Twice a day, from September 29 to October 5, HerdTracker will live stream this year’s annual African wildebeest migration via Periscope App and YouTube.
Wildebeest and zebras in Maasai Mara, Kenya. Photo by Udayan Dasgupta.
Every year, millions of wildebeest — together with thousands of zebras and other animals — begin a long, arduous migratory journey through the Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya, and back again. This event is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
Now you can sit back, and watch the ongoing migration unfold, live online.
HerdTracker is broadcasting the 2015 annual migration live from Maasai Mara, twice a day, from September 29 to October 5, via Periscope app and YouTube. The program is in partnership with Make It Kenya, a campaign launched to boost tourism investment in Kenya.
So far, the crew on ground has captured some spectacular photos of the migration.
Herds of migrating wildebeest on Day 1 of live broadcast. Photo by Stuart Price of Make It Kenya.
The great African wildebeest migration typically starts during May-June. Almost two million wildebeest and zebras move northward, through the Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya, in search of water and greener pastures. Herds head back to Tanzania in November-December.
Wildebeest and zebras crossing the Mara River. Photo by Stuart Price, Make It Kenya.
Up to 500,000 new births in February or March replenish wildebeest populations every year. Death rate is high too. An estimated 250,000 wildebeest don’t make it through the annual migration.
Pride of lions in Maasai Mara on Day 1 of live broadcast. Photo by Stuart Price, Make It Kenya.
Scores of wildebeest die due to disease, accident and predation during the migration. While crossing the swollen Grumeti and Mara rivers, migrating animals sometimes fall prey to hungry crocodiles. On the other side of the rivers, large carnivores like lions, leopards and cheetahs lie in wait for them.
The aftermath of a stampede at Mara River crossing point number one on September 28. Photo by HerdTracker.
Stampede is a common occurrence during these migrations, according to experts. Wildebeest sometimes pick a treacherous point in the river to cross. Unable to climb up onto land, hundreds of wildebeest pile up against each other and drown. According to authorities at Tanzania National Parks “the deaths are purely natural and not much could be done to prevent them. In the National Parks and other protected areas nature is always left to take its own course.”