safari experiences in the greater Serengeti this is evidential by the dramatic fights between the wildebeest bulls as they defend their territories in order to mat with the ready wildebeest cows that are on the oestrus, travellers should consider visiting in mid-May to late June as the wildebeest also prepare for the Mara river crossing.

When to book a safari to witness the annual wildebeest migration

Due to the high demand of the spectacular wildebeest migration safari travellers are advised to book the safari at least one year in advance this will us to book the mobile camps that are usually located at the centre of the action-packed safari areas in the greater Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem.

For more information contact Wilderness Explorers Africa travel experts on how best to tailor a safari to witness the Wildebeest migration safari experience in East Africa’s phenomenal safari experiences.


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
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Wildebeest Rutting Season
Wildebeest Calving Season
Balloon Safaris
Photography Safaris
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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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Olduvai Gorge
Bologonja Springs
Lobo Valley
Grumeti River
Kogatende Area
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