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Meet Julian, Director, Yellow Zebra Safaris, cropped
By Julian 10 July 2017

Tanzania's Serengeti Great Migration

The Serengeti is the ‘mother’ of all safari parks and the Great Migration one of the planets most impressive wildlife events; this is a park that epitomises the very essence of safari. Home to the largest herds on earth and with Africa’s Big Five on show, the Serengeti is one of those rare places that exceeds your expectations.

The 1.5 million strong 'Wildebeest Great Migration' is the parks major attraction and the majority of trips to the Serengeti should be designed around it. In this 12-part month by month blog series, I look at each month’s movements of the herds and all the other wildlife caught up in the action. I will also link you to my suggestions for the best places to stay throughout the year, to make sure you’re in the thick of the herds whenever you travel. And there are a few suggestions for how you might like to combine your Great Migration trip with other areas. Intrigued? Read on…

A Guide to the Serengeti Migration in June

This is another major ‘moving month’ as the herds head for the dry season grazing grounds of the northern Serengeti and Maasai Mara. Whilst the Grumeti river crossings are happening at this time of year, the first of the river crossings of the Mara River (much more impressive) start to happen in the far north. Putting all your money in the north however is a risk, the mega herds are often further south, spread from the western corridor of the Serengeti through the Ikorongo Game Reserve and the heart of the park into the central Lobo section of the northern Serengeti. We’d suggest splitting your time between the west and this central northern section to maximise your chances of seeing the ‘mega’ herds. June is also rutting month, when the males fight for dominance and mate… it’s remarkably noisy!

Summary – The heavy rains are usually over and the Great Migration leaves the western corridor as it pushes north. High concentrations of predators around and the first river crossings of the Mara river tend to happen now. We’d always suggest staying further south and potentially splitting time between the west and Lobo….maximising your chance of seeing the mega herds.

Video overview - Below is a 60 second video overview of the movement of the Great Migration in June.

Where to stay? I've written an accompanying blog and video on where best to stay for the herds in June.

What is the best safari in June? Beneath the video below is more information on the parks I would combine with the Serengeti in June, and also my suggestion for the best safaris.

Serengeti Migration   June

What parks are best to combine with the Serengeti in June?

  • The Ngorongoro Crater is virtually impossible to turn down. This spectacular game-drive area may be busy, but how often are you going to have the opportunity to drive on the floor of an extinct volcano… and with one of the highest densities of animals anywhere all around you?! The setting is nothing short of exceptional.
  • The Serengeti is vast. In June the herds are on the move so I’ve always believed the best trips involve two locations in the park so maximise your chance of seeing the ‘mega’ herds by spitting your time across two locations (Grumeti in the west and Lobo or even Kogatende in the north).
  • Nearby Lake Manyara is always a nice ‘soft’ introduction to the region. Famous for its tree climbing lions it is a busy park in terms of tourists and for that reason, is a location that splits opinion amongst guides. It’s interesting for an afternoon drive on a first day.
  • Tarangire is an interesting choice as the herds start to move into the area. Elephant herds are the major attraction and although you’re a month or so too early for the major ele herds to settle into Tarangire, its still remains a great park that’s quiet and away from the crowds.
  • My secret spot in the north is Lake Natron, for the quality of walking, the sheer beauty of the volcanic scenery, and the fact you are far off the tourist track – I think it’s well worth a visit. You have to want to be adventurous, though!
  • And finally, the beaches of the Zanzibar Archipelago or Tanzania's mainland coast…or further afield to the Seychelles or Mauritius? The beach options are endless, and picture perfect.

The bests Serengeti safaris in June

I’ve always believed the best trips in June start with the Ngorongoro region (potentially with Lake Manyara) before heading into the Serengeti for a split stay with the herds in the western corridor and also in Lobo, the heart of the northern Serengeti.

The question for June is whether you also include Tarangire – the quiet little gem of Tanzania’s northern circuit. It’s certainly slightly early for the larger elephant herds that this dry season is famous for, but the quality of camps, the value on offer and the fact that there are so few other tourists around make Tarangire a great option for the first two nights of a safari.

For clients looking to spend more time in the country the islands of the Zanzibar Archipelago appeal, but the safari regions in the west (for chimpanzees specifically) and also southern Tanzania, specifically Nyerere (formerly Selous) and Ruaha (for boating and walking) start to come into their peaks and offer a different safari experience and a great addition to the northern circuit.

Are you looking to arrange a safari?

If so, then we would love to help you design it! With all the information on the net today we quite often find clients somewhat confused and flooded with information. The best thing you can do is to speak to someone in the YZ office about your plans. We have three members of staff who have worked in the Serengeti and can talk you through the best options for you, at the right time of year.

Wies ([email protected], pronounced Veece!) is a professional safari guide and camp manager, while Lauren ([email protected]) worked for Legendary Expeditions and Mwiba. They know the Serengeti backwards… and they love to chat about it!

Please feel free to get in touch with either them or myself on [email protected].

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