The wildebeest migration is just one of those things that are wondrous beyond belief in this world. In the ancient world, it was things like the pyramids of Egypt and the hanging gardens of Babylon. In today’s world, we have the gigantic Jesus statue in Brazil and the great Taj mahal in India. The only difference is that today, this wonders like the wildebeest migrations in Kenya are not limited to buildings and man-made structures; nature is also included as well. The world has gone green, and so have its wonders.
Each year around 1.5 million wildebeest and 300,000 zebra and various species of antelope gather up their young and start their long trek from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. The wildebeest migration was named the 7th greatest wonder in the world. The wildebeests go in search of food and water. It’s a tough journey, and every year an estimated 250,000 wildebeest don’t make it. But still every year, the cycle is repeated, with the animals following their strong migratory instinct and attempting to defy crocodile-infested rivers, wild currents, and flocks of predators lying in wait.
The great wildebeest migration began in the 1960s. A rinderpest epidemic eliminated over 90% of the wildebeest and cattle in the Serengeti region in Tanzania. To prevent a further spreading of the disease, wide spread inoculation was carried out by veterinarians and the disease soon disappeared from the area. This led to a boom in the wildebeest population in the 60´s and 70´s, from 260,000 to the 1.4 million individuals that currently inhabit the Serengeti ecosystem. As a result of this population boom, there was not enough food and water in the area for the growing herds. They were forced to migrate in their search for water and grazing grassland, starting the circular migratory route.
The timing of the wildebeest migration Migration depends on the rain, however, the best time to see the migration is generally between June and August when the wildebeests Kenya congregate and prepare to cross the famous Grumeti River. If you are in the Masai Mara, in Kenya, you can expect the wildebeest to make their arrival as early as July, but they generally arrive between August & September and remain in the Masai Mara between October & November. This gives you enough time to witness this magical phenomenon.
Between the end of November and January the wildebeest gradually begin their migration from the Masai Mara back towards the Serengeti, and wait until the next year to do it all over again. The next time you can, be sure to check out “The seventh greatest wonder in the world”: The wildebeest migration.