The Great Migration – Tanzania Update

Last week as safari guides across the Serengeti woke up, they were greeted by a sight that is so deeply integral to the Serengeti experience that it connects with every fiber of their beings. Overnight thousands of wildebeest and zebra had crossed into Tanzania in their endless pursuit for better grazing. The Serengeti is a landscape of extremes – plains sweeping off to the horizon, grasses ten feet tall, thunder clouds towering to the heavens. But most iconic of all, the millions of ungulates that move as a heaving, snorting mass, devouring every blade of grass in their way.

As they pour into the Serengeti, they face one of their biggest challenges of the year: crossing the Mara River. Swirling currents and eager predators stand between them and their next meal – the grass is always greener on the other side after all. The herds pile up along the banks, waiting for hunger to overtake anxious fear as a single, brave creature wades into the river. This is the only nudge the rest need, starting a veritable stampede down the banks and into the muddy waters.

While these huge herds are impressive to see, the real thrills come from the abundant predators that are drawn to this walking buffet. Lions and cheetahs swarm across the plains, while toothy crocodiles patrol the riverbanks. With so many animals packed into such a small area, you are bound to see several impressive displays of predator-prey interactions.

How Mango Creates the Perfect Migration Trip

The saying goes “as regular as rain”, which ironically holds great unpredictability when it comes to the migration. The wildebeest exist in a set cycle - mating, migrating, and giving birth all together. Each of these events are associated with specific geographic regions of the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem, but the timing is more flexible. Rainfall patterns are not always predictable, and as a result, neither is the annual migration. This presents quite the challenge for us in the safari industry. For instance, this year the wildebeest are moving into Tanzania a month earlier than we would expect based on historical patterns. Many of our clients want to see the migration, but how can we be sure they’ll see it when we’re booking trips up to a year and a half in advance? Mango has a sworn-by rule to bookend your trip with time dedicated to the migration so you catch them no matter where they are. You can never tell what is going to happen, but Mango has always got you covered! 

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