Wildebeest Migration Safari

Wildebeest Migration Safari

Embarking on a wildebeest migration safari is an awe-inspiring adventure that offers a front-row seat to one of nature’s most spectacular events. Each year, millions of wildebeest, accompanied by zebras and gazelles, traverse the plains of East Africa in search of greener pastures. This guide will help you understand the intricacies of this remarkable journey and how to make the most of your safari experience.

Understanding the Wildebeest Migration

 Wildebeest Migration Safari

What is the Wildebeest Migration?

The Great Wildebeest Migration is the annual movement of over 1.5 million wildebeest, along with hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles, across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. This migration is driven by the search for fresh grazing and water and is considered one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World.”

The Migration Cycle

  1. Calving Season (January to March): The journey begins in the southern Serengeti, where the wildebeest give birth to thousands of calves. This period is crucial for the survival of the species, as the young need to be strong enough to keep up with the herd.
  2. The Move North (April to June): As the dry season sets in, the herds move north towards the central Serengeti and the Grumeti River. This phase involves crossing the crocodile-infested rivers, a perilous but necessary part of the journey.
  3. Crossing into the Mara (July to October): The herds continue north, crossing into the Masai Mara in Kenya. The dramatic river crossings at the Mara River, teeming with predators, are the highlights of this phase.
  4. The Return Journey (November to December): With the onset of the short rains, the herds start their journey back to the southern Serengeti, completing the cycle.

Planning Your Safari

Best Time to Visit

  • January to March: Ideal for witnessing the calving season in the southern Serengeti.
  • April to June: Best for seeing the herds moving north and crossing the Grumeti River.
  • July to October: Peak season for viewing the dramatic river crossings in the Masai Mara.
  • November to December: A great time to see the herds return to the Serengeti and enjoy fewer crowds.

Choosing the Right Safari

  • Guided Tours: Opt for a guided tour with experienced rangers who can navigate the best spots for wildlife viewing and provide valuable insights about migration.
  • Self-Drive Safaris: For the adventurous, a self-drive safari offers flexibility and the thrill of exploring at your own pace.
  • Luxury Safaris: These include fly-in options with high-end lodges and tented camps that provide comfort and convenience along with excellent game viewing opportunities.

Safari Destinations

  • Serengeti National Park: Renowned for its vast plains and abundant wildlife, the Serengeti is the heart of the migration.
  • Masai Mara National Reserve: Known for the dramatic river crossings and high concentration of predators, the Mara offers thrilling safari experiences.
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area: Offers a unique perspective with its diverse ecosystems and rich wildlife.

Safari Essentials

 Wildebeest Migration Safari

Packing List

  • Clothing: Lightweight, breathable fabrics in neutral colors; a warm jacket for cool mornings and evenings; a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Gear: Binoculars, camera with a zoom lens, and extra memory cards; a field guidebook.
  • Health and Safety: Insect repellent, sunscreen, a first-aid kit, and any necessary medications. Ensure you have the required vaccinations and travel insurance.

Health and Safety Tips

  • Malaria Precautions: The migration routes pass through malaria-prone areas. Take prophylactic medication and use mosquito nets and repellents.
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating balanced meals to maintain energy levels.
  • Wildlife Etiquette: Always maintain a safe distance from the animals and follow the guidelines provided by your guides to ensure both your safety and that of the wildlife.

Capturing the Moment

Photography Tips

  • Equipment: A DSLR or mirrorless camera with a telephoto lens (200-400mm) is ideal for capturing wildlife.
  • Timing: Early mornings and late afternoons offer the best lighting conditions and the most active wildlife.
  • Composition: Include the landscape in your shots to give context and scale to the migration scenes.


A wildebeest migration safari is more than just a wildlife viewing experience; it’s a journey into the heart of one of nature’s greatest spectacles. By understanding the migration cycle, planning your safari thoughtfully, and preparing adequately, you can witness this extraordinary event in all its glory. Whether you’re an avid photographer, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking an unforgettable adventure, the wildebeest migration promises the experience of a lifetime.


What is the best time to see the wildebeest migration?

The best time depends on which part of the migration you want to see. For calving, visit between January and March; for river crossings, July to October is ideal.

Do I need a visa for Tanzania or Kenya?

Yes, most visitors require a visa for both Tanzania and Kenya. Check the specific requirements based on your nationality and obtain visas in advance.

What should I pack for a migration safari?

Pack lightweight, neutral-colored clothing, a warm jacket, binoculars, a camera, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a first-aid kit. Ensure you have the necessary travel documents and vaccinations.

How safe is a safari during the migration?

Safaris are generally safe when conducted by reputable tour operators. Follow all guidelines provided by your guides and maintain a safe distance from wildlife.

Can I witness the migration from a hot air balloon?

Yes, hot air balloon safaris are available in both the Serengeti and Masai Mara, offering a unique and breathtaking perspective of the migration.


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Visit our page for detailed information and tips to make the most of your Tanzanian adventure.

