Best Migration Guide 2019
Words are not enough to express the sheer drama of the Great Migration that takes place in East Africa every single year. It’s a tableau that expresses the delicate balance of the eco-system and how every single creature large and small does its part to maintain it. It happens mostly in the most renowned safari park in the world- the Serengeti National Park.
The migration is a long cycle, a circle that traces back to birth and death. Animals need to feed themselves, to sustain themselves to give birth and continue the cycle of life. Millions of animals, mostly wildebeest, but also antelope and zebra, undertake an arduous journey to get where they need to go. The dangers are plenty- not just the unpredictability of finding food, but also the predators, including the lions, leopards, and crocodiles.
If you want to watch the migration in Tanzania, follow this pattern- From December to March, herds make their home in northern Tanzania. You’ll be able to spot many babies during this time. What’s also common are the killings because the big cats come out in full force. Apart from Serengeti, you can go to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the plains of Salei and Nduti to spot animals. Come April, the animals begin to move north and west, a process that continues till May. The Western Corridor in Serengeti is where this takes place. Do remember the roads aren’t very accessible because of the heavy rains and the smaller camps do not function during this time. June is a season of mating and the animals make their way North. The rain has stopped now and the groups are all forming for a final trip. If you’re into camping, do so in July when the animals reach the Grumeti River, their first huge hurdle and try to cross over. Serengeti and other national parks in the country are easily accessed from Arusha, thanks to As Salaam Air.
If you’re planning a trip to Kenya, then August to December is when you plan your trip. In August, the grass is slowly changing colour and the animals are moving north. Having been through one river crossing, the animals go through another one. This time at the Mara River- this is where you’ll have many chances to see animal conflict and struggle. Crocodiles wait and watch to see which animals can be their next meal. From September to November, your chances to spot animals increase tremendously because the plains are filled with animals, both predatory and herbivorous. Once the rainy season starts in the south, in November and December, the animals make their way to Tanzania to give birth and to start the circle of life all over again.
Thus, you’ll see that through the entire year, you have chances to see some step or the other in the great migratory journey. Now decide what you want to see- large groups of animals, crocodile-wildebeest conflict, the birthing process or the many babies frolicking. While most visitors like to visit Serengeti to see the migration, there are other national parks you can go to, to watch the process. Even a hot air balloon safari is a good way to take in the view before you go camping for a closer look.