The annual East African wildebeest migration follows a circular route from the southern Serengeti in Tanzania north to Kenya’s Maasai Mara. They cross two rivers on their long journey. These river crossings, which generally take place between June and September, are a major event on the migration calendar. They attract large numbers of visitors from around the world. A less well-known but equally spectacular event takes place from January to March. That’s when around 2 million wildebeest, zebra and antelopes return to the southern Serengeti plains for the calving season. Although it is considered the low season, accommodation is very limited in this area and books out fast. Early bookings are essential if you want to experience the incredible sight of mass calving in the southern Serengeti.
Your guide to the wildebeest migration calving season
- December – It’s perhaps the greatest spectacle of the Serengeti that few know about – wildebeest calving season in the southern Serengeti! The November rains provide water and fresh grass for 1.5 million wildebeest as they arrive from the Maasai Mara in Kenya and spread out through the southern Serengeti, the Ndutu region and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
- January – It’s calving season! 80% of the females will give birth to around half a million wildebeest in the few weeks between January and March. Large numbers of zebra foals and gazelle fawns are also running around on the southern plains, using the cover of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest calves to try and avoid predators.
- February – Approximately 8,000 wildebeest are born every day during the peak calving season from early January to late February. It’s also baby season for the predators so you can expect to see cute lion and cheetah cubs and possibly even endangered African wild dog pups.
- March – Along with the overwhelming number of new-born calves come the large carnivores whose birthing season coincides with the arrival of the wildebeest migration. During calving season, the southern Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area host the highest concentration of predators in Africa. Lions, leopard, hyena and cheetahs, as well as African Wild Dogs and jackals, take advantage of the easy prey to feed their own babies.
- April – The wildebeest migration is on the move again. The babies are now big enough to begin the long trek to the northern Serengeti and the Maasai Mara in Kenya as the migration continues along ancient trails, following the rains and fresh pastures.
Come and witness this extraordinary sight with me
Join me and a small group of wildlife enthusiasts in February 2020. You’ll stay in luxury tented camps in Tarangire National Park (famous for large herds of elephants), on the rim of spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, and close to the wildebeest migration in the southern Serengeti. Get more information here.Tags: Africa, African safari, baby animals, conservation, eco-tourism, luxury safari, Ngorongoro Crater, open 4x4 safari vehicles, Serengeti, small group, Tanzania, wildebeest migration, Wildlife