When is the Best Time to Visit Serengeti.
Up to two million wildebeest and half a million zebra live in Serengeti national park besides with thousands of gazelle, impala and antelope migrate each year in search for the fresh grass and water. This in turn attracts the predators which made up the Serengeti eco- system a piece of dramatic open air theatre.
Each year the large herds of these wildebeest and zebra move northwards through the Serengeti national park in Tanzania and into the Masai Mara national park in Kenya, and this will mark your best time to visit in Tanzania. The wildlife rolls out into buffer zones outsides the official parks where the wild animals appear together alongside the native Masai and their cattle’s.
This is best season where many travelers wish to come in Tanzania and witness this amazing movement.
When is the best time to see Serengeti wildebeest migration – Overview.
Migration is Serengeti is something that you can watch yearly around. We have made it easier for you in the task of determining the ideal of wildlife safari for you in Tanzania.
Based in historical information’s this guide is not dependable but a month to month guide to the wildebeest migration will grant to you an idea of where the herds are likely to be found, and this will eventually help to predict when is the best time to visit Serengeti to witness wildebeest migration.
November to December – the arrival of the short rains
The cycle starts in the delicious grass plains in the southern part of the Serengeti. The short rain begins in November to the middle of December stimulating the migration back south to the south-western part of the Serengeti to the short palatable grass plains. Long column of the wildebeest and zebras are trailed by the opportunistic predators.
Mid December to March
In the mid- of December to march, the short grass plains located at the southern Serengeti around Ndutu and the Ngorongoro conservation area are alive with the zebras, gazelles and wildebeest migrations. The calving season of late January to mi-march over 80% of the wildebeest give birth to the newly ones.
Long Rains – April to early June – they head to Seronera
The central Serengeti area (the Seronera) has made up of open plains dotted with fascinating kopjes. There is a lot of resident game with relaxed predators as well as the migrating herds of wildebeest comes across in May and April.
When you are in Seronera the central position of Serengeti you can stay here and yet traveling to south and north to the western corridor, though this advantage means that the central Serengeti remains busy throughout most of the migrations.
During the long term rains in April, the plains are at their most beautiful, vivid with flowers and crowded with games. This is an ideal time for photographic tour as the quality of the light tending to be brighter. Although the short grass of the south cannot bear the huge herds, as they start to move north and south.
From April to june, the central Serengeti is the room for one of the most impressive wildlife observed on earth. Hundreds of thousands of the plains games begins moving towards the Seronera heading to the Grumeti River. The great moving feast is trailed by the predators like lion, cheetah, leopard and the hyenas.
June – Grumeti
In June the best grazing lands of the western corridor have been exhausted and now the herds will have to move still further north into the Grumeti. The land is drier and makes it simple to move around. The camps in Grumeti place are located in the best area. The area has abundant permanent game including zebra wildebeest, the predators and the forest species.
July – Northern Serengeti
In July as the rains decrease, the large number of wildebeest and zebra begins gathering along the swollen rivers of the crocodile infested Grumeti and Mara rivers. The northern Serengeti lies between the central Serengeti and Kenyan border.
This gentle rolling game country includes the lobo kopjes. From its normal northern position it is far less crowded than the southern grasslands and the Seronera.
Late July, August & September – The river crossing
Most of the people need to see the dramatic river crossing when the columns of wildebeest and zebra struggle their ways across the Grumeti and Mara rivers to reach the richer grazing lands of the Masai Mara in southern Kenya. The wildlife grind around for sometimes on the southern banks before suddenly one brave wildebeest takes the plunge into the river flow. Then thousands follows in a melodramatic watery stampede. Most of them do not make it.
Though it is touch and goes that you will be able to observe one of the crossing as their timings tend to very dramatically from year to year regarding on the rainfalls. In the dry years most of them do not even cross into Kenya. Your best bet is to stay 3-4 nights to extend your opportunities.
