OUR GUIDE TO THE GREAT MIGRATION & OTHER AMAZING WILDLIFE IN TANZANIA
The best time to visit Tanzania to witness the great migration crossing the rivers is during the main dry season – from June to October, when good weather conditions can be expected across the country, and wildlife viewing is spectacular!
Another major highlight is the migration calving season in Serengeti (December – February), which coincides with good trekking conditions on Kilimanjaro and fair weather down on the coast, too.
The Great Migration in Jun – Oct:
After the rains of April and May the vegetation is lush, but as the dry season sets in it gradually dies back and wildlife becomes easier to spot. Temperatures are ideal – warm days sandwiched between refreshing mornings and evenings. This is the best time of year to visit the southern parks or to experience a chimpanzee safari at Mahale Greystoke. The Great Wildebeest Migration arrives in the northern Serengeti in July so you might be lucky enough to witness a crossing. Be sure to unwind off the coast of Tanzania, on the Spice Island of Zanzibar, after such a thrilling wildlife safari!
The Birthing Season in Dec – March:
Short rains in November refresh the savannah, but are followed by a dry spell that withers the grasses again, drawing jaw-dropping congregations of game to waterholes. Synchronized wildebeest calving on the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti in January and February represents a bonanza for predators – and wildlife photographers. With the parks less crowded, it’s also a great opportunity to concentrate on resident wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater and the flamboyant Great Rift Valley lakes flamingo. Humidity on Zanzibar climbs in February, so it’s worth a visit in December or January.
The Great Migration in April – May | November:
Tanzania experiences two rainfall peaks each year: the short rains (or “Vuli”) in November, and the long rains (or “Masika”) in April and May. The rains – and the resulting new grass growth – are of course the main drivers of the Great Wildebeest Migration. During April and May, the herds move north within the Serengeti, through Seronera and towards the Western Corridor. November sees the wildebeest return from the Masai Mara into the northeastern Serengeti. It’s always worth noting that exact rainfall periods – and migration patterns – can of course vary from year to year.