8 Reasons to Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration Safari

If you have only one chance in your lifetime to visit Africa, you must experience the great migration safari across Kenya and Tanzania. If you have already been to Africa but have not yet witnessed this awesome event, come again so you can see it with your own eyes.

Watching a massive number of wildebeests plus their friends and foe move across the stunning Serengeti plain is humbling, exhilarating and spiritual. You will feel the timelessness of nature and its cycles, and our relatively small place within the earth’s abundance.

Here are 8 reasons why a trip to Africa for the great wildebeest migration must be on your bucket list.


1. You Can Witness it in Two Different Countries 

Unlike Michelangelo’s David or the Eiffel Tour, this wonder of the world is a living, breathing, moving thing of beauty that crosses a large geographic distance across two countries. 

Instead of planning a trip around a museum or a pretty beach, you can follow this phenomenon across the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. If you go during June, July or August, you can watch the animals cross the mighty Mara river , which spans Kenya and  Tanzania. 

Sights of diverse wildlife during the Wildebeest Migration Safari

2. The Great Migration Safari is More Than Just Wildebeests 

While watching thousands of wildebeest thunder across the plains and plunge through crocodile-infested waters is thrilling enough, these are not the only creatures you will see.

Other wildlife accompany the wildebeest on their migration. You will see numerous different kinds of gazelles, impala and other members of the deer family. You will also see their predators: lions, leopards and cheetahs looking for food, in addition to the crocodiles waiting under the water’s surface.

Wild Cheetah feasting on zebra prey during Wildebeest Migration Safari

3. You Will Experience Nature in All Its Glory

The migration showcases natures’ beauty and cruelty. Thousands of wildebeests do not make it to the Maasai Mara alive. Many drown. Many others are eaten.

Although it can be grisly to watch a kill by a feline or other predator, there is nothing more primal. The large scale of death feeds many species who rely on the wildebeest. The decomposition of the bodies in the river acts as a fertilizer, bringing much needed nutrients to these lands which sustain so much life.

You won’t just see death on this adventure. In fact, if you go on this trip in February, you may see the synchronized birthing of many calves. Wildebeest babies are all born in a single 2-3 week time period to improve their chances of survival.


4. Great Migration Safari in a Variety of Price Ranges 

Glamping. Lodges. “Roughing it.” There are a wide range of options available to experience the great migration safari. 

One of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, this sometimes makes viewing points near the Mara River and other key spots crowded. However, if you are flexible in the timing you can find good times of year to go to avoid peak crowds and yet still see impressive wildlife displays.

You will also find a range of options from mobile camps to permanent lodges with differing degrees of luxury. There are touring alternatives for every price range.

Tanzanian Sunset experienced by Penwell Safari

5. The Great Migration Safari yields Unbelievable Photographs

Traveling to Kenya or Tanzania (or both) for the great migration is every photographer’s dream. You will get priceless shots of life, death and nature up close.

From the big cats lurking in the tall grass to aerial shots of the movement of wildlife populations across miles, your videos and still shots will provide evidence of everything to which you bore witness on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Illustrated picture of the Big Five: Lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and water buffalo

6. You May See the Big Five 

The Big Five includes lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and water buffalo. There are many of our travel plans that include the great migration safari and also offer a chance to see the Big Five.

Although you can never guarantee animal behavior, certain national parks are home to so many species that you are likely to catch the Big Five there, in addition to many other animals.

The Serengeti especially is a great place to spot rare wildlife. In addition to the Big Five, you may also catch a glimpse of a wild dog, honey badger, or even a rare pangolin. 


7. This is Africa in All Her Majesty 

Visiting the Serengeti gives you a look at one of the great wildlife migrations, but it also shows you an awe-inspiring terrain with flora and fauna far different from what you may be used to. 

Whether you try a hot air balloon ride or simply drive along on a jeep, you will see breathtaking vistas, incredible sunsets, and beautiful mountain ranges. You will revel in the sight of the baobab tree and complex termite mounds.

You may also have the chance to visit villages and speak to people who call this glorious place home. Not to mention delicious cuisine! 

Add to that cultural experience the amazement of seeing wild animals in their native habitat, going through their instinctive annual ritual integral to their species’ survival. 

No matter where you have lived, this experience is truly like nowhere else in the world.

Penwell Safari animated map visualizing the Great Wildebeest Migration’s seasonal movement throughout the calendar year

8. You Can Do it Any Time of Year 

The great migration safari is often touted as reaching its peak during the summer months. It is true that this is when you may see the most river crossings, some of the most dramatic points in this year-long journey.

However, any time of the year guarantees a glimpse at a miraculous stage of this journey. In January, half a million zebra precede the wildebeest searching for grasslands. 

During February, most mothers will give birth to their calves within the same time frame, so this is a great time to see babies being born. Within ten minutes, a newborn will be standing and ready to nurse. Of course, the vulnerability of both babies and mothers attracts predators like hyenas, cheetahs, hunting dogs, and lions.

During the spring months, the herds move west. By in May, it is time to make more babies, so you may see wildebeest procreating at this time! This tends to be a very noisy and interesting encounter. There will also be lots of fighting between competing males. 


The Great Wildebeest Migration: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Travel Experience 

If you want to see all of the drama of nature and the great circle of life, you cannot go wrong with a trip to see the wildebeest migration safari through Kenya and Tanzania. You will be awed by the sheer number of animals and the ongoing spectacle of survival of the fittest.

For more information on a trip to Africa, contact us today!

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