Also known as the “World Cup of Wildlife”, the Great Migration is a world-renowned natural spectacle. Every year, approximately two million wildebeest, zebra and other antelope migrate from the plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. This massive movement of animals across the land is the largest in the world. One of the highlights of the phenomenon occurs when the animals cross the Mara River, which is teeming with crocodiles waiting to prey on them. It is estimated that around 250 000 wildebeest are killed annually during the Migration. The Migration also attracts lions, hyenas, leopards and other predators, adding further intrigue to the awe-inspiring sight of the herds as they cross the African plains.

The full cycle of the Migration occurs over the course of a year, with the animals moving in a clockwise direction. In January and February, the rainy season in the Serengeti, the female wildebeest give birth to their young. During February and March, there are some intermittent smaller migrations, but it is towards the end of May, when the dry season begins, that the herds begin to move north towards the Mara in Kenya. This is the mating season and the period when the Great Migration really starts to gather pace as the animals form larger herds and move towards the Mara. It is during this period that the herds must cross the crocodile-infested Grumeti and Mara rivers. Once the herds reach the plains of the Mara they spend September through to late October/early November grazing on the lush grasslands. At this point, the rainy season has come again to the Serengeti and the herds head back south to complete the cycle.

Here, the Safari Index provides a comprehensive list of the best lodges and camps in the Serengeti and the Mara to witness the once-in-a-lifetime wilderness experience that is the Great Migration.

Ndutu Wilderness Camp

From December to March, this seasonal tented camp can be found in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti ecosystem, which coincides with the ‘calving season’. It is a seasonal camp and can thus move periocically to some of the best game viewing areas of the park.

Sanctuary-Masai-Mara-Seasonal-Camp

Sanctuary Masai Mara Seasonal Camp

The Great Migration can be enjoyed from the banks of the Mara River, where this small tented camp is located. It is open from the end of June to the end of October. Each spacious tent is comfortably furnished, with en-suite bathrooms and traditional bucket showers.

Klein’s Camp

Klein’s Camp is located on a hilltop in the Serengeti with unbroken views over the plains, ensuring that guests won’t miss out on any of the Great Migration. This luxury camp operates all year round, with the Migration occurring here from June to December.

Serengeti Under Canvas

Camp out in luxury furnished tents with only the canvas walls separating you from the plains of the Serengeti. This intimate camp is positioned so as to allow for the best vantage point to witness the herds as they migrate. This camp is in close proximity to the Migration all year round.

Serengeti Migration Camp

This luxury tented camp moves between three locations in the Serengeti, which means that guests can witness the migration all year round. It consists of luxury tents with en-suite facilities and personal tent attendants, ensuring you want for nothing as you witness the spectacle of the Great Migration.

Sanctuary Kusini

This is a permanent tented camp, the only one of its kind in the Southern Serengeti. Overlooking the plains, with spectacular views of the Serengeti, it allows for an exclusive game viewing experience. Its remote location ensures privacy and exclusivity for the ultimate Great Migration safari.

Mara Engai Wilderness Lodge

This luxury lodge offers spectacular views of the Mara Reserve as well as first class luxury with furnished tents that have en-suite facilities, a spa and fine dining. Cultural Maasai trips and hot air balloon safaris are also offered. The game drive schedule is flexible so that guests won’t miss out on any prime viewing of the Great Migration.

Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp

This luxury safari tented camp is located in the Western Serengeti. In addition to herds of the Great Migration, guests can expect to encounter o host of other wildlife species, including lion, hyena and hippo.

Bateleur Camp, Masai Mara

This elegant, romantic camp is found on the edge of the Masai Mara. Each tent provides views over the plains which teem with myriad wildlife species. Each tent is fully equipped and furnished, while the camp itself has a swimming pool as well as WiFi internet access, ensuring guests experience Africa in complete comfort and luxury.

Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Kichwa Tembo combines authentic African wilderness with Kenyan hospitality. Magnificent views over the plains of the Mara ensure that guests have a front-row seat to the Great Migration, as well as a variety of other game. Each tent is simply and classically designed, with en-suite bathrooms. Guests can relax at the camp’s lounge swimming pool areas as well.