The Serengeti is one of the most iconic destinations in the world, so no wonder it’s one of Tanzania’s top attractions. The subject of many nature documentaries, the park is host to the dramatic Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelles must cross the Mara River
What is the Great Migration?
The Great Migration is the largest herd movement of animals on the planet. In fact, with up to 1,000 animals per km², the great columns of wildebeest can be seen from space.
The numbers are astonishing: over 1,2 million wildebeest and 300 000 zebra along with topi and other gazelle move in a constant cycle through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in search of nutritious grass and water. Guided by survival instinct, each wildebeest will cover 800 to 1,000km on its individual journey along age-old migration routes. Hungry predators – lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dog and crocs – make sure only the strongest survive.
It is thought that rainfall over 50km away can trigger the start of the mass movement – perhaps through smell or the recognition of thunder and lightning on the horizon. The circuit takes the animals from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (although not into the Crater itself) in the south of the Serengeti in Tanzania, up through the Serengeti and across into the Masai Mara in Kenya, and back again. The journey is beset with danger: young calves are snatched by predators, the slow are brought down by prides of lion, brave beasts break legs on steep river slopes, crocodiles take their share of the stragglers, and the weak and exhausted drown.
The Serengeti from November to May
Although the focus of Serengeti travel usually centres around the migration river crossings, those in-the-know head to the north after peak season, when the herds and most of the tourists have left. At this time of year — between November and May — it can feel like you have the whole Serengeti to yourself. Find lion and leopard or the critically endangered black rhino in the bush around the Mara River. In the south and the Western Corridor, visitors might even come across packs of wild dog on the hunt. For birders, December to March is when you’ll see the migratory species from Europe and North Africa in the Serengeti. It’s also a good time for photographers as the landscape is lush and the sky clearer.
Where to see the Great Migration
The backdrop of this dramatic spectacle is the Greater Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem – an area that covers both Kenya and Tanzania.
The northernmost reaches of the great migration’s circuitous route crosses the Masai Mara in Kenya before heading southwards through the Serengeti in Tanzania, as far south as to border on the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Northern Serengeti & Masai Mara
Mid-June to Novermber
Northern Serengeti, Tanzania
From mid-June to November, the great herds of wildebeest gather on the banks of the Mara River in the Northern Serengeti, ready to brave the crocodile-infested waters and hungry predators on the other side. Dramatic, exciting and chaotic game viewing awaits as the wildebeest thunder across in their millions and the northern Serengeti is transformed into a pulsing hub of activity.
Eastern & Southern Serengeti
December to March
Eastern Serengeti, Tanzania
Just like the south, the rains bring new life to the Eastern (Namiri) Plains of the Serengeti and the dry savannah is transformed into a carpet of fresh, green grass, drawing the great herds of wildebeest. The plains become the centre stage for explosive action as big cats feast on the hundreds of thousands of wildebeest that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Southern Serengeti and Ndutu, Tanzania
The vast grassland plains of the Southern Serengeti are the favoured birthing grounds of the migrating wildebeest. With the new addition of vulnerable calves, predators such as lion, leopard, and cheetah are not far behind to profit from the numerous newborns.
The herds and calves move as far south as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (but not within the Crater itself) to graze on the lush new grass of the plains.
Start planning your Great Migration safari
Detailed Tour Itinerary
Day 0: Arrival Arusha
You will be picked up from Kilimanjaro International Airport and transferred by private vehicle to Arusha for your dinner and overnight at Tulia lodge before your Serengeti wildebeest Migration safari big adventure starts
Day 1 – Arusha – Ngorongoro
Pick up from Arusha and transfer to the Ngorongoro Conservation area. We arrive in time for lunch at the lodge and after lunch we will descend over 600 meters into the crater to view wildlife for an afternoon safari tour.Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro National Park supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park, is it’s dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard, which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. We will visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the south western corner, which is one of the main features of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here.Dinner and overnight Ngorongoro Tortilis Camp
Day 2 – Ngorongoro – Central Serengeti
Non game-viewing travel time: 5 hours
Distance: 145 km
After breakfast we will head towards the Serengeti National Park, leaving the highlands behind, we descend into the heart of wild Africa – the Serengeti National – with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. We head to the Seronera area, one of the richest wildlife habitats in the park, featuring the Seronera River, which provides a valuable water source to this area and therefore attracts wildlife well representative of most of the Serengeti’s species. We enjoy a game drive en-route to the lodge.
