Double migration of the Wildebeests and Humpback whales
By Tony Karanja
Magical Kenya- this is the phrase that best describes the destinations and experiences one encounters touring the country. Nothing less of magical. Kenya has too much to offer in terms of sites, experiences and opportunities. We could go on and on but we choose to focus on the double migration of the wildebeest and the whales! Yes! It can’t get more magical than this.. can it?
You’ve probably heard and/or even experienced one of the most sought-after experiences for wildlife and nature enthusiasts- Great Wildebeest Migration. It is the largest animal migration in the world. Every year in late July through to August and the early days of September, around 1.5 million wildebeest; 350,000 Thomson’s gazelle; 200,000 zebra; and thousands of other hoofed animals migrate in a clockwise direction across the ecosystems of the Serengeti (Tanzania) and the Masaai Mara (Kenya)in what has come to be termed as the ‘greatest show on Earth’.
This migration is characterized by high drama as thousands of animals are taken by predators, and thousands more are born, replenishing the numbers and sustaining the circle of life. And as if that isn’t magical enough, enters the humpback whale migration in Watamu which has been making headlines lately.
Every year, humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to warmer climates, congregating in Kenyan waters between July and August to calve and mate. After spending two months breeding and nursing their calves, the whales then make their journey back to Antarctica around September covering a cumulative distance of 4,000 kilometres. Since its inception in the country two years ago, the watching of the annual humpback whale migration in Watamu, Kilifi County, has become one of the biggest tourism attractions in the country.
The humpback whales have grabbed the attention of Kenyans and overseas visitors, as they are among the most acrobatic of whales, and spend time leaping or ‘breaching’ to communicate,playing, or giving themselves a mini spa to remove unwanted skin parasites.
Its timing, coinciding with the wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, gives tourists a unique holiday experience this time of year. In mid-August, Tourism CS Najib Balala, together with top government officials, joined tourists to witness the spectacle in Watamu. The CS hailed the experience exciting and a life-time one as he commended the operators and facilitators of the migration for ensuring safety measures for all.
Kilifi County Governor, Amason Kingi is also on record saying the humpback whale migration is the perfect opportunity for the county to showcase to the world the diversity it offers in hospitality and tourism. And you will agree with us that this is indeed something you want to add to your bucket list! Remember to carry sunscreen and your camera to capture all the moments.
This are not the only places you can visit to have a magical experience in Kenya. We have a whole list of ideal picnic spots you can visit across Kenya.
All this as we brace to experience the Jacaranda Propaganda! Yippeeee! There’s always something magical going down in this country!