10 Tips for Planning Your Wildebeest Migration Safari


Witnessing The Great Migration in East Africa is a dream come true for most people. Therefore, it is important to plan and prepare for your migration safari in order to get the best experience possible. Proper planning comes with several benefits. One, it will not only give you peace of mind, but it also helps in budgeting and customizing of your safari itinerary based on your interests. It will also allow you to get the necessary gear and clothing on time. Three, planning in advance will give you the opportunity to get your accommodation of choice and it also equips you on what to expect during the migration to avoid disappointment.

In this article, we will give you important tips when planning for your Great Migration Safari and insights on the essential gears and items to pack and what to expect during the migration safari itself. We will also discuss on the details you should take time to carefully consider when planning.

#Tip 1: Choose a Reputable and Responsible Tour Operator

One of the most important tips when planning for your Wildebeest Migration Safari is researching for a tour operator. This is because when you book your safari, you entrust them on your accommodation, transportation and coordinating everything to make your trip successful. Therefore, it is good to take into account the following key consideration when it comes to searching for a safari operator.

One, they should have experience and expertise in organizing a successful migration safari.  This means they are able to recommend the best time to visit, depending on your interests. A reputable company will also know a wide range of accommodations of different styles to accommodate clients with different budgets and preferences.

They should have a transparent pricing to avoid surprises during your safari.   A good company should be clear on what is included and what is not included in your package. This way you will be able to get value for your money.

It is also important they should have professional guides who are knowledgeable and familiar with the area where migration happens. During your safari, these are the people you will rely on to give you valuable insights about the different ecosystems, wildlife, flora and fauna and also to take you to the best spots to see migration.

 #Tip 2: Pick a Suitable Time for your Migration Safari Depending on Your Interest

Another essential tip when planning for migration safari is timing. While wildebeest migration happens all year round different seasons have different highlights that happen at different location. For example, it is best to plan your visit to happen between August to October if your priority is witnessing the river crossings whereas if you are interested in the calving season then the most ideal time to plan your visit is early in the year (January-March). So, based on the wildebeest movement patterns in the past, you can determine the time you want to visit depending on what you want to experience during the migration cycle. Also important to note is that the timing may have an impact on the safari cost, accommodation availability and weather.

#Tip 3: Consider the Type of Travel Style you Want

Do you want to go on a group safari, private safari or luxury safari? When planning for The Great Wildebeest Migration Safari, it is necessary to consider the type of safari you want depending on your budget and preferences. Just like with regular Africa safaris, there are different safari options for migration safaris such as luxury and mid-range. By choosing the right safari, you can be sure of getting your desired level of comfort and an enjoyable stay during your visit. In addition, you can watch the migration on game drives or on hot-air balloon.

#Tip 4: Decide on the Type of Accommodation you Want

Choosing your desired accommodation is another crucial step before planning for a migration safari. Go for a style of accommodation that suits your taste and fits within your budget. It is also important to keep in mind different types of accommodations are available during The Great Wildebeest Migration Safaris. Having a comfortable place to retire to after spending a long day during the migration game drives can make all the difference in your migration safari experience. That is why getting a reputable tour company should be your priority. When you book your safari through a reputable tour company, you are assured of carefully chosen and handpicked accommodations. Before making any migration safari booking, it is important to check with your tour operator the accommodation options available. Some of the important factors to consider when making an accommodation selection include available amenities, location, preference, cost, and level of comfort, privacy, reviews and your group size. Accommodation options range from budget camping sites to luxury tented camps. Another thing to keep in mind when selecting accommodation during The Great Migration Safari is that there are permanent camps and mobile tented camps which are setup on different locations close to the migration paths, giving you a chance to witness the wildebeest as the move.

#Tip 5: Set the Duration of your Safari

How much time do you have for a migration safari? Do you want to spend a few days or weeks on your trip? It is important to consider your schedule and the length of your migration safari, as this will help your safari operator to customize your itinerary. Knowing the duration of your safari also helps in budgeting for your trip accordingly. If you aren’t sure how much time you need, consult your safari company. They will guide you in determining how long your trip should be. Some of the factors that will help you in determining the length of your safari include your interests, budget, number of activities you want to indulge in, and the season you are visiting.

 #Tip 6: Book your Migration Safari in Advance

After you’ve narrowed down on your desired type of accommodation, travel style, length and timing of your safari and you are satisfied with your tour operator of choice, the next step is booking your migration safari. Booking in advance is recommended, especially if you intend to visit during the peak season. During the high season, which coincides with the river crossings, most accommodations fill up way before the season begins. And in cases of the available ones, the accommodation prices skyrocket. Booking your trip early helps you to secure your accommodation of choice at a more affordable price.

 #Tip 7: Get the Right Photography Gear

If you want to take amazing photos during wildebeest migration trip investing in a good quality camera, lenses or a smartphone will ensure you capture stunning images. If you intend to buy a new camera, take time to learn how to use it before you go on a safari. In addition, it is important to bring extra batteries and memory cards because there will be many amazing moments and scenery to capture.

 #Tip 8: Bring the Right Clothing and Sun Protective Gears

Before you embark on a journey, it is essential to pack accordingly. Most wildebeest migration safaris happen during the dry season. During this time, it is sunny and dusty and it can get extremely hot during the day. Given that during safari, you will spend most of your time watching the wildlife on game drives, it is very important to protect your skin from UV rays. So, don’t forget to pack light clothes, sunscreen, hat and a pair of sunglasses when visiting during the migration season. It can also get cold and windy at night and chilly during morning game drives, so it is also important to pack some warm layers too.

#Tip 9: Be Flexible and Patient

Finally, when the day of your migration come, be patient. Wildebeest movement is beyond human control and it can be quite unpredictable. You may need to wait for a longer time to witness the migration as the wildebeest may sometimes take several hours or even days on the river banks before they start crossing. Sometimes, you may even need to move to a different location as the herds can change their crossing point abruptly. So, it is good to be flexible and be open to the possibility that you may need to wait for a longer period.

Keep in mind that the herds may not cross at the time or location you expect them to. It may sometimes take long drives to get to the spots with the best views of the migration. Staying well hydrated during your migration safari is key. Also, as you enjoy your migration safari, remember that it is not just about the wildebeest. Take time to enjoy and appreciate everything along the way and to savor the surrounding landscape, the flora and fauna, and scenery.

 #Tip 10: Spice up Your Migration Safari

If your schedule allows, you can make your trip more memorable by adding other activities. Depending on your interest and budget, there are many interesting activities available which you can combine your Wildebeest Migration Safari. They include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, cultural tours, beach holidays in Zanzibar, Trekking Chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park, birdwatching and exploring the lakes or experiencing Chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park.


If you would like to go on a migration safari, keep these tips in mind during your planning and preparation.  By following these tips, you will be able to plan for a safari that is within your budget, get the right tour planners and accommodations on the right time and have the best of time during the migration safari.

More about Wildebeest migration