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Finding the Great Migration:  Migration Update June 2022

Great Migration update 18 June 2022. This is a difficult time of year to find the great migration.  In years of normal rainfall, the statistics and literature indicate that the large herds should be on the western side of the Serengeti National Park. The western side of the Serengeti gets more rain due to its physical location close to Lake Victoria, so the logic is that in dry years the wildebeest herds should migrate through the North Western Serengeti.  Finding the herds can be tricky as vast tracks of the area is privately owned hunting blocks of the park buffer zone.

Serengeti Great Migration Update, Serengeti Balloon Safaris, 16 June 2022

Finding the great migration in the west – June 2022

It’s mid-June 2022, and the majority of the herds are in the western corridor of the Serengeti.  This is the longer route to the Mara River and northern Serengeti.  The herds are moving slowly and a full Grumeti River has also slowed the progress of the herds moving northwards.

There was a lot of early rain in the NW corner of the ecosystem. The rains stopped early this year, so the southern plains dried out quickly causing the wildebeest herds to migrate. The wetter north-west corner is the preferred dry season grazing. Wildebeest love the red oat grass that grows in the moist, deeper soils.  June 2022 is becoming a classic text book year for the great migration.  By the end of June, all the Western herds should have crossed the Grumeti River, and we can expect the migration to reach Kogatende and the Mara River from the west for river crossings in 4-6 weeks’ time.

June is a privileged time to find the great migration. You may have to work a bit harder out in the west – which is further away and fascinatingly wilder. If you are lucky to find the great migration in June- it is spectacular.   Witness this great natural phenomenon of hundreds of thousands of animals marching in columns up to 40 kilometers long and be blown away. Check out the video below from the Western Serengeti and the marching herds. It’s insane! Follow up your watch journey to the western Serengeti with Episode 24- West End . There’s more great migration, as well as river animals of the Serengeti on show.

Migration Madness. Episode 23 of the Serengeti Show Live Series in 2020.
Discover the Western Corridor of the Serengeti and the classic long columns of wildebeests migrating through the area- it’s astounding!

Finding the great migration in the east – June 2022

Finding the great migration in the east, is sometimes forgotten when the western herds dominate the wildlife news.   This June many of the Eastern Herds, moved west through Seronera to join the western herds and contribute to the big numbers on that side of the Serengeti National Park.

20% of the Eastern Herds remained on that side of the Serengeti, and those wildebeest can currently be found near Togoro Plains. The eastern great migration herds are moving northwards fairly quickly so we anticipate them reaching the Sand River in the first week of July.  This means there could be some Sand River Crossings into the Mara Reserve as early as July 2022 for the first river crossings of the 2022 season.

This seasonal river with a sandy bottom, is the virtual game drive of Episode 28 exploring the Serengeti. Watch for an unexpected crossing.

If the conditions in the Mara reserve aren’t suited to the wildebeest needs yet, the early herds may back track to the Serengeti and cross the Mara River from north to south.  These would be the first Mara River Crossings.

The third, yet least likely scenario for the first river crossings of 2022, is that the eastern herds don’t cross the sand river in early July. They would move north and west, slowly gathering near crossing point No 10 or Makutano for a potential Mara River crossing at the junction.

Finding the great migration in July. Predictions for river crossing season ’22

  • We predict some small river crossings to start in the first half of July. Crossings would likely be the Sand River or Eastern Mara River.
  • The first herds of the great migration coming from the West, should arrive at the Mara River in mid-July 2022.  Big herds are already gathering as the wildebeest migrate northwards.
  • At Great Migration Camps we are eagerly waiting for a bumper season.  We are expecting some big river crossings starting in July ’22.

Join us for the world’s largest overland mammal migration as 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebra, 18,000 eland and 200,000 Thompson’s gazelle move through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. We don’t wait for the herds to come to us, we take you to them – leaving no trace.

Email info@greatmigrationcamps.com to book your seat to the great migration. We still have some space still available in early July & late August. Book soon to avoid disappointment.