The Serengeti’s Great Wildebeest Migration in January

Where are the herds in January?

By January, most of the herds have congregated in the Ndutu Plains for calving season. Ndutu is in the Ngorongoro Conservation area which means rich, nutrient soils for the young calves to give them the best start in life. By mid-January, calving season is in full swing and more than 8,000 calves are born daily. Aside from the sheer volume of grazers in the area which is phenomenal to see in itself, the young calves also attract an immense number of predators. In fact, from January to February, the Ndutu plains has the biggest concentration of predators anywhere on the planet, which only means one thing; seriously explosive predator action.

 

Is January a good time to see the Great Migration?

So yes, January is one of the absolute best times to see the Migration in herds of thousands, though they do tend to be even more congregated in February so if your dates are flexible we would recommend maybe looking at visiting a  bit later if possible… If you are set on January though, look at going towards the end of the month. This way, you will avoid peak, peak prices over the festive period and the crowds that come with it. By visiting later in the month, you will also have the best chance of catching the big herds, as by this time the majority will definitely be fully into calving season creating spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities.

 

So, where should I stay to get the best chance of catching the herds in January?

The Ndutu Plains! If you are going in very early January though, really want to catch the mega herds, have a long Serengeti safari, and maybe want to stay in some more permanent accommodation options, then you could also consider combining a central Serengeti permanent camp with one in the Ndutu Plains in the south. The Ndutu area doesn’t actually have any permanent camps, and it is the home of the mobile one, so if you really want the permanent camp experience then you have no choice but to look to Seronera (though most of these, although permanent, are still under canvas!).

What to Expect in January?

  • Weather: A hot and humid summer month with average temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 28°C (82.4°F).

  • Wildebeest migration movement: Between Lobo and Naabi Hill, wildebeest herds converge on the Serengeti’s eastern edge in January. The herds are on the move in search of good grasses for their young.

  • Predatory encounters: Because it is calving season, big cats visit in January.

  • Accommodation options: Depending on the conditions, it is recommended that you stay in the city centre and only travel north or south from there.

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Planning a trip to see the wildebeest migration, but not sure when or where to go?

Find out where the herd will be, and what to expect each month of the year, using our migration map with monthly predictions.

Our experts predict how the wildebeest migration will move based on previous years migratory patterns and real time updates received from pilots, rangers and safari guides in the Serengeti.

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