The Great Wildebeest Migration – One Of The Seven Natural Wonders Of The World
Kenya is one of the first places that people think for their first wildlife safari. It is an obvious destination for people who are just starting to learn about Africa & is known as a birthplace for African Safari. A Kenyan wildlife safari is an ultimate holiday experience and a journey of a lifetime. The famous Big 5 (Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Buffalos and Elephants), endangered species and world’s most incredible animals are available here in an open environment.
WHAT IS MIGRATION?
Migration is a natural phenomenon which happens nowhere in the world except for Kenya. The great Migration is the movement of millions of wildebeest and zebras migrating from Serengeti, Tanzania towards Masai Mara, Kenya in search of grass and water. These two National parks result in an incredible safari and together form what no other safari in Africa can. The main migrates are around 1.7 million wildebeest, four lakh thomson gazelle, three lakh zebra and twelve thousand elands. The lions, leopards, cheetahs and other carnivores are waiting for these months with eager anticipation.
In January to march migration begins in Serengeti as wildebeest tend to feed their calves with milk and grass rich in calcium, phosphorous and potassium. In April to May most of the grass is gone and as the Serengeti starts to dry up the herds follow the Grumeti River west. By June the Grumeti River is low, frequently leaving crocodile invaded pools at this very moment water source in the range, and both wildebeest and zebra drink just about three gallons day by day. By the approach of July the herds hasten their approach to Masai Mara.
More than two million animals migrate from the Serengeti to the greener pastures of the Maasai national park in Kenya during the month of July. The migration has to cross the Mara River. Maasai Mara is the largest density of lions and other cat families. The main mass reaches the Masai Mara in the months of August to September and august is probably the best season to catch a crossing. In October to December the groups turn the corner and make a beeline for the Serengeti as the rainy season starts in Tanzania. The migration is the endless search by the animals for food and water in the rentless sequence of life and death. You can’t predict exact time around which the migration will happen as it is a natural phenomenon but it is around July to October. It mainly depends upon the weather and cycle of four seasons. Scientific facts suggest that animals follow the rains and the growth of new grass and react to thunderstorms in the distance.
WHAT IS A KENYAN WILDLIFE SAFARI?
First time travelers may have great experience staying in safari lodges, but tented camps bring you closer to the wildlife. The best way to explore the National parks is a Game Drive, a safari in a open car that usually takes place twice in a day, mornings and evenings. The location where you are staying is all-important and good professional driver-guides can make all the difference. Some of the basic and necessary things you must need are Binoculars, camera, warm clothes for early morning game drives, walking boots, a baseball-style bush hat and a head torch. A balloon safari is a very unique way of exploring Kenyan wildlife, which should not be missed on your Migration holiday.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR KENYAN HOLIDAY DURING MIGRATION?
Ideal duration for a migration holiday should be at least four nights starting with one night in Nairobi, 2 nights in Masai Mara & ending with your last night in the Lake Naivasha region. It is always good to plan your holiday during this period at least 5-6 months in advance, as all the bookings made during this period are non refundable. A package to Kenya will start from 1 lakh Rs. Per person including flights from Mumbai & all the land arrangements. Kenyan Airways offers very good connections on the Nairobi sector from Mumbai.