The Great Migration Show in Tanzania

  • PERIOD: between December and March and between June and September.
  • RECOMMENDED: February, when the Migration cubs are born, between June and September when the animals cross the rivers which are infested with ferocious crocodiles.
  • WHERE: Serengeti National Park.

The Serengeti National Park is the most important park in northern Tanzania.
In addition to hosting a considerable amount of wonderful animal species (some numbers, in spans, of the animals that gravitate in the territory: 1.7 million gnus, 250,000 zebras, 400,000 gazelles, 2,800 lions, 1,000 leopards, 250 cheetahs, 2,700 elephants), every year the Serengeti becomes the setting for the Great Migration which takes place among some of the most important parks in Tanzania.

The Great Migration is a transhumance of herbivorous animals that takes place every year from one territory to another, coinciding with the pressure exerted by the large herds on the pastures, following the rain cycle: the pastures become consumed and the herds have to relocate to look for new food availability.

Between the end of January and the beginning of March, south of the Serengeti National Park, on the border with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area - near Lake Ndutu - thousands of cubs are born and, between April and May, they are ready to follow the adults and participate in the transhumance in search of new pastures and water to survive.

During the month of February, it is therefore possible to observe many herds which are stationary for reproduction and cub birth purposes in the area of Lake Ndutu.

By April, all the cubs will have been weaned and migration will have begun from the fertile low grass savannahs of southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area northwards reaching the central Serengeti area in April.

In April, the relocation from the center of the Serengeti National Park (Seronera) towards the west begins: you can watch this wonderful sight until May.

Between May and June, the animals follow and cross the Grumeti river, in the area of the so-called Western Corridor during the migration: the passage of the herds to the fords of the river is one of the most famous and ferocious natural shows. The waters, in fact, are infested with crocodiles awaiting their prey.

At the beginning of July, the ascent to the far north (Lobo), the Maasai Mara and the river with the same name (also infested with crocodiles) begins. The lack of rain at the end of September and October forces the herds to stop to graze in the Maasai Mara, on the border with Kenya, and to then return to central Serengeti in November, following the light rains.

During the months of July, August, September and October, the concentration of lions, cheetahs and hyenas can be very high because of the migration of gazelles. In particular: there could be dozens of lions and a dozen cheetahs in a single day.
In this period, territorial fights happen daily, questioning the alliances between male lions but also the relationships within the same herd of lions: the survival of the herbivores is always questioned and, especially in this period, a small distraction can prove fatal.

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