The Great Migration In Africa: Top Safari Lodges To Witness The Greatest Show On Earth - Updated 2024

The Great Migration In Africa: Top Safari Lodges To Witness The Greatest Show On Earth - Updated 2024
| 8 min read

Migration is the seasonal relocation of animals from habitat to habitat primarily to hunt for food and seek a suitable place to breed and rear their offspring. The Great Migration is the world’s most extensive terrestrial mammal migration. Staggering columns of wildebeests, joined by a mega-herd of zebras, antelopes, and many other species, move together from Tanzania to Kenya in a clockwise direction throughout the year. Since it’s fluid and ceaseless, there’s always an opportunity to witness and experience this remarkable wildlife event. However, June to October is the peak travel season to catch the mating rituals and the treacherous river-crossing challenges the congregation encounters.

If this kind of wildlife viewing with a notable twist fascinates you, a range of permanent and mobile camps amid the safari can host your unique excursion. To witness the Great Migration in Africa, check out these top safari lodges that will best let you witness the greatest show on earth.

Why is the Great Migration called “the greatest show on earth”?

Wilderbeests: the great migration
Source: Trip101

Dubbed “the greatest show on earth,” the Great Migration is a dramatic wildlife spectacle that brings together an immense scale of animals to brave a perilous expedition that occurs as a recurring cycle. This phenomenon happens because the animals are seeking freshly grazed lands and water. They’re prompted to follow the rains in pursuit of lush grazing grounds and a sufficient water supply.

The circuit that the animals need to trek spans about 1,200 miles (1,931.21 kilometers). During this year-long course, they undergo extraordinary predatory battles, mating rituals, and reproduction cycles. In particular, the journey involves a series of threats and dangers posed by a pride of lions hunting down young calves and a swarm of crocodiles waiting for their feast on the river crossings.

Between all these, scenes of tension and high drama surrounding death and survival are present—creating a one-of-a-kind display of the full circle of life and incredible wildlife vista.

When and where to see the Great Migration?

The vast grasslands of East Africa are the main setting of the Great Migration. The event primarily transpires across Tanzania and Kenya.

From January to March, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is where wildebeests and zebras bear their offspring. This is the perfect spot to witness newborn animals during the calving season.

Meanwhile, the mating season typically takes place in Serengeti National Park from June to July. This is also one of the best locations to marvel at the large herds mustering their courage to cross the Grumeti River together. From August to October, the herds must overcome a more daunting crocodile-crowded body of water, Mara River. These river-crossing phases are considered the most breathtaking scenes throughout the Great Migration.

Survivors of the dangerous journey will successfully arrive at Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya where they can recharge and gear up, while still fighting for their lives against big cats, before returning to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

What are the best places to stay?

The best way to experience the Great Migration is by setting up camp—it can either be a permanent home or a mobile property. Permanent camps are steady and unmoving, allowing you to remain fixed in one setting for a hassle-free experience. Meanwhile, mobile homes relocate multiple times a year along the migration route, depending on the migration pattern, to provide the best views of the year-round event.

These two types of accommodations have their fair share of pros and cons. Permanent tented camps are usually fully furnished and have the comforts and features of a standard home. They’re also relatively more costly than a mobile tent, as they’re packed with a wide range of luxurious facilities and have spacious interiors. However, mobile tented camps are the right choice if you prefer a unique stay that will allow you to get the optimal wildlife viewing experience at affordable rates.

Regardless of your choice, both accommodation options guarantee rewarding experiences that you’ll remember for a lifetime.


Great Migration in Kogatende, Serengeti by Tanzania GET Safaris
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Reginald Victor R... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tanzania is a verdant country boasting expansive plains and sprawling parks. It’s home to Serengeti National Park, one of the greatest spots to witness the Great Migration. This national park is much larger than Maasai Mara National Reserve, so you can expect more private and peaceful accommodations and less crowded areas to experience the phenomenon. If you’ve saved up enough money to spend on a lavish safari vacation, Tanzania will be an excellent destination to explore!

