Tag Archives: Serengeti

The Great Wildebeest Migration

Africa’s annual Great Wildebeest Migration is the world’s largest overland animal migration. This spectacular phenomenon occurs when approximately two million wildebeest, zebra and other indigenous antelope undertake an incredible journey across the African plains, from Tanzanias beautiful Serengeti to the world-renowned Masai Mara in Kenya.

The Migration does not just consist of one large herd, but rather thousands of smaller ones that branch in and out of the main bulk, depending on the availability of food and water. The sizes of the herds fluctuate, as some wildebeest do not travel, choosing to stay in specific areas.

It is also interesting to note that during the Migration, the wildebeest and zebra travel harmoniously together. Though both species are herbivores, their feeding preferences differ greatly, as they prefer different parts of the same grasses. This means that while they inhabit the same space, they are not in competition for the same resources.

The thrill of the Migration is also enhanced by the presence of predators. As the herbivores cross the plains in their thousands, they are closely pursued by fearsome carnivores. More than 3 000 lions prey upon the herds, bringing down thousands of wildebeest each season. These losses are replenished during the rainy season between January and March, as the herds roam the Serengeti. It is speculated that over half a million wildebeest are born during this period.

Other predators can also be spotted preying on the herds, including hyena, cheetah, and leopard. These predators do not migrate with the herds. Rather the herds move through their territories, making them ideal prey. However, some predators have become nomadic and spend their lives in pursuit of these herds.

Crocodiles also lie in wait as the wildebeest and zebras attempt to cross over the Mara and Grumeti Rivers, ready to prey upon any who are not strong or quick enough. These crossings typically take place during the dry season when the animals make their way to the greener grazing fields of the Masai Mara.

While herd movements depend on the availability of food and water, the animals can be seen to travel in a general clockwise direction during the Great Migration. This gives the discerning traveller ample opportunity to witness the incredible phenomenon all year round. Several well-appointed lodges and camps cater to the seasoned as well as first-time viewer of the Migration. One can easily find accommodation that will suit your particular needs and provide the perfect opportunity to see this awe-inspiring spectacle.

The Great Migration Pattern

The Great Migration takes place annually, spanning the whole year. This allows for a Migration safari trip at any time of the year, depending on where the herds are. Don’t you think that this is an experience that should be on your bucket list? Chat to one of the Safari Index team of experts today to plan that dream Migration safari now!

 

Serengeti Walking Safari

The Serengeti in Tanzania is one of Africa’s most iconic safari destinations. The wide open plains of grassland and savannah are home to thriving populations of Africa’s quintessential wildlife species, including vast numbers of plains game, fearsome predators, and the famous African Big 5.

While it is true that African safaris are traditionally conducted in open game-viewing vehicles, there are many other unique and exciting ways in which the African wilderness can be explored. A walking safari is one of the most thrilling ways to have an African bushveld experience. On a walking safari, you are able to connect with your surroundings in a much more intimate and up-close way.

These Serengeti walking safari tours are led by experienced guides and armed rangers, who will enhance your game-viewing experience and make sure that you feel completely safe out in the wilderness. You are also accompanied by a safari chef and camp assistant, all of who will ensure your safety and comfort, and strive to ensure that you have the best possible game-viewing opportunities.

There are two walking safari tour options: a 7-day/6-night tour, or a 5-day/4-night tour. On the tours, you spend approximately 4 to 5 hours a day walking, with some of the nights spent at luxury wilderness safari lodges, and others out “camping” under the stars in the African bush. The “camps” are fully-equipped and feature walk-in dome tents, bedding and mattresses, bush toilets and showers, mess tents, chairs, fridges/cool boxes, and camp lighting.

The tours are conducted in pristine wilderness areas inside the Serengeti National Park, away from busy crowds and safari vehicles. The 7-day/6-night tour also includes a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater, another of Tanzania’s iconic wildlife destinations, where wildlife is found in abundance and the chances of spotting the members of the Big 5 are high. There is also the option of stopping at the Olduvai Gorge, a world-renowned paleoanthropological site. Guided game drives are also included in the safari tour package- but it is the walking safaris that are the undoubted highlight.