The Top 6 Greatest Animal Migrations In Africa You Shouldn’t Miss : The ‘Great Wildebeest Migration’ will undoubtedly come to mind when people are asked to name the largest animal migrations in Africa. On land, at sea, and in the air, there are numerous other animal migrations in Africa.

This article examines six of the most amazing animal migrations in Africa, from the flamingos in Kenya to the whales off the coast of South Africa. As one of the world’s most amazing natural wonders, the Great Wildebeest Migration of Tanzania and Kenya is undoubtedly included in this list. However, did you know that Zambia also hosts a second wildebeest migration each year?


When you next travel to Africa, you might want to time your trip to coincide with one of the continent’s animal migrations, which are large-scale movements of wildlife in search of better feeding grounds or ancestral breeding grounds. Travel is the art of movement with a destination in mind. Sometimes it seems as though everything is moving, including birds, wildebeest, and even fish in the sea! Africa’s animal migrations provide some of the most iconic wildlife experiences on the planet, as thousands or even millions of creatures bravely confront the elements and run afoul of assembled predators in search of an easy meal while being propelled by ancient urges and following inherited mental maps. Here is our guide to the best animal migration in Africa:

  1. Great Wildebeest Migration, Kenya, and Tanzania

This is the big one: up to 1.5 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra are on the move during Africa’s most well-known animal migration. In terms of people, that would be the same as everyone in Philadelphia or Phoenix packing up their belongings and moving at once. Rainfall-induced new grass growth is what drives the Great Wildebeest Migration, which involves antelope and their traveling companions moving back and forth between the Masai Mara in Kenya and Tanzania’s nearby Serengeti. One in six calves will perish during each cycle as a result of predators, thirst, or exhaustion, but 500,000 new calves are also born. Since the migration is a continuous 500-mile loop rather than a single event, there are numerous opportunities to watch dramatic moments (like river crossings) and heartwarming scenes (like births). All you have to do is show up at the appropriate time and place.

Where to Stay and When to Visit

The herds start to migrate through the Serengeti and toward the western corridor in May, during the protracted rains. You can get front-row seats if you reserve a room at either Kusini Camp or Mwiba Lodge in the southern Serengeti.

We advise staying at Singita Sasakwa Lodge in June to see the herds congregate in the Grumeti, but by July and August, the herds must overcome their most difficult challenges: crossing the crocodile-infested Grumeti and Mara Rivers. You can experience unforgettable wildlife drama with the help of Sayari and Nomad Lamai.

After a long journey, the herds arrive in Kenya in September or October and enjoy some fresh, green grazing. Rekero or Naboisho are two of our favorite migration hotspots in the greater Mara region. Also keep in mind that the local wildlife in the Serengeti and Mara is worth the trip, even if your African safari doesn’t coincide with the Great Wildebeest Migration.

  1. Kasanka Bat Migration, Zambia

You might be surprised to learn that despite the fame of the Great Wildebeest Migration, there is another annual migration in Africa that involves even more mammals on the move—and they don’t leave a single hoof print in their wake. Up to ten million individuals could take part, which is significantly more than the population of New York City. Our migrant species this time are straw-colored fruit bats, which have a 30-inch wingspan and a fox-faced appearance with distinctive yellow fur. As their name would imply, fruit is the motivation behind their flight, and witnessing the Kasanka Bat Migration may be one of your most fruitful wildlife encounters.

 Where to Stay and When to Visit

From late October to mid-December each year, only about 60 days are dedicated to the Kasanka bat migration. As the bats leave their roosts to gorge themselves on tree fruits, the action starts at dusk as the sky is darkened by thousands upon thousands of wings, with hawks circling overhead. The best viewing is available at Wasa Lodge in the center of Kasanka. Because of its rustic nature, we advise combining your visit with a stay at South Luangwa’s Mfuwe Lodge to add some luxury to your Safari experience.

  1. Zebra Migration, Botswana

Thousands of zebra from Botswana migrate in search of water (and greener grazing) due to extreme thirst. They start to congregate in the Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans as the winter dry season approaches before setting out on their 300-mile journey to the promised land of the Boteti River. When the yearly rains start up again in November, they go back the same way. The striped zebra stand out against sun-bleached backgrounds and vegetation in this incredibly picturesque wildlife migration. You can feel their excitement as they approach the Boteti and share their happiness when they arrive.

The Top 6 Greatest Animal Migrations In Africa You Shouldn’t Miss
Zebra Migration, Botswana

Where to Stay and When to Visit

The charming lodge Meno A Kwena is perched above the Boteti River for wonderful views of northern Botswana. Zebra are most frequently spotted nearby the lodge in September and October, but since they are constantly on the move during the dry season (April to November), you may also see them on game drives and other outings from Meno a Kwena during these months.

  1. Humpback Whale Migration, Madagascar

The most alluring of all cetaceans, humpback whales are known for their aerial displays, long pectoral fins, and eerie underwater calls. They were also born under a roving star that traveled through the oceans of the world annually for thousands of miles. As mammals, they naturally give birth to live young, so one such journey takes them from the colder Antarctic waters (where they feed) into warmer tropical seas for breeding and giving birth. When humpback whales breach (emerge from the water), they are known to lift their distinctive tails out of the water before splashing them back down. This makes for excellent boat-based experiences.

Where to Stay and When to Visit

There are many reasons to visit the luxurious eco-resort Miavana on the island of Nosy Ankao, off the northern tip of Madagascar. Just one of these benefits is that it’s a great place to watch humpback whales migrate; the best months to see migrating whales in the waters near Miavana are early July to mid-September.

  1. Flamingo Migration, Kenya

You already know how stunning the pink wings of flamingos can be when seen in a group if you’ve seen the iconic yellow biplane scene from the film “Out of Africa.” Thousands of these gorgeously colored birds fly into Kenya’s Rift Valley lakes every year. These warm lakes are sodic, which means they contain minerals, especially Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria. The flamingos turn pink as a result of the abundance of algae and tiny shrimp in the waters, which is an attractive example of the saying “you are what you eat.” Additionally, each lake has a sizable area that is shallow enough for flamingos to wade through while maintaining their distinctive feeding posture, with their heads turned upside down.

Where to Stay and When to Visit

Although there is enough wildlife in the region to make a safari worthwhile at any time of year, the best months to see flamingos in the Rift Valley are April through June. We advise staying at The Cliff, which has a stunning view of Lake Nakuru, or Loldia House, which is close to Lake Naivasha.

 These once-in-a-lifetime migrations opportunities may interest you. Let our travel planning team design an unforgettable safari. Contact us today to begin!