View our video on the right for an animated depiction of the timing of the Wildebeest Migration or read on for a detailed description.
With an abundance of wildlife all year round, the Masai Mara and Serengeti can be visited at any time of year but the question on everyone's lips is: 'when is the wildebeest migration?' The answer is easy: the migration is an annual event and one that takes up virtually the entire year so from a safari planning point of view, it's more a question of knowing where the migration is at a certain point in the year.
The migration begins in late October/early November. Wildebeest herds move out of the Masai Mara and head for the Serengeti via the north-east of the park to arrive on the well-grassed Southern Plains by late November to December.
From January to March the herds stay in large, loose groups in the southern Serengeti, Ndutu area and Ngorongoro Conservation area before the big push in April and May as the herds gather in huge columns and head in a westerly direction.
By June the herds are in the central and western Serengeti and heading north-west, reaching the western Serengeti and Grumeti Reserves in July. This is the time to go to the Serengeti for the infamous river crossings - the wildebeest have to cross several crocodile-filled rivers in July and August in order to return to the Masai Mara, which by September they have done. The herds disperse throughout the northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara in September and October.
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