Zebra migration in Africa

posted 16th September 2019 by Danica Wilson in Experiences

The second largest migration (after the Serengeti) in Africa features 15,000 zebras migrating after the rains in search of lush grasslands. This 500 kilometre return journey is longer than the well known Serengeti and Masai Mara migration that involves wildebeest and zebra.

The nomadic habits of the zebra in Botswana weren’t properly understood until tracking devices were used in a study done by the conservation group Elephants Without Borders back in 2012. The scientists were amazed to discover that some zebras were trekking from as far away as the floodplains of Chobe near the Namibia–Botswana border, arriving in the Makgadikgadi area via Savute. This is a round trip of 500 kilometres and the longest of all recorded wildlife migrations in Africa.

The zebra migration in Africa is truly one of our all time favourite safari and wildlife photography experiences. 

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zebra migration in Africa_michael rupp_Leroo La Tau

When to see the zebra migration
Timing of the zebra migration in Africa all depends on rainfall.  Typically, July to October is great viewing.

The importance of the zebra migration in Africa
The migration is vital for the ecosystems because it prevents over grazing and makes sure the food sources are utilised to guarantee the health of the wildlife.  Of course the zebra benefit and so do the predators like the cats and scavengers who closely follow like vultures, jackals and hyenas.  The Boteti River becomes a magnet for wildlife because as dry season takes hold, the river becomes the only source of water.

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zebra migration in Africa_Boteti River

Where to stay for the zebra migration
The most popular and well known location for viewing the zebra in big numbers is from Leroo La Tau and Meno a Kwena, two camps that sit on the Boteti River.

These wonderful shots were captured in July 2019 by our brilliant photographer partner, Michael Rupp and he stayed at Leroo La Tau. It’s a stunning property right on the river’s edge commanding views across the water to the banks of the Boteti River in the Makgadikgadi National Park.

Click on the link to take a walk through Leroo La Tau.


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leroo la tau room with a view michael rupp




Another fantastic accommodation option is Meno A Kwena. It’s located on the Boteti River too, perched high on a rocky clifftop so a slightly different perspective to Leroo La Tau. The lofty position means you can look down at the dazzle of nomadic zebra coming to drink. This is the sunset shot below!


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sunset boteti river by Danica Wilson


Jonathon and Danica were here a few years ago at the end of the year coinciding with the start of rainy season. The zebras had mostly moved on and the massive male elephant population were in town. Now that’s another story…

Elephants in the Boteti River Botswana by Danica Wilson

Danica and elephant Botswana Meno a Kwena


Are you ready to experience the zebra migration?
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