Permanent accommodations

1. andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Set in a remote location along the Grumeti River in Serengeti National Park, andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge ensures that you’ll never be too far from the migration affair without compromising luxury and comfort. This 5-star lodging has a variety of included amenities, so you can look forward to a fuss-free stay throughout your safari vacation.

Watch a pride of lions circling the park and catch sight of the resident hippos taking a refreshing bath in the river in front of the property. For leisure, take refreshing laps in the private plunge pool to cool down on summer days. The staff can also arrange a customized guided tour so that you can gain a better understanding of the Great Migration.

andBeyond Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge

Address: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Price: from 1,135 USD

Star Rating: 5-Star

Travelers Review: Excellent 4.6(from 85 reviews)

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2. Dunia Camp

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Dunia Camp contains eight well-appointed tents, including a family tent, to accommodate you during your safari adventure. All the light and airy tents overlook the rolling sun-kissed plains of Serengeti National Park.

Each unit also includes an en suite bathroom with a hot-water shower and flushing toilet for your convenience. Additionally, complimentary laundry services are available for your dirty clothes. You can also elevate your experience by trying the game drives and hot-air balloon rides for a surcharge.

Dunia Camp

Address: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Price: from 534 USD

Travelers Review: Excellent 4.9(from 18 reviews)

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Mobile camps

1. andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas

This accommodation moves five times a year to let guests see the Great Migration in the closest way possible. andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas features nine canvas tents perched on each exclusive campsite, allowing you to disconnect from the urban frenzy and escape the bustling crowds.

Every mobile camp is equipped with private toilets and outdoor heated bucket-style showers. Butler services will also be provided to make your stay stress-free.

Gather around the campfire on cozy evenings and share intimate moments with your loved ones while toasting marshmallows. Later, get a good night’s rest on the plush beds with fluffy duvets.

andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas

Address: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Price: from 915 USD

Star Rating: 5-Star

Travelers Review: Excellent 4.8(from 9 reviews)

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2. Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Spectate the Great Migration in the prime spots by booking a stay at Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp. It’s nestled in Serengeti and offers various experiences, such as hot-air balloon rides and game drives. For a memorable migration-chasing adventure, this mobile camp also offers six open-concept Meru tents with attached bathrooms.

Step out on your private outdoor seating area to unwind while spotting the diverse fauna. You can also grab a cocktail or a glass of whiskey from the fully stocked bar as you glimpse the lush greenery with rich wildlife.

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Address: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Price: from 745 USD

Travelers Review: Excellent 5(from 5 reviews)

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Viewing from a hot-air balloon in Tanzania (from USD 575.1)

the great migration in africa: top safari lodges to witness the greatest show on earth | viewing from a hot-air balloon in tanzania

Nothing compares to the sense of liberty you’ll feel when you’re up in the skies. With a hot-air balloon ride, you’ll get to enjoy the best views! Book a hot-air balloon escapade with Nyssa Balloon Safaris to witness the Serengeti ecosystem in its full glory.

This package includes a delicious bush breakfast that you can relish as soon as you alight to replenish your energy. Celebratory champagne and juice will also be served once you land. Further, complimentary cold water will be provided on board to keep you refreshed during your aerial voyage.

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Serengeti Luxury Hot Air Balloon Ride

Duration: 5.0 hour

1 review


Kenya comprises scenic landscapes and sweeping wildlife preserves. It makes an outstanding destination for budget-conscious travelers and families who love visiting safaris on a shorter timeline. Home to Maasai Mara National Reserve, this country is an ideal setting to see the Great Migration and local wildlife. It also offers cost-effective camps and lower living expenses. If you want to keep costs lower without compromising the iconic wildlife-viewing experience, Kenya is the way to go!

Permanent accommodations

1. Elewana Sand River Mara (from USD 1411)

Each booking at Elewana Sand River Mara includes a free shuttle service to let you travel leisurely around Maasai Mara National Reserve. An airport shuttle service is also up for grabs for an additional cost.

This accommodation houses 16 permanent tented camps, and all are fitted with a desk and a private bathroom. Bed linen and towels will also be at your disposal.

You can enjoy a relaxing dip in the outdoor pool or an open-air bath during your downtime. There’s also a picnic area for alfresco dining while watching wildlife.

