It is not just wildebeest that migrate in the Serengeti. Watch in awe and anticipation as you watch the wildebeest gather up the courage to attempt the river crossing. In just a few weeks, half a million wildebeest are born each year in … best safari holidays for the great migration, De Pijp: The Vibrant Amsterdam Neighbourhood You Will Love, Copenhagen for Beginners: The Complete Guide, Participate In #FocusThailand Photography Contest To Win Free Air Tickets, 7 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Kerala Trip. So for the first time, scientists have estimated how many wildebeest actually die each year: An … For starters, the animals spend September to March returning to their starting point in the southern Serengeti (the Migration is circular and perpetual, after all), meaning you will still be treated to epic scenes of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra crossing the wide open Loita plains of the Masai Mara on their return to the Serengeti. The wildebeest follow these rains, grazing on fresh grass as they go. To survive, both the zebra and the wildebeest must migrate to find food. “They are driven by the smell of rain and fresh grass,” says scientist … If you are a safari enthusiast, you have probably experienced the great migration in Africa or you have it on your bucket list. Those starting wildebeest migration safari from Karatu or Ngorongoro will need between 5 to 6 hours of driving on rough roads or maybe more if safari driver stops for short photo sessions on the way. Rainfall drives the event, so tracking the herds is not an exact science, but the same general pattern plays out each year. Sit in absolute silence as you patiently wait for the first wildebeest to make its move. Track the blue wildebeest through the grassy expanse of the Serengeti, to the Mara River as they take their chances with predators to reach new grazing lands. The rain will deliver fresh grazing grounds, where they can then begin breeding. To reach the Mara’s fresh grazing, wildebeest make dramatic river crossings, facing enormous … Destinations: 4 Days, 3 Nights Maasai Mara – Wildebeest Migration adventure The exceptional wildebeest migration is a wondrous movement of about 2 million animals mainly comprising of wildebeest and some zebras and gazelles in two of Africa’s extraordinary safari destinations. After the East African short rains in late October and early November, the wildebeest move down from Kenya and into the eastern limits of the Serengeti past Namiri Plains, an area known for outstanding cheetah sightings. Therefore, you can see the migration starts after the calving season of January and February. It's the chief reason why so many travellers venture to Kenya and Tanzania for a Migration safari, especially around mid-year.. When they’ve gobbled up the food in one spot, they move on to the next one. Members of mega-herds can be quite spread out, with the forerunners arriving at a new place sometimes a day or two ahead of the stragglers – a kind of an early warning system for guides. Once the sweet grass has depleted, the wet season sets in sometime between March and May. Travel | Selective Photography | Video Games | Comics | Movies | Nature | Indian Politics | International Politics. The migration is also not a continually forward motion. The weather patterns and rain cycles have an enormous effect on how these African beauties survive in the wild. No-one knows how and why they suddenly decide to cross but some sort of primeval signal is given and the first intrepid pioneers scuttle down the often very steep sides and rocky banks. And, although there is a traditional high season, the truth is that the Migration never stops, the ebb and flow of the mega herds following the rains happens throughout the year. Yet, the migration continues every year even though … Will the animals be able to scramble up the increasingly treacherous and slippery river bank? By the end of March, the wildebeest start their slow journey back North as the grasslands begin to dry out. This is what makes the Migration a true spectacle - the ecstasy and the agony of survival, unedited, unfiltered, in raw true life. As the rainy season begins, the wildebeest make their way to Ngorongoro Conservation Area to graze upon the nutrient-rich grass. wildebeest with newborns. The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is the movement of vast numbers of the Serengeti's wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, and smaller numbers of Grant's gazelle, Thomson's gazelle, eland and impala. You’re guaranteed to see the migration as professional guides and expert safari operators take you to the perfect vantage points to watch the animals gallop across the plains and swim across the rivers. Once the wildebeest have taken a leap in the water, there’s no going back. Blue wildebeest migration is the greatest wildlife event that happens in the world, this is the period when millions of blue wildebeest cross the Mara River to Masai Mara national Reserve.The wildebeest are the