The Mecca of the Great Wildebeest Migration in Africa
Step into a real-world nature documentary of Kenya’s Great Migration! As you traverse the vast landscape of Masai Mara National Reserve from July to October, your AfricanMecca guide excitedly points to a dust cloud billowing on the horizon. Your gaze stays fixated as your anticipation builds. What magnificent scene awaits? As your safari vehicle draws near the source of the aerial disturbance, you feel a slight trembling on the ground. Suddenly, the immense shapes of wildebeests begin to emerge from the dust. A chaotic mix of hoofs, gray-black fur, white beards, tails and short manes thunder across the plains. As you pass the herd, flashes of black and white signify the presence of zebras. Following the direction of their heading, you see a seemingly endless number of the same creatures grazing upon shades of emerald-green grasses. As your guide cautiously approaches the animals, a distinctive landmark reveals itself just beyond a hill crest – the Mara River. Your guide takes you to an exceptional vantage point where the Mara River lies just a short distance away. The energy in the air is palpable. Dozens of wildebeests stand along a ledge just above the river, stomping and grunting in anticipation. As you ponder their hesitation, you look to the river itself.
The massive volume of water rushes past to create a treacherous challenge for even the strongest of the wildebeests. You also notice several stealthy animals – ferocious crocodiles trolling the water, awaiting the onrush of their prey. As the wildebeests become more restless, you know that the time is growing close. Suddenly, without any warning, the first gnu stumbles down the ledge, its body twisting and contorting. With a final desperate jump, it lands in the muddied water of the Mara River. With eyes wide from panic, the animal begins its solo journey across the river. Thousands more wildebeests follow in an onslaught of movement, transforming the swirling river into a frenzy of splashing water, drowning calves and battling prey and ferocious predator like crocodiles. The river fills with carcasses of the hundreds that were too weak or slow to make the crossing, and gigantic vultures begin to feed on the bodies at the banks. Joy fills your heart, though, as you see a mother help her exhausted calf climb the slippery slope on the other side of the river. Just as quickly as the crossing began, the wildebeest herd disappears into the distance on their never-ending journey for Kenya’ richest grazing grounds.