This is the world’s most famous animal migration. Every year herds upon herds of determined animals move across the plains of the Serengeti from Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. More than 1.5 million wildebeest are accompanied by half a million zebra, 18 000 eland and 200 000 Thompson’s gazelle in a breath-taking and arduous journey.
They follow the rains looking for sweet grasses and good grazing. Mating and calving take place along the way and February is a celebration of life as up to 8,000 calves are born a day. It is also a game of survival. As many as 250,000 wildebeest will not make it, succumbing to exhaustion, hunger or thirst. Or falling victim to the various predators. Lion, cheetah and the mighty Nile crocodile all take advantage of the passing throngs to snap up easy prey. The thrilling river crossings are usually between July and August.
As they’re constantly on the move, there’s always somewhere in Kenya or Tanzania to see the spectacle of a million and more wildebeest. Footage and film simply cannot capture the vastness; you need to be among the heaving mass of thundering hooves and grunting animals to really experience it. If this is not on your bucket list, it should be.