Tanzania Away

The Wildebeest Migration

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Although the celebrated Wildebeest Migration circles endlessly through Kenya and Tanzania, it is in the latter’s Serengeti National Park that the very best viewing opportunities are to be found.

Here in the Serengeti some two million wildebeest, together with hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle, migrate in search of greener pasture and water, occupying a column that can stretch for 40 km or more, and walking 1000 km during each migration. During the calving period some 8000 calves are born each day. And where the migrating game is to be found, so are the predators, as lions, leopards, and – at the river crossings – crocodiles, queue up for the feast of a lifetime.

As the short rains begin in the southern Serengeti in November, the herds generally begin to head south from Kenya’s Maasai Mara, circling south, west and then north throughout the Serengeti until they are drawn back to the new grass in the Mara at the end of September. [Cont.]

Don't be misled, however, into thinking that you can simply book your safari a year in advance and then just turn up in the appropriate place. The migration is totally dependent on the rains, and the latter’s occurrence can vary wildly.

In any event, the Tanzanian government is firmly committing itself to building a major commercial highway through the northern reaches of The Serengeti, cutting right through the wildebeests' migratory route. It is predicted that this could cut the size of the migratory wildebeest population to just a quarter of its present level, as they are cut off from their dry season watering holes. Great planning guys!

For more information on viewing the wildebeest migration (while it's still worth your while), contact TanzaniaAway.