One of the true wonders to see in east Africa is the annual wildebeest migration. This phenomenon is considered one of the Ten Natural Wonders of the World! Not to miss when you are on safari in Kenya.
The number of animals that are involved in this spectacular, natural phenomenon is staggering. It is estimated that more than 1.5 million wildebeest and at least 225,000 zebras and gazelles set out from the plains of the Serengeti to start their nomadic voyage that will take them over almost 2000 miles in the coming year.
These animals are performing their pilgrimage to search for the grasses that they need to survive and during their migratory voyage they are stalked and hunted by strong and cunning predators. This is a journey where only the best and fastest will survive and the weakest and slowest will fall victim to the laws of nature.
The wildebeest is an animal whose life is a constant journey that begins at birth. Between the months of January and March nearly a half million wildebeest calves are born in Africa. Shortly after their birth these young animals become a part of the yearly wildebeest migration.
The Masai Mara is the place where thousands of tourists come as they hope to obtain a prime vantage point Here they have front row seats and they can watch the wildebeest herd cross the Mara River as the animals move into Kenya’s Masai Mara.
The wildebeest do not always make this crossing at the same time of the year. Many times this migratory wonder will happen during July, but it could be as late as October when the animals make the river crossing. When there has been too little rain and no new grasses in the Masai Mara the wildebeest have been know to remain in Tanzania during these months.
When the Mara River is filled with water the wildebeest migration and river crossing is one of the most amazing natural sights you could ever witness.
The animals must all plunge into the river and swim to the other side in order that they can reach the thick, lush grasses of the Masia Mara. This crossing is fraught with dangers for all of the creatures. Predators are lying in wait or attacking from the rear and if the river water is deep and swift the crossing will be even more perilous. Many of the riverbanks are very steep and the sight of these animals leaping from the cliffs is simply breathtaking.