How to Plan & Book a Wildebeest Migration Safari 2025/2026

Planning and reserving a wildebeest migration safari may appear overwhelming, but with some research and preparation, it can be a simple process with East Africa Safari Guides. Below are steps to assist you in organizing and reserving your ideal safari.

Tom Snoyd
Tom Snoyd 11 Min Read
Serengeti Mara River Crossing

Millions of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope undertake the Great Wildebeest Migration in search of fresh grazing, covering vast distances and never staying in one place for too long. During this journey, vital events such as rutting, mating, and calving occur.

Most of the Migration happens in Tanzania’s Serengeti, with just a short period spent in Kenya’s Masai Mara during peak safari season. While both destinations offer an equally thrilling East Africa Tour experience of the Migration, crossing the Mara River at various points is the overlapping portion of their journey, further discussed below.

We have visited each Migration destination and can attest that each lodge and camp offers a unique experience and atmosphere. We must provide unbiased guidance and match you with the perfect accommodations and travel plans. Remember the following tips when planning and booking a Migration safari, but don’t hesitate to contact us for one-on-one guidance.

How to Plan and Book a Wildebeest Migration Safari 2025/2026
Serengeti Wildebeests Crossing the Mara River (Best Safari Experience with East Africa Safari Guides)

The Serengeti Mara River Crossings is a breathtaking natural phenomenon that unfolds annually in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Countless wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles embark on a massive migration from the Serengeti plains to the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya, driven by their quest for sustenance and water.

Crossing the Mara River is the most challenging part of their journey, as they face crocodile-infested waters and other predators. The river crossing is breathtaking, with thousands of animals plunging into the water, swimming frantically to reach the other side, and scrambling up the steep riverbanks.

The Serengeti Mara River Crossings are a testament to wildlife’s resilience and ability to adapt to their environment. It also reminds us of the delicate balance between humans and nature and the importance of preserving our natural heritage.

The Serengeti Mara River Crossings attract thousands of tourists every year who come to witness this awe-inspiring event. It is a unique opportunity to experience the natural world’s beauty and wonder and appreciate the majesty of the animal kingdom.

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How to Plan & Book a Wildebeest Migration Safari 2025/2026

Planning and booking a wildebeest migration safari can seem daunting, but with a little research and preparation, it can be a relatively straightforward process. Here are some steps to help you plan and book your dream safari:

Decide on your budget:

The first step in planning any trip is to decide on your budget. This will help you determine what type of safari you can afford and what level of accommodation you can book. Remember, most available accommodations in Northern Serengeti are mobile camps that move with Serengeti migration patterns all year round. The recommended budget per person per night for accommodation during the migration tour in Serengeti starts from $350. Some other camps or lodges will charge as much as $2,000 per night per adult.

Choose your destination:

Wildebeest migration safaris occur in only two African destinations, Tanzania and Kenya. Research each destination to determine which one is best for you. But our recommendation as the best safari tour company for the Serengeti Migration tour is to plan to witness it from the Tanzanian side, as it offers a spectacular safari experience. Many of the camps are very close to the Mara River, thus optimizing the opportunity to see the crossing.

Decide on the type of safari:

Various wildebeest migration safaris include camping, lodge-based, and luxury safaris. Decide on the type of safari that best suits your budget and preferences.

Plan your itinerary:

Work with your safari company to plan your itinerary, including activities and accommodations. Leave some flexibility in your itinerary to allow for unforeseen circumstances or opportunities.

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Book your safari:

Once the above components are in place, it’s time to book your African Migration Safari. Before depositing the East Africa Safari Guides team, read the terms and conditions carefully and ask any questions you may have.

Prepare for your trip:

Before your trip, make sure to obtain any necessary visas or vaccinations. Pack appropriate clothing and gear for your safari, and bring a camera to capture the fantastic sights.

Following these steps, you can plan and book a once-in-a-lifetime wildebeest migration safari.

What is Grumeti Serengeti Famous For? | How to Plan and Book a Wildebeest Migration Safari 2025/2026

The crossings at the Grumeti River in Tanzania usually begin in June, but the timeframe is shorter than that of the Mara River crossings. Grumeti Game Reserve is a privately owned reserve with only five luxurious lodges, ensuring complete exclusivity.

