The Great Migration

The Serengeti Great Migration is one of the most spectacular natural events on Earth, occurring in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Maasai Mara Reserve. It involves the movement of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and other herbivores across vast savannas in search of greener pastures and water sources. This annual migration is driven by seasonal rainfall patterns and the availability of fresh grass.

The migration typically follows a circular pattern, covering approximately 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) throughout the year. It is divided into three main phases:

  1. Calving Season (December – March): The migration begins in the southern Serengeti during the calving season. Wildebeest, zebras, and other animals gather in the southern plains to give birth to their young. This period is characterized by an abundance of newborns and predators, such as lions and cheetahs, taking advantage of the vulnerable prey.

  2. Grumeti River Crossing (May – July): As the dry season progresses, the herds start moving westward towards the Grumeti River. The crossing of this crocodile-infested river is one of the most dramatic and perilous moments of the migration. Thousands of animals brave the strong currents and lurking predators in their quest for fresh grazing lands.

  3. Mara River Crossing (July – October): The final phase of the migration takes place as the herds reach the Mara River, marking the border between Tanzania and Kenya. Similar to the Grumeti River crossing, the Mara River crossing is another challenging obstacle for the migrating animals. Crocodiles lie in wait, ready to ambush any weak or unsuspecting prey. Yet, the herds surge forward, driven by instinct and the need for sustenance.

The Serengeti Great Migration is not only a testament to the resilience and adaptability of wildlife but also a prime opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers to witness nature’s grandeur. The sight of thousands of animals on the move, accompanied by the cacophony of their calls and the dust kicked up by their hooves, is a breathtaking spectacle.