The yearly wildebeest migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya is one of the greatest natural spectacles in the world. The yearly migration of immense herds of wildebeest takes place all year round in Serengeti Park and Maasai Mara Reserve. This enormous migration happens between the Serengeti Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya between July and October. The wildebeest migrate in search for greener pastures. They have to cross the Mara River in the Maasai Mara from the Serengeti which is infested by crocodiles.
In March, towards the end of the short dry season, the small grass grasslands of the southernmost Serengeti start to dry out, and the wildebeest start their journey, towards the western woodlands. According to behaviorist and conservationist Harvey Croze, co-author of The Great Migration known the way to follow by observing weather trends. The wildebeest’s journey is guided mainly by their reaction to the weather; they move towards rains and the growth of grass. They are no documented scientific evidence that this is true; it is also indicated that the wildebeest and other animals respond to lightning and storms in the distance. Croze stated that it would be surprising if the wildebeest overlooked the protuberant portents of change.
It is evident that there is no solo entity of the wildebeest migration. There is no start nor finish to their relentless search for pastures and water, as they round the Serengeti- Mara ecosystem. They move in a constant sequence that involves the life and death of the animals. East African author stated that the only beginning they have is the birth. Likewise, the only ending is demise. This year the migration began on the 20th of June 2019. The wildebeests first crossed was the Sand River heading towards the more significant Mara ecology and the second was noticed at the Mara river bridge headed towards the Mara triangle. Wildebeest get to the Mara River in their tens of thousands and gather ahead of crossing as the numbers increase they finally begin off the crossing at a point of their choice thus there is no specific point of the passage.
This enormous crossing can be observed best in mid-morning at around 0900 hours to 1100 hours and at times in the afternoon from 1500 hours to 1600 hrs. They traverse the Mara ecosystem in their whole stay in Kenya at different times in massive herds accompanied by zebras and big carnivores that prey them. They move through great distances very fast for big carnivores are attacking them. This ensures that they get the pastures to feed on and be discreet within the massive Mara grasslands.
In late October, when the first of the short rains start on the Serengeti’s short-grass grasslands, refilling seasonal oases and bringing new blushes of growth, the wildebeest begin to move towards the south again. The massive herds of wildebeests move down through the eastern woodlands of the Serengeti, some 90 percent of the wildebeests with the new season’s young. Strongly congregated as they move through the forested country, the wildebeest distribute and spread out again once they arrive at the open grasslands.
The wildebeest migration was chosen in 2007 as the eighth wonder of the world. It has also been ranked among the most magnificent safari scenery. The Maasai people baptized the Reserve-Mara, which denotes spotted, this is in relation to the landscape, which is covered with orchards of acacia and thorn savannahs. It is possible the name was derived from the spotted blizzard of wildebeest and millions of other animals during the relocation. Besides its progressing plains and wide-open grassland, the Maasai Mara Game Reserve is the type of African landscape you might see in the cinemas and films such as the Big Cats Series.
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