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What is the best time to see the great migration in the Serengeti?


The Great Wildebeest Migration stands as one of nature’s most breathtaking spectacles. Spanning across the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara in Kenya, this annual event is a sight to behold. But the key question often asked is, “When is the best time to witness this awe-inspiring phenomenon?”

What is the best time to see the great wildebeest migration in the Serengeti?

Understanding the Migration Cycle

What is the Great Wildebeest Migration?

The Great Wildebeest Migration involves over two million wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles moving across the Serengeti and Maasai Mara in search of fresh grazing grounds. This cyclical journey spans nearly 1,800 miles throughout the year.

Migration Phases

Calving Season – January to February

In January to February, the herds gather in the Southern Serengeti for calving. Witnessing this period means encountering adorable newborn calves, which attracts predators in abundance.

The Long Trek – March to June

From March to June, the herds start their journey northward, navigating through the Serengeti’s Western Corridor. The migration during these months offers sightings of river crossings, creating dramatic scenes of survival and predation.

Grumeti River Crossing – June to July

The Grumeti River presents a challenging crossing for the herds in June and July. This time offers thrilling spectacles as the animals attempt to traverse the crocodile-infested waters.

Maasai Mara Crossing – August to September

By August to September, the herds reach the Maasai Mara in Kenya, crossing the Mara River. These crossings are famous for their high drama and offer fantastic opportunities for witnessing the migration.

Return Journey – October to December

From October to December, the herds begin their return journey to the Southern Serengeti, preparing for the calving season once again, completing the migration cycle.

Best Time to Visit

Factors Influencing Timing

The best time to see the migration largely depends on personal preferences. Those seeking dramatic river crossings might opt for July to August, while others preferring calving season and baby animals might choose January to February.

Ideal Months for Specific Experiences

  • For River Crossings: June to September
  • For Calving Season: January to February
  • For Less Crowds: March to May & October to December


Q: Are there accommodations available to witness the migration?

A: Yes, numerous lodges and camps offer accommodation options catering to tourists wanting to witness this incredible event. Booking in advance is advisable due to high demand during peak seasons.

Q: Is it safe to witness the migration with children?

A: While the migration is an incredible natural phenomenon, certain aspects, like river crossings and the presence of predators, might not be suitable for very young children. It’s recommended to plan cautiously and adhere to safety guidelines.


The Great Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti is a testament to nature’s grandeur and offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Depending on your preferences, there’s a window of time throughout the year to witness this spectacular event.

For those seeking adventure, natural marvels, and a deeper understanding of the circle of life in the animal kingdom, planning a visit during the migration season is an absolute must.

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