Stringy-haired beasts known as Gnus, sharing the same Genus with antelopes (even toed ugulates) same family of Bovidae that includes cattle, goats and sheep. There are many reasons which have led to this wildebeest migration which takes place annually in different locations between Serengeti national park and Maasai Mara national reserve. You will naturally be rooting for these brave forerunners, and witness the heart-breaking moments when an animal breaks a hind leg trying to climb a bank or loses its precarious grip and falls back down onto others, injuring them all. How many zebras? But the rains are unpredictable. Great Migration Masai Mara. For sheer scale, there is no other animal phenomenon on the planet that beats it. The Grumeti and Mara Rivers are known for their sweeping currents, and many ungulates will die by drowning in their … It is an annual event that involves millions of wildebeest, … JANUARY: It is the first rains in the southern Serengeti plains that beckon the herds to the Ndutu area. Every year, between the months of July and November, thousands of wildebeest and other migratory animals such as Thomson’s gazelle and… There are plenty of resident animals, including the Big 5, all year round in settings like the Mara and Serengeti. By the way, wildebeest and zebra travel together and graze in perfect harmony because they eat different parts of the grasses. Each year around 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras migrate around the Serengeti National Park in search of pastures green. The calving season usually begins at the end of January and the first two weeks of February are considered peak birth season (about 400 000 births happen in an intense 3-week period). The wildebeest migration generates economic benefits through ecotourism, which we investigated by combining quantitative tools from spatial ecology and environmental economics with wildebeest GPS collar data and lodge use data from Serengeti National Park. What’s the best time to see the wildebeest migration. The Great Migration in November and December. DDLJ Filming Locations | Where was Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge Shot? They just get up and go, and the rest begins to follow. The migration into Masai Mara typically starts in late July and ends in late September as the wildebeest make their way over the Mara River. Both are home to incredible safari lodges, that offer daily game drives to see the wildebeest. And, alongside predator action, comes scavenger action: it’s a great time to see vultures out in force as they perform their critical job of wilderness housekeeping. In June, hundreds of thousands of animals are stopped south of the Grumeti River where dangerous crocodiles feast. The Serengeti National Park hosts the migration for the majority of the year, which makes it so popular among tourists. The wildebeest like to remain in close herds in order to reduce their risk against the hungry crocodiles. Scientists believe that they follow the scent of the rain (hence green grass), but there could be other explanations. What makes this event so grand? JANUARY: It is the first rains in the southern Serengeti plains that beckon the herds to the Ndutu area. The Migration is one of Nature's greatest paradoxes: timing is absolutely vital, but there is no way to predict the timing of the animals' movements. The Great Wildebeest Migration is an ongoing event in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park where a huge herd of 2 million big grazers (wildebeest, zebra and various antelope). These horned animals move in a giant loop as they look for fresh grasses and water (see map, below). In the case of wildebeest during the Great Migration, this means the drive to systematically explore and overcome an obstacle as one. Broadly speaking, this is exactly how it works… except when the rains are late… or early… or if it rains again unexpectedly and some or all of the herds turn back to the feast on the fresh new grasses. Just remember that the rains are unpredictable so the wildebeest migration doesn’t operate on a set schedule. 11 reasons why you should see the great wildebeest migration river crossings in 2019: Undoubtedly one of nature’s spectacles, the great wildebeest migration is a bucket-list experience for travellers looking for an authentic African safari experience. This generally happens when there is plentiful … Wildebeest migration is one of the highlights of Serengeti national park. You can unsubscribe at any Predicting river crossings is one of Africa’s most inexact sciences: you can be in the ‘right place at the right time’ but until the wildebeest decide they are ready, nobody gets wet. Secondly, rutting, mating and calving are immensely thrilling: males fight for dominance and the right to mate; wobbly young calves learn to run; moms and babies bond in a very 'Disney' way. The wildebeest will move around the Serengeti regions in a clockwise motion following the rains. The migration is largely driven by the rains. Your email address will not be published. The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the last mass terrestrial wildlife movements left on the planet. