THE MAASAI MARA WILDEBEEST MIGRATION
Experience this year’s Wildlife Spectacle’ one of the Wonders of the World – The Maasai Mara Wildebeest Migration
This natural phenomenon sees over 1.5 million Wildebeest, 200,000 Zebra, 400,000 Thomson Gazelle and around 12,000 Eland, as well as, numerous other antelope and grazers make the ultimate tumultuous journey in search of water, greener pastures, herding and mating grounds.
This grueling and dangerous voyage is filled with dangers along the way such as mass stampedes, numerous predators (often picking out the week and vulnerable), not forgetting their thirst for water and often just mere exhaustion – resulting in over 250,000 Wildebeest and 30,000 Zebra being killed every year.
Avid safari enthusiasts will often tell you that there is nothing that comes close to experiencing this, ‘the real circle of life’.
Depending on weather and rain patterns the crossing begins at the Grumeti River in Tanzania at the end of May-June, between early June to
late October the herds head north to the lush fertile plains of the Masai Mara, Kenya and the Northern Serengeti in Tanzania
The great migration is an opportune time for predators which often, wait for their prey to inevitably cross through rivers that are along the path of the migratory route, hide in the long grassy savannas so that they can easily pick out the weak and vulnerable, or strike when the unnoticing herds are grazing by the watering holes. The migrations predatory carnivores include the big cats of East Africa such as the Lion, Cheetah, Leopard (all of which exhibit different hunting behaviors), Hyenas that also get their fair share of the leftovers too, however the main stars of the show are the mighty Crocodiles that cunningly wait for their targets in the rivers and watering holes by simply biding their time before they surprisingly grab, bite and pull their victims down with astonishing force (upto 3700 pounds per square inch – wow)
The Great Migration is the largest and most species-diverse herbivore migration in the world, with the Wildebeest being the most numerous and common. Migrating in large herds, and often waiting by the river banks for the most favorable time to make their crossings often results in a frenzied push by some, before the rest are simply forced forward to ultimately dive into the dangerous waters where the crocodiles await. Other herbivores often caught out in predatory hunts during the migration include the; Zebra, Thomson Gazelle, Eland and Impala just to name a few… Zebra’s being from the equid (horse family) will often be seen galloping with speeds reaching upto 65kph, you will regularly see Thomson Gazelle stotting (almost springing or rapidly prancing) with speeds reaching upto 70kph, the Impala upto 50kph and Eland upto 37kph. Just so you know what you’re looking for through your binoculars, here they are:
THIS SEASON VENTURE OFF ON A TRULY UNFORGETTABLE SAFARI WITH GO PLACES AFRICA DMC