• Country: Tanzania
  • All Year Round:
Where the River Crossing Takes Place:

There are two major river crossings along the path of the Great Migration. They are the Grumeti River crossing in western corridor of Serengeti and the Mara River crossing in Northern Serengeti. The Grumeti River is the first water obstacle that these bumbling herds will encounter on this journey.

Here, large Nile crocodiles lie in wait as the herds are forced into the water in spite of the obvious threats. This predator activity is beyond anything you can imagine. It is a spectacular event to behold, but it is not as challenging as what they’re about to face when crossing the Mara River further north.

One of the most requested events in the migration is the arrival crossing of the Mara River that occurs around late July to August with parts of September and again on their return south, around the last two weeks of October through early November.

The Mara River is almost 400 km long and is deep, wide, craggy and treacherous. It is also home to Africa’s largest crocodile population as well as a robust population of hippos. As the herds clamor and struggle to cross the river to get to the greenery on the other side, these large Nile crocodiles and territorial hippos await, unfolding what is without a doubt one of the most dramatic and chaotic scenes in the animal history of the world. In many ways, this river crossing represents the climax of a long and arduous journey. The rivers are torrential, swollen with water and the two game reserves are teeming with enough animals hungry for the flesh of the migrating beings.

In years when the river is in full flow, the panic and confusion at the crossings – combined with waiting predators and surging currents – can cause massive loss of life. But, even in years of relatively gently flowing water, the crocs take their toll – not to mention the lions and other large predators that patrol the banks, ready to ambush any wildebeest that make it to the other side. There is no single crossing: at some spots, there are just a few individuals, while others see a mass of animals moving without break for hours.

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