The Great Migration on a budget [Guide]

May 19, 2016
Documentary filmmaker/ travel writer/ photographer -

Every year more than 1.5 million wildebeest and 200 000 zebra and gazelle migrate in a big loop across the plains of the Masai Marai National Park in Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This migration is recognised as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Natural World” – an awe-inspiring spectacle of antelope on the move, pursued by predators such as crocodiles and lions. It is, without a doubt, one of the greatest wildlife spectacles in the world and an absolute must if you’re a nature lover.

While most people think of it as an annual event, the Great Migration is in fact a continuous cycle. The animals moving back and forth between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. Crossing the Mara River each time in search of better grazing (the saying “the grass is greener on the other side” perfectly sums up their motivation!).

The Great Migration on a budget

The Masai Mara and the Serengeti are expensive safari destinations, and prices are highest during the months of the migration. However it is possible to see the Great Migration on a budget.

Your best budget option is an overland tour to either Tanzania or Kenya during the migration period. We offer a selection of budget overland safaris to the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. These tours facilitate camping in the parks and spending your days on game drives, seeing those nature documentary scenes first hand.

Popular budget Masai Mara and Serengeti Safaris:

Go glamping or include chill time in Zanzibar on these trips to see the migration:

When to see the Great Migration

In June and July, the herds start amassing along the Grumeti River in the Serengeti, preparing to head northwards to the Masai Mara. In August and September, the herds reach the Mara River and start to make the famous crossing, many dying in the process or by crocodiles. These are the quintessential migration scenes you may have seen in nature documentaries – hordes of animals moving at once with single-minded purpose. By October the herds start moving from the Masai Mara southwards back to the Serengeti. Although with changing weather patterns, the migration is not always predictable and the movement patterns can vary. However you can bank on the end of August to the end of September being the best time to see the Great Migration if you want to witness the big river crossing.

Budget Serengeti Tours by Length

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