When to go – the migration
The park is accessible by vehicle from about June to November – and it's worth visiting whenever you can get there; there's always some amazing wildlife to be seen! However, before you visit it's important to understand the weather and the game movements in the park.
From January to about May, a large area of the plain is covered in shallow water, and all the pans in the south of the park are full – perfect for the large herds of herbivores which gather there, and the large numbers of birds which also arrive. However, around June-July the plains dry up, the waters recede northwards, and gradually the herds move that way also. They desert the waterholes of the southern side of the plain, and move back northwest, eventually melting back into the woodlands which surround the park. Plenty of resident wildlife remains, relying on a scattering of pans which retain their water for most of the year.
From August to October the herds start drifting southwards again. At first, in September, you'll find just a few herds, typically just a few hundred wildebeest, venturing south on to the northern areas of the plain – but gradually as the rains approach these increase in number and move further south into the park.
In November and December the first rains are falling, and the plains are teeming with game. November is classically the best time to visit the park – a balance between catching the best of the game, and yet avoiding any danger of getting permanently stuck in deep mud.
For those who are feeling seriously adventurous, the park is accessible from around February to May by walking and canoeing. If you're thinking of this then you should contact the park's team in advance to arrange boats and local guides. (Don't underestimate what a serious trip this would be!)