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Predicting The Annual Wildebeest Migration

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Predicting The Annual Wildebeest Migration
JENMAN

One of the last natural wonders left on earth – it is a must-see! You may have seen in films those wide open plains filled with Wildebeest, but until you share the same ground they walk on; you have not experienced the Wildebeest Migration. Picture millions of animals surrounding you, or better yet, picture over one million animals running together at such a pace that not even a brick wall could stop them. It is just beautiful.

Predicting the movements of the large herds is not an exact science, as it is governed by the rainfall in certain areas, but with our wealth of knowledge and time spent in the national parks, we are able to make a fairly accurate educated guess.

The Wildebeest Migration is a year round process, and the animals move in a huge circle within the ecosystem. Here is a rough guide on movements is as follows:

December to March
In the early part of the year (December – March), they spread out throughout the Southern Plains of the Serengeti. This is the time that the southern plains are lush and green, which gives the newborns the strength for the long journey ahead. Things however, are not all cute and cuddly as predators lurk in the shadows knowing a heaven of helpless young lie before them.

wildebeest migration
Lions preying on a Wildebeest

May to August
From May to August the long trek towards the Masai Mara in Kenya is in full swing, with some of the herds following the traditional Western Corridor routing, which is where the fabled river crossings occurs at the Grumeti River. The big question of survival comes up at this point… will they survive the river? Others split off to follow a more north easterly direction.

wildebeest migration
Wildebeest coming out of the water

May to November
From August to November the herds are generally located in the northern reaches of the Serengeti and in the Masai Mara and beyond. The Wildebeest are met with some more opportunities for river crossings on the Mara River, before the long return journey.

wildebeest migration
Plains covered with Wildebeest

This epic journey is one of hardship and strain as these animals endure countless predators, blistering weather conditions, starvation and loss in order to complete the journey. The crazy thing is, they complete the journey only to repeat the epic odyssey again when the life-giving rains restart the cycle.

The latest short update on the Migration Movements are as follows:

Calving season is in FULL SWING! A lot of calves have been dropped already and are becoming more mobile, although quite a few calves are being dropped late, with births & newborns still very evident.
There has been no rain for a while, so the bulk of the herds have seem to be slightly undecided at the moment, with reports suggesting that they are circling slightly between the Serengeti and the northern part of the Ngorongoro Conservation area.

For tours that the Wildebeest Migration passes through, click  on one of the following countries: Tanzania or Kenya.

To find out more about our East African tours, click the video below

 

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