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Serengeti Migration Visit, AV #4
The Serengeti Migration is right up there near the top of the list as the #4 AV in the world. Being our first “Top 10″ of the trip, we were both incredibly anxious and excited to catch a glimpse of the greatest animal spectacle on the planet.
Serengeti Migration InformationBefore we get into our experience last week on the open Serengeti Plains, let’s walk through a quick introduction on the Serengeti Migration.
The Serengeti Migration is the largest and longest overland movement of wildlife on earth – period. Over one-million animals, primarily wildebeest and zebras, continuously migrate in a relatively predictable circle in search of fresh fields to graze. Each year the animals complete a full loop and the cycle restarts again.
The distance the animals migrate annually is incredible! They cover an area that spans over 15,000 square miles, through two of the best national parks on the planet and between two countries – Tanzania and Kenya. They walk the entire way – no buses, no trains, no planes. No Four Seasons, no Holiday Inn, not even a simple youth hostel. Want to join them?
While the migration consists primarily of wildebeests and zebras, there are lots of other animals that like to watch…err…eat up the show. Each year over 250,000 wildebeests will die as they travel along the migration route, making for lots of happy lions and crocodiles
One thing important to note is that the Serengeti Migration and Serengeti National Park are two completely different things. You can spend weeks in the park and not see the migration. Likewise you can see the Serengeti Migration and not be in the park (if you caught the animals up in Kenya). The Serengeti Migration is a movement of animals that takes place primarily inside of Serengeti National Park.
Here is a map of the migration.
How We Saw The Serengeti Migration
Traveling through the African wilderness to the migration independently is very difficult, necessitating a driver and a guide to navigate you across the vast plains to the horde of zebras and wildebeest. We visited the migration with G Adventures as part of a weeklong safari through Tanzania.
Having the detailed visit planning out of our control was tough for two uber control freaks, but we tried our best to remain calm and let everything unfold magically before our eyes. Our guides had a tough job in front of them and probably preferred not to hear two Americans nagging them constantly about finding the migration. Predicting where the animals will be located within the 15,000 square mile migration area on any given day, makes the Serengeti Migration one of the trickiest AV’s to visit.
Seeing as we were visiting the region in early February, the migration was currently at it’s southern most point through the year. After a little searching, we found the animals happily grazing in the very southern area of Serengeti NP in Tanzania (near the animals at the bottom of the map above).
Serengeti Migration Impressions
Enjoying a Top 10 AV can be really tricky. Leading up to your first encounter, the expectations rise to an uncontrollable level, almost certainly ensuring a massive let down on your arrival. The pressure is on for this day to be one of the greatest of your life, eclipsing the many thousands that came before it. All you can do is hope that the AV is on it’s A game that morning
Sometimes it is hard for me to truly gauge my emotions when visiting AbsoluteVisits.
“Is this place really all that incredible or am I just making all of this up in my head? Wait, so I think this waterfall is not as spectacular as that palace, but more incredible than that glacier. Yeah yeah, that’s right. Right”?
Usually I am somewhat quiet as I observe AbsoluteVisits. However, while watching the migration I kept finding myself unconsciously speaking. For the entire hour that we spent deep in the middle of the Serengeti Migration, not a minute went by where I didn’t blurt out to Will “Holy Shit! Dude! Holy Shit!”
I’ll take an hour of “Holy Shits!” as a strong indicator of satisfaction and amazement.
Several times I looked over at Will to make sure he was still watching, almost to say – “Are you seeing what I am seeing? This is absolutely incredible”! Each time Will answered with a silent smile. Yep, he was seeing the thousands of wild legs moving around in front of our eyes.
The four DSLR cameras we had wrapped around our necks sat eerily still for most of our time there. There was so much activity going on around us that neither of us had the slightest clue where to focus our eyes, more or less our lenses. Luckily we were able to capture a few cool shots to share on AbsoluteVisit!
The parks, Serengeti NP and Masai Mara, both are wonders on their own without the migration, but when the massive parade of zebras and wildebeest pass through, these parks easily soar to the top 5 places to be in the world. Better than tha Taj Mahal, the Louvre and even our beloved Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
We are absolutely confident in the Serengeti Migrations #4 position on the AbsoluteVisit list and we hope that all of you have the opportunity to witness it for yourself very soon!
Serengeti Migration Photos
Lastly, here are some photos that we were able to capture in between lifting our jaws up off of the floor of the safari truck. We hope you enjoy them
Serengeti Migration Video
We put together a quick video showing our view of the Serengeti Migration – check it out!