September 16

36 Things You Should Know About the Great Wildebeest Migration

September 16, 2017
  1. The Great Wildebeest Migration is an ongoing event that plays out on the grassy plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Mara.Great Wildebeest Migration in the Mara, Kenya
  2. Herds of around 1.7 million wildebeest and several hundred thousand zebra and gazelle move from the southern Serengeti in the beginning of the year…
  3. Where they give birth to their young…
  4. To the northern tip of the Serengeti, which extends into the bottom of Kenya’s Maasai Mara, towards the middle of the year.
  5. The movement of the herds is strictly governed by the rains.
  6. As grasses are depleted from over grazing, the herds are forced to move onwards…
  7. Following the rain which prompts new shoots of grass to spring up.
  8. Around the middle of the year, Mara River crossings are a big attraction.
  9. This is the time of year when hordes of wildebeest clamour to cross the river to get to the green grasses on the other side.
  10. But the Mara River isn’t only deep and wide…
  11. Or rocky and treacherous…
  12. It’s also home to the largest crocodile population in Africa
  13. And dramatic scenes often unfold any time the herds are near.
  14. Dust flies…
  15. Eager scavengers lurk nearby…
  16. And despite everyone’s best efforts to maintain order…
  17. Chaos reigns supreme
  18. After the grasses have been depleted in the the north, the herds move back down south, and the whole cycle begins again.
  19. While following the herds as they make their long trek is definitely the highlight of East Africa safaris…
  20. That’s not to say you shouldn’t visit parts of the Serengeti and Mara when the herds have moved on.
  21. Many of the predators in the Serengeti and Mara ecosystems are territorial and will stay long after the herds of left…
  22. Which is when the competition for food becomes fierce, promising some of the most exciting predator sightings in the world.
  23. From lion and hyena…
  24. To cheetah and leopard.
  25. You can see them all!
  26. A cultural holiday goes hand-in-hand with an East Africa safari with the Masai tribe having lived here for centuries…Masai Mara warrior overlooking the plains
  27. And this is one of few places on earth where you can see man and animal living alongside one another as they have for generations.
  28. It can be tough to self-drive here because the area is so vast…
  29. Luckily, there are plenty of air strips which will give you easy access to different parts of the landscape through a fly-in safari.
  30. You can enjoy fewer vehicles at sightings and additional activities in the private concessions…
  31. Such as night drives and bush walks.
  32. The sunsets are phenomenal…
  33. As are the sun rises, best enjoyed with coffee in hand…
  34. Or from the air in a hot air balloon
  35. One thing’s for sure, East Africa will change you. 
  36. And witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.

To find out more about our Great Migration adventures:

A Great Migration Safari & the Search for a Mara River Crossing | Part 1 

A Great Migration Safari & the Search for a Mara River Crossing | Part 2


africa, big 5, wildlife

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About the author 

Melanie Du Toit

Jozi-born, Knysna local, and recovering yachtie, Melanie decided that she missed being land-based after 18 months sailing the seas. Now that she lives in the most beautiful city in Africa (she is adamant about this fact), you will find her trying out new things around Cape Town, dreaming about her next holiday, and using Wikipedia to enhance her skills as an encyclopaedia of useless information.

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