Great Migration

The Great Migration

Imagine a column of wildebeest 40 km (24 miles) long patiently in move across the plain for hours. Now multiply that until you have about 1.5 million wildebeests, throw in some 500,000 zebras, another 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles, and about 30,000 grant’s gazelles, all on the move in the search for fresh new grass.

Imagine it taking over two weeks for the column of animals to pass a single spot and visualize them all bunching together into protective herds in the evenings or scrambling across each other’s backs in their panic to cross the river and stay clear of the snapping jaws of the crocodiles. Imagine the hyenas and lion’s roaring and crackling as they sprawl the outskirts of the herds looking for weakened animals. Now you may just begin to have an idea of the awesome spectacle that is the Serengeti migration.

The Serengeti migration is actually a year-round phenomenon, a broad slow clockwise route march that covers 6000 km (3,740 miles). The cycle begins in May when the grass on the Southern plains is exhausted and the herds begin to move slowly Northwards through the Western corridor. The mass reaches the Maasai Mara by late June, remaining there until September when they return South through the Lobo area following the scent in the air of the short rains. They reach the Southern plains by late November, remaining there to feed on the nutrients-rich grass during the breeding season.

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