What to Expect at the Spectacular Big Wildebeest Migration


Jul 4 2016
Wildlife enthusiasts across the globe generally will have the “Big Migration” listed on their “bucket list”!  Without a doubt it is a mind-blowing experience, and here we are lucky enough to experience the migration through the lens of professional photographer, Ilan Ossendryver. He says, “The photographs were taken in the Masai Mara in Kenya, named after the Masai people that inhabit the area.” For those who don’t know, and ask, “What is the migration”? It is considered the largest annual wildlife movement on earth, and takes place in the Serengeti / Masai Mara game reserves. It comprises the transferral of wildebeest, zebra and smaller numbers of antelope. For other fascinating wildebeest wildlife footage visit our Latest Sightings YouTube channel!
 
 
Ilan explains, When your light plane lands in the Masai Mara, your senses straight awaken as you see wildlife next to the runway.  Zebra, even lions! And as you travel in the Mara, along the flat rolling hills, but mostly flat you experience a totally different wildlife experience, from example, that of Kruger National Park. There is so much wildlife around. And in quantities. I never knew there could be so many zebra and wildebeest, in their millions.”
 
  
When we headed off to the Mara River that separates the Mara and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, you get this rush in your head and body because you know that you are going to witness one of the most incredible spectacles on earth - “The Crossing”! 
 

Nearing the river, life takes a new meaning. There is so much movement, but in a calm way as the zebra and wildebeest slowly make their way to the edge of the river. Their calmness turns to urgency as the zebra and wildebeest begin the jump to cross the river. Life has ingrained into their minds, the dangers of the crossing. Crocodiles lay in wait for the animals to cross to the other side. And when they do, it’s their annual feast. Many of the animals crossing get crushed, drown and eventually the walls of the banks get so torn by hooves scratching away the banks to get up on the plain, that the bank becomes so mushed that they cannot get up.  It may seem cruel, but its nature's way of controlling the populations.  At every crossing at least 60,000 animals die.

We parked on the bank and we watched the zebras and wildebeest approaching. Then, they jumped! The first jump is a trigger to all the other to jump. It was a life changing experience to know that we were watching one of natures most amazing marvels that make up earth and its wildlife.
 
 
 
'When you drive through the Masai Mara, you pass villages, inhabited by the Masai tribe. What is amazing is that for example, lions will not touch the livestock of the people as they know, that doing so is a death warrant.  It is quite incredible to see the coextince of the two together in harmony.

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