Ways to Enjoy the view of Wildebeest Migration : This is one of the most spectacular animals natural behaviours in the world, In which millions of wildebeests, thousands and thousands of zebras and antelopes move across different Wildlife corridors in search of pastures and water. This natural phenomenon takes place in Mara-Serengeti ecosystem in East Africa between Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve Located in south-western part of Kenya and Serengeti National Park in Northern Tanzania.
A wildebeest is a type of Antelope which belongs to the genus “Connochaetes “. It is also known as a Gnu. There are two types of wildebeests: The black wildebeest ( Connochaetes gnou) and the Blue wildebeest ( Connochaetes taurinus).
The most common species in the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem is the blue wildebeest. This species is large and heavily built in size. It is also known to have five subspecies. The Blue wildebeest are identified with broad-shoulder, front heavy appearance, wide muzzle and its forward curving horn which form a “V” shape. They inhabit the grasslands savannah and the woodlands of Eastern and Southern Africa. They are seen often grazing in large herds on the vast plans of Ecosystem. They are highly social animals and they can congregate to form large herds of thousands and thousands which is one of the most spectacular wildlife sightings and best when captured on a camera. During their mating season, the males compete and fight for the mating rights. Their gestation period takes about eight and half months from which they give birth to a single calf at a time. Blue wildebeest are herbivores and they play a big role in shaping the ecosystem and they are preyed by predators such as lions, Cheetahs, Hyenas and crocodiles especially when crossing the Mara River making it one of the impressive natural sights on the earth attracting tourists and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world to witness the incredible phenomenon.
There are several ways in which this awe-inspiring natural phenomenon can be enjoyed on various locations from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
Safari tours: This is one among other many options at your disposal to witness and enjoy this special animal sightings on the planet. Depending on your choice, budget and preferences Safari tours comes in various forms such as private safaris, luxury safaris, budget safaris and family safaris for those on family safari holidays. These safaris tours can be either booked through numerous available tour operators either in Tanzania or Kenya which offer specialised safari packages, some of which can be tailored to suit your preferences.
Most of tour safari operators offer full package safari experiences , which includes means of transport, drivers , experienced and knowledgeable guides and out of experience they know the best seasons timings and know maximum sightseeing locations.
The other options is to hire taxi or have a drive on a personal car to the sightseeing locations within the Mara Serengeti ecosystem.
Hot Air Balloon Safaris: This is one of the most expensive ways in which to see the wildebeest migration and the stunning landscapes across the vast plains of the savannah. They too offer the unobstructed aerial views and the bird eye view offering unique and unforgettable safari experience.
Hot air balloon safaris take place early in the morning before the sunrise. It is one of the best ways to photograph the early morning sunrise over the African savannah having a wonderful photo opportunities, when capturing wildlife with the backdrop of the morning sunshine.
Many tour safari operators in the Serengeti National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve offer hot air balloon safaris , which required advanced booking for reservation for they can sometimes be at High demands especially during the peak seasons of wildebeest migration. Many tour operators have traditional champagne which are served as part of the breakfast package for the Hot air balloon safaris enthusiasts.
Hot air balloon safaris is one of the best way to view wildlife in their natural habitat without disturbing or scaring them away by your presence. It is one of the safest ways to experience the wonderful wildebeest migration and capture the predators hunting down its prey is a fun filling and unmatched safari experience. It is very important to note that , you should dress warmly when planning to go on a hot air balloon safaris for your body to accommodate the changes in temperatures from the cold moments before sunrise to when the sun rises.
Hot air balloon safaris are greatly affected by weather conditions, during unfavourable weather conditions the flights are cancelled and rescheduled to a later day for safety reasons.
Game drives: This is one of the most common ways of a Kenya safari tour experience, it allows intimate and personal means to witness the great wildebeest migration. Just like the Hot air balloon safaris , game drives too are conducted either early in the morning or late in the afternoon because during this time the animals are most active.
Game drives are usually done accompanied by knowledgeable guides who are trained and expertise in wildlife knowledge and behaviour. Tourist are able to follow their instructions and ask questions about anything concerning wildlife and the ecosystem in their habitat. Game drives require a lot of patients as it may take time to drive to where the animals are found and the anticipation of the unexpected sightings is what makes it even more interesting.
It is very important to maintain silence and avoid sudden movements to avoid scaring away wildlife. Carry also a pair of binoculars and Camera to spot and capture the wildlife and the stunning landscapes of the savannah. It is also important to always remain inside the vehicle during the game drives and alight only on human designated areas to avoid posing risks from the wild and dangerous animals. In most of National parks it is not allowed to drive off-road as this may kill ground moving unnoticed animals.
When enjoying a game drive to view the great wildebeest migration, it is also important to always keep an eye on other wildlife happening around the park for you can experience other incredible sightings such as the big cats , colours birds and majestic creatures such as elephants.
Mobile camps: Mobile camps are temporary or simply a semi permanent camps that have been strategically positioned in the areas near the Great wildebeest migration corridors without interfering on their natural movements and behaviours.
Mobile camps is a unique way to experience the African wild and all that it has to offer from the sounds of nature such as the sounds of wildlife to the rustling sounds of wind on trees. The advantage of the mobile camps is that they can easily be moved from one location to the other following the movement and pattern of the wildebeest migration. They are designed to blend and camouflage with the natural environment offering a more personalized encounter with nature and wildlife.
Most of the tour operator that offer mobile camps along the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem offer both accommodation and meals as part of the package. In the evening they set up campfires from which the guest can enjoy stories, together with guides and the camp staff, offering the best opportunity to learn more about the local cultures and wildlife.
It is important to always book your stay in the mobile camps in advance because they are limited and the demands can be high during the High season.
Other accommodation options available: The Great wildebeest migration occur at a wildlife rich region between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This region has plenty of accommodation options available to choose from economical, budget friendly to the most luxurious lodges and hotels. Depending on your budget and the location of the herds as they are found on different locations at different times of the year. Choose an accommodation facility that matches your comfort level and preferences , this will maximise your chances of wildlife viewing.