The great migration is not a single occurrence; rather, it is a herd's continuous journey as they follow Africa's rains, creating fertile soils in their wake. The migration has no actual beginning or end; rather, it is a clockwise course of grazing and reproduction that has adhered to the same pattern for thousands of years.
Every year, in pursuit of lush territory, over 1,5 million wildebeest and other game, such as zebras, Thomson’s gazelles, and elands, set out on instinctively planned journeys that follow the seasons of Africa, across the plains of the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara.
The migratory herds face a variety of obstacles and sufferings as they go from one place to another. It is drama on a really epic scale. Predators regularly prey on them, none more so than Africa's great cats, the lion, leopard, and cheetah, as well as the enormous crocodiles that lurk at numerous river crossing places.
The Great Migration in Africa is recognized as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa and is considered the largest overland migration in the world. During each cycle, the herds cover over 800 kilometers, and enthusiastic safari lovers make every effort to follow in order to obtain a good view. These creatures must overcome new threats and predators every month.
From the southern Serengeti and Ngorongoro plains, the migration travels into the western savanna woods. The animals then travel back south via the eastern section of the parks and reserves before heading into the northwestern portion of the larger Serengeti and Mara ecosystems.
The crossing of the Mara River, the birth of the animal's offspring, and the predators that follow them are just a few of the significant events that take place along this route and draw tourists on safaris.
The location of the Great Migration expedition is a crucial decision. Despite the fact that the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem is a homogeneous group, the Migration occurs in two distinct protected areas in two different nations: Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve and Tanzania's Serengeti National Park.
The Masai Mara is the northern continuation of the Serengeti plains and is by far the less expansive of the two conservation zones. It is situated in southern Kenya and shares its southernmost boundary with Tanzania; this is where the wildebeest herds gather from around June to November.
The Masai Mara is a well-liked location for a safari to view the Wildebeest Migration, and tourist numbers there can increase from roughly June to October. Consider lodging in one of the adjacent private conservancies to the Mara if you want to avoid the tourist crowds. You will still have access to the Migration hotspots inside the national reserve, and you may travel off-road in exclusive game drive areas, on night drives, and on guided bush walks.
The wildebeest herds are forced to move south, out of the Masai Mara and into the Serengeti, by East Africa's brief rainy season, which lasts from around November to December. Tanzania's largest park, measuring an enormous 14 750 square kilometers (5 700 square miles), is situated in northern Tanzania and is a part of the well-known Northern Safari Circuit. It accommodates the majority of the Migration from around December to May.
The migration's overwhelming volume is best experienced at this time. The central Ndutu and southern Serengeti districts are the greatest locations to view the show because of the flat, lush plains and unobstructed vistas that provide one of the best chances to observe the huge movement of species.
An estimated 8,000 offspring are birthed into their respective wildebeest, zebra, Thomson's gazelle, and eland families between January and March. The plains from Naabi Hill Gate in the north to Maswa in the west, Gol Kopjes in the east, and Olduvai Gorge in the south are teeming with new life. At this stage, safaris offer thrilling highlights and a great deal of excitement. Newborns are vulnerable and simple prey for predators.
The herds then move on to the Serengeti Western Corridor's greener plains. It's challenging to track their movements during this time due to the periodic rains, which also cause several smaller safari camps to temporarily close their doors and make numerous routes unusable.
When the rain stops in June, the animals move further north, where they now congregate together to create much greater herds. The time for mating is now. The Western Serengeti is the ideal location to view the animals at this time.
Migration safaris offer the thrill of animals traversing the Mara River from July to September. This is one of their most dangerous routes as they battle with crocodiles as they enter the water.
Around October, the herds have eaten up all of the grass on the Mara plains, and their inherent drive to move begins to take over, driving them south once more in search of new grazing grounds.
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