Grumeti River and Crocodile


Set in a remote part of the famous Serengeti, the Western Corridor trails the path of the Grumeti River all the way to Lake Victoria. An interesting and beautiful area, the relatively narrow corridor is roughly 80 kilometres long and is characterised by dense stands of acacia trees interspersed with thick woodlands, and vast open plains framed by ranges of hills.

A dominant feature of the Western Corridor is the infamous Grumeti River, which runs almost the entire length of the corridor. The river is infested with crocodiles and during the northward migration (late May to mid July) thousands of wildebeest, zebra and antelope are forced to cross the river in a battle for survival, offering those lucky enough to witness the encounter, one of the most spectacular safari experiences in the world. The Western Corridor is the wildebeest's wet/dry transitional zone and as a result, a large herd of resident wildebeest numbering 50 000 will remain here rather than joining the rest of the migration in heading north.

The crocodiles that live in the Grumeti River are renowned as the largest in Africa. Feasting on the casualties from the river crossings of the wildebeest, they can grow up to six meters long! There is an enthralling and dramatic tension in watching the wildebeest gather themselves to cross the river, as the crocodiles float nearby, awaiting their chance for dinner.

This fearsome predator has a loving nature to its young. Although most reptiles leave their eggs and move on, Nile crocodiles ferociously guard their nests until the eggs hatch. The Nile crocodile will wait for hours and even days for a suitable moment to attack. Once their prey has come close enough, the fast moving Nile crocodile with its powerful jaws and sharp teeth create a grip that is almost impossible to escape from. They can easily hold down even large prey underwater to drown them.

If you time your visit just right, you can watch the spectacular sight of wildebeest versus crocodiles. Between May and August, when the great wildebeest and zebra migration crosses the Grumeti River, the Grumeti crocs are waiting to feed. In fact, they've been waiting a long time. Witnessing this age old battle of survival is simply a magnificent sight indeed.

The Lower Grumeti Forest is found along the shores of the Grumeti River. This is a remote and wonderful area of the Western Corridor. Every year more than a million wildebeests and zebras come here in the month of May or June. They rest in the shade of this forest before facing the crossing of the Grumeti River.

The trees of this forest are home to the beautiful black and white colobuses. This is one of the few places where it is possible to sight them in East Africa. 

When herds leave the Lower Grumeti Forest behind them they proceed to face the crossing and challenge the Nile crocodiles that inhabit the river. The River is also the residence of the noisy hippos, while herds of elephants and leopards live in the forest.

Throughout the year, crocodiles, lions, cheetah, hyenas, and leopards are plentiful in the area. The crocodiles of the Grumeti are gigantic and worth seeing.