Enter your email for your weekly dose of ‘wild Africa’ directly to your inbox. And while you’re waiting around, you could be witnessing so much more elsewhere. Fresh grazing sees the wildebeest clustered in the north-eastern Sereng… It might seem like a rickety gamble as they stand on their own four feet, but for the most part, they manage it. At this point the migration often splits and one column passes west to Lake Victoria, another passing north through the northern Lobo area of the Serengeti. The herds are now in the Serengeti, stationed in the Lobo, Mbuze Mawe and Seronera Valley areas where water is abundant. Rutting is a daily occurrence. Posted by Editorial Team | Experiences, Safari, Wildlife | 0. If they are not quick to their feet, they will most likely face the hardships of the natural order. Your email address will not be published. You can fly or drive from Nairobi to the Masai Mara. Others go straight through the middle. Three days two nights in the park is recommended. In February, the month with the highest calving rate, around 8,000 wildebeest … A better and sometimes cheaper option is to fly in. Where there is a dry season. After the calving period has taken place, the wildebeast are particularly vulnerable to attack. They eat as they travel and don’t have a final destination – the animals just keep moving and grazing. In a cloud of dust the stronger male forces his opponent backwards, then gallops off enthusiastically. Just go on an overland safari from Moshi or Arusha, making a stop in Ngorongoro on the way (you can also add in Tarangire and Lake Manyara to make this a longer safari). Long rains stimulate the Serengeti grasslands and in some areas the grass grows over a metre in height. By May the Serengeti's wildebeest all seem to be moving north, migrating to seek fresh grazing and water. As part of their migration, the wildebeest must cross the Mara River to reach the Masai Mara. The wildebeest rapidly deplete the grass and water in the Western Corridor and Grumeti and start to move on. Good safari companies will keep their accommodation options open. So in these months you’ll witness lots of rutting. The Wildebeest, as herbivores that live in precarious environments often must migrate in order to find fresh grazing, as well as more or (as is now thought) better quality water. Why do wildebeest migrate? Rather than charging north it takes three to four months for the animals to reach the Mara River. Northern Serengeti is difficult to visit on an overland safari – it’s just so far away from Arusha and you must cross the national park twice (going there and back). Consider a four-day safari, mixing two days in the main national reserve and two days in a private conservancy. Amazingly, the wildebeest have their calves and mate at the same time. Two million animals don’t vanish. While there’s no way to know exactly when and where they will be from month to month, we can give you a pretty accurate idea, so that you can decide where to head out on safari. Both the Serengeti and Masai Mara offer inspiring experiences every month of the year. Our favorite month for the viewing of the Great Migration is September. It will be a remarkably intimate and authentic experience. Nor is there a month when the lions and wildebeest call a truce. The wildebeest begin in Tanzania, and whilst on the move fulfil much of their lifecycle. If the rains come earlier or later this will impact the movement of herds. Learn how your comment data is processed. Looking for a quick escape from the bustling streets of Johannesburg? When we think of Wildebeest migration, we think of the seventh Natural Wonder of the World. Wildlife documentaries struggle to make the great wildebeest migration seem real. This could be the biggest African safari anticlimax. Wildebeest facts: Why does the Great Migration occur & why do the Wildebeest Migrate? Fast, deftly strong, and without a particular motive (they are herbivores), hippos are possibly one of the worse mid-river dangers to come across. When planning a safari during these months it’s essential to stay flexible. The Wildebeest, as herbivores that live in precarious environments often must migrate in order to find fresh grazing, as well as more or (as is now thought) better quality water. Their migration pattern follows the rains, allowing them to continually feed on fresh pastures. On an overland safari you enter in the southeast and need at least 48 hours to ensure you can travel far enough to view the herds. FEBRUARY: Every year half a million wildebeest are born on the Serengeti plains, and February i… This is the most famous moment of the migration. The Central Serengeti is a safe choice. They associate their young with pain, and do not want them anywhere near them. East Africa typically follows a pattern of dry seasons and rainy seasons. Wildebeest inhabit the plains and open woodlands of parts of Africa south of the Sahara. Later herds take a more direct path north. Fossil evidence suggests that wildebeest have been roaming the plains of East Africa for over one million years. Now the wildebeest and zebra must return to their calving grounds. The moving herds will spend around nine months in Tanzania and three months in the Masai Mara, Kenya. So, although calves can run as fast as their mothers within 2 days of being born, sometimes this is not enough. It’s important to remember that the wildebeest don’t follow a Western calendar. The calving season usually begins at the end of January and the first two weeks of February are considered peak birth season (about 400 000 births happen in an intense 3-week period). Wildebeest Description They travel in loose straggly herds, mostly through the east of the Serengeti and an area known as Loliondo. Typically the animals are energetic and very photogenic during the mornings, but travel slowly through the afternoon. The black wildebeest is native to the southernmost parts of the continent. Don’t be too hung up on seeing the great wildebeest migration. Therefore, you are sure to see grand struggles, sad losses, and victorious escapes. Resident cats also want to give birth at this time of year, when food is most abundant.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'africafreak_com-leader-1','ezslot_13',187,'0','0'])); This part of the Serengeti is closest to other destinations on Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. August is very popular and the Mara is much smaller than the Serengeti; it struggles to absorb the dramatic influx of visitors. Vultures are the other predator that actually follows the migration. Instead, they wait for the feast to come to them. Nobody is sure of the exact numbers but estimates suggest around 1.5 million wildebeest, half a million zebra, along with significant numbers of hyena and Thomson’s gazelle. So we know that the classic predatory dangers pose a threat to the huge numbers of wildebeest migrating. The Wildebeest, along with approximately 200 000 zebra, and a scattering of other antelope, are almost always on the move. At this point, the extremely dramatic crossing of the Mara River is occurring. Great Wildebeest Migration by season You can see the Great Migration in Tanzania year round, whilst the best months to see action in Kenya tend to be September and October. Some of the camps close for these months. Nowhere in the world does such an incredible movement of hooves happen. However, they are certainly not the worst that must be faced. More than 1.5 million wildebeest migrate in an enormous loop every year. 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