Watch the World’s Largest Mammal Migration Live
It’s been called one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World—the epic migration of more than 1 million wildebeest, 500,000 gazelle, and 200,000 zebras in a clockwise search for greener pastures across the African plains.
At the end of September, massive herbivore herds that have been grazing in Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve make the treacherous trip south to Tanzania’s Serengeti Park, traversing crocodile-infested rivers and lion-filled lands along the way. Over the course of a year, the animals will cover around 1,500 miles of land, chasing the rainy season as they go, and end up right back in Masai Mara come late September.
The cyclical journey has drawn tourists and safari goers to the region for decades, but now, for the first time, the mass migration is being broadcast live online for all with Internet access to see.
Starting today, the team at HerdTracker—an app that tracks animal migrations so safari goers can get to the right place at the right time—will broadcast 10- to 20-minute sessions twice a day, providing live takes of the dramatic event accompanied by expert commentary.
Carel Verhoef, cofounder of HerdTracker and tourist site discoverafrica.com, said the broadcasts provides “those who may not be able to witness themselves the spectacular events that unfold in the Masai Mara, and to showcase to the world the specular event that happens each year in Kenya.”
Since the 1950s, migratory wildebeest herds of East Africa have grown from 250,000 to around 1.4 million animals. That’s a testament to the region’s mostly untouched habitat, but human encroachment and interference continue to threaten the animal’s success.
A proposed Serengeti highway could interfere with the animals’ annual migration pattern and give poachers a new access point to enter now-hard-to-reach lands.
“We are running out of space worldwide due to the increase in human numbers and this has an effect on everything and not just the migration,” Verhoef said. “Luckily for now, the pressure on the environment has not yet had an impact on the migration or its numbers, but development and loss of habitat and space is always a concern.”