WITNESS THE GREAT MIGRATION
If you plan on visiting the Serengeti, seeing the Great Migration should be high on your list of things to see. The Great Migration is an exodus of around 1.5 million Wildebeest & 200,000 Zebra from their breeding grounds in the south of Serengeti to the Masai Mara Plains in Kenya in the north. The cycle begins between December and March, as the wildebeest calve in astonishing numbers. As the rains stop in May, the herds head northward looking for greener pastures. In October and early November the herds have reached the end of the line. Although it is hard to predict exactly where the herds will be, in general, the herds reach the end of the migration in October in the south of Kenya at the Massi Mara reserve. In November, they return southward to Tanzania on the eastern side of the Serengeti.
To see the migration, you can head out a on a safari. There are several ways to enjoy a safari, the most practical is to book a stay with an accommodation operator who also provides guides and vehicles. Most feature two safaris a day - one in the morning and one in the afternoon or an all day safari with a bush lunch. Driving safaris in 4 X 4 vehicles with pop out roofs are popular as they allow travelers to get very close to the animals, as are open aired vehicles, which reduce blind spots. Walking safaris, on the other hand, are more immersive in the environment - you can examine tracks and dung and leave a softer footprint - however your distance to the animals is limited.
WHY THE SERENGETI?
In general, most people opt for the Serengeti on their first visit to Tanzania and then branch out to other parks when they return. The reason is that the Seregeti has such a high concentration of animals which makes it the standard for wildlife viewing against which all other parks are gauged. Furthermore, it's northern location makes it is easy to combine it with other iconic sites like Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro.
· Highest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania
· Home of the great migration - 260,000 zebra / 1.7 million wildebeest migrate northwards
· High population of large cats – 8,000 Hyenas, 3,000 lions and 1,000 leopards
· Close to the Massai, Kilimanjaro, Tarangire and Ngorongoro enabling easy transfers between them all
· Can be combined with Ngorongoro to see the big five
· More “attractive” setting compared to Selous, i.e. iconic photographics are easier here
· No wild dogs
· A higher concentration of tourists – north of the park will be less than central and southeast (only luxury lodges in the north = less people).
· The Migration is tricky and animals don’t keep to a schedule. It could be disappointing if the herds are early or late in their migration.
Some Pictures taken on Pygmy Elephant's last tour of the Serengeti