The Great Wildebeest migration is widely considered to be one of the most impressive events that occurs in the whole of the animal kingdom and has been named the ‘Greatest show On Earth’. If you don’t know what this is, the ‘show’ features over 2 million wildebeest, heading off on an arduous journey of over 1800 miles as they migrate through the African planes.
This phenomenon can be seen by tourists if you get your timing right and there are many tour companies who can offer this trip if you want to witness the spectacle. Let’s take a look at what route the wildebeest take, and when would be the best time for you to spot them.
The wildebeest move in a clockwise fashion from the north east of Kenya, down through the south of the country before moving north on the east side of Tanzania and back to the north east of Kenya. The reason for the migration is that the wildebeest move, with zebras and gazelles, to in search of food after the long rains.
Throughout this lengthy and continuous journey, the wildebeest face many dangers as they travel through the Masai Mara, the Serengeti and the Maswa game reserves. The journey features 2 death defying river crossings which often sees a large amount of casualties thanks to the speed of the river and the dangers present there such as crocodiles.
In truth, the migration never really stops, but for a short time, before it commences again and this means that you will have plenty of chances to go and witness this incredible feat.
Visiting From Tanzania
If you want to go and see the migration as it heads up the eastern coast of Tanzania, the best time to go will be between April and July. The exact dates are difficult to predict as the migration itself depends greatly on the rains, which change from year to year. If you plan on going to the Maswa game reserve then the wildebeest will be usually be there in mid-May, and you can also get the chance to see many other animals on a safari in this reserve. A little later in the year and if you are very lucky, you could see the crossing of the Grumeti river in northern Tanzania.
Visiting From Kenya
Whilst the Serengeti could be a good place for you to see the migration, the wildebeest generally spend more time in the Masai Mara and so this would probably be the best place for you to see the animals in all of their glory. The wildebeest will arrive in the northern tip of Kenya and the Mara river in around August where they will remain until late September when they begin their migration to wetter lands. Kenya offers the best safari infrastructure but the cost of this is that you may find large crowds here that are looking to do the exact same thing as you.
If you want to see nature at its very best, this is the vacation for you.