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest have migrated to Kenya's Maasai Mara. In May, the wildlife start their migration north through Moru Kopjes and past the Seronera. Of course, predator action is guaranteed during calving and involves heart-stopping chases (the predators don’t always ‘win’ either: zebras can deliver a kick powerful enough to crack a lioness’s jaw and wildebeest can out-run their hunters). The migration is usually in huge columns of up to 40 kilometres / 25 miles in length can be sometimes be seen as the wildebeest funnel up into the central and western Serengeti, often containing hundreds of thousands of animals – joined by many zebra, and a scattering of Thomson's and Grant's gazelles. You’ll see the mammals congregating in big herds as they navigate their way in search of more food and water. Overall, the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem drives the wildebeest to move continuously. The Great Wildebeest Migration Explained December to March. They often have to jump from high banks to cross the river, and the river becomes extremely packed with the rest of the herd. The migration is an iconic wildlife experience for any nature lovers or travel enthusiasts. Follow the Wildebeest. What is the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti? Destinations; Tanzania’s Best; … Serengeti wildebeests migration is a display of natural wonders with over two million wildebeests, zebras, and antelope traveling over 450 miles across the plain to ensure their survival, unaware that there's danger presented by the stalking lions and cheetahs among other predators of the wildlife. The animals – wildebeest and zebra – are triggered to move by one simple meteorological phenomenon: rain. After the craze of crossing the river, the wildebeest head back to the south of the Serengeti to await the rainfall. 3rd floor, Longkloof Studios, Darter Road, end of January and the first two weeks of February, let your African Safari Expert tailor-make a safari for you. Witness Serengeti's Wildebeest Migration. The incredible annual Wildebeest migration of over a million wildebeests from the Serengeti National Park to the Mara Mara National Reserve Many assume that the migration is all about the dramatic river crossings but there is so much more to this great spectacle. As the rains come to an end in the southern Serengeti and the grasses start to … The Great Migration often comes to this area in August, September, and October. After the rut, which is mating season, those that did not mate often break away from the others and form their own herd that travels through the Seronera Valley. As the season’s change, the different areas of the park become more populated as the mammals search for the richest grazing grounds. “Wildebeest can only stay for a limited amount of time until they migrate farther north.” Water-induced erosion likely contributes to the poor soil quality in this region, the team concluded. Mara Plains Camp lies within Olare Orok Conservancy - conservancies feature low vehicle & guest numbers, two important advantages. Will crocodiles snatch the courageous wildebeest that leaps in first? Although it’s conveniently close to the reserve to witness the Wildebeest Migration’s spectacle, Naboisho also delivers incredible game viewing right on its doorstep. In East Africa, the ‘long rains’ generally soak the ground in April and May (this means camps are often closed because the roads turn into impenetrable, tyre-sucking mud). What drives wildebeest to migrate? First, many zebra in Serengeti have shorter migrations than wildebeest (see below), though some zebra do migrate the full length of the ecosystem (from the short grass plains in the south to the Masai Mara in the north). The overall best time for viewing the migration is at the beginning of September, during the Mara River crossing. Climate change. Did you know that wildebeest can live to be up to … Every year, more than one million wildebeest and 200,000 zebras complete this 480-kilometer (300-mile) migration loop. The great wildebeest migration is the annual movement of wildebeests between the African countries of Kenya and Tanzania. This is what most of us think we know about the Migration, one of Africa’s truly wondrous natural spectacles. See our The Great Migration through Tanzania and Kenya each year is the largest overland wildlife migration in the world. Second, it seems that wildebeest and zebra do not have a strong association at the individual level. It’s truly one of the greatest spectacles of wildlife behavior and how the animals have a shared kind of knowledge. The opportunity to observe the great African ‘circle of life’ is something so incredibly unique, and these memories will last you a lifetime. During July and August, the … The wildebeest travel close to 3000 kilometers in search of green grazing grass and fresh water supplies. It's the chief reason