You will witness many incredible sights when you go on a walking safari in Kenya, such as the tropical beaches of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean or the mighty Mount Kenya. But when it comes to awe-inspiring sights there is one spectacle that beats them all: the Great Migration.
Often referred to as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’, the migration of the ungulates is one of the largest migrations to take place anywhere on earth, and it can be witnessed in Kenya every year. If you can plan your Kenya walking safari to coincide with the migration then you are going to witness something you will never forget. Here’s what you need to know about the Great Migration.
The Great Migration – What is it?
The Great Migration consists of a number of different species of ungulates (hoofed animals) in Africa all combining into one vast group as they travel north to look for greener pastures. The largest section of the group is made up of wildebeest, which number about 1.5 million, but there are also huge numbers of zebras, Thompson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles and eland involved in the trek.
The journey is 1,800 miles long from start to finish, but as it takes place over a number of months you will not be able to watch all of it. Instead, you will be able to observe the migration at different places along the route during your Kenya walking holiday depending on the time of year you travel.
Where does the Great Migration take place?
Much of the migration takes place in Tanzania, for a few months the animals arrive in the Masai Mara in Kenya where you have the best chance of observing them on your Kenya walking holiday. If you head to the Masai Mara at the right time of year then you can enjoy wonderful viewing opportunities.
When does the Great Migration occur?
The Great Migration is more of an on-going process throughout the year than a one-off event. It starts in April on the plains of the mighty Serengeti in Tanzania. Following the mating season which lasts from January to March, the Serengeti becomes too dry for grazing so the animals begin to head north to the Masai Mara in Kenya where the rains are arriving.
By the end of May, the mating season has arrived, and this is where the immense groups of animals form together. But it is in July that the most incredible spectacle takes place, as this is when the animals must cross the Grumeti River in Tanzania, followed by the Mara and Talek rivers, to reach the Masai Mara.
This is where you will get to see nature at its most violent and thrilling as the animals must cross the water to safety, dodging the crocodiles that lie in wait under the surface. The animals then stay in the Masai Mara for the next three months, so during your Kenya walking holiday if you visit this area from July to September you are guaranteed an impressive spectacle.
An incredible event
If you can time your Kenya walking holiday to coincide with the Great Migration, you’ll witness one of the most awe-inspiring natural spectacles on earth. There really is nothing quite like it anywhere else on the planet. A guided walk in Kenya can provide you with the perfect way to watch the migration take place, so consider it when you are planning your Kenya walking safari.