January, February, March
The great wildebeest migration travels to the plains of the South Serengeti and the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The calving season usually begins towards the end of January as the wildebeest herds give birth more or less simultaneously. This is usually over a period of three weeks sometime between January and March when optimum grazing is available on the short grass plains. The peak of the calving usually takes place during the first two weeks in February or sometimes the second and third week of February. The exact timing is heavily dependent on rainfall.
April, May, June
In April the wildebeest migration is usually spread out across the plains of the northern Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the southern Serengeti. There are thousands of young wildebeest calves on the savannah, making for dramatic predator interaction. In May the rains stop and gradually the green grass disappears. The herds are forced to start moving. A few of the 1.5 million individuals decide it’s time to go and start off towards the western Serengeti; the others eventually follow. The migration could reach the western Serengeti anytime from early May to early June, depending on when the southern plains dry up.
July, August, September (Peak Season)
By July the wildebeest and their entourage have begun the journey from the Serengeti plains towards the green pastures of the Masai Mara. In a dry year, the first wildebeest could be near the Mara River (the only decent permanent water in the ecosystem) in early July; in a wet year – mid August. If conditions are very good, and there is plenty of grass and water, the herds will be spread out all the way from Seronera to the Mara River.
October, November, December
The migration will stay in the Masai Mara where water is always available, until the November rains in the southern Serengeti beckon once again and the cycle begins anew in December.