Wildebeest migration from January to March – Calving Season

The Great Migration begins in the early months of the year in the fertile plains of the Southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The grass in this area is particularly nourishing due to the rich mineral content of the soil. The short rainy season has just ended, resulting in a bright green landscape and full puddles and lakes.

During this time, the herds move around in a disorderly fashion, following the likelihood of rainfalls. It is also the time of mass birthing, with around 400,000 wildebeest calves being born in just three weeks. This synchronized delivery increases the chances of survival for the species, although many will still fall prey to predators.

The wildebeest calves are born with incredible coordination abilities, being able to stand on their legs within 2-3 minutes of birth and run faster than a lioness. However, many will not survive their first year due to predation, malnutrition, thirst, fatigue, illness, and drowning.

In March, the Southern Serengeti savannah begins to dry up, leading the herds to group around the lakes and rivers where water can still be found. The Olduvai Gorge, known as the cradle of mankind, provides tangible evidence that the Great Migration has been occurring for over a million years, as depicted in discovered rock engravings.

Dec / Jan: Southern Plains are Lush with Fresh, Sweet Grasses

The Southern Plains are lush with fresh, sweet grasses for the wildebeest to graze on. The areas around Ndutu and the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area are where the herds will spend some time enjoying the abundant grazing in preparation for the birth of the new calves.

February: The Mass Calving Draws a Staggering Number of Predators

Between late January and mid-March over 80% of fertile female wildebeest drop their calves within a few weeks of each other. Over 500,000 tiny wildebeest dot the plains and the predators swoop in to feast on the easy prey. The herds congregate on the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti and the westernmost regions of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. An estimated 500,000 calves are born during a two- to three-week window in February. This mass calving draws a staggering number of predators eager to prey on vulnerable newborns.

March: The Wildebeest Prepare to Move North

At this time, the wildebeest are still occupying the southern area of the Park but preparing to move north as the plains dry out. They start to follow the rain, heading towards the western corridor of the Serengeti in search of fresh grazing. This is also the time when the predators are at their most active, hunting the weakened and sick members of the herds.

Witness the Miracle of Life in the Wild

The great wildebeest migration is an unforgettable experience that you have to witness to believe. Witnessing the mass calving is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the miracle of life in the wild. The vast plains of the Serengeti come alive with the sound of bleating calves and the grunts of the wildebeest as they protect their young from predators. It is a truly awe-inspiring event that will leave you speechless.

Great places to see the wildebeest herds in January, February, and March

The wildebeest herds moving from January to March can be seen in the fertile plains of the Southern Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The low grasses surrounding Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek are particularly rich in minerals, making them excellent for the nursing of wildebeest calves and zebra foals. The herds tend to group around these lakes, as they are a reliable source of water during this time. Other areas where the Great Migration can be spotted during these months include Kusini, Moru Kopjes, and Goals Kopjes.

Lake Ndutu and Masek

In January, February, and March, Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek are great spots to witness the Great Migration. The surrounding low grasses are rich in minerals, making them excellent for nursing wildebeest and zebra foals. The lakes are also surrounded by marshlands, making them a popular area for both migrating and resident animals.

Kusini Plains

Kusini is located at the southwestern end of the Serengeti, where the savannah transitions into a hilly and then mountainous terrain. Buffalos, cheetahs, and lions permanently reside here.

Moru Kopjes

Moru Kopjes, located in the central-western side of the Serengeti, is an area that links Ndutu to the Seronera valley. The abundance of water in the river and seasonal pools make it a favorable area for the herds to scatter. Although pastures are less nourishing here, there is plenty of water and feed. Many animals reside here, but they can be difficult to spot.

Gol Kopjes

Gol Kopjes is a remote and wild area in southeastern Serengeti where numerous lions and cheetahs can be found.

Central Serengeti, Seronera

In Central Serengeti’s, Seronera, there is the highest concentration of leopards, making it an excellent area for spotting them. The presence of a perennial water stream and trees make it a favorable area for them to drag their prey and eat them safely away from other predators.

The Great Migration continues throughout the year, and each month offers unique opportunities to witness this incredible natural phenomenon.

Tracking the great the Great Migration January, February and March

The wildebeest migration is one of the largest and most complex animal migrations in the world. It is a continuous cycle that involves the movement of over two million wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles across a vast area of grasslands, woodlands, and riverine forests. The migration is driven by the search for food, water, and mating opportunities.

The wildebeest migration is a year-round event, with different stages and movements depending on the time of year. The migration begins in the southern Serengeti in Tanzania, where the wildebeest gather to graze on the lush grasslands.

  • January, February and March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August, September and October
  • November
  • December

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