Migration Update: Wildebeests Cross Mara River Early

Written by Thomson Safaris

Is the grass always greener on the other side? For the wildebeests, it is. Drawn by instincts, weather patterns and their appetites, the giant herds of the Great Migration make a continuous circuit around the Serengeti ecosystem in search of food – which is, literally – green grass.

The circuit follows a general pattern each year, however given the nature of nature, there are always variations making the exact location of the herds unpredictable from year to year. For instance, this autumn, the migration crossed the Mara River almost a month earlier than prior years due to an unusual and ample amount of rainfall during the dry season in the northern Serengeti.

The sheer numbers of the Great Migration make it a sight to see however there are a few events throughout the year that safari enthusiasts with good timing are lucky to witness such as newly-born wildebeest calves in March and the annual wildebeest rut in May. The suspenseful and dynamic Mara River crossings in July and October often get top billing and have been dubbed “nature’s greatest show on earth.”

Many of our guests are returning from Tanzania now after witnessing this year’s early river crossing. North & South Safari guests, Paul & Kirsten Kesicki, said, “We had an incredible time in Tanzania. We were very fortunate to see a couple of hundred thousand wildebeest cross the Mara River on our first day in the Northern Serengeti! That is something we will never forget. We were very pleased with the itinerary and the whole Thomson experience.”

Vance Miller, who recently returned from a custom, private safari, commented, “The wildebeest migration was in full swing. We were able to witness three Mara river crossings in a single day.”

The video was shot by Thomson Safaris’ guest, Keeley Keenahan, and shows the organized chaos of a river crossing where thousands of wildebeests struggle to fight the strong currents, avoid crocodiles and hope to make it to the green grasses on the other side.

Have questions about the migration? Learn more here!