It’s nothing like you’ve seen before. It’s one of the most spectacular shows by nature. Consider yourself lucky if you’ve seen. For those who have not. Here’s what it’s all about.
The great migration is to put in a nutshell, the simple act of migration by wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles in search of new pastures. This simple act gets magical and miraculous because of the sheer numbers of the animals migrating and the drama added by lurking predators waiting to take a swipe at them. Lions, leopards and crocodiles are the main predators and they attack their prey with stealth and swift. The crocodile is the deadliest of the hunters. It waits for the animals to come into the river and quietly pounces on them, they kill by drowning. It drags the prey into the water, crushes its bones before it makes a meal out of it. The aerial part of the show is provided by vultures circling the air to get the remains of the predators hunt and the sound effect is the sinister laughter of the hyena, yet another creature waiting in the wings for leftover scrap. So why do they migrate might be your question. Well, the water and food (grass) get scarce and this drives them to migrate. The time of migration is heavily dependent on the rainfall pattern. If it rains well, then the animals stay on for a longer time as the grass is in plenty so is the water.
They are quick on their feet, travelling at a speed of 50 mph. Also, the wildebeest are very clever and have devised a strategy for their own survival. They rest and stand guard by turns, thus ensuring their safety. They cover almost 500-1000 miles, not all of them make it. Their total number amounts to a staggering 1.5 million.
The herd also has many calves. The amazing part is that the calves of the wildebeest start walking as soon as they are born and in no time they are matching steps with their parents in the run. The younger ones are always kept in the centre and the older ones surround them protectively. Zebras and wildebeest live in harmony and migrate together because both eat the same kind of grass but different parts. Talk about harmony!
The period of the migration is July to October in Kenya and Tanzania. Huge herds of mainly wildebeest, fewer zebras and gazelles move from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara, Kenya.
What to know about the great migration
It is not that the migration takes place in a single route. Given the fact that the herds amount to millions, they are all scattered all over the land. You should have the information on where the migration is heading to plan your trip well. In Kenya, the expected time of migration is mid-July to September.