The Big Migration

Where is the big migration?

The big migration is a spectacle of 1.4 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands zebras and gazelles followed by predators. The big migration is driven by the rain and the new grass that follows it.

Between December and April the wildebeest are on the short grass plains at Ndutu in the southern Serengeti but depending on the rainfall they might be in a much wider area between Ndutu and Ngorongoro Crater (not in the crater itself). During this time, especially in February, wildebeest mothers give birth to more than 500.000 calves in a 2-3 week period. Within 10 minutes after birth the calves are on their feet.

In April and May de rains stop and the plains in the south and east Serengeti dry out. This causes that the herds start moving to the north and west of the Serengeti where is more grass and water. During this period not all the wildebeest and zebras follow the same route; a part goes further west and others head northwest.

June and July is a period between the rains and the dry season. The huge herds go further north to the Maasai Mara. In July and August the wildebeest move into Kenya's Maasai Mara crossing the Mara River in large numbers.


Herds that stood at the water's edge suddenly cross in a panicked mass, struggling to get to the other side of a crocodile filled river. If you are lucky enough to catch a river crossing, it's guaranteed an unforgettable experience.

The exact timing of the crossing the Mara River is hard to predict and depends on the rains. In a dry year the first wildebeest could be near the Mara River early July; in a wet year by mid August. If there is plenty of grass and water the herds may be spread out all the way from Serengeti to Mara River. Mostly the whole big migration will not move into Kenya; many animals remain in the northern Serengeti or cross en re-cross the Mara River and border between Kenya and Tanzania several times following periodic rain. This carries on until October/November when the animals in Kenya begin moving back to the northern Serengeti. During November and December many of them will move south within the Serengeti to the breeding and calving grounds where they spend December through March.

The big migration is millions of animals and is never in one place at one time; they cover a huge area.


                                                 No green grass on which to feast,

                                                            said the wildebeest.

                                                              We must migrate

                                                                     to a placebig-migration:friends-from-africa

                                                           where grass is found.

                                                     The big migration is moving

                                                                to new ground.

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