The Great Migration: In a nutshell

By Asilia Africa News | 03 February 2017

By Claudia Smargiasso

The Great Migration is the Greatest Show on Earth. Sounds impressive, right? But what is it?

In short, the migration is an annual phenomenon that sees thousands upon thousands of wildebeest (or gnus), zebra, and gazelles risking life and limb in pursuit of food, as they make their way across predator-dotted plains of the Masai Mara and Serengeti. It’s the largest herd movement of animals on the planet, and is even visible from space!

The sheer scale of this thrilling spectacle is staggering: 1.2 million wildebeest and 300 000 zebra moving together along the 1000km circuit, propelled by rainfall and the promise of better grazing. The age-old route sees the migration thunder along from the Masai Mara in Kenya all the way to the southern Serengeti, almost (but not quite) all the way to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Along the way, the wildebeest will travel across rivers teeming with hungry crocs laying in wait to feast on the slow and the weak, and over dusty plains followed closely by ever-watchful predators ready to pounce. During the calving season, 400 000 calves are born at a rate of around 8000 per day – which of course ushers in a more determined predator contingent looking to prey on the defenceless newborns.

We’re often asked when the migration takes place, and the answer is simple – it’s a continuous, cyclical event. So the ‘when’ and the ‘where’ are inextricably linked; when you go determines where to go, and what you’ll see. Regardless of when you go, it’s an epic battle of life and death that will not soon be forgotten.

We have three mobile migration camps that move throughout the year to ensure they are located in the best possible position to witness the Great Migration. Be sure to check out Olakira Camp, Ubuntu Camp and Kimondo Camp and include at least one in your next trip to Africa!

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