The Great Migration Affected by Weather This Year
Three Separate Groups of Wildebeest
This is an exciting time of year when every safari goer to East Africa hopes they are in "the right place" for The Great Migration. Delayed seasonal rains this year have made movements hard to predict for The Great Migration, but the fact is right now there are a lot of "right places" as the great herds of roughly a million wildebeest plus a couple hundred thousand zebras are spread widely and have split into 3 different major groups with the largest numbers still in the Western Corridor as far southwest as Grumeti, another group to the north stretching from near the Lamai Wedge and then a third group from Kogatende east to Bologonja, and there are reports from Kenya that some numbers have started to arrive in the Masai Mara.
Localized weather can have great influence on where the herds will move and thus their predicted movements
can shift suddenly do to a rain event
© Photo of herds in the Serengeti Bill Given
As of late, The Wild Source guides on the ground have seen great action in the Northern Serengeti, especially between Kogatende and Bologonja. The herds in the north are beginning to mass in that area before the bulk of the Mara River crossings will occur. Some are predicting the peak crossings are likely to begin in the next two to four weeks but its very weather dependent and things could change quickly as the herds move in another direction.
Crocodiles are a deadly obstacle for the migration, but despite the great drama and action
they provide they will only cull a miniscule portion of the herds
© Photo by Bill Given
One of Nature’s most dramatic events will soon take place as the herds brave the waters and huge crocs of the Mara River and mostly enter the Masai Mara. However, at most times an estimated 20% of the herds will remain in the Northern Serengeti (Tanzania) and as local weather dictates there may be many crossings back and forth between the Mara and the Serengeti with great action all the way through October. There is no doubt the Masai Mara is the best place to be for sheer numbers of animals but for those that want to avoid vehicle crowds and explore a large landscape largely devoid of other game drive vehicles the Northern Serengeti is a great choice, in fact one that I will visit in late August staying at Lemala Mara Camp.