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Africa Safari Blog






Nat Geo Great Migrations Preview

Tuesday, 2 November 2010 14:48 by BillGiven

Born to Move on National Geographic

National Geographic Great Migration Review
A large crossing of the Mara River by the Great Migration as wildebeestleap into the river for a dangerous swim to reach a different grazing area. This crossing of thousands of wildebeest and zebra was witnessed by clients of The Wild Source in the Northern Serengeti in September.
©Photo courtesy and copyright Don Dubin.


National Geographic is airing a new seven part series on great migrations around the globe and examining the driving principles that create migrations. No migration is more iconic than the movements of over 1 million wildebeest along with a couple hundred thousand zebra and gazelles throughout the Serengeti ecosystem including Serengeti National Parka and surrounding areas in Tanzania and Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve.

As this spectacle has long been called the Great Migration it of course features in this series as part of the very first segment called Born to Move airing on November 7th on the National Geographic Channel. The wildebeest migration will also feature on November 9th on the Science of Great Migrations Episode.Guide to episodes, photos and video previews can be accessed here

 

National Geographic's Race to Survive - November 14th

While the wildebeest migration is without a doubt the best known migration in the world there are a number of fascinating other migrations in Africa and beyond that will be featured in this series.

In Africa, famed filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert have filmed Botswana’s zebra migration. It is still a large migration but has been decimated from its original size due to veterinary fences. I therefore anticipate this part of the series will show just how delicate migrations are, very topical as a planned road bi-secting the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti continues to loom on the horizon. Botswana’s zebra migration airs November 14th in an episode titled Race to Survive.

Need to Breed airing on November 7th is an episode I’m particularly looking forward to see as it features the extraordinary migration of over 1 million white-eared kob, a stunning antelope in Southern Sudan. Due to war and strife in Sudan this was a forgotten migration, assumed devastated but a few years back scientists finally returned to survey the area and were astounded with what they found – a major migration with numbers rivaling the wildebeest migration. As the region continues to be extremely difficult for tourists to reach this will be a great look at a hidden secret and a place that could become a safari gem of the future.

National Geographic's Great Migration Review
Desert adapted elephant carefully browses in Damaraland, Namibia. Photo © Bill Given

Feast or Famine, Science of Migrations

Elephants are also well known for migrations and the series will feature the challenging journey of elephants in Mali during the Science of Migrations segment on November 9th. Desert adapted elephants also feature on November 14th on the Feast or Famine episode.

This looks to be an epic series, which should be a refreshing change for nature lovers from the barrage of 30 minute sensationalized nature television that is dominant right now, often using canned footage and forced situations to make filming cheap and quick. This is a 3 year, round the planet effort that I hope will be more along the lines of the classic Trials of Life with fascinating education mixed with stellar film work.

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