Kenya wildlife safaris is famous for the Great Wildebeest Migration, is one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World” that makes Kenya to be in a competitive edge apart from authentic cultures, beaches and natural feature
This phenomenon of movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration, over two million animals migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pastures of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya during July through to October attracting huge number of tourists in Kenya safaris. The migration has to cross the Mara River in the Maasai Mara where crocodiles will enjoy hunting on the zebras and crocodiles trying to cross the Mara River.
It is this park where guests enjoy various game activities as one witness crocodiles try hunt, stalked and run down by the larger carnivores. It also has one of the largest densities of lions in the world and is no wonder this is the home of the BBC wildlife channels Big Cat Diary recorded ever. The stage on which this show is set is loosely termed the Serengeti Ecosystem, about 40, 000 square kilometer pretty much defined by the dominant migration routes of wildebeest and comprises parts of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the south, the Serengeti National Park and the adjacent Maswa Game Reserve and other ‘controlled’ areas in the center, east and west and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve to the north. The key players are the wildebeest, whose numbers appear to have settled at just under 1.5 million, with supporting roles from some 350,000 Thomson’s gazelle, 200,000 zebra and 12,000 eland. These are the main migratory and they cross the ranges of over a quarter of a million other resident herbivores and like the carnivores. The lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs and lesser predators await the annual coming of the migration with eager anticipation as these are their celebrities’ time for them to hunt easily.
In the real sense, this phenomenon is an endless issue where wildebeest search for food and water, as they circle the Serengeti- Mara ecosystem in a relentless sequence of life and death scenario. There is little predictability about the migration. The finer details of the herds movements are always different. It is a dynamic process which defies predictions with no two years is ever quite the same as this depends on the fallen pattern of the rains.
The seasons are reasonably defined: the short dry season is typically December to February/March though might vary as a result of climate change and global warming and the long rains fall over a six week period from March through April and into May which is good rain for the growth of pastures for these animals and the long dry season is from June to September, with the two-week ‘short rains’ falling any time from October into November. However with all these seasons are known to be the best for tourists’ travelers in Kenya Tanzania safaris.
Witness the beginning of the migration. It start on January and February, where wildebeest are calving down birthing approximately 300,000 to 400,000 calves born within two to three weeks of one another, eight and a half months after the rut. The birthing occurs on the short-grass plains that, at the southernmost extent of the wildebeests’ range, spread over the lower northern slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater highlands and are scattered around Olduvai Gorge.
The annual period of birthing provides feast for predators like the lions, cheetah among others are celebrating. May seem that the wildebeest are doing the predators a favor by dropping their young all for these predators but wildebeest are taking the privilege of the short grasses that are suitable for the young ones and predators easily spotted. The predators thus have only a limited impact on the population of newborn calves; any calves born outside the peak are far more likely to perish.
However, towards the end of the short dry season around March, the short-grass plains of the southernmost Serengeti begin to dry out and the wildebeest begin their journey, heading towards the western woodlands. They have two entry points according to behaviorists and ecologist Harvey Croze, co-author of The Great Migration. The wildebeest’s journey is dictated primarily by their response to the weather; they follow the rains and the growth of new grass. And, although there is no scientific proof that this is true, it seems that they, and other animals, react to lightning and thunderstorms in the distance. It would be surprising if even the wildebeest could overlook such prominent portents of change, writes Croze and the phenomenon starts its circle once again!!Creating Kenya holidays the best safari to experience this wonders!