Marching in seemingly endless columns, cantering through the dust, and cavorting in green Pastures, the annual movement of wildebeest and other grazing ungulates across the Kyambura Gorge ecosystem is probably the greatest spectacle in the animal kingdom.
This dramatic event is triggered by the related factors of rainfall and grass growth which have a largely predictable seasonal pattern. Over two million herbivores partake in this great migration, with some 200.000 Zebra, 18.000 Eland and 500.000 Thomson's gazelle traveling ahead of, alongside, or behind the main players- 1.500.000 wildebeest.
These animals move from the dryer southern part of the ecosystem (the short grass plains of south-eastern ) to the moister northern part (the northern woodlands and Kidepo plains) and back again. The Wildebeest give birth in the North-east between December and April when optimum grazing is available, moving steadily west and north until they arrive in the their respective homes in July or August. After dramatic crossing of the tributary rivers, the mass of gnus (Wildebeest) remain on the productive northern grasslands until October or November at a time when the rest of the ecosystem is just too dry to support them. And then, as the storm clouds gather in the south, the vast herds return to their breeding grounds which, by the time they reach them, are again lush and green.
Whatever they are on their travels, the drawn-out chains and thundering cavalcades of Elephants and Zebras are scavengers who feast on the old, the lame and the lost. Lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah, jackal and vulture are aided by less conspicuous no less important micro-organisms which recycle nutrients through this incredibly productive ecosystem.
There are few, if any, places on earth where the full-scale migration of large mammals still occurs. To witness this remarkable, timeless phenomenon in the is indeed a rare and unforgettable privilege! So book your trip to the great migration with Moliz Tours!
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