Home Serengeti Great Migration Seasons

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Wildebeest and Zebra Migration

This occurs only in Serengeti and Masai mara ecosystem. It is a year cycle where approximately two million of Wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of Zebras participate in the migration from one place to another seeking for pasture and water. Surprisingly this migration occurs in specific place at a at a specific period time year after year as a planned issue, but, is derived from the force of nature.

The following are the seasons:

December – March (South Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ndutu)

This is known as calving season.  This is the beginning the wonder of the world, the annual migration. Large number of wildebeest and Zebras gather here for green and nutrient grazing coming from volcanic soil of South Serengeti and Ngorongoro Area famous known as Ndutu. Wildebeest have synchronized birthing, which means that about 90% of calves are born within a three-week period. With such a sudden and massive surge of available food, predators do not make any significant dent in the new-born calf population. Wildebeest calves can run minutes after they are born and within three days, they are strong enough to keep up with the herd.

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April – June (Central Serengeti and Western Serengeti)

As the grass gets depleted in the Southern Serengeti, herds move to the plains and woodlands of the Central Serengeti. The mortality rate is quite high due to injuries and fatigue, motivating large numbers of griffon vultures to follow the herds on their journey. The area around Moru Kopjes and the west of Seronera soon becomes a hectic scene of moving columns, often containing hundreds of thousands of wildebeest. They are joined by many zebras and a scattering of Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelles.

July – October (North Serengeti and Masai Mara)

Following the rainfalls, the migrating animals move north and will stay in the Masai Mara National Reserve and the Northern Serengeti. Nothing stops the stampeding hordes. Tempted by greener pastures, the wildebeest arrive at the Mara River around July and cross over onto the Masai Mara plains. During these four months many animals cross and re-cross the Mara River several times following periodic rain showers. Crossing points form bottlenecks in which thousands of animals perish through trampling or drowning. Not surprisingly, hyenas, lions, leopards, crocodiles and even cheetahs capitalize on this glut of fresh meat. Typically, the wildebeest remain in the Masai Mara until October when they start returning to the Southern Serengeti.

November (Central and South Serengeti)

The army of animals return southward to the replenished grasslands of the southern Serengeti, thereby completing the migratory cycle.

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