Serengeti is popular for many reasons but none as significant as the Great Migration. Often called one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, this is a scene that’s nothing short of spectacular. Here you’ll see creatures great and small doing everything in their power to survive. The sheer numbers are staggering. Picture this if you will- 1.5 million Wildebeest, 350,000 gazelles, 12,000 eland, and 200,000 zebra all making their way to grassy plains following the seasonal rains.
The migration follows rain patterns and so is hard to predict. Normally, it starts in April and by May, the rainy season arrives in full force. The thick grass cover means that the animals move west. They traverse through Ikorongo and Grumeti and in June, this is the best place to spot animals-at Grumeti Game Reserve. The Grumeti River is one of the few the animals will cross. In many ways, this is the climax of a long and arduous journey. Visitors don’t just gather here to watch the herbivores make their way from one place to another. People come here to witness one of the most dangerous parts of the great migration- the river crossings. The river itself is torrential, swollen with water and the game reserve has enough and more animals hungry for the flesh of the migrating beings.
The private Grumeti Reserve is home to the swift Patas monkeys, elephants, buffalos, impala, reedbuck, and the black and white Colobus monkey, among others. If you’re looking to observe the Great Migration at Grumeti River, do keep in mind the sheer size of the Serengeti. Your guide will have been in contact with others and will know where the herds are at any given time. Grumeti River offers so many chances to see animals, provided you have the time to spend there. It’s always a good idea to follow the general timetable of the migration to see the timeframe for you to witness the animals. June/July seem like an ideal month to set up tent at the Grumeti and wait to watch the spectacle unfold. Accommodation can be found in safari tents along the river. The forests that dot the landscape are comforting and cool, just perfect to soak in the day after all the adventure. A number of flights fly from Arusha airport to Grumeti.
The Grumeti River’s draw lies in the fact that even after the water flow slows down, there are enough and more pools of water for animals to immerse themselves in. The animal in question is the massive Nile crocodile. When you put the masses of animals in the path of this creature, you’re bound to have a huge adventure. Somewhere in the two months of June and July, the migration arrives and with it come many opportunities to watch the water. You can sometimes see lions climbing trees and the ever dangerous even if benign looking hippo.
While the Mara River offers great many opportunities for the average visitor to witness the Great Migration, the Grumeti River is not without excitement either.