Migration

Best time to go on a Safari?

One question we get a lot is what is the best time to go on Safari in Tanzania?
Really, anytime you can make it, is good time for Safari. The wildlife is always present.

Having said that, some people are extremely sensitive to heat and dust.  If that is the case, stay away from December to March as Serengeti can be dry, dusty and hot [90Fs during the day with cooler 70Fs during the evening]. Our camps + vehicles do not have air condition which can be an issue for those with respiratory problems. 

Weather Guideline for your Safari Planning.

  • November to December // Short rain season + Hot.
    Sporadic showers will not hinder your Safari. Wildebeest and zebra migration, one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on Earth, are heading to Southern to Eastern Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Southern Serengeti is the place to be as the lawn-mowers - our wildebeest and zebra - will be coming here. The southern parks like Selous, Ruaha and Katavi will start sprouting up grass. They don't have lawn-mowers. 
     
  • January to Mid-March // Can be dry + Hot.
    Birthing season for the Wildebeest and Zebra. Still in Southern to Eastern Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Tarangire National Park with its resident wildlife and its rivers and swamps will make you fall in love with this park anytime. The southern parks are still wonderful to explore. 
     
  • Mid-March/April to May // Long rain season + Warm to cool.
    Showers can last a few hours but when it clears, fresh skies. If you don’t mind being adventurous [plans may change but we always have a Plan B] this is a great time to visit and get some amazing deals on lodges.  Paul Oliver, a specialist guide calls this the secret season – less crowd but awesome wildlife. Tarangire National Park, with tall grass and abundant water everywhere allowing wildlife to spread out, has black cotton soil which is tricky to drive on when it has rained hard but as we mentioned, get ready for an adventure. Ruaha will also have tall grasses and wildlife will have spread out but that surprise eye peaking out will make you scream -  but don't - they walk away. 

    Some lodges also take this time to close and work on their tents and give the crew training. Never fear, there is always a Safari Lodge open. 
     
  • June to July // Dry + Cooler months.
    June is green after the rains. Enjoy the sea of wild flowers. Migratory animals are roaming from Central to Western Serengeti on their way to Northern Serengeti. Wildlife from the surrounding areas are about to enter Tarangire National Park.
     
  • August to October // Dry season + Cool to warm during day and cool during night. 
    The wildebeest and zebra population is dispersed in Masai Mara to Northern Serengeti. Mara River crossing is a site to witness. Tarangire National Park is alive with wildlife thanks to its permanent Silale Swamp and Tarangire River.

But, the weather is never predictable. Hence the adventure on Safari. Now, twende, let's go.

The Great Wildebeest and Zebra Migration

One of the biggest draw to the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park in Northern Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya is the wildebeest and zebra migration. The 1.5 million wildebeest and 0.5 zebra strong herbivore team, and its many herbivore and carnivore co-dependants, are constantly roaming this expansive area. The phenomenon is one of the Natural Wonders of the World. An experience that must be witnessed first hand as words alone can't justify this wonder.

The large herds are constantly moving this approximately 7,000 sq. miles area in search of fresh food and water.

They will feast on the nutritious mineral-rich grass of the Southern Serengeti during birthing time. With lots of calves, the cats have easy target. They sustain themselves on the long grass of Northern Serengeti and Masai Mara after rutting in Western Serengeti. And pass through Central and Eastern Serengeti / Loliondo area when heading back to Southern Serengeti. While on the move, you may be lucky and witness the Grumeti River crossing in Western Serengeti  and Mara River crossing in Northern Serengeti. That is bonus.

Quick guidelines ::

- November to December // short rain season.
Sporadic showers will not hinder your Safari. The wildebeest and zebra migration are heading to Southern Serengeti from Northern Serengeti. They are moving down via east of Serengeti in the Loliondo area and the many private concession areas. During this time, it is best to hedge your bets and stay in two regions of Serengeti.

- January to March // hot.
Birthing season for the wildebeest and zebra. The place to be is Southern Serengeti to Loliondo and the many private concessions areas. The herds will also spill over to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
A good time to enjoy lots of hunts as cats come out to play with lots of young calves around.

- April to May // long rain season.
Showers can last a few hours but when it clears, fresh skies. If you don’t mind being adventurous this is a great time to visit and get some amazing deals on lodges. Central Serengeti to Western Serengeti is the place to be.

- June to July // cooler months.
June is green after the rains. Enjoy the wild flowers. Migratory animals are roaming from Central to Western Serengeti on their way to Northern Serengeti and Masai Mara. During this time, the herds may be crossing the Grumeti River to get to Northern Serengeti or may already be in this area. Grumeti River is home to large crocodiles. Areas outside western Serengeti are also prime viewing spots.

- August to October // cool and dry season.
The Wildebeest and Zebra population are usually in the long lush grass of Masai Mara and Northern Serengeti. They are in this region for a few month enjoying vegetation that long rains of April May brought about. The herds are going back and forth between Tanzania and Kenya and increasing the odds of seeing a lovely Mara River crossing.

Planning a Safari to Serengeti and Masai Mara?
The wildebeest and zebra herd of a million plus are always moving. The thing to remember is getting to the right place, right Safari Lodge at the right time.  We know.