Monday, July 23, 2012

The Great Migration

Throughout the Serengeti and Masai Mara, approximately 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebra, 500,000 Thompson gazelles, along with numerous other species, are on their epic annual journey. It's referred to as The Great Migration and is an annual movement of animals - a megaherd - migrating to areas with more abundant rains, vegetation and food. The megaherd moves in a huge clockwise circle, starting from the southern Serengeti plains in January.  By February movement has slowly begun. The herd stays in the Serengeti during calving and is moving again by April. By June the megaherd has begun crossing the Grumeti River before making its way north towards the Masai Mara in Kenya. By July many have arrived at the Mara River but the animals often wait for more to arrive so their numbers can grow. The term "safety in number" definitely applies here, since predators await them at every turn. At water's crossings that includes crocodiles. They're "not out of the water" yet, even after crossing the treacherous waters filled with crocs since prides of lions lie in wait on the other side of the river hoping for a meal.

I'll be lucky enough to be in the Masai Mara very soon and will be experiencing this wilderness spectacle for myself. I hope to get some great shots, as well as video, and will be posting them here live from the Mara.

A semi-animated map of the migration can be found here; you can click on each month to see the herd's route:

This site has a fully animated map showing the animals as they move:

For more updates on The Great Migration of 2012, please check back here in the coming weeks. I'll do my best to provide some entertainment along with viewing of the migration and the assorted array of animals that I encounter out in the bush.

Animals Matter.

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