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The Great Migration at the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is one of the most fascinating and spectacular natural events in the world, more than a million wildebeests and about 300,000 zebras constantly migrate in search of new pastures.
The annual migration of the herds of zebras and wildebeests moves to the plains of the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, and the neighboring Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya; these animals every year make a circular route in a clockwise direction, about 800 km long.
During the migration wildebeests and zebras have to overcome many obstacles: crossing rivers infested with Nile crocodiles, always lurking in the hope of a meal; to travel many kilometers in areas inhabited by numerous herds of lions; to escape the ambushes of leopards, hyenas and wild dogs and cheetahs, that see the herds as a source of precious food; to cross the impetuous Mara River that hides many pitfalls.
During the various periods of the year, the migration moves and it is possible to spot it in different areas of the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area; the movements are easily predictable even if they are dictated by the climatic conditions, usually the need for a source of water and new pastures push the herds to set out.
The map below indicates the movement of animals in the various months of the year.
The Great Migration during the dry season, in the months from June to October, is located in the Northern area of the Serengeti National Park; in this period wildebeests and zebras have to face one of the most dangerous paths of their journey: they have to cross the Grumeti River and the Mara River.
The itinerary of the safari at the Serengeti during the dry season is concentrated in the following areas:
From the month of April the herds begin to climb towards the North and during the months of June and July you can observe the long lines of wildebeests moving in single file, long black stripes cut through the yellow savannah, even several kilometers long lines moving towards North where animals know they can find water and therefore food.
From July to October the herds are concentrated in the North, between the Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve and continue to move in search for new pastures; during these movements they find themselves crossing the Mara River and its tributaries.
Attending the crossing, that is the crossing of the river, is an exciting show, it is an adrenaline sensation that you get when seeing the animals face the hardest test of their migration and you find yourself cheering for them as if to help them in the crossing .
The Great Migration during the green or wet season, in the months from November to April, is located in the Southern part of the Serengeti National Park; this is the time of the year when the herds return to the boundless grasslands where they find plenty of water and very nutritious pastures, this is also the time of birth of the puppies.
The itinerary of the safari at the Serengeti during the green or wet season is concentrated in the following areas:
The cubs of the zebras are born in the period from January to March, while the births of the wildebeests are concentrated in the month of February when there is a full moon; the synchronized deliveries of the wildebeests are a system adopted by nature to guarantee a higher survival rate of the puppies that are easy victims of predators.
It goes without saying that during this season predators gather in the green grasslands waiting for the right opportunity to hunt.
Malaria prophylaxis is not mandatory in Tanzania, but it is recommended especially during the rainy or green season, when the risk of being bitten increases.
It is advisable to wear comfortable clothing with neutral colors, in the winter months the evenings are quite cold so it is better to also bring warm clothes, while in the summer months it may rain so a waterproof jacket is recommended.
It is recommended that you bring sunglasses, sunscreen, a zoom camera and some spare memory cards and binoculars for spotting animals.
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