Annual Patterns Of Wildebeest Migration In East Africa
The patterns of Great Wildebeest migration in East Africa are not static because of several natural factors, which are beyond human control. The most outstanding factor for beginning the great migration is the rain pattern, which is quite hard to predict per year. The so far documented time for the start or end of rainy season in this area is just speculation.
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Two countries in East Africa share the pride of the great wildebeest migration that is Kenya ( Masai Mara National Reserve ) and Tanzania( Serengeti National Park)
The time when the wildebeests are suspected to start their journey is not known but the signs prevailing at the moment are considered by those keen about the great Wildebeest migration.
The dry season that is June to September of this area is considered the best time for witnessing the great wildebeest migration from Southern Serengeti National Park. The herd of herbivores including gazelles, zebras, impalas searches new feeding grounds towards the Northern Serengeti.
This movement is ignited by increased population after calving period of January to March. Because the number of wildebeest and other ungulates has grown, grass becomes scarce at latter stage. There is need to move, which is usually started by Zebras.
When Does Great Wildebeest Migration Start
Much as there is no definite calendar for the great wildebeest migration in East Africa, over the years, suspicions have come up although not a sure deal at times.
January To March Is Calving Time In Serengeti National Park
As the angulates move, they lose many members along the way due to different factors and so the need to revamp the crowd with new calves. Majority are conceived in Masai Mara National reserve where the wildebeest spend there time in the late months of the year that is August to October before returning to Serengeti National Park in about November through December.
In January to March especially in Ndutu region Tanzania, calving season is in high gear. More than 1 million wildebeest join the herd and put pressure on the limited pasture creating a need for new feeding grounds. The persistent rains and long period of no grazing in this are rejuvenates its pastures. There is usually plenty of grass to feed on and hiding spots for the still wobbly calves away from predators.
April through Mid-June In Serengeti National Park
Because of very many new additions in the herd of herbivores in Southern Serengeti National Park Tanzania, food scarcity begins. The movement of the zebras is the usual triggers for others like the wildebeest to begin moving northwards. There speed is a little slower because of the still weak calves with weak limbs that have not mastered the way.
At this time, the rains are starting to reduce and slowly the dry season breaks in as wildebeest make a stopover at Seronera area in central Serengeti National Park
In the tourism calendar of Tanzania, they consider this the shoulder season. In case you wish to avoid crowds, you can grab this opportunity. Even those who have a tight budget but want to use upmarket facilities like lodges, you may try to Enquire from them during this time. Chances of giving you discounted accommodation prices are high because there no visitors.
When the grass gets scarce in this region, the caravan goes on for the herbivores in small herds first then joined by larger groups later.
Mid-June to July season Of the Great Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park
The heaviest crowd of Zebras, gazelles, wildebeests, kobs and other ungulates are expected to move towards the wester corridor of Serengeti National Park. Here they feed on the pasture along the Grumeti River. The young
This circle of life is evident here as the weak and wearied are knocked out by skimmers like lions, hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, Nile crocodiles and other hungry predators. The water turns red in no second as carnivores snap there prey.
August to September Season Of the Great wildebeest Migration In Serengeti National Park
By this time, the wildebeest and other ungulates are anticipated to be between the northern part of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This is one of the highlights of any African safari. This season attracts many tourists creating a crowd either sides. It is the climax of tourist activities in Serengeti National park and Masai Mara National Reserve
Many wildlife media companies stage there photographing and filming gadgets to capture unique episodes of this great wildebeest migration. Many exquisite moments happen as the wildebeest try to fight there way out of this life and death Mara River.
This period is normally sunny with limited or no rains. The mornings and late evenings are usually extremely cold
October to November season Of The great Wildebeest Migration
This season may see the last bunch of wildebeest crossing from Northern Serengeti National Park into Masai Mara National Reserve In Kenya. The biggest number of these ungulates settle to feed on the then lush vegetation of Masai Mara for some time so Tanzania loses ownership on the wildebeest for some time.
Tourists that are lucky to visit this area during these last months may see a handful of confused wildebeest crossing back or excited predators following there prey.
At this time, Masai Mara is the best destination for game viewing in this areas as the wide plains are shaded by huge numbers of zebras, wildebeest, gazelles, antelopes and others.
November December Season Of The Great Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara
The Masai Mara National reserve in Kenya is the center of drama this seasons as wildebeest start there way back to Northern Serengeti National Park. Slowly but steadily, these herbivores cross the Mara River to start the calving season as there is plenty to feed on after along departure.
