Predators and other mammals are territorial. They are resident game and wouldn’t go beyond their own ranges to follow the migration. It is the wildebeest, gazelle and zebra that migrate in search of fresh grazing. Let’s put it this way. When the food supply dries up, they move on to greener pastures… as the saying goes. Now then, how does this benefit YOU the safari holidaymaker? I can think of a couple of things. Action and more action! Not only do you get to see the migration of over a million animals, you also get to see some of them getting pounced on and chomped up by the predator. Sounds like a melodramatic third rate movie really, but this is for real. This article will offer tips on when and where to go on safari to catch the migration in two countries: Tanzania and Kenya.
The Maasai Mara in Kenya is usually busy when the migration heads back from Tanzania. You’ll witness large river crossings on the Grumeti and Mara Rivers as they head to the far north for fresh grazing and water round about August, September and October. Migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti, on the other hand, is active for 9 months. So plan on either Kenya or Tanzania, obviously, you couldn’t do both countries at the same time. But do bear in mind that during migration prices are considerably high and advance bookings are an absolute essential. If you’re unable to get space, you’d be better off postponing your safari. If you’re going to travel thousands of miles to see the migration, you might as well be there when there is a migration. That’s what I would do anyway.
Resident game, however, is always there. If your main interest, therefore, is to see specific resident game like elephant, wild dog, leopard, lion, crocodile, hippo etc., destinations other than Mara and Serengeti could have a lot more to offer.
Crowd density can be quite high. Especially around the hotels and lodges, which are generally full regardless of where the migration is happening. When the migration is in full swing, everyone from the hotels and lodges heads to where the action is. There are ways around the crowd, however. Plan your trip with smaller outfits and have them plan your tours at more flexible times, like early in the morning before the hordes of tourists arrive. Have breakfast in the bush if you must, under a tree while the minibuses do their rounds. Armed with this information, consult your tour operator and have them work out an itinerary with flexibility in mind.
In Summary: If you want to see over a million animals migrate to greener pastures, migration season is where the action is at. It is an amazing spectacle to see, and all the more reason why you need to plan your trip way in advance. Also make note of the fact that during migration prices are at a premium rate. Hence, you will need to book in advance. And if you are unable to find placement during this period and your main interest is to see the migration, then it is recommended that you postpone your trip. If you’re going to travel thousands of miles to see the migration then I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. Tanzania is busy 9 months of the year, whilst the Masaai Mara in Kenya is busy in August, September and October.