Back to Africa and the one time it is ok to follow the herd. The spectacle of thousands upon thousands of large mammals moving across the plains of the Serengeti Mara is one of nature’s most dramatic events. While much of the film coverage has focused on river crossings, the real beauty is simply being out there, on one’s own among herds of wild animals stretching away as far as the eye can see. The key as always is location because the clue is in the name, they migrate and so must we.
Be that to the southern short grass plains early in the year when up to 400,000 wildebeest cows give birth, or the annual roaring rut of the males way out west. Driven by food the herds slow down and spread out over the southern hemisphere winter when they get to the fields of red oat grass in the northern reaches of the Serengeti Mara. The sheer volume of wildlife combined with sightings of the attendant predators in action makes for a truly epic safari.
With well over a million animals in motion the Serengeti Mara leads the pack and nowhere else on earth do large animals concentrate in such numbers although running a close second is the kob migration of the Sudd and Gambella. The zebra migration on the Makgadikgadi Pans is not to be sniffed at and perhaps the most extraordinary, certainly less well known, is the Kasanka migration of up to eight million fruit bats and the sardine run off the South African coast where shoals up to 5kms long can spotted, the water whipped into a feeding frenzy by dolphins, gannets, sharks and whales.