Wildebeests – As Far as You Can See

Listen to an audio version of this blog post! Just press the play button below. There’s nothing else on the planet quite like it. Wildebeests by the thousands, then the tens of thousands, and ultimately by the millions, flooding in from the Serengeti, over the Mara River, and into the Masai Mara Reserve. Seen from the air, their awesome numbers stretch clear to the horizon, an endless train of animals in a ceaseless trek known as the Great Wildebeest Migration. Should you be lucky enough to be in the Masai Mara during the season – July to October – you’ll witness this stirring phenomenon of nature’s forces at play… but also in conflict.

Grazers and Predators

The masses of wildebeests aren’t the only species swept up in the power of this primal movement of wildlife. They are joined by large numbers of other grazers – zebras and Thomson’s gazelles, who together answer a primal urge to flood into the Mara in search of water and higher grasses on which to feed.

And patiently waiting for them in the Mara River are the species on the other side of this eternal equation – crocodiles, who seem to sense when the great herds are approaching.

Only a small number of the gentle grazers succumb when crossing the river, though the masses are visibly nervous as they plunge across, answering some ancient primal call to continue their journey forward.

Land of the Big Cats

The Masai Mara is known for its many prides of lions, as well as leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas. And the Mara is rich with prey – over 95 types of mammal species roam its hills and golden savannahs.

Now add to this natural abundance, the waves of wildebeests and zebras pouring in from the Great Migration. Most of these grazers make it safely across the Mara River, into the reserve, where whole families of big cats lie in wait for them.

And here, we can see uncensored, the dramatic cycles of nature play out before us as predators pursue their prey. Depending on the speed, skill, and luck of carnivore and grazer, we will witness a scene of suspense, excitement, spectacle, grace, and sometimes emotional finality.

The Cycle Continues

Still, the vast majority of wildlife of the Great Migration shoulder forth, heading for and feeding on the sustenance of the taller grasses. And ultimately treading in  an immense arc across the reserve, eventually taking them back to the Serengeti. It’s a journey of 1,200 miles that takes about a year.

Along the way the animals live their lives, mating, pausing for calving, and then continuing on. For the wildebeests and the others, it’s a never-ending cycle, following the rains, foraging, and obeying an instinctual quest for survival.

Witness the Spectacle

We’ll make your safari dream a reality and customize a trip to the Masai Mara and the Great Migration. It’s a sight at first you won’t believe. But the memories will stay with your forever.

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