Wildebeest Migration Kenya

The migration is an endless cycle. The animal masses go where food and water is plenty. This cycle of life and death happens n the Serengeti-Maasai Mara ecosystem. The births take place in synchrony in the month of January. This happens in two or three weeks in the short grass plains of southern Ngorongoro. This happens after a gestation period of 8 and half weeks. The calves born are 3-4 hundred thousand.  It is a feasting period for the large predators.The dropping of the calves in their numbers over whelm the predators. They have more than they can handle. The calves have to gain coordination in the first few minutes of their life.  However most of these young calves loose their lives before their first birthday. This is through malnutrition, fatigue, disease and predation. Wildebeests are prone to panic. During such times many calves loose contact with their mothers. As they animals cross rivers and lakes contact is lost too. Wildebeest’s cows do not adopt a strange calf. Due to this calves wander of in search of mom and are easily preyed upon. 

 

The wildebeests’ follow the rains and growth of new grass. Towards the end of short dry season, this is in March. They animals follow their instinct and they will always know which way to go.  From the southern plains of Ngorongoro the animals head to the small lakes of Ndutu, Masek and Lagarja. The herds feed on the nutritious small grass. The Ndutu plains are now home, but just as long as the grass is green.As the rains continue the herds head towards the kopjes of seronera. This is the western side towards the Lake Victoria. This is the mating season. An annual Rut where millions of cows and bulls mate within a month. The peak of the rut is during the full moon. This is between May and June. 

 After the Rut in Western Serengeti, the herds head north. They start the journey in to the vast plains of Maasai Mara.  They encounter several rivers in the Mbalangeti and Grumeti areas before the major crossing at the Mara River. Here gigantic crocodiles lay in wait for the animals.  Across the river in the thickets, there lay the large cats. The predators lay ambush on the poor animals that manage to pass through the crocs. The animals however arrive in their thousand and gather waiting to cross. The anticipation is high but once a predator is spotted they do not cross. The animals choose a crossing point and go near the waters edge. Once a few animals make the dive, the adrenalin begins. Here they will jump in their numbers and try to find their way across the river. Many calves are separated from the i.e. mothers and the wildebeests drown in their hundreds. This annual event causes a stir in this game Reserve.

Kenya Migration safari

 Once they are on the other side, the wildebeests will feed on the green lush grass for several months. They also have to be wary of the hunting predators. Due to getting used to the long distant traveling wildebeests can travel for long distances in search of food in the Mara Mara. The predators are outdone in this as they can never keep up with the pace. This is an advantage to the wildebeests as they can graze and multiply in their numbers.

 

The animals head off to Tanzania by late October when the Serengeti receive their first short rains. The animals head south towards the woodland and they scatter again awaiting the next wildebeests migration Safari.

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