BY KAREN GRAHAM SEP 30, 2015 IN TRAVEL
The world’s Great Migration begins in the southern Serengeti, and in a clockwise, circular path that has gone on for thousands of years, wildebeest, gazelles and zebras go in search of greener pastures. We can now watch from the comfort of our armchair.
The wildebeest migration has been called one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and with good reason. Close to two million wildebeest, 500,000 gazelles and 200,000 zebras are making the arduous trip this year, and for the first time ever, the migration will be beamed via live-streaming video to our mobile phones, tablets and computers.
The broadcasts started September 29, and will go on through October 5. The migration is being broadcast by a team from HerdTracker twice a day, for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, using the video streaming app Periscope as well as YouTube, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Something really cool has been added to the broadcast. First, experienced commentators will be available to describe what is going on, and viewers can ask questions, and get a real-time answer. The man behind HerdTracker, Carel Verhoef, says “There is no excuse not to witness this,” talking about the incredibly exciting sight.
The HardTracker app was started in 2014. It plots the exact location of the wildebeest migration in real-time using a Google map and Twitter-style timeline. They work in coordination with pilots flying over the Serengeti, safari guides and rangers, as well as lodges in the Maasai Mara.
Verhoef says he has been a safari guide for over 10 years, and has encountered many people who came to Africa, just to witness the migration, only to be disappointed because they had missed it by a few days. “It’s a bit like trying to find a hundred guys in red t-shirts in Manhattan,” Mr. Verhoef said. “If you are keeping an eye on your hundred red t-shirts through the year it makes it easier, and, that’s in essence a very simplified version of what HerdTracker is all about.
Wildebeest Migration is the movement of the Wild Animals in the National Parks from Serengeti N.Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya.This Journey is one of the main activity of the wildebeest and Zebras in Serengeti N.Park.When the Migration moving from Masai Mara to Serengeti N.Park they must cross the Mara River which is like the Border of Masai Mara and Serengeti Natrional Park
The annual migration is the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world. It begins around the same time each year, and the start is determined by the availability of grazing. The first phase lasts from January to March and is the calving season. There is plentiful grazing grasses available for the thousands of zebras that precede the wildebeest.
At this phase, in February, the 1.7 million wildebeest are spending their time grazing the short-grass plains in the southeast of the region, giving birth to half-a-million calves in the span of two to three weeks. Most calves born before or after this short time period will not survive because they would be sticking out like a sore thumb from the previous year’s calves.
By the end of May, when the rains start, the wildebeest are on the move again, going northwest towards the Grumeti River, where they will stay until late June. It is the crossings of the Grumeti and Mara rivers that have made the migration such an international spectacle, for want of a better word.
The crossing of the Grumeti River in Tanzania and the Mara River in Kenya at the end of September is fraught with danger as the herds make their way south, back to Tanzania’s Serengeti Park. Crocodiles lie in wait, and as the herds gather in mass to cross, any of the weak, feeble or just plain unwary are picked off by the hungry reptiles.
The migration covers from 1,500 to 1,800 miles, a trek that puts the herds in danger from lion attacks and other predators, as well as the crocodiles. In all, over 250,000 wildebeest lose their lives every year during this natural wonder of our world. Most of us will never get to observe this mighty event, and who knows, one day it may be only something future generations read about in history books, so take a few minutes to observe history in the making.