The great migration of the wildebeest, fording the rivers in search of fresh grass
26 August 2013
Safari to Masai Mara Serengeti, along the border line between Tanzania and Kenya, to observe herds of wildebeests crossing the rivers in search of new pastures. The scene is spectacular, and you will feel yourself inside a National Geographic documentary, when thousands of wildebeests driven by a primal and uncontrollable instinct, suddenly plunge all together into the river to try to reach the other side.
Pictures of Masai Mara. The relaxing landscape of northern Tanzania, along the border with Kenya, where the Serengeti becomes the Masai Mara and where a river becomes the scene of one of the most amazing natural events: the wildebeest migration wading these dangerous waters in search of new pastures .
Masai Mara pictures. Although the main purpose of the day trip to Masai Mara is to observe the migration of the wildebeest, the Serengeti Mara offers the chance to see most of the typical African animals, including herds of hippos that inhabit the shores along the river.
Wildebeest photo. Approaching the place where the wildebeest herd is normally present, some lonely wildebeest begins to appear...
...however, the wildebeest is a social animal who prefers to live and move as a group, in order to better defend themselves from predators.
Wildebeests pictures. The Serengeti is home to large herds of wildebeests.
Finally, the wildebeests become so numerous, that they become part of the landscape.
...and that something is soon clear: the herd is going to cross the river to reach the green pastures of Kenya. Suddenly, led by a single wildebeest who takes the initiative, they get all very nervous...
...and, determined to get more food, the wildebeests jump into the water to try to cross the river, swimming in a sort of single line through heavy currents and whirlpools. Photos of wildebeest migration.
Wildebeests migration photos. Upon reaching the opposite bank, wildebeests struggle through the rocks to try to conquer the land. This is one of the most dangerous instant of the wildebeest migration, both for the presence of crocodiles lurking along the banks of the river and also because wildebeests may get broken legs after slipping between the rocks.
Wildebeests who make it, are rewarded by the abundance of new green pastures. Now the wildebeests are in Kenya, where the Tanzania's Serengeti becomes Kenya's Masai Mara.
No photo can do justice to an event seeing such quick action, so this video, although not perfect (it was shot by Chiara, only 11 years old) will give a better idea of the excitement that characterizes this amazing natural event.
Wildebeests not successfully crossing the river remains trapped in the middle, sometimes only a few meters away from salvation. Many of these wildebeests will never see the green pastures of Kenya and their adventure will end here in the Mara river.
When wildebeests cross a river, incidents are also quite frequent, because they may break their legs over slippery rocks, may get into too heavy currents or may simply choose the bad way. So the weaker wildebeests or the less smart, or even just the less lucky, will easily perish in these dangerous waters.
...not to mention the crocodiles waiting for an easy meal...