Jul 22, 2008

The Serengeti Migration

The Serengeti is an ecosystem located in north-western Tanzania and extends to south-western Kenya between latitudes 1 and 3 S and longitudes 34 and 36 E. It spans some 30,000 km and about 70 larger mammal and some 500 avifauna species are found there. The word "Serengeti" is derived from the Maasai language, Maa; specifically "Serengit", meaning "Endless Plains". It contains several national parks and game reserves with different ecosystems including riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands and woodlands. Serengeti is well known in the world, for it's mass animal migration. In fact, the Serengeti Migration is the largest and longest overland migration in the world.

What is Serengeti Migration? Around October, nearly 2 million herbivores travel from the northern hills toward the southern plains, crossing the Mara River, in pursuit of the rains. In April, they then return to the north through the west, once again crossing the Mara River. This is Serengeti Migration in brief. During the migration, herds of animals move in a circular route in a clockwise direction. So, this phenomenon is sometimes called the Circular Migration.

Why this migration occurs annually? Animals in Serengeti migrates because of rain or the lack of rain. When a seasonal drought dries up grass and water supplies in one area, the grazing animals move on to the next area along the Serengeti migration route where seasonal rains are falling. Migrating animals spend more time in the Serengeti National Park than in the Masai Mara and Ngorongoro Conservation Area during their annual circular journey.

Over a million wildebeests participate in the Serengeti Migration. Hundreds of thousands of zebra and Thomson's gazelles join them. Although lions and other carnivores do not migrate with the grazing animals, they feast on them when their paths cross. Over 250,000 wildebeest alone will die along the journey from Tanzania to Masai Mara Reserve in upper Kenya, a total of 500 miles. Death is often caused by injury, exhaustion, or predation.

The Serengeti Migration is known as one of the natural travel wonders of the world. In your life, you must try to see it. Well, before that watch a video on Serengeti Migration. It shows wildebeests crossing river Mara and more.


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