Wildebeest is one of Africa's most charismatic creatures and most successful inhabitants especially in Maasai Mara and Serengeti ecosystems.
The Wildebeest Migration.
Rated or known as the greatest spectacular wildlife event.
No where in the world is there a movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration, when a herd around 1 million to 2 million gather together to migrate between Serengeti and Maasai Mara, one find it a most dramatic wildlife events on the planets.
Wildebeest embark on their long journey, hundreds of kilometers north wards, to the Maasai Mara. Mara receives a fair amount of rainfall compared to Serengeti.
Late August, wildebeest have been on the march for about three months (April, May and Early August). Exhausted but almost on the end of their journey they encounter the Mara river that separates the Maasai Mara in Kenya and Serengeti in Tanzania.
The youngest and weakest wildebeest collapse and remain where they fall.
The wildebeest converge at the Mara river, in their hundreds of thousands, massing on the banks awaiting the moment when the fearless among them will take the dive. Meanwhile the scavengers and predators await in hope, as they sense the crucial moment is near.
The dive begins, which is driven by hunger and urged on by the mass, the first few jump, and the rest follow. The first among the wildebeest gets across, getting out of the river is just as dangerous as the bank wall is too steep and sloppy.
At this point, thousands of animals jump in the river, a breath taking event as wildebeest strive to reach at the other bank wall.
Some break their legs, leaping from the steep banks but it does not seem to matter, what matters is to keep going.
This is the last step of their journey, as they strive to reach the opposite bank without drowning or being swept downstream by the river. Most wildebeest make their way out, but quite a number do not.
All the while, lurking in the murky waters of the mara river is one of the most ferocious beasts of the African savanna – the crocodile. Their camouflage allows them to largely go unnoticed. Their time has come and without doubt, they exert a heavy toll from the hordes of wildebeest passing through their domain. Having survived on meager rations for most of the year the wildebeest migration is a major feast for the crocodiles.
The spectacle is finally over. Gradually peace returns to the Mara river; the crossing has exerted quite a number of casualties(Wildebeest). Some of the carcasses have drifted downstream, resulting in a stoke pile of dead decomposing meat. The vultures get to work by having a feast.
Through the years migration and crossing has been devastating for the wildebeest, but outstanding for the predators and scavengers.
The wildebeest that have arrived safe they overrun the plains of the mara, the rains are holding off and the grass is still a little dry but far more abundant than in the Serengeti. The rains soon arrive and everything comes to life.
It only takes a few days for the grasslands to become green again for the dry dust in the air to be replaced by the scent of wet grass. The wildebeest will stay in Mara long enough to grow strong.
In late November they will retrace their steps and return home to the Serengeti, repeating the spectacle this time on the Tanzania side of the border.
Curiously wildebeest change their itinerary from year to year never reusing the crossing point from the last migration. It is a dynamic process which defies predictions: no two years are ever quite the same.
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