Great Migration, Africa
|Date Added: March 14, 2012 10:38:57 AM|
During Africa's Great Migration, millions of wild herbivores migrate from the Serengeti Plains in Tanzania to Kenya's Masai Mara reserve.
Half a million wildebeest, half a million gazelles and 200,000 zebra make the journey in order to find of new grazing land as the seasons change and the Serengeti dries up.
All along the way, they are in constant danger of attack by predators, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs and hyenas.
Wildebeest calves are born in the southern Serengeti and around the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania between January and the middle of March.
In May, when the Serengeti begins to dry up, and the calves are larger and stronger, the wildebeest begin westward and northward. They are joined by other ungulates, who may feel safer amid the gigantic wildebeest herds.
Wildebeest mating season takes place between May and July.
Some wildebeest reach the Masai Mara as early as July, but most do not arrive until August or September..
During this time, the Masai Mara tends to be full of tourists; if you want to avoid other tourists, consider making your visit earlier in the year and viewing the Great Migration from the Serengeti in June or July.
A short rainy season begins between October and November, and the herds begin traveling traveling back towards the Serengeti between December and January.
Many safari camps have been set up along the rivers that the animals must cross along their journey. These include the Grumeti River, in the Serengeti; the Mara River, which run though Tanzania and Kenya; and Kenya's Talek River.
These rivers are full of crocodiles, ready to pick off the weak and the young.
Because the weather cannot be predicted with 100% accuracy, it is impossible to predict exactly when the Great Migration will take place and when the ungulates will reach specific areas. Droughts and unexpected rains can have a severe effect on migration patterns. Many travel companies operating in eastern Africa provide regular updates on the migration, which will help you to plan your itinerary.