The Great Migration : River Crossings : In August, the Serengeti’s Kogatende Area’s Mara River is bustling with activity as huge herds make their annual migration across it. A Great Migration safari will give you the best opportunity to see wildlife because, at this time of year, a huge variety of animals, from small to large, are plentiful and teeming with life. The peak of river crossings occurs in August and lasts through September. The massive herds migrate ceaselessly in search of greener pastures as they follow the rain. You will see predators hunting large animals while chasing after the crowds. Kogatende experiences its busiest time of year in August. The two-million-wildebeest migration across the Serengeti Plains, arguably Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle, culminates in a series of perilous river crossings.
THE RIVER CROSSING
A Mara river crossing has an unpredictably tense build-up. Thousands of wildebeest congregate at a preferred crossing point and playfully tease one another for hours or even days, as do a few human observers. They occasionally dither and look uncertainly over the edge of the riverbank before retreating back into the forest. They arrive and wander aimlessly. The herd’s level of agitation changes over time. It frequently takes the form of a hysterical and plaintive communal braying fit that begins and ends abruptly.
After several failed attempts, a few individuals are finally persuaded to jump from the bank by an unknown trigger or a fit of insanity. Blindly, they plunge into the water. The remainder of the herd surges in a rush of adrenaline. They surged through the river at shoulder height before exploding thunderously onto the opposing bank. It’s a risky endeavor.
Several thousand wildebeest are drowned and swept away each year by poorly planned high-water crossings. Huge crocodiles, ready to pounce on anyone who makes an unwise move, weave through the herd of people crossing the river while gaping mouthed. Lions are waiting in the shadows on the opposing bank. They scan their prey, ready to trample as many wildebeest calves as they can find.
A SIGHT TO BEHOLD
It is a breathtaking and completely unforgettable experience for the human spectator. It exudes a contagious aura of chaos and confusion, is aurally magnificent, has a three-dimensional appearance, and is physically charged with adrenaline.
WHERE THE RIVER CROSSING TAKES PLACE
Along the route of the Great Migration, there are two significant river crossings. It is the Mara River crossing in Kenya and the Grumeti River crossing in Tanzania. The first water barrier that these bumbling herds will run into on this journey is the Grumeti River. The herds are pushed into the water despite the clear dangers, where large Nile crocodiles wait. This predator activity is unfathomably extreme. Although it is a magnificent sight to behold, crossing the Mara River further north will present them with a greater challenge.
The Mara River Is described as Nearly 400 km long, deep, wide, rocky, and treacherous. In addition, it has a sizable population of hippos and Africa’s largest crocodile population. These sizable Nile crocodiles and territorial hippos are waiting as the herds scream and struggle to cross the river to reach the greenery on the other side, creating one of the world’s most dramatic and chaotic animal history scenes. This river crossing serves as the culmination of a challenging and protracted journey in many ways. The two game reserves are teeming with enough animals that are hungry for the flesh of the migrating beings, and the rivers are torrential and overflowing with water.
PREDATORS ON PREDATOR ACTION
There are numerous predator-vs.-predator encounters along the river’s banks as well. This is primarily a result of predators’ intense territoriality. Therefore, these predators, such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, and hyenas, don’t immediately leave the area, even when the migratory herds are well beyond the river. Instead, they stay for a while, which is when things start to get nasty because of the fierce competition for food and territory. This is just one of the many factors that make the Great Migration river crossings so popular with tourists. It offers some of the world’s most exciting and surreal predator sightings.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO WITNESS THE RIVER CROSSINGS?
One of the most frequent inquiries made by tourists to their travel and tour providers is this one. The important thing to remember is that the weather determines the precise timing of the migration, so a season that is unusually dry or wet can affect the timing. Having said that, May through October are the months when river crossings are most likely to occur.
June and May: Some of the herds move towards the Western Corridor and the Grumeti River, which they must cross in order to move north towards the Masai Mara plains, as the south and eastern plains of the Serengeti begin to dry out as the rainy season ends.
July to October: By this time, the herds are gathering near the Mara River and migrating in great numbers.
THE RIVER CROSSINGS: WHAT TO EXPECT
Animals cross the river in large groups, ranging in size from a few hundred to tens of thousands, throughout the dry season because it is not a one-time occurrence. When a specific herd approaches the river’s banks, they typically look for a spot to cross where the banks are not too steep. It may take them hours to gather the courage to take the dreaded plunge because they are naturally hesitant to cross.
Tourists must avoid the animals during this time to avoid frightening them with the sounds of their safari jeep engines, windshield reflections, and other disturbances. The safari vehicles won’t move forward until the wildebeests have started to cross, allowing tourists to get the best view of the greatest animal migration in Africa along the river bank.
THE CONCLUSION: DO YOU WANT TO WITNESS THIS MAGNIFICENT EVENT?
To talk about your travel plans, contact us right away. The Great Migration is a very popular event, so you should make your reservations between six months and a year in advance.