Wildebeest migration

I had the pleasure of flying over  the Serengeti with Guy Rowe in his recently purchased Cessna 182.  We were going to look for the Wildebeest in their famous migration following the rains over the Serengeti grasslands.  Serengeti by the way means "endless grasslands in Swahili" and thats exactlly what it is.  

We flew out from Arusha just before 9am and were soon flying over the Eastern rim of the Ngorongoro crater.  I was amazed at how huge the crater was, it stretched for miles and miles of open grassland and waterholes.  You could see various safari vehicles stopped along the crater's crisscrossing roads, looking at animals.  We had still not seen any sign of the wildebeest herds.

After a few more minutes flying time Guy turned and pointed to the left wing, below were the first signs of the herds.  I marveled at the number of animals but Guy and Gwyn said no, this is nothing, wait. I found this hard to believe as I looked out over the line of wildebeest stretching back over the grasslands their hooves raising a long plume of dust across the landscape.

We dropped lower in altitude and I was able to pick out the animals moving across the landscape in large groups.

Moments later my jaw dropped as we passed over a larger mass of animals, these ones though were not an isolated herd but rather a part of a sea of animals that extended as far as the eye could see.  Take note in the image below.  The small dots at the top of the frame close to the tree line are thousands of wildebeest.  Unbelievable.

Following the wildebeest herds were many other animals too.  Large groups of eland, zebras, gazelles and elephant were embedded with the seething mass of wildebeest.

We had one last chance to soak in the extraordinary sight as we turned and headed to our next site on the way back towards Arusha. Our flight path was taking us over Lengai volcano, the sacred mountain of the Masai and then on to Lake Natron which would prove to be an equally breath taking sight.


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