July to October & November – Northern Serengeti & Masai Mara
After the safe across the wildebeest, gazelles and zebra spread out across the plains as far as the eye can see. Here they come to deliver to their young and the grasslands echo with the sounds of the new born.
These are the good times for most of the wildlife but not for all; normally the predators are naturally drawn into Masai Mara with cheater, lion, hyena and leopard all on the hunt. Most of the year the best game viewing can be found in the greater Masai Mara in Mara areas.
This is because there is equilibrium of wildlife and the cattle’s in these areas. The cattle’s normally will keep the grass short and green which will be the best place for game viewing. Normally the predator follows the plains games.
Although between august and October at the time of migration season the best game viewing becomes possible all over the whole Masai Mara area as the millions of wildebeest and zebras cut the grass down making them palatable.
November to December – The migration heads south
By the time the green grass of the Masai Mara are clipped down by the game, the dry season is in progress, the wildebeest, gazelle and zebras start to do their way back in the south. They cross again the river and come back into Tanzania.
They normally do this when the short rains begins again in November. Occasionally you can get the short period of rain before the real short rains starts. In this aspect the wildlife do not going on moving south, they may move back into Masai Mara until there will be the guarantee of more rain in the south.
This uncertainty means that the returns of the migrations are not as dramatic as the wildebeest do not move in groups. Also it is not that much predictable. The west of the Serengeti national park is still the portion of the Serengeti ecosystem and the plentifully stock of the permanent games. The Serengeti experiences this coming back migration in the mid of September and November. Thereafter the cycle begins again.
What to expect outside of the Migration months
We normally ask our clients if it is worthy traveling to Serengeti during the wet off- season starting from March to June and October to December. The answer to this question is often yes as actually we believe that one of the best ways to enjoy the wonderful of the Serengeti is to take a tour during the off-season.
In contrast to that known belief and plenty of wildlife remains after the migrations continuous to go on. So the visitors do not need to worry about missing out to spot the big five. Most of you might be struggling with this decision now.
Below you can review the few things to consider before making your choice.
You can save a lot of money!
East Africa is best known as the world safari destination. This implies it is not the cheapest African destination to pay a visit. Therefore traveling of season is the best way to save money. The tour operators, camps and lodges tend to minimize their prices at this time. Which put these luxury destinations within reach of even the most budget conscious tourist? Also you can enjoy the minimized prices on the flights, accommodations and different activities.
This will allow you to live like royalty without using a lot of money. All of the personal visitors discover that cost is a large setback.
Most of the lodges or camps charge single supplements but tend to waive or lower the cost during the off-season making it the ideal time to choose the safari of your choice.
Far from the maddening crowd
As a custom we have to note that Serengeti is a world known destination. Which translates into huge crowed. It is believed that the true safari experience is connecting with nature on a personal level, not finding that an individual person trapped in a Serengeti traffic jam.
During the off season we can realize the drop off of the tourist numbers, leaving you the space and time to connect with nature in its wild reckless and a dramatic glory. You can also have the VIP treatment as the camp and lodges workers has the time to make your stay as luxurious as possible
when is the best time for Spectacular game viewing
The game viewing in the Serengeti is excellent all year around but most of the animals give birth during the wet season providing you with the chance to see the gorgeous baby animals in their wobbly-legged glory.
In south Serengeti you can find some sublime sites like the soda lakes whose edges are the homes of caracal and most cats, also the acacia woodlands filled with elephants. This is the same as in the north you will find more than enough residents animals when the migration headed south. This happens In October or November.
You are not supposed to worry as you can still witness the great migration in their movement as their exactly time do vary from year to year. For you to witness the great migration you must consider the advice from our tour experts.
Remember that there is nothing wonderful and worthy than spotting the big five in the close position. The wet season will provide you with the chance to sit back allowing you to view the wonderful creatures.
Accommodation while is Serengeti Migration Safari
You can get the chance to view the great migrations at its various stages from a number of lodges found along the migration route. In the other way for a really grassroots experience you can decide to opt for a mobile tented safari alternative. This will decide the location of its camps once the migration is in full strike.