The “Great Migration” or “Serengeti Migration” of millions of ungulates and accompanying carnivores is one the remaining wildlife spectacles on our planet. At certain times of the year it’s possible to view the migration right from Serengeti Simba Lodge.
The great migration of wildebeest and zebra is within Tanzania for about ten months of the year and some of the herds stay in the Serengeti year round.
Serengeti National Park is big—approximately 15,000 square-kilometres—but the migratory herds (wildebeest, zebra, eland and Thompson’s gazelle) make the most of an even greater area surrounding the park including the Masai Mara in Kenya, several game reserves and controlled areas including Fort Ikoma, as well as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Therefore a combined range of about 30,000 square kilometres is covered in their annual trek.
Of the animals that migrate the wildebeest
cover the greatest distances, from the Masai Mara, the northernmost extent of
their travels, right down to the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater. Not all
complete the circuit however. Within Serengeti some resident herds can be found
in the dry months of July through to October.
When the smell of rain reaches the pregnant cows they head south to the short grass plains where the new green shoots emerging up through the mineral-rich volcanic soil, provide essential nutrition for the unborn calves - usually born in the month of February in the far south of the range. After the birthing season and at the end of the long rains of April and May, the animals return north, passing through the western corridor on their way back across the border and the Mara River into Kenya. The herds pass through the Fort Ikoma area twice; on the way southward to the short grass plains in October and November and when they return to the Mara area in June and July.