The Great Migration: Double River Crossings
Double river crossings of the Great Wildebeest Migration, Serengeti
The Great Wildebeest Migration is often erroneously linked with the river crossings of the Mara River. The river crossings are riveting to witness, and the star of the great migration show. For some lucky observers, it is possible to watch a double crossing during one river crossing event.
What is a double river crossing of the Great Migration?
Some of the wildebeest calves are separated from their mothers whilst crossing the Mara River with the rest of the herd. These calves often return to where the came from, looking for their mothers. Sometimes the mothers go back and swim through the waters again to find their young ones. The double river crossing or return river crossing refers to some wildebeest individuals crossing the river twice in one event.
Who is involved in double river crossings during the Great Migration?
Watch this amazing video of the 6-month-old calves in a “return crossing”. We witnessed the main crossing of the entire herd, then in a state of confusion, these calves returned to the Mara River and crossed it again. The adrenaline and chaos of the crossing and being in the water dulls the calves’ sense of smell. Smell is their primary way of identification. In the water, or just after getting out of the water, they cannot smell or find their mothers. In a sense of desperation at being lost their natural instinct is to go back to where they came from, resulting in a double crossing. Lost calves are brave in their determination to find their moms!
Experience the Great Migration in 2022 – River Crossings and more
Join us for the world’s largest overland mammal migration as 1.5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebra, 18,000 eland and 200,000 Thompson’s gazelle move through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. We don’t wait for the herds to come to us, we take you to them – leaving no trace. Follow them with us online or in person. Migration Updates every month. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your seat to the great migration. We still have some availability in late August, into September, so join us before the 2022 river crossing season is over.
“Nothing ever becomes real ‘til it is experienced.” John Keats