The Great Wildebeest Migration
In a dramatic spectacle, huge herds of migrating wildebeest face a perilous crossing of the Mara River in Kenya's Masai Mara. The endless migration of wildebeest through the East African grasslands of the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara in Kenya is one of the world's great wildlife spectacles. After birthing in the southern-most savannahs of their range, the vast herds of wildebeest then begin their long and arduous trek west and north across the Serengeti. Accompanied by zebra and other grazers, herds numbering more than 1.5 million reach the rain-refreshed grasses of the Masai Mara in the late summer months. Here, they must cross the perilous waters of the Mara River, facing challenges of steep or rocky banks, enormous crocodiles, and fast-flowing currents that sweep away the weak and injured. The herds throng close to the river until the bravest take the plunge. Herd instinct then kicks in as thousands follow in a noisy frenzy down dusty banks and into the swirling currents. With the added perils of eager predators - lions, leopards and hyenas - many wildebeest do not survive to return to the southern Serengeti.Read More
the wilds of east Africa
The Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is part of a vast ecosystem that extends south into the Serengeti in Tanzania. The Mara is an evocative east African landscape characterized by sweeping savannas studded with flat-topped acacia trees and woodland-lined watercourses. Above these immense panoramas are expansive skies - sometimes a sun-scorched vivid blue, and at other times painted with a glorious sunset or with dark and menacing storm clouds.
The rains are crucial to the Mara. They bring fresh grass to the plains that allows a stunning annual migration of countless wildebeest and zebra. Where the herbivores graze, the big cats hunt. The Mara still boasts one of the world's great concentrations of these relentless predators. Lions are the lords of their domain, cheetahs are the sleek hunters of the grasslands, while elusive leopards might be glimpsed only as fleeting shadows in the woodlands.