One of the “Seven New Wonders of the World”.
The Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystems stretch over 24,000 sq.km of land with the Serengeti in the south of Tanzania and the Masai Mara in the north of Kenya.
Every year during the months of July to October the Masai Mara is home to one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles; the annual migration with an estimate of 2 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra taking part.
In search of greener pastures, the wildebeest arrive at the Mara River at about the end of July and cross over onto the Masai Mara plains. During these four months, many animals cross and re-cross the Mara River several times following periodic rain showers. Crossing points form bottlenecks in which thousands of animals perish through trampling or drowning. Not surprisingly, hyenas, lions, leopards, crocodiles and even cheetahs capitalise on this glut of fresh meat.
Traditionally, there are about eight favourite vantage points where the vast wildebeest herds are known to cross the Mara River. These crossings generate some of the iconic images of the migration. However, catching a river crossing in action is a challenge. The area where the crossings occur are vast and even if you find a group of animals at the edge of the water they are cautious and may not cross for an hour or a day because of possible threats. Crossings happen frequently during the migration but are difficult to predict. If you see amassing of wildebeest along the river and animals seem to be agitated and loud, there is good chance that they are crossing the river.
The migration is rarely ever precisely the same in terms of timing and direction, as local conditions influence grass growth. So it might happen that the wildebeest start moving off the open plains earlier in some years, and remain in the northern woodlands for longer in others.