Every year the grassy plains of Tanzania witness the awe-inspiring spectacle of one and a half million grazers moving across the vast Serengeti toward the champagne colored hills of Kenya’s Maasai Mara.
Over ninety percent of the animals in the great migrations are wildebeest with estimates putting the numbers at 1.5 million. The other migrating animals are thousands of zebras and gazelle, including Thompson’s gazelle, eland, and impala all pounding their hooves across the savanna in search of new pastures. The herds migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain-ripened grass while being relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators: the lions, leopards, hyenas, and wild African dogs hard on the heels of this abundance of prey.
Each year in late November/early December, after the early rains have nourished the earth, herds of wildebeest arrive on the short-grass plains of the Serengeti. The beginnings of the migration emerge from the grasslands south and east of Seronera, around Ndutu, and including the northern Ngorongoro. Dispersed across these plains, wildebeest and zebra are everywhere, feeding on the fresh grasses. This is also the time when safari camps flourish as visitors flock to watch the spectacle on a daily game drive.