One of the best-known big game safari destinations in Africa, Serengeti National Park lies in a high plateau between the Ngorongoro highlands in northern Tanzania and the Masai Mara Reserve, in neighboring Kenya. It is famous for its annual wildlife migration of over one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra that make a round trip from the Southern Serengeti to the northern edge of the Masai Mara Reserve. During their trip, the wildebeests and zebras are accompanied by Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, eland and impala.
The migration pattern is determined by the availability of grazing. At the beginning of the year there is plenty of grass available for the animals in the south eastern part of the Serengeti ecosystem. Around this time, the wildebeest give birth to approximately half a million calves over a period of 3 weeks. As the rains end the animals normally head north-west to the Western Corridor of the Serengeti and its Grumeti River. Huge crocodiles are waiting for the hesitant wildebeest to stumble at the crossing. From Grumeti, the wildebeest and zebra head north, arriving on the Kenyan border in July. With the start of the short rains in Nobember the migration starts moving south again, usually arriving in December to their breeding grounds and the cycle begins again.