The ultimate safari experience.
The dramatic annual Wildebeest Migration takes place within Kenya and Tanzania and is considered the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth. Between the open plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, thousands of wildebeest and zebra migrate over 1800 miles (2900 km’s) each year in search of greener pastures. They are relentlessly tracked by predators following closely behind, waiting for an opportunity to strike at the weak and weary. There is no end to a wildebeest’s journey. Its life is an endless pilgrimage, a constant search for food and water.
The Migratory Path:
Great Wildebeest Migration
DECEMBER – MARCH:
During these months the seemingly unending plains of the southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are inhabited by enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra. In the calving season (late January through mid March) the great herds concentrate on these plains grazing on rain ripened grass, attracting the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and hyena. (A good time to visit).
APRIL – MAY:
The depleted plains are unable to sustain the endless herds and the migration, sweeping west and north, moves from the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti to the long grass plains and woodland of the Serengeti’s Western Corridor, almost to Lake Victoria. (This occurs during the long rains and is considered off season for wildlife viewing in East Africa as roads are often impassable.)
By the end of May the wildebeest have exhausted the Western Corridor’s best pastures and the herds must move further north. Entering the Lamai Wedge and the Mara Triangle (May to June), breeding occurs. This is a transitional period between the rains and the dry season.
JULY – OCTOBER:
By July the countless herds have amassed along the swollen Grumeti and Mara Rivers – a final barrier from the short sweet grasses of the Masai Mara. Sometimes the crossing place they have chosen is shallow allowing the majority of animals to pass safely. In other areas the waters boil with drowning wildebeest and slashing crocodiles. (A good time to visit).
If you are in the Masai Mara you can expect the wildebeest to make their arrival as early as July, but they generally arrive between August and September and remain in the Mara between October and November.
The arrival of the short rains calls the migration southward. As November ends the migration makes its way back to the southern Serengeti where, early in the year, they once again give birth. The circle of life and death continues.
The best time to see the migration is usually between June and August when the wildebeest congregate and prepare to cross the famous Grumeti River. Availability is at a premium, so book early to avoid disappointment.
The migration is a popular event – at its height a staggering 1.4 million wildebeest are on the move with over 200 000 zebra and antelope in tow. The wildebeest achieves one of the highest success rates of impregnation of all mammals, possibly because of a high state of fitness following ample rain. An estimated 400 000 wildebeest calves are born during a six week period early each year – that’s amounts to 1 calf every 10 seconds or so, for 6 weeks!! The calves can walk within minutes, and after a few days can keep up with the rest of the herd. A typical stampede often features approximately 500 wildebeest traveling at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h), and can last for 30 minutes. To witness the migration first hand, please contact us for a suggested itinerary applicable to your budget requirements. Accommodation ranges from self-participation camping safaris to luxury 5 star lodges and tented camps, with everything in-between. Prices vary considerably in this regard.
Please note: These safaris combine wonderfully with Zanzibar Island, or the Kenyan Coastline.
Hi Joan - We have arrived home safely - with just a little jet lag. Your guidance and expertise in planning this trip was invaluable. The trip exceeded all of my expectations!! I would not have changed anything. It would be difficult to pick out the best part of the trip - in that each day was so special. Rob and Heath were exceptional and a great part in making the trip so special. Londolozi was amazing. I'm not sure who we have to thank for our special Anniversary treat of lunch in the tree house; but thank you, thank you, thank you!! It still brings tears to my eyes thinking of the it!! We started the trip by saying "if" we go back to Africa only for it to be quickly changed to "when" we go back to Africa. So until next time, I thank you again for making this such a special experience!!
We were a group of three couples traveling to South Africa for the first time. We have traveled to Italy, Cuba, Mexico and other locations together and had arranged to stay in a house outside of Cape Town on our own. Redfoot Safaris was introduced to us by a friend in Phoenix that had a great experience in 2017. We communicated with Rex by email and phone and were impressed by his patience as none of us had ever been on a Safari and we had lots of questions. Rex arranged for us to have two full day tours of Cape Town and the surrounding area and we were so impressed with our guide that we engaged him for another full day. Upon arrival at Rattray on Mala Mala we could not believe how comfortable and luxurious the facilities were and the staff and their service was impeccable. Our guide, Garrett, was fantastic and a wealth of knowledge. We were exposed to a great number of animals and learned so much about their lives and their environment. It was both an educational and relaxing break and our photos and memories will be enjoyed for years to come. We highly recommend letting Redfoot make the arrangements so that the total experience can be enjoyed even though it is far from home. We would love to return and repeat the entire experience.
Our trip was just perfect - spent three days touring Cape Town and surroundings with our guide, George Meyer, who was fantastic. Other than our pick-up time, nothing was set in stone, and George allowed each day to unfold as it happened. We got to see everything on our list - and then some. From there we headed to MalaMala for a couple days safari, which were amazing - the accommodations at Rattray's were beautiful, and we saw more wildlife than we were expecting. Our safari guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and perfectly suited for our group. All details were taken care of by Redfoot/Rex, including being met at the Johannesburg airport, which was a huge help on our way home! Can't say enough about Rex, George, and MalaMala. Loved the trip!!