The wildebeest migration is a movement of animals that spans across both Tanzania and Kenya in an annual cycle. A commonly asked question is “which is the best location to see the African Great Wildebeest Migration – Tanzania or Kenya?” Both destinations are phenomenal and offer year-round game viewing. When it comes to the Great Migration, travelers should know the practical advantages of each country.
Tanzania has the lion’s share of the action, with approximately 75% of the annual wildebeest migration period spent in Tanzania. An exclusive highlight of the Tanzania migration safari is the calving season which occurs in February on the Serengeti Southern Plains. Another unforgettable spectacle is the tens of thousands crossing the Grumeti River between June and July.
The other major highlight is the crossing of the Mara River. The Mara River is the natural border between Kenya and Tanzania separating the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti on either side of it, The Maasai Mara can be chaotically busy, while the northern sections of the Serengeti have far fewer visitors and more exclusive sightings.
Firstly, the Maasai Mara is far closer to Nairobi (the start of your Kenyan safari) than the northern Serengeti is to Arusha (the start of your Tanzanian safari) If you are going on safari only watch the migration it is easier getting to the Maasai Mara by vehicle than getting to the Serengeti by vehicle. If however you are flying into either, the difference is not too significant.
From September to November, the herds are most likely to be on the Kenyan side of the Mara River. If you are travelling at this time, the Maasai Mara provides a number of cheaper safari options, compared to the more expensive camps and lodges located in the northern section of the Serengeti.
Tanzania and Kenya are both phenomenal Africa safari destinations; especially during the Great Migration. So why not combine both Tanzania and Kenya for your Great Migration safari? We recommend combining the two destinations – the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara – and getting the absolute most out of your Great Migration safari!