All you need to know about the Great Wildlife Migration
The Great Wildlife Migration is an enormous and continuous roughly circular migration across the plains and woodlands of Tanzania and Kenya by two million wildebeests, zebras and antelopes. Learn all about this fascinating and truly spectacular phenomenon!
What is the Great Wildlife Migration?
The Great Wildlife Migration is an enormous, cyclic migration in Eastern Africa of two million hoofed animals.
Where can I see the Great Migration?
Path and map of the Great Migration
Map of the Great Migration
Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Tanzania) Loliondo Game Controlled Area (Tanzania) Grumeti Reserve (Tanzania) Maasai Mara National reserve (Kenya)
What animals take part in the migration?
Around half a million wildebeests are born every year between January and March in the Serengeti.
Migrating alongside wildebeests
Zebras and wildebeests make great travelling buddies because they eat different parts of the same grass.
Thomson’s gazelle ( Eudorcas thomsonii ) – sometimes referred to as a “tommie”. Around 500,000 take part in the Great Wildlife Migration! They're easy to identify by the black stripes that run down the sides of their bodies. They're fantastic runners, and can exceed 65 km per hour. Grant’s gazelle ( Nanger granti ) – it's similar to a Thomson's gazelle, but is much larger. It also lacks the black side stripes of the Thomson's gazelle, making the two easy to distinguish even in isolation. These guys can run as fast as 80 km per hour! An important skill when you have predators chasing you down your entire life. Impala ( Aepyceros melampus ) – this slender antelope is a favourite with many for its beautiful appearance and graceful leaping. And boy can they run! Impalas can actually reach a run-in speed of 90 km per hour. Common eland ( Taurotragus oryx ) – it can grow to be 1.6 m at shoulder height. Around 18,000 elands take part in the Great Wildlife Migration. Elands are the slowest antelope, running at only about 40 km per hour. They can, however, jump three metres into the air!
About half a million Thomson's gazelles take part in the Great Migration.
Animals that prey on the migration herds
An adult lion's roar can be heard from 8 km away!
Given their spooky 'laughter', a clan of hyenas is also sometimes called a cackle of hyenas.
Dangers of the Great Migration
River crossings of the Great Migration
River crossings are very dangerous for the herds of the Great Migration, but thirst and hunger are, in fact, the bigger baddies.
Which is better: Maasai Mara or Serengeti?
A far larger percentage of the Great Migration takes place in Tanzania. The spectacular river crossings take place in Tanzania, not Kenya. Tanzania is the safer country.
What is the best time to see the migration?
June to September are the best months for seeing the river crossings of the Great Migration. For these, you must visit the northern Serengeti.