Not to be confused with the people migration that happens in Nairobi every year, this is the real Great Migration. We got to experience it on our trip to the Mara. So, what is it?
The Great Migration is the mass migration of wildebeest, zebra, and other animals such as gazelle and impala. The animals move, sort of following the rains, to get to better pastures and drinking water. They move between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Of course, animals don’t care about political borders and the Serengeti and Mara are the same stretch of land. So, it’s a mass migration across this vast area.
Timing varies depending on the rains but usually peak time is in August. (I don’t recommend going in August as the park will be teeming with obnoxious tourists. More on that in a future post.) We got to see it in mid-July this year as the herds crossed from the Mara to the Serengeti.
We got to view the crossing of the Mara river. We had a great, unobtrusive spot (read: not bothering the animals…again, more in a future post) on the west side of the river and watched a couple crossings. It was amazing. I had seen it on television but it was different to be there.
The sounds, the smells, the vibrations, the excitement in the air is hard to describe. You get close up shots from nature shows, but you don’t get that same feeling. It’s a tremendous experience.
The pictures don’t do it justice but here are a few.