TANZANIA (eTN) – Standing on the rooftops of their tourist vans with their cameras up, tourists from all corners of the world are now flocking to Tanzania’s leading Serengeti National Park to witness the return of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest from the other side of the park, the Maasai Mara.
Described as “Nature’s Greatest Show on Earth,” the great wildebeest migration has been the most remarkable tourist eye-catching specter that pulls thousands of tourists from across the world to witness this miracle of creation.
The early rains which started this month over the Serengeti plains, covering an area of 14,763 kilometers, changed the natural beauty of this famous African wildlife park into greenery, encouraging the wildebeest to cut short their holiday in Maasai Mara to feed on the plentiful grass back home.
Reports from Tanzania National Parks said a special event of welcoming home the legendary Wildebeest migration has been observed this week by tourists from all corners of the world who enjoyed viewing this natural trek consisting of about 2 million ungulates, among them 1.5 million wildebeests believed to have spent less than a month in Kenya.
This Greatest Show of Nature on Earth (migration) normally covers more than 1,000 kilometers and takes place once a year on a 12-month circle, in which the wildebeests spend 10 months in Tanzania within Serengeti plains and the Ngorongoro ecosystem before taking a two-month holiday in Kenya’s Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
The wildebeest migration comprises over 2.5 million wild animals with some 1.5 million wildebeests, 800,000 zebras and gazelle in Northern Tanzania and Kenya, and is one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife events.
The herbivores are followed closely by their predators – lions, hyenas, leopards, jackals – as they make the migration.
The Serengeti’s unique ecosystem has inspired writers from Ernest Hemingway to Peter Mattheissen, filmmakers like Hugo von Lawick and Alan Root, as well as numerous photographers and scientists.
It is the wildebeest migration for which the Serengeti is perhaps most famous, attracting international travel and tourism organizations to place it among a few tourist sites in Africa listed for voting into the new 7 wonders this year.
The wildebeest travel through a variety of natural areas with a variety of habitat in different forms of vegetation and landscapes within the Serengeti ecosystem.
The Serengeti National Park is undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and scientific value. This park has become an important center for scientific research.
In 1959, a German naturalist, professor Bernhard Grzimek, and his son, Michael, did pioneering work in aerial surveys of wildlife. Their surveys resulted in the best-selling classic, “Serengeti Shall Not Die,” and a number of films that made the Serengeti a household name. More is now known about the dynamics of the Serengeti than any other ecosystem in the world.
Today, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, which is located across the border in Kenya, protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on Earth and one of the last great migratory systems still intact. The Serengeti is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania’s protected areas.