All You Need To Know About The ‘Great Annual Migration’ In Tanzania
People from far across the countries, make savings, take time and plan throughout their life to pay a visit to the East African wonderland. And the specific reason for which people love coming here is the spectacular game view and their unique annual migration phenomenon.
The Migration Pattern
Migration in Tanzania essentially refers to the movement of millions of animals like the wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, elephants, big cats and others from the Serengeti, located at the Northern Circuit of Tanzania, to the Southern Maasai Mara in Kenya. The Serengeti is the world’s largest territorial mammal migration and possesses the most wondrous and captivating game reserves. In fact, the word ‘Serengeti’ itself means ‘endless plains’!
- The Grazing Season – Every year, the migration starts from the south of the Serengeti, that is, near the Ngorongoro Crater where every animal in the herd is looking for opportunities for grazing the juicy and the short savannah grasses.
- The Calving Season – They graze here till January and then the mating and the calving season begin where they move forward towards the South East region of the plain. With the new ones born, the herd further moves towards the Grumeti River till the months of June and July, escaping the rains in the month of May and the big predators.
- The Surviving Season – Those who are saved from the crocodiles cross the Mara river barrier and reach the Maasai Mara in Kenya. However, the sad part is that about 250, 000 migrants die during the journey because of hunger, exhaustion, thirst and more profoundly, predation.
- New Beginnings – Once the grasses are exhausted and the calving season approaches, the herd once again traces back its journey towards the Ngorongoro.
What all you can see during the Journey?
Come here to see more than seventy mammal species and over five hundred bird species at the Serengeti, besides a beautiful and a vivid range of Savannah landscape and a Midas flora.
- Landscape: Savannah grasslands, swamps, forests, kopjes or inselbergs, mountains, riverine forests, acacia woodlands and more.
- Animals: Blue wildebeests or Gnu, Thompson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles, zebras, buffalos, elephants, leopards, crocodiles, lions, cheetah, bush baby, caracal, crested porcupine, Dik Dik, Mongoose, giraffe, African hare, hippos, hyrax, impala, serval cat, vervet monkey, white bearded wildebeests and various others. Together they constitute more than 3 million in numbers.
- Flora: Palms, Figs, El Nino flowers, red grass, pan and red drop seed, toothbrush tree, yellow fever tree, sausage tree and more.
The Right Time for the Right Trip
The best time to visit here is during the months of June to September when the confused herd moves from the Grumeti River towards the Maasai Mara. Feeding and calving migrants can be seen from late November to February. If you are here for the big cats, then watch their predating sessions during the months of February.
- The herds do not follow a very strict migration pattern; however, an updated professional guide with good instincts would make you follow the right path.
- Since there are no animal footprints that are specifically followed in the real sense, choosing mobile camps with bedding, tents and other facilities like an en suite bathroom, shall prove to be comfortable and convenient.
- You can turn your safari journey into a luxurious and a spectacular one with options like sky safari, hot air balloon safari, self-drive safari, beach and bush safaris and others.