In January and February the Southern Serengeti and the Nogorongoro Conservation Area offer one of the most amazing event of the African continent: the “synchronised” delivery of 300,000 - 400,000 wildebeest and zebra puppies over three weeks.
Wildebeests and zebras choose this flat and grassy savannah where the pastures are particularly fertile and provide nutritious food for the young mothers who are nursing their puppies.
The fact of coming to light together is a sort of defence for the survival of the species since the time of delivery is a delicate and vulnerable one, because predators are always lurking waiting for an easy meal.
When birthing at the same time, some puppies are inevitably sacrificed but many others have a better chance to survive, although there are other challenges they have to face in the early months of their growth; many of them do not survive due to predation, malnutrition, exhaustion, disease or river flooding.
Wildebeest cubs are the most precocious mammals in the world, a mere 2 or 3 minutes after birth they are able to stand and 5 minutes after birth they can run, and, as some argue, they even manage to run faster than a lioness.
The low grasses of these plains are very nutritious due to the minerals contained in the soil, which is very important for the young mothers when they breastfeed and wean their pups; the herds stay in these areas until the puppies are weaned and ready for the journey. 

Where is possible to spot the herds of Great Migration in January, February and March

During this period, the animals move from one area to another following the sporadic rainfalls that regenerate the exploited pastures, and they can be spotted in the following areas:
Salei Plains and Gol Mountains: the extremely fertile low-grass plains here are the ideal nourishment for the young mothers. This  area is very lovely in this time of the year, whereas in the dry season it is dusty and apparently lifeless.  
Lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and vultures can easily be viewed here, as well as numerous herbivorous, especially in this time of the year.
Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek: the lands around these salty lakes are very fertile and covered with very nutritious low grasses and there is no lack of water thanks to the presence of these lakes, so the herds that come here hardly migrate; they only migrate when the water in the lakes has dried up. Numerous animals live here, including giraffes, ostriches, elephants, impalas, several species of gazelle, jackals, cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles and 400 bird species.
Moru Kopjes: they are located between Ndutu and Seronera and in this period, the herds leave the perennial water sources, such as the Seronera River, and come to this area. Here the pastures are less nutritious, but it is easier to find food because of the abundance of water.
Kusini: this area is located in the South-Easternmost part of the Serengeti, where the grasslands give way to hills and mountains, which are home to  buffaloes, zebras, lions and cheetahs.

The position by journey stages is characterised by the following events

  • The birth and weaning of puppies
  • The start of the journey
  • The mating season
  • The crossing of the Grumeti River and the Mara River
  • The growth of puppies and new pregnancies
  • The return to the Southern pastures

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Great Migration through Serengeti National Park Map - Illustration Credits: Marco Dal Molin -