It is best to capture the great wildebeest migration in Masai Mara National Reserve in case you missed the earlier season from Serengeti National Park. Since this is festive, season and you wish to enjoy plenty of wild animal action then consider Masai Mara National Reserve as your East Africa destination.
The calving season in Serengeti National Park is normally from January through March all factors kept constant. Even the predators are ready to grab those still staggering calves as soon as they are born. This is the circle of life. Having a moment of a narrow escape from the canning carnivores is high during the birthing season. Even furious herbivore actions may be witnessed as they try to save there vulnerable infants from snatchers.
Why Book Safari with Great Wildebeest Migration In East Africa
- During Calving season In Serengeti National Park
The landscape is covered with green because of the regular rains that fall and rejuvenate the pasture that feeds the gigantic herds of herbivores. This creates a beautiful scenery for nature photography.
Watch calves come to life with many having some difficulty in locomotion. The legs are not yet strong enough to support them so the new born are normally protected within he herds as they move.
In the months of February, the calving season is more evident amongst the wildebeests and the huge crowds of these wild animals are more visible because of slow movement. There next move is more predictable in during this time.
Since this is shoulder tourism season in East Africa chances of discounted services like accommodation, domestic flights, driver guide fees and others are high. You may get to opportunity of staying at a high-end facility in the park on a budget safari package.
Even the Parks are less crowded with tourist’s vehicles, which may cause obstruction especially if you wish to take quality wild life photos
Keen birders can use the opportunity to visit either Serengeti National Park or Masai Mara National Reserve in the shoulder season. There over 500 bird species in the Serengeti National Park Tanzania including foreign migrants while over 470 bird species including 57 raptors are residents of Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
- During Great Wildebeest Migration in East Africa
Beautiful and unique photographs and filming for production stations can be captured during the peak season when the wildebeest migration is in high gear. Even the raptors are most active during great Wildebeest migration to catch there best prey. Wildlife drama is best spotted during this great migration.
You may get the chance to capture special moments like the prey defending its self from the mouth of the predator or the predator being overpowered by the crowd of prey. It is really special moment to watch.
- During Low Season Of Safari In East Africa
The low season of safari in East Africa is normally between February to May but you have a lot to gain from this season although great migration may not be in high gear.
The vegetation is lush with green cover on a wide plain. For anyone interested in beautiful photo background, this is the best time to visit either Serengeti National Park or Masai Mara National Reserve.
There is less destruction from the crowds of vehicles that converge in the Serengeti National Park or Masai Mara National Reserve. Although animals may not be in big numbers, you can take clearer photos or film those present with no obstruction.
Cost friendly price for the lodges and other service providers during low season even the high-end facilities may be affordable in this season. These parks receive less or no visitors during the low season bringing business to a standstill.
What To Pack For Great Wildebeest Migration In East Africa
- Packing long convertible trousers or shirt for a safari is very great choice. You can later change these clothes into shorts or make turn-ups when the weather becomes hot during a game drive.
- To smear the entire body and shield it from direct sunrays especially if you go swimming and relax by the poolside under the sun.
- To protect your eyes from the scotching sun as you drive through the park
- Safari foldable hat
- To wear while on a game drive since the tracks are dusty and there are buzzing insects in the wilderness that may creep into your hair without noticing.
- Insect repellant to keep away stinging insects in the wilderness. Carry bug spray too just in case your lodge has bugs.
- Flip- flops and safari boots
- Carry flip-flops to change into during relaxing time and safari boots to wear while on a game drive in case you need to get out of the car at some point. Never get out of your safari vehicle without an escorting ranger guide because the wilderness is full of sneaky wild animals.
- A torch
- Sometimes solar power runs out in the lodge so you need a torch to trace something in the dark
- Some hard cash that you can change into local currency in case you need to purchase some local items like souvenirs. You can also tip using part of the hard cash although it is not compulsory, it is a token of appreciation that encourages your safari service provider team.
- Water bottle especially a foldable one to add drinking water which you can use to quench thirst.
- Duffel bag to pack your belongings so that you do not have many bags on you, which are sometimes hard to trace. Even carrying them may be difficult in case you have to change from one facility to another.
- A camera to capture those great moments while in the wilderness. These are not choreographed moments for the animals that they happen often. The uniqueness of the photos you take depends on the prevailing actions in the wild.
- A pair of binoculars with great lenses to get a closer view of far ranging wildlife and other beautiful features in the parks.
- Toiletries just in case the one in your lodge do not concur with your skin type
- Pajamas to wear in the night because it gets too cold in the night and early morning in these parks.
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