What Month is the Great Migration in Africa?

What is the Great Migration in Africa? Which Place is the best to see the Great Migration? What are the Possible Reasons for the Animals to migrate?
what month is the great migration in Africa
Photo by Jorge Tung on Unsplash

Have you ever participated in a race? What does it look like starting from one point to another? This is how great migration is for animals, however, it is not as simple as you think. The Great Migration happens in Tanzania and Kenya, in a clockwise motion, as the wildebeest go through to find food and water with their young ones during the seasonal change. In this article, we will look further into the best place to see the Great Migration and what month is the Great Migration in Africa.

1. What Month is the Great Migration in Africa?

The Great Migration is the movement which happens for over 1.5 million wildebeest, hundreds of zebras, and gazelle during the dry season in the East African savanna. These herds move around 2000 km from Serengeti which is in the south expanse to the border of Kenya and then back again to southern Serengeti for food and water.

If you are excited to explore or catch a herd the great migration season would be the best. The season from July to November is the best to see wildebeest move to Kenya at Maasai Mara. They cross the river in large numbers. If you are wanderlust then this visual is the best for you. (See How many biomes are there in Africa?)

2. Where is the Best Place to see the Great Migration?

What month is the great migration in Africa?-2
Photo by Larry Li on Unsplash

As we know what month is the Great Migration in Africa, we would like to explore where is the best place to see the Great Migration. The answer is Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This place offers an awesome view to see the Great Migration as you can see a large herd of Zebras collectively.

The Grumeti River helps these animals to cross the river. This Great Migration also helps wildebeest to mate, which is also the reason for the wildlife to offset the population loss during the migration. (See What Time is it in Africa Nigeria Right Now?)

3. What is the Main Reason for the African Animals to Migrate?

Now that we learnt what month is the Great Migration in Africa as well as the place which is best to witness this, let’s see what is the main reason for the African animals to migrate.

  • Over two million animals every year move from Serengeti and Mara plains. They move in search of food and water. During this phase, they face a lot of challenges from predators and alligators and they complete the 800 km round trip during their migration.
  • Animals and insects such as butterflies also migrate due to the climate or seasons. They cannot survive cold temperatures in the winter. Thus, they move to the migrated areas to lay eggs and milkweed plants.

4. Does Calving Season initiate the Great Migration Process?

A water buffalo resting in water
Photo by Egle Sidaraviciute on Unsplash

The herds in the calving season come across during January and February. The herds perform a birthing period for over three weeks and more than 4,00,000 calves are born after eight months of mating season. The longest calving rate happens in February when 8000 wildebeest are born each day. They begin moving south towards Serengeti during the rainy season. The Calving Season is useful for both the prey and the predator. (See How many Bengal Tigers are Left in the World?)

5. Which Two Rivers happen to be the Main Reason for the African Animals to Migrate?

  • As July approaches, the herd comes across the Grumeti river. The Grumeti river becomes very deep because of the rains. A lot of animals get drowned in water as they have no energy left after weeks spent travelling on ruined limbs and stern sun.
  • During August, the herds go to Kenya for a good month of grazing on the plains of Mara. They move to Mara River’s water which already had dangerous predators. Moreover, the herds starved, get exhausted, and sometimes get drowned.

6. How do Animals know What Month is the Great Migration in Africa?

What month is the great migration in Africa?-3
Photo by Mariko margetson on Unsplash

Animals migrate due to different reasons such as changes in weather, length of the days or food availability. They do not know which direction to go, and scientists also do not know. A lot of animals however have some idea about where to migrate and where to reproduce. Some researchers say animals learn these things genetically which is called instincts. Must read How is Refraction used in the Natural World by Animals?

Can they find their way?

Animals do not have the Internet and GPS or maps. Every animal has adapted to different ways to migrate. They have different approaches; some use the sun and stars to find out the correct direction. Others use the mountains, rivers and lakes. However, some use their senses to have a magnetic field.

Animals move across habitats in search of food, mate, and favourable weather conditions. This behaviour is known as migration. However, they face numerous risks in Tanzania, but still, large herds of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle can be seen crossing the river. Some technological advancements have improved our comprehension of migration. There is much to learn about the primary driver of animal migration as well as the month when Africa’s great migration takes place. This article has however served as the fundamental knowledge of the massive migration and gave us an insight into what month is the Great Migration in Africa. (Also read What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Capture Mark-Recapture Method?)

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