why so many travellers venture to Kenya and Tanzania for a Migration safari, especially around mid-year.. These move in an annual pattern which is fairly predictable. It’s been amazing to visite your website. The Great Migration through Tanzania and Kenya each year is the largest overland wildlife migration in the world. Tanzania Wildebeest Migration Safari itinerary Day 1: Boabab Chalets-Mussina Everyone meets at the Boabab Chalets in Mussina. Regular Go2Africa traveller Lauren Cohen captured the grim determination of this wildebeest crossing a treacherous river at Mahali Mzuri tented camp. It is beneficial to travel together, not only for the reasons listed above but because sheer numbers are their greatest defense against the migration's many predators . Day 2: Norma Jean’s Campsite-Zimbabwe Leave Musina, cross the border very early and drive into Zimbabwe and set up camp at Norma Jean’s campsite adjacent to the Great … (Read how wildebeest know when to migrate.) Get expert planning advice and new trip ideas from Africa’s leading The Great Wildebeest Migration is an ongoing event in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park where a huge herd of 2 million big grazers (wildebeest, zebra and various antelope). How many wildebeest complete the migration loop? The great wildebeest migration takes place in Kenya between July and October. The migration is a dramatic mass movement of almost two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle in a seasonal annual cycle driven by rainfall. Every year over one million wildebeest, zebra and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti- Maasai Mara ecosystem between the months of July – October. Yes, the river crossings are exciting but they’re only a small part of this epic journey. Then, suddenly, it rained again and they turned back. Many females in the herd are heavily pregnant at this point and moving towards greener grasses is of top priority. This crossing usually occurs at Mara River around late July to August with parts of September and again on their return south, around the last two weeks of October through early … The migration now covers the heart of the Serengeti National Park and the Grumeti Reserves. Once safely arrived to the Masai Mara National Reserve during the months of June to July the wildebeest moves further to the private conservancy areas such as the Mara North Conservancy to graze the endless and plentiful lush green … Will weak or injured wildebeest be able to swim across at all? As previously mentioned, the wildebeest migration is a … The seasonal rains and the search for green grass drive wildebeest to migrate. The average person is likely to have heard of the 'Wildebeest Migration' (probably as a result of various documentaries or the Lion King movie) however very often little is actually known about this incredible wildlife event - where it occurs, what it involves etc. Witness huge crocodiles of the Mara River as they … Huge herds totaling up to 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle move in an 800 km circuit clockwise through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem in search of the best pastures and access to water. Some of the reasons why the wildebeest migrate to the Maasai Mara reserve include searching for food and water which drives the wildebeest to follow the rains as they look for greener pastures by taking advantage … Their decision to migrate is a natural response to weather; following the rains and the growth of lush green grass. Every year around 1.5 million wildebeest, close to a million Zebra and large numbers of others animals undertake the long trek from drier lands in Tanzania, northwards to Kenya's Masai Mara in search of lush grazing grounds and life-giving water. The animals – wildebeest and zebra – are triggered to move by one simple meteorological phenomenon: rain. The baby boom is incredible. Your email address will not be published. This is the signal for wildebeest and zebra, who have returned here from the previous year’s Migration to start moving north, hoovering up the abundant tender grasses along the way. Huge herds totaling up to 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle move in an 800 km circuit clockwise through the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystem in search of the best pastures and access to water. What is the Great Migration ? Heart-stopping predator action is never far from Mara Plains Camp as the herds pass by on their march north. Tips for Experiencing the Great Wildebeest Migration. The best times to see the migration are between December and March or between May and November. Once the soft, soaking rains stop, the so-called ‘short grass plains’ of the southern Serengeti spring to life with masses of sweet, delicious grass. Wildebeest migrate on a loop path through Tanzania and Kenya following the seasonal rains even when that involves passing through dangerous territory. You must be an amazingly interesting individual. Grass is what drives the wildebeest to migrate along