Very Wonderful Safari Trip Lappet Faced Safari left a very good impression on me about Safari. When discussing the itinerary, Francisco responded very promptly and provided a lot of useful suggestions; during the entire trip, there were no extra costs or extra services. During this trip, we are very grateful to our guide Mike, who worked tirelessly to help us find animals and introduced various animal knowledge, making us have a very enjoyable trip; we also booked a ride from Arusha to Kilimanjaro For the airport shuttle bus, thank you to Noel for his superb driving skills; and thank you to Francisco for helping us book a fruit lunchbox in advance so that we did not go hungry. We were very satisfied with this trip.
7-Day Wildebeest Migration Safari We had an amazing 7-day safari visiting Tarangire National Park, the Ndutu region of southern Serengeti, Central Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater. Before arriving in Tanzania I had regular communication with Francisco, the owner of Lappet Faced Safaris. Francisco always responded promptly and answered all of our questions as we planned this custom safari. I was very impressed by his prompt and thorough responses to questions and his willingness to be flexible with our itinerary during the planning stages of this trip. We were met at the airport by our driver/guide, Amani, who accompanied us for the duration of the safari. To say that Amani went above and beyond was an understatement. He was an amazing guide and he did a great job in finding various wildlife and putting us in an excellent position to observe and photograph. He was also very good at answering our questions about the wildlife, the vegetation and the people of Tanzania. I was very impressed and I could tell that he enjoyed his work and that he knew what he was talking about when explaining things about different animals. It really made the trip a more complete experience. I was very pleased with our accommodations throughout our safari, as well as with the food. Everything matched the information that we received from Francisco when we were planning our trip. Lappet Faced Safaris is a small locally-owned safari company and they provide first-class service. I would highly recommend them to anyone who is interested in visiting Tanzania and experiencing a safari. Francisco is flexible in putting together a trip itinerary so do not hesitate to share what your interests are for your safari experience and he will work with you to meet those plans. We wanted to see the wildebeest migration during their calving season, as well as seeing other resident wildlife and what we experienced during our safari was simply amazing.
Kenny C
Kenny C
Amazing experience The 3-day safari was an unforgettable experience and were extremely delighted we went with Lappet Faced Safaris for the trip. Our guide and chef were both extremely professional and they both went out of their way to make sure we had the best experience possible. We would 100% recommend this safari trip.
Tatiana C
Tatiana C
Breathtaking, Wild, Unforgettable!!!! MUST DO!!! That was an unbelievably wonderful experience of a lifetime! We had just 6 days in Zanzibar and 2 of them we decided to devote to safari in Tarangire and Ngorongoro national parks. It was one of the wisest decisions because the amount of emotions and feelings you would get from the beauty of the nature and animals you have seen only on discovery channel before would bring you infinite happiness and pure joy :))) Thanks to Lapped Faced Safaris for making it real! The service was exceptional. Francisco ( the owner of the company) was always in contact with us all the time. He answered all our million questions and made sure everything would go smoothly. He took care about everything from the moment we left Zanzibar and came back. Our guide/driver was the best guide we could imagine: attentive, caring, choosing the best angles to observe the animals. Together with him we saw all Big Five (leopard, lions, elephants, zebras and rhinos) and more))) however it’s always a matter of luck whom you would spot ;) Karankari lodge - is a gorgeous hotel I would highly recommend to stay at for 1 night between the safaris. Look forward to coming back for 3-4 days safari! Lapped Faced Safaris - THE BEST!
Sachin K
Sachin K
Best expeirence Our guide was knowledgeable and very well behaved. The sunset tour has been remarkable. No issue at all Thanks....
Sandra M
Sandra M
Epic Adventures On my recent trip, Michael and his crew (shoutout to Joshua, Stive, and Frank!) totally made the experience awesome. Their know-how and passion, along with the smooth coordination and personal touch, made every moment unforgettable. Seriously, I highly recommend this travel crew for an epic trip!
Abdul A
Abdul A
Family-Friendly Adventure Lappet Faced Safari was an amazing experience for our family. The guides whose name Joseph were not only knowledgeable but also fantastic with kids, making it a great experience.
pami k
pami k
Exemplary Expedition: A Journey Elevated by Expert Guides Embarking on a recent travel expedition, I was fortunate to have Michael as our guide. His expertise and passion for the destinations we explored added immense value to the journey. The seamless coordination and personalized touch from Michael and his team, including Joshua, Stive, and Frank, made every moment unforgettable. Their commitment to excellence was evident in the meticulous planning and insightful commentary. I highly recommend this travel experience, where the guides' dedication and knowledge elevate the trip to extraordinary heights.
Ranvir K
Ranvir K
Thrilling Night Safari Lappet Faced Safari's night safari was a thrilling addition to our adventure. Armed with spotlights, we delved into the nocturnal world of wildlife. From elusive predators to creatures of the night, the experience was both exhilarating and educational. A unique and captivating way to witness the diversity of the animal kingdom.
Mama B
Mama B
Sunset Safari Splendor Lappet Faced Safari took the traditional safari experience to new heights with their sunset tour. The colors of the African sky painted a breathtaking backdrop to our wildlife encounters. Watching the sun dip below the horizon while surrounded by nature's wonders was a mesmerizing and unforgettable spectacle.

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