The Great Migration

Have you ever watched one of those Discovery or National Geographic channel documentaries where you see hundreds of buffalo-like animals standing on the bank of a river. They are like sheep, wondering who’s going in first??? When the first one of them enters the water, the others follow. Whilst doing so they become a good snack for the hungry crocodiles in the river…..Now that’s in the Serengeti and the animals are part of the 1.4 million Wildebeest that migrate every year from Tanzania to Kenya and back again. The Wildebeest Migration is one of the ‘Seven New Wonders of the World’ and is also known as the ‘World Cup of Wildlife’. This great migration is termed as one of the most ‘Spectacular Wildlife Events on the Planet’ and sometimes is also referred to as the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’.

Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Park together form what no other reserve in Africa can! It is incredible, it is magical, it is indescribable and it is simply amazing…!!

Nowhere in the world is there a movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration. Over two million animals migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pastures of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya from July through October.

The wildebeests need to cross the Mara River in the Maasai Mara where crocodiles prey on them. This is one of the highlights as the animals try and cross the Mara River alive.There is little predictability about the migration, and questions as to which is the best month to view it are likely to get different answers from different people. According to Scott, ‘You could spend a lifetime in the Serengeti-Mara waiting for the typical migration, it is a dynamic process which defies predictions.

Getting there: For Kenya fly from Mumbai to Nairobi (six hours non-stop). You can fly directly into the bush by light aircraft (saving hours of time) or transfer by road (long and arduous but cheaper).

If you are going to Kenya you could combine the Mara with a stay on the coast of the Indian Ocean. In Tanzania you can easily visit Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater en route to the Serengeti.

First-timers may feel happier staying in Safari Lodges. A major part of your safari experience is determined by the style of accommodation you choose. Tented camps don’t lack in comfort and bring you closer to the wild. Best of all are the mobile camping safaris that move wherever the migration is and allow you to enjoy a greater freedom of deciding how to spend each day. Wherever you stay, the location is very important, and good professional driver-guides can make all the difference.

What to pack: Binoculars are essential and so is the Camera. Pack warm clothes for early morning Game Drives. Walking boots are always advisable. The list of essential things to carry also includes a Baseball style bush hat, P20 last-all-day Sunscreen and a Head Torch. Don’t forget your Antimalarial Pills, and for currency carry US dollars in small denominations.

Going on a wildlife safari with family is an absolute fun and an unmatched adventure. The magnificence of African wildlife and landscape tickles the excitement and interest of people belonging to all age groups alike. With new Family Safari accommodation options, Guides and some excellent deals for families, it has never been a better time to take your kids on a safari!

Tabassum Patel
(Sales Management)