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Elewana Sand River Masai Mara

Address: Masai Mara National Reserve
32.02 km (19.9 mi) from Naboisho Conservancy

2. Saruni Mara

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Saruni Mara prides itself on being the only small boutique lodge in Maasai Mara National Reserve. The property is idyllically positioned in Mara North Conservancy, keeping guests close to a unique concentration of wildlife, teeming vegetation, and outspread savannas.

This permanent camp hosts five tranquil and individually designed accommodations, a large family villa, and a spacious private villa. Meanwhile, each classic safari lodge adds large front verandas where you can take a breather and gape at the beauty of the natural surroundings. The private villa is upgraded with a well-supplied kitchen for preparing daily meals.

Saruni Mara

Address: Mara North Conservancy Masai Mara, Kenya

Price: from 500 USD

Star Rating: 5-Star

Travelers Review: Excellent 4.6(from 50 reviews)

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Tip from tour guide

Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

The Maasai Mara National Reserve that encompasses the area is an ideal destination for venturing into the expansive green fields and observing the wildlife up close. A jeep will transport you to the open fields where you can witness leopards freely roaming the ground. It's also a perfect spot to marvel at breathtaking sunsets and unwind by a calming stream. Additionally, ensure your cameras are readily available, as you won't want to miss the opportunity to document your close encounters with the captivating wild kingdom. Watch these videos of the reserve:
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3. Sala's Camp

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Camp in style at Sala’s Camp. This permanent tented camp has welcomed guests with a premium safari experience and a variety of services since 2004. Here, you can enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities besides watching the Great Migration. Spend your leisure time bird-watching, stargazing, and hitting the safaris with game drives.

Suitable for large families, the 7 roomy tents here can host up to 18 guests each. The accommodations also boast a private plunge pool to soak your cares after an action-packed day in the wild.

Sala’s Camp

Address: Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Narok, Kenya

Price: from 1,733 USD

Travelers Review: Very good 4.4(from 72 reviews)

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Mobile camps

1. Siruai Mobile Camp

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

An immersive experience awaits you at Siruai Mobile Camp. This moving accommodation is peacefully settled on the 43,000-acre (17,401.50-hectare) Suyian Ranch and features seven canvas tents with private verandas. You’re sure to cherish a restful slumber in the lavish accommodations under the starry night skies. Each one comes with comfy beds, an en suite bathroom, and a bucket shower.

Request to take out the safari vehicle for game viewing with expert guides to escort you throughout the tour. You can also explore Laikipia County at your own pace or try kayaking and tubing at the nearby river for an exhilarating water adventure.

Siruai Mobile Camp

Address: Suyian Ranch, Central Kenya

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Viewing from a hot-air balloon in Kenya (from USD 586.0)

the great migration in africa: top safari lodges to witness the greatest show on earth | viewing from a hot-air balloon in kenya

Views are always unparalleled from a bird’s-eye perspective. Elevate your Great Migration trip by hopping on a hot-air balloon to marvel at the spectacular landscapes and wildlife-packed plains of Maasai Mara National Reserve from atop. The experience will begin as soon as you arrive at the launch site and continue during take-off until after you land.

Besides the hot-air balloon adventure itself, this package includes a roundtrip transfer to and from your camp and a local guide to usher you throughout the trip. Additionally, a full breakfast and a glass of champagne will be served once you touch down.

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Hot Air Balloon Safari Maasai Mara with Champagne Breakfast

Duration: 1.0 hour

Find a suitable home to spectate the greatest show on earth

In a way, the Great Migration is the ultimate show of survival of the fittest. From Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, the herds continuously face a head-to-head battle against hungry predators in search of a sumptuous dinner while replenishing their numbers by giving birth to descendants that will carry on future migrations.

Because of this, the Great Migration is one of the world’s most jaw-dropping and significant wildlife phenomena, and many safari enthusiasts look forward to spectating this dramatic event. It’s imperative to find a suitable home to ensure the best viewing experience. Choose your accommodation from the permanent and mobile tent camps above!

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Hallyu phenomenon (K-pop and K-drama) and writing are the two things that are keeping her sane and grounded. Her other interests include drinking coffee, designing her journal, reading novels,...Read more

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