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Five equals 1,148,000

Date: April 26, 2018 | By: bigfive | Category: Travel Blog

Tanzania Tours

If you used Google Earth like we did, you will have discovered that the GPS coordinates mentioned will take you to the area of Tanzania’s Grumeti River where the great wildebeest migration is heading.

It’s the green season and animals have started the long walk across the Serengeti in search of greener grasses.

The star of this spectacular annual event is the million or so wildebeest. They can make you smile, these irregular animals that tend to look like they were put together by a committee. They are one of the odder-looking members of the antelope family; not at all like their sleek and slender cousins.

But the wildebeest is surprisingly fast and agile. Between four and five feet tall, weighing as much as 600 pounds, wildebeest are powerful animals. There are two species – blue and black. The differences are found in the curve of the horn and the color of their fur. They have powerful hooves that are designed to allow them to travel over rugged terrain, and prevent slipping or sliding in the mud. The curved horns help protect them from predators that are especially plentiful during migration. The back end of the body closely resembles that of an ox.

As they begin the 500- to 1,000-mile journey, the herd cannot slow down for those unable to keep up such as the old, weak or very young.

We have a penchant at Big Five for trying to figure out odd things. We were curious about how many steps it might take a healthy adult wildebeest to walk the same distance as it would for a safari vehicle to drive. I know that sounds like one of the uncertain challenges by the guys from Top Gear. But those of you who know Ashish know he is a car geek who uses car metaphors to explain the world.

While we are not mathematicians, Ashish is pretty good with a calculator. All things being equal, we figure that the vehicle traveling an average of 40 kilometers an hour will take about five hours to drive from the Central Serengeti to Northern Serengeti. The poor wildebeest will have to take some 1,148,000 hoof beats to cover that same distance.

The migration is currently heading toward the Grumeti River before turning north. Explore our newest adventure that takes you into the world of the wildebeest: President’s Pick: Tanzania Safari in the Sun.

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