A safari trip to Kenya or Tanzania would not be complete without seeing the Great Wildebeest Migration. The sight of large cats and hyenas waiting in the tall grass, ready to pounce on their unsuspecting prey; the sound of the water flowing between the legs of the wildebeests as they make their way across the Nile crocodile-infested rivers; and, the view of the zebras striding across the fields. It’s a marvelous spectacle not be missed during your safari tour. While the Great Migration provides a full parade of beasts spectacle, you also don’t want to miss the incredible calving season.
THE CALVING SEASON OF THE GREAT MIGRATION
The Serengeti calving season, or what is known as the time of mass birth, usually occurs between January to early March every year in the southern region of the Serengeti in Tanzania. Once rains have gradually subsided sometime January to February, wildebeests and other wildlife animals begin to procreate. The lush grass, surrounding greenery, and abundance of food sources allow for a growth in population among these wildlife species with wildebeests adding an average of 8,000 younglings daily. These young creatures are nurtured and cared for by everyone in the herd. With the numerous young and vulnerable prey, this makes it an ideal training ground as well for these predators. Because of this, some of the most dramatic kills happen during this time. And while the migration may seem chaotic, the wildebeests actually possess what is known as ‘swarm intelligence’, where they systematically explore and overcome an obstacle as one. This is one of the most interesting facts about wildebeest that you’ll notice during your tour. The calving season is one of nature’s greatest representations of the circle of life. It would definitely be one of the highlights of your trip. Here are some tips to help ensure you get the best experience out of your calving season safari:
1. BOOK WITH A REPUTABLE AND KNOWLEDGEABLE SAFARI OPERATOR
The calving season and the period of the Great Migration, in general, are unpredictable. It is essential that you book your safari with a reputable and knowledgeable tour operator who can provide you with a good viewing experience and up to date information about the event. In a good calving season safari, you will be able to various prey and predator interactions and the most dramatic kills you will ever see in your life. Expect to see how the food chain works in its utmost reality. Only a good guide can let you experience this.
2. BOOK IN ADVANCE
Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara are the only two places to see the Great Migration in Africa, actually the world. That means everyone would be clamoring to watch these wild animals and these tours tend to get booked pretty fast. To get a good seat for the calving season and the rest of the migration, make sure to book at least six months in advance.
3. ALLOT SOME TIME FOR YOUR TRIP
Witnessing the calving season of the Great Migration is not an activity you can rush. Since you are in the wild, your pacing should match that of the creatures you will see. Take your time and be patient as your guide tries to find good viewing spots.
4. GET GOOD ACCOMMODATION
Your choice of safari accommodation during the Great Migration can have an impact on your viewing experience. For a more immersive experience, consider going for mobile tented camps that move with the herds.
5. HAVE A REALISTIC BUDGET
Because of the popularity of the Great Migration and the calving season, expect this trip to be somewhat expensive. Make sure you have a realistic travel plan before embarking on your journey to avoid unexpected expenses along the way.
6. READY YOUR CAMERA
This adventure is not just for your eyes to see but also for your memories to remember. Bring your camera along to capture some of the stunning activities you will see from the birth of young wildlife to the hunt by predators. Every sight is a picture-worthy moment, so be sure to document it.
As with all safaris, it is essential that you are in your proper gear and outfit. This is the wild. You should be comfortable and able to move easily. Your clothes should also be adaptable to the changing weather. Especially during the Serengeti calving season, you never know when rains abound. Make sure you are ready for these things.
8. ENERGIZE YOURSELF
You will be out in the open fields for the bulk of the day. Make sure you have enough energy to withstand staying under the sun. The tour operator may also provide bush lunches and snack breaks, but it’s not always a given. Bring light snacks to munch on for when you’re feeling low. Just remember to always keep your trash with you. Witnessing the calving season of the Great Migration is a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Hopefully, these tips will help you to figure out how to see the best of it during your visit. Need more information or want to go ahead and book your safari adventure? Get in touch with us today.