by Tania De Kock on March 4, 2020
7 min read

There are many things in Africa that will take your breath away, but one of the greatest is witnessing the Great Migration, also known as the Wildebeest Migration.

Because it’s a journey rather than a single event, it’s important to know when they will be where. It’s also vital to know which accommodations to stay at to get VIP access to this unique event, listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.

Chaotic river crossing during Great Migration

Chaos during a wildebeest river crossing. Credit: Sean Brookes

This grand spectacle takes place annually when over two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle charge collectively from Kenya to Tanzania and back again, flooding the plains, and with predators close on their heels. You can find a more detailed breakdown of their journey here.

It can be difficult to be in the right place at the right time, simply because their activity can’t be predicted to a tee. Therefore, you can’t afford to book the wrong accommodation as this might mean hours of driving to spot their movements.

Don’t worry, we know when, where and what is happening and have hand-picked the best possible accommodations for you to stay at to witness the Great Migration.

15 Best Accommodations to see the Great Migration

The Great Migration in Africa from a bird's eye view

Bird’s-eye-view of Great Migration

Where to Stay in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The ideal time to stay here: August – December 

You’d be fooled into thinking that you’ve travelled back in time in these vintage East African Tents. Step outside and you are right on the banks of the Sand River where the Great Migration passes through. It’s also located in a quiet part of this popular reserve, offering a more exclusive safari experience.

Perfect for: Family or friends travelling together

Luxurious tented room at Sand River Masai Mara in Kenya

Luxury Tent. Credit: Sand River Masai Mara

With a limited number of Luxury Tents (including Family Tents) overlooking the Talek River, this riverside camp gives you an exclusive view of the Great Migration crossings from the comfort of the deck.

Perfect for: Families or couples

Your very own ‘Out of Africa’ experience awaits you in a private corner of the Masaai Mara at the elegant &Beyond Bateleur Camp that is solar and generator powered. Their WILDchild Programme will keep little ones entertained and expose them to the wonders of the bush at a young age.

Perfect for: Groups and families (children of all ages welcome)

View from Bateleur Camp's deck

View from the deck. Credit: &Beyond Bateleur Camp

Located on the Saparingo River on the edge of the Oloololo escarpment, the Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is in the perfect location from which to appreciate the Great Migration. With Superior View Tents, Classic Tents, Superior Tents and spacious Family Tents, there’s something for everyone. If you need a break from the family, you can organise a childminder or send them off on the WILDchild programme while you unwind in the massage tent.

Perfect for: Groups or multigenerational families (children of all ages welcome)

Suspended in mid-air, overlooking the Great Migration in the plains below, can you think of a more spectacular setting? The Tented Suites each boast incredible sweeping views and 11-metre wide floor-to-ceiling glass fronts so that you can gaze out at the uninterrupted view.

Perfect for: Couples, groups or families (children must be five years or older)

Angama Mara Tented Camp in Kenya

Sweeping views over the Masaai Mara. Credit: Angama Mara Tented Camp

Shaded by the ancient trees and dotting the Mara River, this camp is adorned with African artefacts and tribal portraits. It’s perfect for those looking for an intimate getaway with attention to detail. There’s even a spa onsite to add to the experience.

Perfect for: Honeymoon or romantic getaway

With a 100-year history, the award-winning Cottar’s 1920s Camp offers the true authentic East African safari experience. With a small number of Tents available, including a special Honeymoon Tent, Double Tents and Family Suites, it caters for all kinds of travellers. They are also located far from one another offering you the utmost privacy.

Perfect for: Honeymoon, romantic getaway or groups/families travelling together

This camp’s location was carefully selected by co-founder Dereck Joubert. With a single acacia tree dotting the horizon and set in the world’s richest ecosystem, it elevates the traditional East African safari to another level. It’s also one of only five camps in the entire Olare Motorogi Conservancy and accommodates a limited number of guests, meaning that you’ll have more exclusive game viewing experiences.

Perfect for: Romantic getaway, group getaway or families (with children aged eight and older)

Great Plains Mara Camp Tent

Romantic setting in the Mara Conservancies. Credit: Mara Plains Camp

This award-winning eco-camp is set in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya’s iconic Masaai Mara Reserve. Nestled in the shade of an acacia forest, game viewing takes centre stage here, with an onsite hide, bush walks and night safaris.

Perfect for: Adventurous travellers and a honeymoon/romantic getaway

 

Where to Stay in Tanzania: Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park

The ideal time to stay here: December – July 

This mobile camp is a favourite and was awarded the 2019 ‘Reader’s Choice Award’ by Condé Nast Traveller. It’s set in the heart of the Serengeti offering incredible seasonal Great Migration sightings and offers accommodation in Tents of which one is a two-bedroom Family Tent.

Perfect for: Couples, groups or families with older children (12 years and older)

Located on the banks of the well-known Grumeti River filled with hippos and at the starting point of the Great Migration, this camp offers a high-action, low impact safari experience. Each of the elevated Tents offers a 360-degree view of the surrounds.

Perfect for: Romantic getaway or a group travelling together

Incredible views from the deck at the Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp

The perfect view. Credit: Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp

With a luxury Honeymoon/Just for 2 Tent in a secluded setting, it’s the ideal romantic getaway.  It’s also family-friendly with kids of all ages welcome (don’t worry, far away from the Honeymoon Tent) as it has a long list of activities to keep them busy. It also allows for flexibility with a highly customisable safari experience.

Perfect for: Honeymoon/romantic getaway or families

Found on the banks of the Grumeti River with hippo pods as well as where the Great Migration passes through, this camp couldn’t be in a better location. After a day of game drives and activities, wind down and enjoy a sundowner on the spacious deck overlooking the activity in the river below. Children of all ages are welcome and the WILDchild programme will keep them occupied and engaged in fun educational activities.

Perfect for: Romantic getaways and families/groups travelling together

This mobile camp packs up and go five times during the year to follow the movements of the Great Migration. There are only a limited number of Tents and services like a private butler make it the perfect blend of luxury and going off the grid.

Perfect for: Adventurous travellers and families (only one Family Tent per camp)

Guest Area tent at &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas, Tanzania

Guest Area. Credit: &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas

With a style reminiscent of the 1930s mobile camps and a ‘zero footprint’ model, the Elewana Serengeti Pioneer Camp allows you to immerse yourself in the wonders of the bush.

Perfect for: Romantic, group or family getaways (children must be 12 years or older)

Set right on the Great Migration route in the Serengeti, look no further than Singita Sabora Tented Camp for a nostalgic East African experience. Their Mini Rangers Course and various other activities will entertain and educate kids.

Perfect for: Families and group getaways (children must be 10 years and older)

Serengeti Sabora Tented Camp Room in Kenya

Nostalgic East African decor. Credit: Singita Sabora Tented Camp

Let’s Make it Happen

With our expert knowledge, our clients get to experience a side of Africa that few others ever get to see. If you want Rhino Africa to make this trip of a lifetime a reality, take a look at our curated Great Migration Tour or contact one of our Travel Experts for an obligation-free quote.

 

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