Africa’s most famous migration is the annual movement of 1.2 million wildebeest and 750,000 zebras from the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya.
But it’s longest big-animal migration, end to end, is the annual movement of thousands of Burchell’s zebras from Namibia to Botswana. Scientists recently discovered that the herd goes on a 300-mile journey in an almost straight north-to-south line each year.
Zebras migrate for water and food, so maintaining their migration routes is key to conserving the species.
- Longest Migration Among African Mammals Discovered—National Geographic
It’s awe-inspiring to watch wildebeest cross the Mara River as part of their annual Great Migration through Kenya and Tanzania. Brothers and wildlife photographers Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas recently captured some of the magic in a video that uses time-lapse photography to condense hours of a river crossing into just two minutes. The video captures the glory and the danger of the crossing. Watch and marvel!
(Sensitive viewers should note that there is brief footage of a wildebeest falling prey to two crocodiles in the river. This footage starts near the end of the video at 1:53 minutes.)
The Great Migration, considered one of the 10 great natural wonders of the world, sees more than 1 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles trek to new grazing grounds. The brief population explosion of wildebeest produces over 8,000 calves a day before the migration begins.