The Serengeti Wildebeest Migration
The Serengeti Wildebeest Migration is one of the most spectacular wildlife events that occurs annually in East Africa, primarily in Tanzania and Kenya. It is a circular migration that involves millions of wildebeests, as well as other herbivores such as zebras and gazelles, moving in search of fresh grazing lands and water sources. The migration circle can be summarized in the following stages:
1: Calving Season (December to March)
The migration begins in the southern Serengeti, where the wildebeests gather to give birth to their young. This period is known as the calving season. The vast grasslands provide abundant food for the newborns, and the predators, such as lions and hyenas, take advantage of this time to prey on the vulnerable young.
2: Grassy Plains (April to May)
As the dry season approaches, the wildebeests start moving northwest in search of greener pastures and water. They traverse the central Serengeti, crossing the Grumeti River. This river poses dangers as large Nile crocodiles lie in wait, ready to snatch any wildebeest that attempts to cross.
3: Western Corridor (June to July)
The migration continues further north, reaching the western corridor of the Serengeti. Here, the wildebeests encounter another river, the Mara River. Crossing this river is one of the most dramatic and perilous stages of the migration. The wildebeests must navigate through strong currents and evade the waiting crocodiles.
4: Maasai Mara Reserve (August to October)
After successfully crossing the Mara River, the herds enter the Maasai Mara Reserve in Kenya. The reserve is lush and abundant in food, providing a respite for the migrating animals. The wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles spread out across the savannah, feeding on the fresh grasses.
5: Return Journey (November to December)
As the dry season approaches once again, the herds begin their return journey. They start moving south, leaving the Maasai Mara and re-entering the Serengeti. The animals cover long distances in search of water and food, often encountering challenges such as predators and exhaustion.
And so, the migration circle continues year after year, driven by the changing seasons and the need for sustenance. The cycle of birth, death, and renewal plays out as the wildebeests complete their epic journey, creating one of the most awe-inspiring wildlife spectacles on the planet.