Caught on Camera: One of the Largest Herds of Wildebeest Crossing the Mara River
The team at HerdTracker were thrilled after getting this video of thousands of wildebeest charging across the Mara River from their regular contributor Ranger Safaris Tanzania.
“This was one of the largest crossings I have seen in over 20 years”, says Emmanuel Mkenda, one of Ranger Safaris’ most experienced guides who shot the footage, and who has been working in the area for 25 years.
Watch the video here
Captured mid-September in the Kogatende area of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, this was the largest Great Migration crossing captured on video in recent years. While wildebeest herds are usually scattered, a mega-herd like this (estimated at 80,000-100,000 gnu) is extremely rare to see.
“You are recording history as it happens,” wrote Toni Olson on the YouTube video’s comment stream.
What drives the Great Migration?
Each year, more than 1.5 million wildebeest migrate in a gigantic clockwise loop across Tanzania and Kenya. After calving in the southern part of Tanzania’s Serengeti, the animals’ journey north into the Masai Mara, before returning once again near the end of the year.
These massive herds follow the seasonal rains across the African savanna in search of lush grazing lands, often pursued by predators such as hyenas, lions, cheetah, leopards and, at the many river crossings, gigantic Nile crocodiles. Dramatic scenes unfold daily as thousands of wildebeest are born and killed while the circle of life revolves non-stop.
Recognised as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, this incredible phenomenon also includes hundreds of thousands of other grazing animals like zebra and gazelle.
What is HerdTracker and how does it work?
Launched in 2014, HerdTracker is a free web-app which plots the location of the Great Wildebeest Migration in real time to a Google map and in a Twitter-style timeline. The crowd-sourced updates (more than 1,500 since inception) are provided by pilots, safari guides, rangers, lodges and even safari-goers from hot air balloons.
“Capturing and sharing these spectacular safari moments is exactly why we developed HerdTracker,” says Andre Van Kets CEO of Discover Africa Safaris.