The annual wildebeest migration, a natural phenomenon which sees around 1.5 million wildebeest on the move in East Africa, has begun in Kenya as the herds move northwards after crossing the Mara River.
A spectacular natural wonder, the migration takes place each year as wildebeest and zebra seek out fresh grazing on the African plains.
From July to October, the migration takes place in the loosely-termed ‘Serengeti ecosystem’, a network of conservation areas including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to the south, the Serengeti National Park and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve to the north, making up an area of some 40 000 square kilometres.
Nowhere in the world is there a migratory pattern as immense as the Great Migration. Because of course it’s not only wildebeest that take to the plains in search of food; zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and eland are the main migrators, joined by countless other herbivores – and carnivores. Lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs and other predators also await the migration, no doubt with ravenous appetites!
One of the major hurdles for the migrating herds is the Mara River in Kenya, teeming with crocodiles lying in wait for an annual feast. And it isn’t just the Mara, but the Mbalangeti and Grumeti rivers in the Serengeti as well. The level of the rivers can vary hugely depending on the rainfall, and as the conditions vary from year to year, it’s down to pure luck as to whether it’ll be an easy crossing or not.
There’s no sure way to predict where the herds will be with certainty, but now that they have arrived in Kenya it’s the perfect time to see them in their natural habitat, moving along to the ancient rhythm if the African plains.
See the Great Migration on an African Safari with On The Go Tours.