the same general route their entire lives; the herds chow down on up to 4,000 tons of it daily [source: Williams ]. The River crossing is one of the most requested event of the migration and usually coincide with the peak safari season, therefore the assumption that this is the only time of the year that the wildebeest are on the move or can be seen. They migrate throughout the year, constantly seeking fresh grazing and, it's now thought, better quality water. By July, the herds ought to reach the northern Serengeti, ready to perform thrilling river crossings into the Masai Mara. The great Serengeti wildebeest migration is a wildlife spectacle with over 2 million migratory animals moving clockwise through the Serengeti, Masai mara, northern Ngorongoro, Maswa game reserve & loliondo controlled area, these animals are on a cause of survival and thus by moving towards the favorable ecosystem at a given time/season Around February there are high chances of witnessing the wildebeest giving birth, as well as seeing predator interaction as the big cats prey on the young. One of the most sought-after travel experiences, viewing the great migration is a truly unique opportunity to see the power of nature at work, plus get a firsthand look at some of the most magnificent creatures on Earth. The Great Wildebeest Migration is an ongoing event in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park where a huge herd of 2 million big grazers (wildebeest, zebra and various antelope). Yes, it’s a million gnu on the move but they don’t travel all together all the time, or half the group would starve. By December, they are spread throughout the eastern and southern reaches. Just like that: the largest terrestrial mammal movement of animals on earth has begun; the great wildebeest migration. Capturing the wildebeest migration Plan to Be Patient. With thousands of animals crossing at the same spot, banks soon erode, making for precipitous drops that can result in broken limbs. THE GREAT WILDEBEEST MIGRATION SAFARI. And yet, one, or two, or maybe a few hundred wildebeest sense something in the air. And so the cycle of the great migration starts all over again. The most dramatic show of the wild, The Great Wildebeest Migration-watching millions of animals crossing the plain of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya. You have to know entrance fees are charged per 24 hours in Serengeti if you decide to spend a day there you will loose driving time, come there in late afternoon, in the morning you might have an early morning drive … In 2014, for instance, the rains were considered ‘early’ and thus the whole schedule was slightly out of kilter, and the animals were arriving far north much earlier than 'usual'. But be warned: no aspect of the Migration is for the squeamish. They split into what are known as ‘mega herds’, which consist of thousands and thousands of individuals travelling on slightly different routes in more or less the same direction. Privacy Policy, © 2021 Go2Africa (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved, What you Didn't Know about the Wildebeest Migration. In May, the wildebeest, joined by zebra, gazelles, and impala, cross over the Grumeti River. The wildebeest migration moves off in search of sustenance in response to periods of dry weather. For some reason, a few animals decide to start moving. So every year is different and, in fact, every week can be different. It is all about instinct, not leadership . By following the rains, the herds must battle raging rivers and avoid lurking predators in order to […] How to Witness the Great Wildebeest Migration, The Best Areas to See the Travelling Herds of Wildebeest. This is when you’ll be able to witness the iconic wildebeest migration. Because the babies can run as fast as their moms within 48 hours, there are very touching scenes of tiny wildebeest speeding along and of zebras nuzzling their foals. The wildebeest will move around the Serengeti regions in a clockwise motion following the rains. They cross torrential rivers filled with crocodiles and dodge the big cats that are forever ready to hunt them down. 10 Days Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Safari Fly In Drive Out. In August the herds will gradually start making their way over the border and into Kenya, in hopes of crossing the Mara River. Set in the heart of Migration country, Dunia Camp is located along a major Migration corridor in Tanzania's Serengeti. • Self-drive. Hold your breath in hopes that the animals will make their way safely across the dangerous waters. A fully qualified and experienced safari guide will do the introductions and briefing. It all starts in the Masai Mara. That means you can see the Migration at any time during the year, so choose the season and destination that best suits you and let your African Safari Expert tailor-make a safari for you. Drive out, to witness the migration is all about is fairly predictable can result in broken limbs between and! 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