The wildebeest migration, a befitting world wonder, is one of the most spectacular things I have experienced in my life. This is a trip I would advise any traveler to add in their bucket list. Every year, over two million wildebeest migrate to and from the Northern part of Tanzania into Kenya. The migration is mainly in search of fresh grass and water. I got to witness this magnificent and life-changing experience during my last trip to East Africa. The trip inspired me to write this article to share my experience and maybe motivate more people who had the idea of visiting the Serengeti and Maasai Mara to actualize them soonest possible. Below are six motivating reasons.
The wildebeest migration is the world’s largest animal migration. I literally saw millions of animals who seemed very intelligent. They all moved systematically avoiding different obstacles along their way, for example, walking away from where the lions’ hideouts are, which I didn’t think was possible. Watching the beautiful mass, especially when we got an airlift across the Mara was the most fantastic thing I have ever experienced. I definitely cannot compare it to anything else.
While making the travel arrangements, I had not done much research about this wonderful migration. I only thought I would only see a large number of wildebeests, but to my surprise, there were more than five different types of animals. I got to see so many beautiful Thompson’s gazelles, zebras and several species of birds. I also saw several predators that ambush the wildebeest the likes of cheetahs, lions and even crocodiles. This was definitely a life and death experience for the wildebeest and a spectacle that I will never forget. I witnessed several wildebeest wrestle a lion to save one of their own. They won, but the lion’s jaws had severely injured the wildebeest; I don’t think it survived much longer after that.
As some lives were lost to the predators’ attacks which is a cycle of life in the wild, more beautiful ones were being brought to earth. I witnessed close to half a million wildebeest calves walk alongside their very protective mothers. I also witnessed about 20 new mothers giving birth to lovely calves. The most surprising thing is that most of the wildebeest are born during the same month known as the breeding season. Another fun fact is that all these calves can run as fast as any other wildebeest within two days of birth. This was the most beautiful and spectacular thing I have seen since a very long time ago and I really learned a lot.
This is where I found the most thrill and adrenaline rush I have to admit. Wildebeest crossing the Mara River was the most disturbing and terrifying event I have experienced so far, but I could not look away even for a moment. The Mara River is infested with tens of crocodiles which can hear the wildebeest from miles away, and they stay still waiting to ambush and attack the wildebeest.
Wildebeest are very territorial, and they fiercely fight back to protect their own. The fight between the wildebeest and the crocodiles is one of the fiercest things in the world. Many of Thompson’s gazelle, zebras and wildebeest lives were lost while crossing the river but the most reassuring thing is that more lives will be brought about during the next breeding season.
The wildebeest migration is truly a show stopper, but there is so much to see apart from that. Kenya and Tanzania hold some of the most iconic nature reserves and national parks I have seen globally. I got to see breathtaking scenery that no other continent has in the whole world starting from the Maasai Mara to the Serengeti.
There is variety when it comes to accommodation to choose from. Some of these accommodation facilities really made the great migration unique and an even more thrilling adventure. I partly stayed in a lodge that had state-of-the-art amenities and very great services. This was shortly after my arrival. After that, I opted to switch to an authentic bush camping site to ensure I was in the middle of where the magnificent wonder of the world was taking place