The Great Migration Of Wildebeests In Tanzania
The Great Migration.
What is the Great Migration of wildebeests?
In this post, we will see better what is the Great Migration of Wildebeests.
Meanwhile, we begin by saying that Great Migration does not only belong to the Serengeti but also to the entire Serengeti-Masai Mara-Ngorongoro Ecosystem.
A very large area that affects an unprecedented number of between 1.5 and 2 million animals. Of which no less than three hundred thousand are gazelles and especially zebras.
Sometimes it is imagined of a large compact herd that moves. In fact, it is not so, many small herds that can contain as many as eighty heads but the vast majority is much smaller.
These herds travel together and occupy the same territories. Then they move slowly forming sifting columns of animals that give the landscape a really unusual appearance. However, especially in the period of the birth of the little ones, the herds are less divided and form gathering at eye loss.
Start of the Great Migration
We said of the birth of the Wildebeests which is the baseline for the survival of the herd. They are born almost altogether in a period of 15/20 days which is generally in February and are about 500,000 calves.
There is no time to waste, the little ones born in a few minutes have to stand and move independently and within two-three days they have to run fast. Their survival depends only on this.
The atavistic instinct leads the mothers to give birth to all together. At least eighty percent of the babies are born in these 2 or 3 weeks. This strategy makes predatory raptors, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and wild dogs fail to affect the size of the herd. In this way succeeds in maintaining a balance between the number of born and surviving animals and the number of dead animals during the year.
Move from Lake Ndutu area
The life of the Wildebeests is an eternal journey in eternal migration. The birth of the Wildebeests has a precise place where it is held and are around the lake Ndutu in the south of the Serengeti.
When the little ones are born the savannah grass is now completely eaten in the area. The lack of rain makes it necessary to move the herd that begins its slow ascent to the north.
Towards May we find the herds near and around the Western Corridor, where they will cross the Grumeti River.
From Serengeti to Masai Mara
After the Grumeti area, most of them slowly move to Kenya. They will cross the Mara River. In June you can see the first Mara crossing, but there is no fixed rule. In recent years it has arrived even at the ending of July.
However, once in Kenya, the animals spread to a vast area that goes far beyond the Masai Mara boundaries. Long times ago it reached Narok city about sixty miles from Masai Mara National Reserve.
It is time to go back
Since the end of August, the movements carry the herds to gather again near the Mara River. In the spreading order begins the river crossing to return to the Serengeti.
The crossing of the Mara River is certainly to be considered the most spectacular and cruel moment of the Great Migration. The divided herds approaching the river attracted by an irresistible instinct.
One sees clearly observing them in their approach who are aware of being in front of a great danger.
Often they spend hours if not days before the herd decides to dive into the river.
The Mara River is infested with Nile crocodiles waiting to attack their prey. For Mara crocodile, the migration is a real fortune, so much food with little effort.
But is not finish, on the opposite shore, there will certainly be a few lions pending. In particular of some wounded or exhausted animal from the crossing.
Go back to Tanzania
Finally, they are back in Tanzania and the Great Migration goes south but this time on the side of Ngorongoro and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
So, slowly with the African rhythms will find in January- February to give birth to the newborns in the south of Serengeti, where the cycle repeats itself.
Official site of the National Parks Authority Tanapa