We arrive in time for lunch and enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Serengeti national park.
Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Bush Camp
Day 3: Explore 6 Day Serengeti migration safari
Be one of only a few fortunate people to glide in a Hot Air Balloon over the Serengeti Plains (available at supplementary cost by per-arrangement). Floating silently above the awakening bush, while spotting wildlife and enjoying the amazing scenery of Africa, across rivers and over numerous small villages.
After breakfast, enjoy a full day game drive in the Serengeti National Park. The wildebeest migration normally pass through the area in April & May, however the Seronera area is within reach of both the southern plains and the Western Corridor. The resident game in the area is phenomenal and species such as elephant, buffalo, gazelle, zebra, lion and a variety of other predators and herbivores can be seen here all year round.
Explore the range of different habitats that include swamps, woodland, soda lakes and the world famous Serengeti short grass plains. See great herds of wildebeest and zebra. During a short time frame around February, normally lasting for about 3 weeks, the majority of the wildebeest calve. The sea of grass provides little cover and the young are easy pickings for a variety of predators. Wildebeest calves can run minutes after they are born and within 3 days they are normally strong enough to keep up with the herd.Dinner and overnight at Serengeti bush camp
Day 4 – Central Serengeti – Western Serengeti
6 Day Serengeti migration safari
After breakfast we head towards the western reaches of the Serengeti National Park, also known as the Western Corridor. We will do a game drive en-route from the Seronera area to the Western Corridor area.
We arrive in time for lunch at the lodge and after lunch will we enjoy an afternoon game drive in the area. The wildebeest migration can normally be found in the Western Corridor area in June, depending on rainfall patterns.
Dinner and overnight in the Western Corridor area, at Serengeti Tortilis Camp
Day 5 – Western Serengeti 6 Day Serengeti migration safari
After breakfast enjoy a full day game drive in the Western Corridor. The key feature in the Western Corridor is the Grumeti and Mbalageti rivers, running almost parallel to each other, each support a band of evergreen forest. The rivers sustain a permanent game population of zebra, wildebeest, all the predators and birdlife. It is also possible to find large pods of hippo’s and huge crocodiles in the Grumeti River. The wildebeest normally gather around waterholes midmorning in such densities, that they look like ants swarming around a nest. Dinner and overnight in the Western Corridor area,at Serengeti Tortilis Camp
Day 6 – Western Serengeti – Arusha
After breakfast at the camp we will drive to Arusha via ngorongoro conservation explore the masai boma and other areas on arrival in Arusha will we have lunch and then we will end our African safari adventure. You will be taken to your hotel, which ends our Serengeti wildebeest Migration safari.
PRICE PER PERSON SHARING:
3Pax: 2381 USD
4Pax: 2240 USD
6 Pax: 2019 USD
Single supplement: 350 USD
*SSR = Single Supplement Rate for a non-sharing person in a room Supplements: All Lodges & Tented Camps: US$ 35 p/p/p/n applicable on 25 to 28 March 2020-2021 & US$ 40 p/p/p/n applicable on 24, 25, 26, 31 Dec & 1 Jan.
Children Rates: (Children 3 to 11 years old) sharing room with 2 adults pay 60% of adult rate / Children sharing own room with other children pay 80% of adult rate / Children sharing room with 1 adult pay 100% of adult rate. No discount on holiday and other supplements.
- All Park entrance fees to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and ndutu area
- Transport in custom safari built four wheels Nissan patrol with roof hatches / pop-up roof
- English speaking driver/guide, conversant with all requirements necessary for photographers
- Unlimited game drives as per the itinerary
- Picnic lunche, to the crater floor
- All airport transfers on arrival / departure
- Mineral water during game drives
- All beverages while on safari / Nairobi
- Any international flights
- Evacuation fees
- Telephone, laundry & any items of personal nature
- Visa fees & international flights
- tips for guides & camp / lodge staff
- Travel & Medical insurance
- Balloon safari in the Serengeti – 490$ per person