The Great Migration rivals the Big Five as the crown jewel of an East Africa safari. The Serengeti in northern Tanzania and the Masai Mara in southern Kenya set the stage for the mass movement of 1.5 million wildebeests and 200,000 zebras, who follow seasonal rains in a never-ending cycle across 150,000 square miles of protected wilderness.
The nomadic animals have journeyed symbiotically for millennia: zebras lead the way and eat the long grasses, and then wildebeest graze on the sweet shorter stalks. The zebras remember the course and keep a keen eye out for predators, while the wildebeest employ their superb sense of smell to track down water. Thousands of gazelles, eland, and impala share the route, and the herds are relentlessly pursued by lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. Any encounter with the Great Migration is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but the most thrilling annual spectacles require regional expertise and proper timing.