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The Great Migration – Kenya

Wildebeest gathering at the river

The Great Migration is an annual event that sees millions of wildebeests and zebras cross the Mara River in search of better grazing land. The migration is a spectacular sight to behold, and it’s one of Kenya’s biggest tourist attractions. Ms. Mar had wanted to go to Africa for many years to see the wildlife and the Great Migration was the perfect event. She loves to photograph wildlife. That’s why she loves me . . . I’m wild and wonderful.

So I was very excited when I got to go with Mr. C and Ms. Mar to witness the migration firsthand. It was exciting to see all of the animals in their natural habitat and I wondered how all the different types of animals are able to live harmoniously in one big place. Well, maybe not so harmoniously . . .

Wildebeest jumping from a cliff

Wildebeest are the main attraction of the Great Migration. They’re nicknamed “the walking dead” because so many of them die during the migration. Our guide told us that about 600,000 wildebeest die during the Great Migration. But it’s an amazing sight to see them crossing the river, especially when you consider that there are millions of them!

Zebras are also a big part of the migration. They usually stick close to the wildebeests, and they’re just as impressive to watch.

On the downside, The Great Migration is fraught with danger. First, most crossing points have very high embankments and are very steep. If an animal falls it’s likely it will get trampled or break bones. Additionally, the Mara River is a dangerous place to cross. The current can be strong, and there are usually crocodiles waiting in the waters to prey on the animals as they cross. Crocodiles and hippos are their biggest threats during the crossing, but also lions on the receiving side of the river. I actually saw crocodiles and lions attack and eat wildebeest, and I saw a pair of cheetahs chase and kill another wildebeest.

I am lucky that my diet is top-shelf items and served in a clean bowl in a neat kitchen. I realize that I am living a very good life.

Zebras huddled together

As our guide drove us around the savannah, my ears perked up when I saw the zebras. Here was an animal the same color as me. Such handsome fellows!! I was fascinated by their color pattern and enjoyed watching them as they raced across the river. Every group of animals was an out-of-body experience for me. I was in my element.

As the animals cross the river, they’re met with hordes of tourists on the receiving side of the river. The vehicles jockey to themselves for an optimum view of one nature’s great epic. The herds of animals thunder across the river to create a scene that is both beautiful and awe-inspiring. It’s truly a sight to behold!

The migration happens once a year and begins in late June or early July, when the animals start moving north from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. They cross the Mara River and continue north into Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. The migration usually ends in October or November, when the animals start moving back south to the Serengeti to graze. The pregnant wildebeest generally give birth in January and by February about 8,000 baby wildebeest are being born every day.

This Age-old behavior goes back centuries and is driven by one thing: survival. They only kill to eat and to feed their family.

Despite this unbelievable event that takes place once a year, the sun always sets and most animals huddle together for protection and sleep. The sun will rise again and life continues.

The Great Migration is a fascinating event to witness, and it’s definitely one of the highlights of a trip to Kenya. If you’re lucky, you may be able to see it firsthand. Be sure to book a safari tour that will take you to the Maasai Mara – it’s well worth it! We booked with the Wild Eye Mara Camp which is right on the Mara River.

Wild Eye Mara Camp

I’m waiting for Ms. Mar and Mr. C to go back so I can see more.

See you next week.



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