The skies are clear, the land dries out, and the herds gain strength and power as the calves mature. But June is no walk in the park. The wildebeest must overcome the obstacle of the crocodile-infested Grumeti rivers en route to Kenya’s Maasai Mara.

Serengeti Grumeti reserve tanzania

The herd reaches the Grumeti Rivers – the first major river crossings on the journey north

Where is the wildebeest migration in June?

The herd continues heading north towards the Maasai Mara in Kenya. The herds are beginning to grow stronger and faster. Since the calves are maturing, the wildebeest travel collectively at their peak speed, covering up to 150km (93 miles) per day. There’s power, it seems, in numbers.

But now the first real troubles begin. Before entering Kenya, they first have to pass the hurdle of the Grumeti rivers. Rather than one big continuous river, Grumeti consists of shallow pools and swamps. Making their way through the swampy wetlands is a struggle, but even worse are the big, hungry Nile crocodiles waiting by the shores. Unless you are fainthearted, look forward to some good action as nature takes its cruel course.

Is June a good time to see the great migration?

By June the long rains have stopped, and the dry season is in full swing. It will stretch from the end of May to early November. The weather is sunny with some easing thunderstorms in the evenings.

As the skies clear up, the landscape undergoes a dramatic change. The plains turn dry and the vegetation thins out. This makes game viewing a lot easier, as animal activity concentrates around the remaining sources of water.

A feast for the crocodiles

After travelling for several weeks, the wildebeest have only one thing on their minds: a drink of water. But they’re completely unaware of the danger when they cross the rivers. Crocodiles lurk below the surface, waiting for the right moment.

Crocodiles are very fast over short distances, even on dry land. Their sharp teeth can tear and hold onto flesh. A crocodile will grab and hold onto the prey, dragging it into the water and drowning it.

Crocodiles go back to the time of dinosaurs. Their slow metabolism allows them to go long periods without food. The river crossing normally lasts about two weeks. During this period, the crocodiles can store as much as 150,000 calories, enough to survive until the next migration season.

About the authors

Where Is The Wildebeest Migration In June?

Hans Cosmas Ngoteya

Hans Cosmas Ngoteya is a conservationist from Tanzania, a National Geographic Explorer, and co-founder of numerous conservation organisations including Ngoteya Wild, Landscape and Conservation Mentors Organization and Tanzania Wildlife Media Association.

Where Is The Wildebeest Migration In June?

Heather Richardson

Heather is an award-winning journalist and editor based in Cape Town, South Africa. She writes for the BBC, Sunday Times, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Departures Magazine, among others.

Where Is The Wildebeest Migration In June?

Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned travel journalist and guidebook author and is one of the world's leading authorities on Africa safari, wildlife and conservation. He has been travelling to Africa for more than two decades to research Africa safari guidebooks for Lonely Planet. He is widely published in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly, Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR), National Geographic Traveler, BBC Wildlife, Lonely Planet Traveller, Africa Geographic, The Independent, Travel Africa, among many others.

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