If you’re going to the Serengeti, you’re going because you want to see the wildebeest migration. After all, the park was established precisely to protect the ‘circuit’ that the wildebeest follow each year. The wildebeest trace this clockwise route, of course, in order to graze on the best pasture.
While few people go on safari in order to stare at wildebeest, their migration is spectacular. You’ve all seen the footage of the wildebeest crossing rivers en masse. That’s fascinating enough in itself, of course, as the banks turn to mud and the wildebeest struggle to swim across the currents. But when you then add in crafty crocodiles and lions then the whole spectacle becomes completely entrancing.
And that’s the thing about the wildebeest migration. Where the wildebeest go, the other grazers – the buffalo, zebra and antelope – tend to go too. And where those animals go, the creatures that prey on them – the lion, leopard, hyena etc – go too.
How to know where the Serengeti migration is at any time
So if you’re going to the Serengeti, you’re going to need to know where the migration will be when you visit. That isn’t always easy because, of course, this is nature. And nature is, to a very large degree, rarely predictable. However, there are several websites that can help.
Firstly, for an overview of the park do visit the Serengeti section on the Kilimanjaro Experts website.
The next is the overview provided by Expert Africa. This shows you roughly where the migration will be at any time of year (just click on the maps on this page until you find the month you’re interested in.
The other website that we regularly use is Discover Africa’s herd tracker page. This map and blog keeps everyone up to date with the current location of the main Serengeti wildebeest migration and includes up-to-date footage of the wildebeest.
When is the best time to go to the Serengeti?
I always like visiting the Serengeti in January-March. (This also happens to be one of the best times to climb Kilimanjaro too, which is a happy coincidence.) The wildebeest are coming down the eastern side of the park at this time, and the wildebeest themselves are calving. So there’s usually a lot of action. (On a practical level, the eastern side of the Serengeti is adjacent to Ngorongoro, so January-March is also a convenient time to go. Because you don’t need to travel so far to see the migration.)