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Adventure Magazine

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Adventure Know-It-All
Ask Adventure

Q: What's the best time and place to view wildlife migration in Africa?

Bernadette Byrd, San Pedro, California

"Serengeti" has become such a byword for virtually anything reminiscent of the African outback (it's even the name of a brand of sunglasses) that it's easy to forget the facts: The 9,000-square-mile (23,310-square-kilometer) plain in Tanzania and Kenya is still the setting for one of the world's most spectacular annual wildlife migrations. In May and June, as water and food sources in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area diminish, 1.5 million wildebeests and zebras begin their procession northward into Kenya's Masai Mara Reserve. Around October, the exodus begins anew, this time back south into Tanzania. For the lions, cheetahs, and leopards that inhabit the parks, the migration is a movable feast—adding another note of drama to what guide and writer Mark Nolting calls the "greatest wildlife show on Earth." According to Nolting, two highlights are watching the zebras and wildebeests crossing Kenya's Mara River in August and witnessing the wildebeest calving season in Serengeti National Park in February. The options for visiting the Serengeti are numerous; a good first step in trip planning is to look at Nolting's book Africa's Top Wildlife Countries (Global Travel Publishers) or visit www.africa-adventure.com.

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August 2003

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