The Misconception of the Great Migration

The Misconception of the Great Migration : When people hear of the Great Migration, the first thing they think about is the Iconic wildebeest river crossing that takes place in the Masai Mara national reserve and Serengeti national park in the peak safari season from June to October.

The Great Migration is a year – long cyclical event where wildebeests and other plain games that is zebras, Thomson and grant’s gazelles follow the rains from the East of Serengeti down through the North-West of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, back up through the central and west of the Serengeti, all the way up North to the Masai Mara national reserve and then back down through the center and East of Serengeti national park.

The whole annual Great – Migration involves plenty of action including

  • Calving season – from January to March
  • Rutting season – in April and May
  • River crossing season – from June to October with the herd continuing to move south in November and December – just to start the whole cycle all over again

Most the travelers take the river crossing to be most exciting and desirable event of the Great Migration to witness and a must- do on the bucket list list of most travelers on wildebeest migration safari

What makes the River crossing a bucket list event?

The Great Migration also referred to as the annual wildebeest migration is one of the world’s wonders with over 1.3 million wildebeest, 300,000 zebras and 200,000 gazelles taking part in the largest herd movement of animals in the world, they are so large that they can be clearly seen from the space.

The Misconception of the Great Migration
Great Migration

The dramatic river crossing is an exhilarating event to watch filled with emotions and anticipation, however patience is needed to witness this spectacle first-hand. Wildebeests can take hours to full days to cross the Mara River and Sand River from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya. The herd eagerly waits for one of their comrades to take the first step in the waters filled with Nile crocodiles, going first is quiet a scary prospect as there are predators to watch for, with the crocodile in the river, lions, cheetahs and African wild dogs waiting to pick off the weaker of the them, The Misconception of the Great Migration.

Surrounding the river, there is the muddy riverbed to navigate so the herds make sure they do not get stuck. Some sides of the ravine turn out to be too steep to climb up which forces the herds back across the treacherous river to start the exercise all over again. In the end, one of the brave wildebeest takes their step or rather jump into the river thus causing a cascading movement of the whole herd- one following the other in a simultaneous effect a definite must – see event.

Why do wildebeests cross the river?

Wildebeest move following the rains by watching the movement of the rain clouds, they are very well aware that where there is heavy rain, the grass they eat will grow soon after. Their instincts impel them to follow the storm clouds across the Mara and Sand rivers, The Misconception of the Great Migration.

In conclusion, the wildebeests move and cross the river because of food.

What are other animals migrate

 The largest migration

The largest migration is a migration of straw- coloured fruit bat from Congo to Zambia between October and December each year.

The Most generation in a migration

Unlike other known migratory animals, no individual Monarch butterfly completes an entire round trip from northern America to Southern America each year. The female butterflies lay eggs for a subsequent generation during the northward migration and up to 4 generations can be involved in the annual cycle.

The Longest migration

Arctic terns are small, mostly white birds with the distinguishing features of a black head and red beak, these birds follow the summer weather from one pole to another that is Artic to Antarctic thus spending most their time at the sea. These birds are believed to migrate around 40,000 kilometers a year, The Misconception of the Great Migration.

Where is the best place to stay to watch the Great Migration river crossing?

There are several accommodations where to stay to watch the Great migration river crossing, these camps have unique style and they are situated in the northern Serengeti and southern Masai Mara national reserve. These accommodations include

The Ubutu Migration Camp

The Ubutu Migration camp boasts10 traditional canvas tents with hot water safari bucket showers and open verandas looking onto the plains of grunting wildebeests and they make their way to the Mara River.

The Misconception of the Great Migration
The Ubutu Migration Camp

Stargazing tents

Stargazing Tents boasts 8 beautiful stargazing tents with 270 degree views from the comfort of your bed, the tents are covered by mesh allowing you to sleep under the a sky of glittering star, The Misconception of the Great Migration.

Other accommodations include Royal Mara safari Lodge, Kichwa Tembo camp, Little Governor’s camp among others.

If you are interested in witnessing the river crossing, booking your migration safari with us.

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