Wildebeest migration safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Wildebeest migration safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve is also termed as the greatest wildlife show on earth to the various nature lovers, though at times it is known as the annual migration of the wildebeest  Kenya safari is one of the most awesome, awe-inspiring, dramatic and the tragi-comic sights that you will ever see on this planet.

The wildebeest migration is considered as the one of the great natural wonders of the world even others refer it to as ‘’The Greatest Show on Earth’’ this is the movement of a million plus wildebeest from Serengeti in Tanzania northwards into the adjoining Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya

Wildebeest migration safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Wildebeest migration safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve

The wildebeest migration happens in  between the period of the July and the up to October or end of November, that is over millions and millions of the wildebeest accompanied by the thousands of the zebras and gazelles begins their migration from the short-grass plains of the Serengeti to the fresh and greener pastures and water of the Maasai Mara National Reserve and its conservancies and in so doing  they create one of nature’s grandest spectacles, for those interested in the Kenya wildlife safari  hence making the Maasai Mara and Serengeti one of the most visited safari national parks in Africa. Observing such large numbers of the wild animals migrating across the vast savanna plains is difficult to describe, the river crossings and calving period is equally memorable, that is there are no fences to separate the two national parks in order to aid their migration hence forming the arguably the greatest wildlife conservation ring in the world.

During their movement in their specific groups while entering the Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Maasai River of the galloping wildebeest thunder across the plateau, drawn by the scent of the fresh grass, arriving at the banks of the Maasai River they cross themselves in the frantically into its churning water though others fall prey to the open of the waiting crocodiles and others get drown into the water. The journey is about 800 km long and treacherous especially for the newborns, the vulnerable and weak. The migrating animals have to deal with both the resident and migrating predators (crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, and leopards) and about 3000 lions follow the migrating herds. Towards at the beginning of November, as the Serengeti beckons, the Wildebeest begin crossing back into Tanzania, the actual timing of the migration however dedicted by the weather is and does not always not always run to schedule.

Where to see the wildebeest migration.

Each country is described as a blessed safari destination, but the witnessing the great migration is  in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park exposes you to more open plains and an opportunity to witness the calving season, moreover visiting the Serengeti also means exploring the amazing Ngorongoro crater other amazing national parks and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. The Serengeti national park offers variety but the Maasai Mara National Reserve has a higher concentration of wildlife including the Big five and the migration, so the wildebeest migration safari can be experienced in those both countries that is Kenya and Tanzania, and the two game parks are part of a wider wildlife conservation area which is only separated by the human borders.

What causes the wildebeest migration in East Africa.

Researchers are still allocating the exact causes of the great migration in East Africa, however its known that its all about the instinct to survive, the fossils found in the area show that that wildebeest have been in the area for over 1 million years, the evolution has coded into their DNA the instinct to migrate in the numbers, the wildebeest and other herbivores cannot survive without rain. So without rain the quality of the grass reduces and this could lead to starvation for the wildebeest, so by following the rains, the wildebeest known that they will always have plenty of water and grass, so in order to avoid the starvation, many of the predators have no choice but to follow the migrating herds, so the migrating wildebeest, zebras and the antelopes move in the herds to evade the predators and give them more chances of survival.

Wildebeest population trends.

Wildebeest population estimates were compiled from aerial surveys conducted in Kenya by the Directorate of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS) and in Tanzania by the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Tanzania Wildlife Conservation Monitoring Unit (TWCM) and Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS). The methods used in the aerial surveys and for the estimating population size are described in the detail elsewhere [33, 40, and 42]. Aerial surveys began in the Athi-Kaputiei ecosystem in 1949, in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in 1957 [44 to 46] in the Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem in 1964 [27] and in Amboseli in 1973 [47]

Wildebeest migration safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Wildebeest migration

How do you see the wildebeest migration In Maasai Mara National Reserve.

You can see the migration during a safari game drive in the Maasai Mara National Reserve which is conducted in the specialized vehicles driver experienced Driver-Guides, as there are several core points where the wildebeest cross the rivers, it may be necessary to access and station oneself at these points during a day-long outing in the reserve as some of the lodges and camps can be up to an hour’s drive form the ideal vantage points, most of the tourists on a safari to see the migration do consider seeing the river crossings a highlight of their safari and therefore want to spend enough time at these crossings points, which by the way tend to vary slightly every year while staying within a generally similar sub locality of the reserve.

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