Experiencing The Serengeti Wildebeest Migration

Hunting Rhino in Ngorongoro 21

Visiting the Serengeti has always been something I had to do but I was never really sure why. I suppose on name power alone I was drawn in. Anyway, it wasn’t until arriving at Chaka Camp in the Serengeti (sort of) did I realize what makes it so special. The sweeping landscape and sheer volume of wildlife was nice but it was the Serengeti wildebeest migration that really set it apart. Depending who you ask, I didn’t actually experience it though. Here’s why:

Off Season

When I booked my ridiculously cheap flight to Kenya I was pleasantly surprised to hear that I was arriving during calving season. In my limited knowledge of Serengeti wildebeest migration I assumed the two were one-and-the-same. They, obviously, are not. Although I arrived at Encounter Mara Camp with no expectations, I had assumed there was going to be boatloads of wildebeest. There were not. Of course this didn’t matter or hinder my experience as I had zero expectations for my 1st safari experience and I did see plenty o’wildebeest, just not all running in the same direction at the same time.

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Welcome to Ndutu

When the friendly staff at Encounter Mara heard I was heading to Tanzania they said I may see some of the Serengeti wildebeest migration. Perfect. When I arrived at Chaka Camp in the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area we were told otherwise. The consistently in what we had heard about the Serengeti wildebeest migration was about the same as asking if it was it peak or low tourists season. We never got a straight answer on that one either but I suppose it is because they go hand-in-hand.

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Searching for the Serengeti wildebeest migration in all the wrong places.

On the Edge

During our final game drive at Chaka Camp we took a cruise along the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area and Serengeti boarder. To cross over into the Serengeti would have meant additional fees but we physically got as close as we could get. It was there and then we experienced a sample of the Serengeti wildebeest migrations – and it was pretty epic.

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Zebras mix in with the Serengeti wildebeest migration and often lead the way.
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A hyena getting in on the Serengeti wildebeest migration.
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A hyena getting in on the Serengeti wildebeest migration, but not really.

I watched over coffee as animal after animal followed suite – all in a hurried pace but for no obvious reason why. We parked at a crest of a hill and watched as one by one, these massive wildebeest took their turn going down the hill single file. Even though they had acres of space on either side they took their turn. This is what I imagine the Serengeti wildebeest migration is like when crossing a river…except with fewer crocodiles.

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Cooling off during the Serengeti wildebeest migration.

Experiencing the Serengeti Wildebeest Migration – Sort of

In the end I was more than satisfied with the experience from Chaka Camp in the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area. Even though we were not there during the peak of the Serengeti wildebeest migration and even though we watched from the outskirts, I can happily tick this off my bucket list. Can you imagine what the place would be like during the peak of the Serengeti wildebeest migration?

Hmmm….maybe I will have to come back after all.


What say you?
Thoughts on the Serengeti Wildebeest Migration?
Let’s hear it!

For more reviews from Africa and beyond see HERE.


 Chaka Camp on Facebook

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Although I was provided a discounted stay at Chaka Camp,
the experience, opinions, and Serengeti Wildebeest migration experience is my own.


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  • What an amazing experience! OK, maybe you didn’t see THE wildebeest migration but you saw A wildebeest migration and that’s more than the majority of people will be able to say. Your photos are fantastic – I bet it was awesome seeing this in person. I’ve only seen this once and when Mufasa died I cried my eyes out…

    • Brandon Parent

      That’s about as much as I have seen of the migration as well!

    • LOL! I totally forgot about that seen even though the Lion King theme was playing in my head the whole time on safari!

  • Aaron Kolle

    This is on my bucketlist too. Sounds awesome.

    • Thanks Aaron. Hope you cross it off! Let me know if you need any suggestions or help!

  • Brandon Parent

    So cool.

  • Harly Smith

    A safari is on my bucket list so I suppose seeing the wildebeest migration would just be a bonus to that. I imagine prices and crowds would be astronomical during that time though so you may have had a better experience in the end anyway!

    • I belive so Harly. I was pretty lucky to experience a little of it without the crowds. Hope you get to Africa someday!