The Wildebeest Migration Boring? Seriously?

wildebeest cross the mara river in 2013

The other day I was chatting with a friend and we started talking about my recent trip to the Masai Mara. She’d been on safari before. She stayed at Mombo in Botswana, one of the poshest resorts on the continent, and had a grand old-time.  She understood the safari experience, or so I thought.

I suggested that she visit the Mara during the Great Migration. She crinkled her nose and said, “I don’t know, I think I would get bored. How many times can you look at a wildebeest? ” I almost fell out of my chair. While I explained to her why that was not the case, I also felt the need to remind her about the zillion other things the bush had to offer that would utterly captivate her. Frankly, I’m sure she was wondering why I was looking at her as if she had three heads.

After our conversation it got me thinking. I wondered if other people felt the same and it inspired me to write a little ditty for Yahoo Travel I thought you might also enjoy, 16 Ways the Masai Mara Reserve Will Blow Your Mind (Hint: Animal Babies Included) – Not my title btw.

A few of the pics you’ll recognize but there are a few you’ve never seen before. If you have a chance, please check it out.


Yahoo Travel Screen Grab - first story by Susan Portnoy

My story on Yahoo Travel. (Hint: It’s the first one on the left.)

28 replies »

    • HI Elias –
      First let me say that I am incredibly jealous of your time in Kenya. I would give anything not to have to travel 20+ hours just to stay on the continent 2 weeks. I am truly envious. Second: What an amazing sighting. Well done on the pics. How long did the kill take?

      • By looking back a the time stamps of the pictures, it tool ten minutes from the time she spotted the buffalo until she brought him down, another tee-fifteeen minutes to kill him on the ground and then probably an hour until they completed the lunch. But the male was still eating five hours later!

    • LOL.. I completely agree. I hope you do go. It’s an amazing, life-changing adventure and worth every penny. Thank you for taking the time to read my piece and I hope you return. 🙂

  1. Your story reminds me how upset my late Grandmother got when one of her sisters suggested she should get her head read for enjoying visiting the Kruger National Park more than a holiday at the sea! No accounting for taste 😉

    • Hi!
      Thank you, I am so glad you enjoyed my story and images. I agree, anything but boring but I guess some people would disagree. LOL… Thank you for visiting my site and I hope you return. 🙂

  2. Pretty sad that your friend is unimpressed by one of the most amazing wildlife events on the planet. I have not had the good fortune to witness this part of the Wildebeests’ annual migration, but I do recall our experience in the Serengeti when our tour drove by a large herd (thousands) of Wildebeest and our guide told us that any day now the females would be giving birth. The next afternoon we returned and many of them had given, or were in the process of giving, birth to the next generation of their herd. We were blown away as we watched the newborn calves struggle to their feet and within a few minutes of their birth were standing and taking their first tentative steps. Within a couple days they would be running fast enough to keep up with the herd. And I would guess that our experience would pale in comparison to the river crossing that you were so fortunate to witness. I did a quick check on Trip Advisor to see some reviews of the camp mentioned by your friend. A lot of five star ratings but you had to read through a lot of talk about wine, massages, food, and service before you got to the part about the wildlife.

    • Hi Robin –
      Mombo is an extraordinary camp, I’ve been there. Yes, it has all the trappings of the poshest Four Seasons but I loved it for its location – absolutely stunning. Animals were constantly walking through it was like my tent was in the middle of a zoo. That being said, my friend hasn’t seen the migration yet, she just thought she’d find it boring. Not sure how she could come to that conclusion having been on safari but to each his own, I guess. I hope that should she see it she’ll find that she was completely wrong.

      The calving must have been extraordinary to see!!! I don’t think it would pale in comparison to a crossing. It’s just another kind of extraordinary event! I hope to see it myself some day.

  3. I don’t get the boredom bit… How could you ever tire of seeing wildlife, migrations, nature… It’s beyond me. Loved the Yahoo Travel article – Great shots and witty commentary.

  4. Getting bored with the great migration is crazy talk. If you like anything about the safari experience, it has it all. During our visit, we didn’t see the wildebeest officially cross – only gather in contemplation. Even so, it still was incredible. I’ll never forget the grunting calls of the wildebeest. Your photos make me want to return again!

  5. I think seeing those masses of wildebeest would be quite cool actually. When we spend the summers in Jackson Hole, I never tire of all the bison or moose. I have way more photos of both than I will ever need.

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