The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world, attracting visitors from all over the globe. This annual event takes place in Tanzania and Kenya, and it involves the movement of over a million wildebeest, along with other grazers.
The Great Wildebeest Migration is a spectacle that can only be witnessed in person. The sheer number of animals on the move is mind-boggling, and the sight of them crossing rivers, dodging predators, and galloping across the plains is a sight to behold. But why do the wildebeest embark on this annual journey? What are the factors that make this migration so unique?
The wildebeest migration is a year-round cycle that begins in the southern Serengeti plains, where the wildebeest give birth to their young in February. This is a time when the grass is still green and abundant, providing enough food for the new-borns. As the dry season sets in, the wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles begin their trek towards the north, in search of greener pastures.
The migration is not a single, coordinated event, but rather a series of smaller movements, as different herds take different routes across the plains. As the rains move across the region, the wildebeest and other grazers follow the water, in a never-ending search for food and water.
One of the highlights of the migration is the river crossings. The Mara River, which runs through the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, is one of the major obstacles that the wildebeest must face. The river is infested with crocodiles, which wait patiently for their prey to cross. The wildebeest must brave the crocodile-infested waters in order to reach the greener pastures on the other side.
The river crossings are a spectacle to behold. The wildebeest gather in their thousands on the banks of the river, mustering up the courage to make the perilous crossing. They surge forward, sometimes in a frenzy, as they attempt to cross the river. The crocodiles wait patiently, ready to strike at any moment. Many wildebeest do not make it across, falling prey to the crocodiles or drowning in the rushing waters.
The migration is not just about the wildebeest, however. Other animals, such as zebras and gazelles, also make the journey, adding to the diversity of the spectacle. The predators, such as lions, cheetahs, and hyenas, follow the migration, taking advantage of the abundance of prey.
The Great Wildebeest Migration is a unique event that is driven by a complex set of ecological factors. The rains, the grass, and the water all play a role in determining the timing and route of the migration. The migration is not just a spectacle for tourists, but a crucial event in the ecosystem of the Serengeti and Masai Mara.
As a visitor to Tanzania, witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration is an experience that should not be missed. You can plan your trip and for visa you can visit here. The best time to witness the migration is between July and October, when the wildebeest are in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Serengeti National Park is another great place to witness the migration, particularly during the calving season in February.