Month-by-month

breakdown of
the Great Migration

The Great Wildebeest Migration is a breathtaking phenomenon that unfolds throughout the year. Here’s a closer look at where the wildebeest might be and what they’re up to each month:

January
January

The southern Serengeti, including Ndutu and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, becomes the epicenter of activity in January.  This is the heart of calving season, with thousands of wildebeest calves taking their first wobbly steps on the lush plains.  Predators like lions and hyenas are on high alert, opportunistic hunters ready to exploit the increased vulnerability during this time.

February
February

The calving season reaches its peak in February.  The young calves gain strength as they graze alongside their mothers, slowly becoming more independent. The vast grasslands teem with life, a testament to the wildebeest’s remarkable reproductive success.

March
March

As March arrives, the calving season starts to wind down. The grasses mature, offering a more substantial food source for the growing herds.  A sense of restlessness creeps in as the wildebeest sense the changing seasons, and they begin to show signs of preparing for the next leg of their epic journey.

April
April

As March arrives, the calving season starts to wind down. The grasses mature, offering a more substantial food source for the growing herds.  A sense of restlessness creeps in as the wildebeest sense the changing seasons, and they begin to show signs of preparing for the next leg of their epic journey.

May
May

The northward journey continues in May, with the herds reaching the central Serengeti around Moru Kopjes and Seronera. The displays of dominance by male wildebeest reach their peak, creating a visually stunning spectacle. As they approach the western corridor, the landscape transforms, offering a glimpse of the challenges that lie ahead.

June
June

June brings the wildebeest to the western corridor of the Serengeti, where they congregate in massive numbers near the Grumeti River. This formidable obstacle, with its fast-flowing currents and lurking crocodiles, creates a sense of tension as the herds prepare for the dramatic crossing.

July
July

The culmination of months of anticipation arrives in July – the dramatic Grumeti River crossing.  Wildebeest face the dangers of the river, battling strong currents and evading predators, as they scramble to reach the other side. This perilous yet awe-inspiring event is a highlight of the migration and a major draw for tourists.

August
August

August finds the wildebeest reaching the iconic Mara River, another major hurdle on their journey. This crossing, located within the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, is another peak tourist season spectacle. Witnessing the wildebeest navigate the treacherous waters and the accompanying drama is an unforgettable experience.

September
September

Having successfully navigated the river crossings, September offers a period of relative calm for the wildebeest.  They establish themselves in the rich grasslands of the Masai Mara, feasting on the abundant fresh growth and replenishing their energy after the long and arduous journey.

October
October

The first signs of the short rains appear in October.  While the majority of the wildebeest herds remain in the Masai Mara, some, particularly those in the southern regions, might begin to exhibit a southward movement. This subtle shift hints at the approaching change in seasons and the start of the next migration cycle.

November
November

November marks a turning point. Short rains transform the parched southern Serengeti into a verdant paradise. Spurred by this fresh growth, the wildebeest herds begin their annual journey north, leaving behind the Masai Mara in Kenya.

December
December

The herds continue their trek northward in December, enjoying the abundance of nutritious grasses and permanent water sources dotting the southern plains. This is a time of plenty for the wildebeest as they graze and build their strength for the challenges ahead.