How to Plan Maasai Mara Safari Migration 2025/2026?

The best time to witness the Mara River crossings is mid-July to August 2025. You can observe the crossings from either Tanzania or Kenya. To increase your chances of seeing the crossings, it is recommended that you divide your safari between northern Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya.

It’s worth noting that both Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve surround the Mara River and are accessible to the public. Due to the river crossing’s dramatic nature, there are usually plenty of vehicles around the area.

In Kenya, you can stay in a private Mara conservancy, enjoying excellent game viewing without the crowds. You can then travel into the national reserve for the day to witness the river crossings. Some of the top luxurious picks in this area include Sanctuary Olonana, Kicheche Mara Camp, andBeyond Kichwa Tembo and Ngare Serian.

Where to Stay Luxurious in Masai Mara During Migration Safari?

If you want to avoid crowds during your East Africa safari, staying at a private Mara conservancy, such as the Mara North Conservancy, is highly recommended. This allows you to access exclusive game-drive areas, night drives, and bush walks unavailable in the Masai Mara National Reserve.

If you visit the national reserve, you can still do so with your guide on a day trip. If you want to travel in the middle of the following year, booking at least 12 months in advance for this period in the Masai Mara around December is advisable. Some of our favorite private conservancy lodges include Karen Blixen Camp and Offbeat Mara Camp.

Serengeti Mara River Crossings 2025/2026
Guests Enjoying outdoor lunch at Karen Blixen Camp

If you are traveling with your family or a small group and want complete flexibility, check out private safari villas like Mara Bush House and Mara Acacia Bush House. These villas offer full-day game drives with a private guide, increasing your chances of witnessing some of the Migration’s breathtaking drama.

Can I see Calving (Birthing) Season in The Maasai Mara?

No, the calving season happens only in the Southern Serengeti National Park, a famous place called Ndutu. – In November, the herds usually start to leave the Masai Mara; by December, they are typically found on the eastern and southern plains of the Serengeti.

The wildebeest continues to travel south, and some move out of the unfenced national park into the Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation Areas.

During the end of January or in February, all the wildebeest that will give birth that year do so within two weeks of each other.

This is an incredible sight, but predators take advantage of the calving season because of the easy prey.

Embarking to East Africa during this time is a feast for the senses. The summer rains have transformed the landscape into a lush green paradise. Amidst this natural beauty, you’ll find an abundance of baby animals, a testament to the circle of life.

How to Plan and Book a Wildebeest Migration Safari 2025/2026

Another perk of planning your visit during the migration is enjoying the spectacle without the usual crowds. With lower rates and fewer tourists, you can witness one of Earth’s most impressive natural spectacles – the wildebeest Serengeti migration tour 2025/2026. Thousands of these majestic creatures move across the plains, and our immersive tours allow you to experience this beauty wonderfully.

The wildebeest herds enjoy the Serengeti’s Green Season and continue grazing for some time.

Around April, they gather together and travel north into central and western Serengeti.

By May, the wildebeest had formed herds up to 30 miles long, steadily moving north.

Ready To Book Your 2025/2026 Migration Safari?

It’s essential to recognize that every traveler is unique. With the information presented, you should understand which type of Migration safari would best fit you.

Suppose you’re interested in learning more about the Wildebeest Migration or are ready to plan a customized itinerary that accommodates your travel dates and budget.

In that case, our team of Africa Safari Experts is available to chat.

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Luxury Travel Blogger | African Safari Specialist. Hey there! I'm a luxury travel blogger with a passion for exploring the unspoiled beauty of Africa. As an African Safari Specialist, I'm here to help you discover the wonders of this captivating continent. Through my journeys and in-depth knowledge of East Africa, I've had the privilege of working closely with East Africa Safari Guides, collaborating to curate unforgettable experiences for adventurous souls like yourself. From the golden sunsets over the undulating plains of the Serengeti to the magnificent wildlife encounters in the Maasai Mara, I've been fortunate to witness nature's marvels up close. My journal is your window into the enchanting world of luxury travel in Africa, offering insider tips, captivating stories, and expert insights that will ignite your wanderlust. Allow me to be your trusted guide, taking you on a virtual journey beyond borders. Together, we'll unfold a tapestry of cultural treasures, breathtaking landscapes, and extraordinary encounters with nature's magnificent creations.