Worlds largest mammal Migration in the world

The Wildebeest Migration, is the largest mammal migration in the world and one of the seven new natural Wonders of the World. It is a true spectacle of nature and impressive to see millions of wildebeest, zebras and gazelle thunder across the endless plains of the Serengeti. They are covering 800 to 1000 kilometers annually of a surface of 30.000 square kilometer, almost as big as the country Belgium.

You can see the migration all year long, but the most spectacular moments are when they have to cross the Grumeti- or Mara River. The fast flowing water and crocodiles make this crossing extremely dangerous for the herds.

Thousands of Wildebeests crossing the Mara River.

Best time to spot the migration (river crossing)

I made a guide to give you a good overview when to go or where they are when you are in Serengeti.

From December till April the wildebeest migration is in the southern part of the Serengeti, in the Ndutu area. In February half a millions calves are born on these southern plains. You can also see a lot of predators at this time, who are all waiting for the change to get an easy prey. Around April the herds head for the central and western part of the Serengeti, in search of fresh long grass.

Migration Guide

In May/June the wildebeest migration head further north and get ready for the dangerous Grumeti River crossing. The survivors continue their journey.

From July till October you will find the herds around the Mara River. The sights are impressive as well as dramatic around this time. The fast flowing water and crocodiles make this crossing extremely dangerous for the herds. The last 2 years almost two-third of the migration did not cross the Mara River since there was enough fresh grass left in the northern Serengeti.

From October till December the wildebeest migration leaves the North-Serengeti and make their way back to South-Serengeti/Ndutu via the central Seronera region. The annual cycle starts all over again.

Facts about the Migration

  • The Great Migration is the largest herd movement of animals on the planet

  • Although the migrating animals cross borders, most of the movement takes place in Tanzania

  • Over 1.4 million wildebeest migrate

  • 200,000 zebras join the migration

  • And 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles take part in the journey as well

  • Over 500,000 tiny wildebeest dot the plains in February

  • During the calving season 8,000 young ones are being born every day

  • Wildebeest are born to run; the newborn ones are able to run with the herd just 5 minutes after birth

  • Each animal covers about 800-1.000 kilometers in a circular trek

  • Wildebeest have an incredible sense of smell for water and can easily find a water source

  • Zebras help the wildebeest to remember the course of the migration and to watch out for hungry predators

  • Every year almost 250.000 wildebeest and zebras don’t survive the migration due to being attacked by carnivores but also because of thirst, hunger or exhaustion

Wildebeest migration that goes to the Northern part of Serenegeti.


What are the Parkfees 2019?

Entrance fee:

Adults: $ 60,- per person per day

Child 5-16: $ 20,- per person per day

Child 0-4 year: Free

Vehicle fee (local / foreign):

Tare weight < 2.000 kg: TZS 20.000 / $ 40,-

Tare weight 2.000 - 3.000 kg: TZS 35.000 / $ 150,-

Tare weight 3.001 - 7.000 kg: TZS 60.000 / $ 200,-

Tare weight 7.001 - 10.000 kg: TZS 150.000 / $ 300,-

Campingfee (public / Special, Seasonal Campsites or accommodation):

Adults: $ 30,- / $ 50,- per person per day

Child 5-16: $ 5,- / $ 10,- per person per day

Child 0-4: Free / Free


All Fees are for single entry, Prices excluding 18% VAT, 1 permit is valid for 24 hours.

How do I arrange my park entrance fees?

Overlanders can get the permits at the entrance gate and get paid by credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Cash is NOT accepted, neither are debit cards. You don’t have to arrange it in Arusha.

Do you have a company car, then you need a pre- arranged entrance reservation number. The company where you rent the car can arrange this for you. You can still pay your park fees on arrival with a credit card.

Do you have your own driver from a company, then the company has to arrange the permit and payments in forehand.

Do I have to book a campsite or accommodation in advance?

For Special, Seasonal campsite or accommodation, prior booking is required.

How to save money?

If you visit Serengeti from the south part, you have to go through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The transfer fee for crossing is $ 60,- or $ 20,- for children (24 hours valid).

There are 2 options

  1. Enter the park in the Northern Part. (Kleins Camp Gate in the east part or in the west part Mugumu Gate).

  2. Go with one of the safari operators. Safari operators use cars with a Tanzanian number plate which is just a fraction of the price compared to a foreign number plate. Besides that you can share a car with other travellers, to reduce the price.

What are the actual travel distances?

How do they check the weight of the car?

At the gate they will only ask you what the weight of the car. They don't check it most of the times. If they check, then the will check the papers and not what the real weight of the car is.

How are the road conditions?

The main roads in the park are very bad and in a corrugated state. Try to stick on the small roads, which is also more interesting to see wildlife. If you don’t have another option than driving the main road, try to find a speed limit (for our car this is 60 km) that is best where your car “floats” over the bumps in the road. This will reduce the damage to your car.

Chris & Inge

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