Seeing the migration – a natural wonder of the world

In Kenya and Tanzania, every year the migration of animals happens from August-October every year – this spectacular event happens when 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra and antelope make a circular tour between the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara in Kenya, as they look for greener pastures and more food to sustain themselves.

This mass migration is often called of the of the ‘wonders of the natural world’ and can make for thrilling viewing. The drama and intensity, as the herds push further looking for food, is only heightened by the lions and crocodiles lying in wait for their prey.

Any guests who come to Kenya and Tanzania to see the migration are often shocked by the brutality of the event, with many animals breaking legs, being squashed in the crowd or being taken by a hidden crocodile as they cross the rivers that lie in their way. It is truly the ‘survival of the fittest’ for those making the journey. Crocodiles are known to be ruthless killers, and their tactics of taking their prey beneath the water and drowning them until the suffocate. Often the waterways are bloated with the bodies of wildebeest that did not make the crossing.

The best time to see the migration can be found below:

January – March: over 50,000 new calves are born in Tanzania’s Serengeti where the rains have brought fresh grass for the herd to eat.

April – July: as the rains dry up and grass is quickly eaten by the herd, the beasts start to move north in search of grass to feed themselves and their young on. As the head, predators such as cheetah, lion and leopard follow them, taking off the young.

July – October: it is during these months that the herd reaches the climax of their journey; the Mara river. Depending on the rainfall in the preceding months, the river can be a huge, raging torrent, with steep banks on either side. Many animals are swept away by the strong currents, and others are trampled by the stampede during the crossing.

November: the short rains come and the lure of green grass in, again, too much for the herd to resist. They begin their trek back to Tanzania, to begin the process again.

In total, over 250,000 animals can die through predators, starvation, exhaustion and sickness. This spectacle is truly a profound and exciting reminder of the daily threat of life and death to the animals of Africa.

Coming on safari with The Safari & Conservation Company allows you access to some of the best accommodation, guides and game viewing that is on offer in both Tanzania and Kenya. While the migration is a superb time to visit, it can also be busy. Having a guide that knows the migration route, and the Mara and Serengeti well, can be the difference between seeing a crossing and not.

If you are interested in learning more about coming on safari with SCC, get in touch: reservations@scckenya.com.

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"We saw so many extraordinary things - not only stunning wildlife but met interesting locals and conservationists which made our trip exceptional."

Candice Trafford, USA May 29, 2016

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