Some 1.4 million wildebeest, 250,000 Burchell’s zebra and a smattering of trailing Thomson’s gazelle make the yearlong, round-trip trek from Tanzania’s Serengeti to the Masai Mara in Kenya. The herds make the 1,200-mile oval circuit with two things in mind: food and water. “The smell of rain and sound of thunder spur the migration forward, but sometimes sideways and even back, Along the way, many migrating animals become prey to predators including lion, cheetah, crocodile and hyena.
In fact, around 250,000 wildebeest and 30,000 zebra perish in this tough trek, mainly younger ones. “Many times, mother wildebeest will just start running and keep running, not knowing that their young can’t keep up, That is one wildlife encounter to witness among many during a visit to East Africa, where the Great Migration’s mind-boggling scope and raw beauty are on full display throughout the year.
The migration begins in the Serengeti. “Wildebeest tend to congregate in February, when they give birth to 300,000 calves, The reason for concentrating in the south is to give their calves the richest milk, as the soil and grass is rich in potassium, calcium and phosphorus from the volcanic eruptions of two to three million years ago. The southern part of the Serengeti has short grass, so wildebeest prefer to calve here, without fear of predators that typically lurk in taller grass.”
“By April,most of the grass is gone.” As the Serengeti starts to dry up, the herds follow the Grumeti River west.
“By June the Grumeti River is low, often leaving crocodile infested pools as the only water source in the area, and both wildebeest and zebra drink almost three gallons daily, Come July, the main body is in and around Ikorongo and Fort Ikoma. At this time, the herds also hasten their approach to the Masai Mara as the reserve receives rain from Lake Victoria, about 70 miles away.”
The main mass reaches the Masai Mara, and the river crossings begin. “August is probably the best month to catch a crossing, but take a book and plenty of patience as it is a waiting game, If you’re lucky, you may witness three or four high-drama crossings in one day. The feast-or-famine cross lick their chops for four months of the year in total, though they can survive on fish and the fat in their tails for a year or more.”
The herds turn the corner and head back toward the Serengeti, as the rainy season starts in Tanzania. “By early October the Masai Mara grasslands are pool-table flat, “Now, the million-beast march starts the winding journey south, consuming approximately 5,000 tons of grass a day.”
Day 1: Arusha – Lake Manyara National Park
Your Great Wildebeest Migration safari in Tanzania starts when we pick you up form your hotel/lodge in Arusha and drive to Lake Manyara National park for game viewing. Lake Manyara at the base of Great Rift Valley is one of beautiful National park on the Northern Tanzania safari circuit, its dramatically location with varied habitats attracts large number of animal species like elephant, giraffe, zebra, hippos, buffaloes & countless bird species including the flamingos. Lake Manyara tree climbing lion cab be seen at the branches of acacia tortilis having nape after a very good meal. You will break for lunch in one of the picnic site & do more game drive until before driving to Karatu area for overnight.
Overnight at Country Lodge or Merera Valley Lodge. All meals included.
Day 2 & 3 Karatu – Northern Serengeti National Park
After breakfast, you will start early and drive up through Karatu farming land & past Ngorongoro Conservation area, then down to the endless plains of Serengeti & reach Nabi Gate in the afternoon, with en-route game drive you will be heading to the Northern Serengeti National park arrive during or before the sunset. You will spend this two days doing game drives at Lobo, Bologonja, Kogatende & at Mara river where you may see the river crossing of the migration of herds which includes Wildebeest, zebras & gazelle, predators like lion, leopard, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals & countless birds of prey will be seen accompanied the Great Migration.
Overnight at Serengeti Mara Heritage Camp in Northern Serengeti. All meals included.
Day 4: Central Serengeti National Park
After breakfast spend much time to where the migration is packed before driving to the central Serengeti for diner & overnight at Serengeti Heritage Camp Central Serengeti. All meals included.
Day 5: Serengeti – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
This morning after breakfast you will do game drive in Serengeti & later drive toward Ngorongoro via Nabi gate. You have options of visiting Masai boma or Olduvai gorge (at Extra cost) before heading to the Rhino lodge at the Crater rim of Ngorongoro . Dinner & overnight at Rhino Lodge. All meals included.
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater – Arusha
After an early breakfast you will decent 600 meters down to the crater floor for a wonderful game drive. Ngorongoro Crater referred by many as the 8th wonder of the world & the Eden of Africa is home to a larger number of animal species. Supported by yearly around water supply from the crater rim thus allows the vegetation to flourish & attracts big & small animals which includes buffalo, zebra hippos, rhino, elephant & cats like lion, leopard, cheetah, jackals & hyenas. There is a possibility of seen the Big five in this one day of game drive in the crater, packed lunch will be served at the crater floor. Later afternoon you will drive back to Arusha for overnight or drop off at Arusha air or Kilimanjaro international airport. End of your 6 days Serengeti safari Wildebeest Migration safari
This package can be altered to include Luxury and Upmarket Lodges and tented camps
Note: This tour can be extended to more days per your request.