The massive wildebeest migration is a spectacular event that only happens in Kenya once every year. Earning the title of the 8th wonder of the world. Wildebeest migration in Maasai Mara Kenya started in 1961. Surprising enough, before then there was nothing like massive wildebeest army migrating to Kenya from the Serengeti plains.
What makes the wildebeests migrate?
On the border of Kenya and Tanzania, there are two game reserves. The Tsavo in Kenyan soil and Serengeti in Tanzania. Around the month of July every year, it gets dry on the Serengeti plains and the wildebeest start migrating to the north in search of greener pastures. Somehow the wildebeests can smell green pasture miles away. Something that we will never understand as humans. As the wildebeests migrate further north they enter into another territory, the Tsavo reserve in Kenya.
Fear of unknown
The prime of the wildebeest migration is crossing the Mara River. Mara river is home to some of the world largest crocodiles, at their peak, a crocodile can reach weights of up to one and a half tonnes. To the wildebeest, there is no other choice, if they are to reach the green pastures they have to cross the river. At first, there is hesitation to cross but with a huge army awaiting in line, there is no turning back.
The wildebeests are determined to get to green pastures and not even the hungry crocodiles can stop them. Most of the crocodiles haven’t feed for months but the hooves of the wildebeest and zebra army alert them of a feeding party. The tactic of the wildebeest is to cross in large numbers and overwhelm the crocodiles which works but a few have to fall victim of the crocodiles. On the other side of the of the river bank awaits green and fresh predators but so are the other predators. In the jungle its survival for the fittest, the ecosystem has to be sustained.
Why very soon there might be no more wildebeest migration
Before 1961 there was nothing like massive wildebeest migration from Kenya to Tanzania. If things remain unchanged there might be no more wildebeest migration due to the following reasons:
Blocking the natural pathway of the wildebeests
For years wildebeests have followed a specific path when crossing the dangerous and fast flowing Mara River. In recent years, there have been lots of tourists all who want to get a glimpse and a better view of the wildebeest crossing. That’s good for business on the Kenyan side but to the wildebeests, the tourists block the natural pathway. This makes the wildebeests and zebras cross the river on steep banks. In recent years the number of dead wildebeest not from predatory crocodiles but rather due to crossing the mara on steep slopes has increased drastically. See this video for us to be on the same page. Save the wildebeest migration! The wild has no voice, who will hear this cry?
No one is saying that we should discourage tourism. Tourist cars should be located several yards from the river banks as we allow nature to take its course.
Coordinated burning of the Serengeti plains
Wildebeest migrate to Kenya through the Serengeti plains, recently this area has been burnt down. If you are probably saying that it was an accident, this is not the case. The burning seems like a deliberate effort to block the movement of the wildebeest.
There is no feeling that can beat having a chance to see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River in Kenya first hand. The crocodiles vs the massive herds of wildebeests and zebras. A spectacular event that can only be witnessed in Kenya.