How do you follow the wildebeest migration?

August 22nd 2016  |  Tanzania, Unique Experiences, Wildlife Safaris  |  by  Richard Smith
Wildebeest river crossing Serian North Camp Serengeti Tanzania Serian Camps

The wildebeest migration is a moving feast. This is quite literally true if you’re a predator on the plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara. It’s only figuratively true for a visitor, but does beg the question as to whether it’s always possible to stay close to where the wildebeest will be.

The answer is ‘yes, for two reasons’. The first is the permanent tented camps and lodges in the areas visited by the migration. The second is the mobile camps which move with the wildebeest throughout the year locating themselves as close to the herds as they can. Here is my pick of mobile safari camps to follow the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti:

Luxury mobile camps – move to where the wildebeest are grazing

These luxury mobile camps need to be smart but they also need to be portable. No one wants long periods without use while they relocate. But visitors want somewhere comfortable to sleep, so there’s a fine balance to be made.

Bedroom-Dawn-Serengeti-Safari-Camp-Tanzania-@NomadTanzania

Beautiful dawn at Serengeti Safari Camp, Tanzania, Nomad Tanzania

Serengeti Safari Camp is just one example of where a company gets things right. The camp is just six tents, each of which is comfortably big enough to accommodate framed beds and which has its own en-suite bathroom.

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A patient cheetah watches her quarry at Serengeti Safari Camp, Nomad Tanzania

There’s a dining tent, but meals are often eaten in the shade of a tree, taking advantage of the great views across the Tanzania plains and possibly huge herds of wildebeest.

Luxurious and family friendly, Serengeti Under Canvas

Serengeti-Under-Canvas-Ensuite-Tent-Breakfast-Serengeti-Tanzania

Healthy breakfast at Serengeti Under Canvas, mess tent, Serengeti, Tanzania, &Beyond

Serengeti Under Canvas is similar in size – nine tents – and arguably slightly smarter. When I visited in February the wildebeest migration, and therefore the camp, were based in the south of the Serengeti. I wrote in my own notes “worth the extra if you have it” although my justification of that is going to fall back to a certain “je ne sais quoi” which I can’t fully explain. A nice addition for those travelling with children is the large family tent which sleeps four guests very comfortably or up to two adults and three children (minimum age 8 years). The family tent is two full sized en suite tents which adjoin directly via a sitting area.

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Generous beds at Serengeti Under Canvas, Serengeti, Tanzania, &Beyond

For an exclusive wildebeest safari

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Big African skies at Serian Serengeti North Camp, Tanzania

If it’s exclusivity in wildlife viewing you’re after, you might consider my third Serengeti mobile operator – Serian. The camp offers a private vehicle for all visitors and when the wildebeest migration is in the far north of the Serengeti the mobile camp is set up in the Lamai Wedge. This area has very few permanent or temporary camps and is difficult to access, meaning far fewer vehicles than other parts of the Serengeti.

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Photograph the wildebeest in isolation, Serian North Camp, Serengeti, Tanzania

Whichever camp you choose, expect to be comfortable, well hosted and shown around by a knowledgeable enthusiastic guide. These things aren’t guaranteed among Tanzania mobile safari operators but we’ve worked with the companies we recommend for many years and get consistently good feedback.

More on the wildebeest migration

We’ve got loads more on the wildebeest migration on our dedicated migration webpage which includes a link to a pdf map of the wildebeest migration (as far as it is even predictable)

If mobile camps aren’t your thing we can recommend which fixed camps are likely to be close to the wildebeest migration at various times during the year.

What next?

Get in touch by phone or email and let us help you decide if a mobile safari camp is the best option for you to get close to the wildebeest migration and, if so, which one to choose.

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