For many people, the aim of a trip to Tanzania is “to see the Great Migration“. Not everyone realizes that the migration is not a once-off event, but rather a continuous year-round process. Each part of the cyclical journey provides uniquely different experiences. It’s coming up to the dramatic river crossings of the Mara, which is just one part of the migratory cycle, though what many think IS the great migration. It seems there is a good crossing season ahead – book early for the 2022 wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
What is the great migration?
- The seasonal movement of wildebeest from one habitat to another in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
- The migration involves a return journey.
- The herds move backwards and forwards across the park (or out of it!), sometimes over 40 km overnight.
- It is not one huge herd of animals, but numerous large & small herds, all with their own agenda.
Why do the wildebeest migrate?
- The simple answer is for food and water. Other factors include reproduction, predation & protection.
- The southern Serengeti plains are ideal for reproduction. Wildebeest have synchronized birthing and the plains are the only place that can sustain the sheer numbers and provide enough nutrition.
- If the wildebeest could stay all year, they would! The plains dry out, and the wildebeest are forced to move north to permanent water sources and sufficient grazing.
- Weather influences the quality of water and grazing – thus the timing, intensity, location and duration of rainfall plays a crucial role in the wildebeest movement.
When is the great migration?
- Calving Season (Jan-Mar).
Most calves are born in early Feb, the wildebeest stay as late into March as possible for the mothers & calves to get enough strength to move north.
- Long Rains (April-May)
Rainy season gets thr wildebeest on the move
- Rutting Season (June)
Breeding season – fascinating interaction with males protecting their harems
- Crossing Season (July-Oct)
Peak period of the river crossing season is August and early September.
- Waiting for Rain & Short Rains (Nov-Jan)
Rain brings fresh grass to the southern plains, and the wildebeest follow for calving.
NEXT EVENT: Book Now for Great Migration River Crossing Season 2022
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