If you are thinking of going on safari, you probably wonder what is the best time to visit Tanzania? This question depends on what it is that you want to experience. Since most of the visitors are interested in the Great Migration, we tell you the best time to go to Tanzania for the Serengeti Migration.
The dry and wet season
The best wildlife viewing months in Tanzania are during the dry season, from June to October. General game viewing in the Serengeti and other parks is at its peak during this dry season. The wet season is divided in two rain seasons: short rains in November and December and long rains in March, April, and May.
January – March
In January and February there is usually very light to no rains. At this period, the famous great migration (thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle) are in South East Serengeti/North west Ngorongoro. Lots of young ones are born making it one of the best times to see predators hunting. Cheetahs, prides of lions, big clans of hyenas, jackals, vultures and other carnivorous animals are in the area taking advantage of this grace period. You can spend at least 3 to 4 nights in Ndutu (a very special place where off-road driving is permitted) to see these adventures.
After months of eating nutricious grass, soon the grass will turn dry and there will be not water to drink. This is the time the herds of wildebeest set off, crossing the central Serengeti all the way to the western part of the Serengeti. Lying on the shores of Lake Victoria, the Western Serengeti remains green a little longer that the central and southern part.
May and June
In the central and western part of the Serengeti the herds are getting ready for the toughest part of their journey: the river crossings. The wildebeest and zebra grow into huge herds before crossing the dangerous Grumeti River, full of crocodiles, to continue their journey north. The big cats are also around killing more than what they can eat and hence abandoning lots of carcasses which are consumed by the scavengers. This is also the time of year when the mating season starts.
July – August
From July onwards the migration is approachinganother big challenge: the Mara river. Ready to cross this big river where lots of them fall preys to crocodiles, on their way to Maasai Mara reserve in Kenya. Sadly, because of being nervous while crossing this dangerous river, many wildebeests simply jump on each other and die. Most of these animals cross to go to the Mara during the last week of July and the first week of August. Since Maasai Mara is a small place for these millions of animals, small herds of animals will now and then cross the river to come back to Serengeti. Until the last week of September and first week of October the main herds will cross again to come back to the Serengeti. They will move slowly to get to the Southern Serengeti after the short rains that start in November.
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