Quite simply a unique phenomenon. The annual migration between Kenya and Tanzania surely has to be one of the highlights of the natural world and a ‘must see’ for anyone looking to take a safari in arguably the world’s top safari destination. Over a million wildebeest and thousands of zebra and antelope trek from the dry savannah grasslands of the Serengeti in Tanzania north to the Maasai Mara in Kenya in search of sustenance. The entire journey, one giant clockwise loop, is over 1800 miles. One of the toughest points of the route is the Mara River where the herds have to contend with the crocodiles, waiting for the young and weak to falter in the strong currents. This crossing usually takes place between July and September. In addition to rushing madly across the river, there is en masse grazing on the plains. Such a large number of animals in one place attracts many other predators such as lions, hyenas, leopards and wild dogs. Witnessing a kill is virtually a certainty!
The Maasai Mara Game Reserve has one of the highest densities of wildlife to be found on the continent and is arguably Kenya's finest game reserve. It covers 1,800km² of the south-west corner of Maasailand. The Maasai Mara continues northwards as an extension from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The park has an amazing concentration of wildlife and birds as well as outstanding scenery. The countryside has forests and rivers as well as hilly escarpments, but is mostly plains, bush and scrub. Traversed by the Mara River it is noted for its lion, hyena, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, cheetah and leopard. Antelope species include Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, topi, eland, hartebeest and waterbuck. In the Mara River pods of hippo and crocodile can be seen.
The Serengeti is unequalled for its natural beauty and contains more than 3 million large mammals all spread over this vast region. ‘Serengeti’ means ‘endless plains’ in Maasai and is Tanzania’s largest park, covering an area of 14,700km². Serengeti’s main fame lies in its millions of plains game animals which provide the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world. The game most likely to be seen in the Serengeti are wildebeest, zebra, lion, cheetah, warthog, hyena and hippo. In all, there are more than thirty five species of plains animals, as well as a profusion of birdlife. The landscape changes within the park from the vast treeless central plains to thick scrub and forest in the north. Linking these areas is the savannah, dotted with acacia trees and magnificent rock outcrops.
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