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Often described as “The Greatest Show on Earth”, the annual migration of over a million wildebeest is a natural phenomenon like no other. The wildebeest’s nomadic lifestyle follows the rains, which provide them with the lush grass and nutrients that they need to survive. The herd moves in a clockwise rotation up through the Serengeti, spending a couple of months in the Masai Mara, before heading back to Tanzania in time for calving season – the whole time trying to evade the many predators en route! This handy guide shows you where the best seat in the house will be throughout the year, to make the most of this breath-taking spectacle, showcasing the largest movement of mammals on Earth.
During a recent stay at Selous Impala Camp in the Selous Game Reserve, Matt was lucky enough to spend some time with one of the region’s finest guides – Gerard Mwakila. They took some time to discuss the area’s uniqueness and the importance that tourism plays in protecting the wildlife. Here’s what Gerard had to say…
When To Go To Tanzania
Tanzania is a large country, with a varied climate. Generally, the long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high. June to October is the long dry season, and the short rains are in November and December, much lighter than the long rains. January and February are again dry (the short dry season) so this is another good time to visit.
The Long Dry Season - June to October
The dry season, which runs from June through to end October, gets more and more intense as the temperatures rise. As the season progresses, the river - life blood to so many of its animals - starts to dry up; the pools and watering holes fill up with pods of hippo almost stacking up on top of each other to try and get into the water. The savanna grass is golden and the sunsets are dusty, the heat shimmers like a mirage over the plain.
The Short Rains- November to February
The rains usually come mid November. All National Parks then undergo a complete transformation.
Almost as soon as the first rains hit the ground, everything goes green. Rains are mostly short afternoon showers.
January to February is the Wildebeest calving season, so an excellent time to see predator action.
The Long Rains - March to May
The long rains run from March to May - the temperature is warm and the humidity is high.
This is the peak of the wet season with rainfall being in the form of thunder storms. The sun will normally start the day and the rain comes around noon.
In all national parks, the foliage is denser, water is more abundant and game is therefore trickier to see.