Kenya holidays and Tanzania holidays are special whatever you do, but if you’re looking for that once in a lifetime trip, the unforgettable type that’s worthy of taking the top spot on your bucket list, then look no further than East Africa for the Great Migration. (It has the word ‘great’ in its title for a reason.) Every year, over a million zebras, antelopes, and wildebeests travel across the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya searching for rain-ripened grass and water to quench their thirsty mouths and muscles. It’s a spectacle that can’t be compared, and we’ve compiled 5 reasons why it’s an absolute must-see.
1. The spectacle happens all year round
No need to worry about a two week window here; you can choose the time of year that suits you best. The stages of the journey are dependent on rainfall and grass growth but, typically, from July to November you can expect to see the main herds meandering north through the Serengeti. It’s here where they have to pluck up the courage to leap into the Mara River and overcome the current and crocodiles to make it across to dry land again. December to April usually sees the animals travel south towards short grass plains where they will graze and give birth to new life. Thousands of births happen every day at this time of year, so you’d be unlucky not to see one. The migration starts to move again around the end of April, heading north through the Seronera valley or west through the Grumeti river, and eventually to the Serengeti and Masai Mara, where the journey first began.
2. The numbers will take your breath away
Witnessing the Great Migration is not your average safari. The numbers are so extreme you may wonder if the herd ever ends. Expect to see grassy plains lined with experienced beasts who have done the migration many times, and babies who are learning with every hoof put forward.
3. See how the animals handle treacherous natural obstacles
You can almost taste the animals’ fear as they teeter nervously on the river bank, waiting for that perfect moment to plunge. How many will make it to the other side? How many… won’t? Dry land holds its own dangers though; lions and cheetahs will creep through the plains with silent paws, deciding which one of the many creatures of the herd to pounce on. You can see all the drama play out from a matter of metres away.
4. There are spectacular places to stay amongst the animals
Be at the heart of the drama in Governors’ Camp, a riverside home where seeing a hippo is totally normal. The tents all have en-suite bathrooms, private verandas and, of course, stunning views over the Mara River. What’s more, this camp has a Silver Eco Rating from Eco-Tourism Kenya thanks to its sustainable tourism practices.
Perhaps a mobile camp that actually moves with the herd would get your heart beating faster. &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas position canvas tents near one of the migration corridors and give the true inside-outside experience. You won’t just feel like you’re in the wilderness, you’ll feel part of it. And you’ll soon discover that Africa is just as alive under the black blanketed sky as it is under the beaming sun.
Think the words tent and luxury can’t go together? Think again. The Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp is bursting with antique furniture and Persian rugs. Each has a veranda with views that last forever and a four poster bed to rest your head when the stars come out twinkling.
5. There’s more to see than the migration itself
The Serengeti is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and home to large lion prides, 70 species of large mammal (including gazelles, zebras, and buffalos), and 500 species of bird. The habitats range from grasslands to woodlands, and deep swamps to shallow grasses. So wherever you stay, you won’t be short of views to remember.
Holidays in Kenya and Tanzania simply don’t come better than this. Get in touch with an expert to map out your Great Migration itinerary by calling 020 7843 3500 or complete a quick enquiry form. Your adventure awaits!