Love for the Great Migration

The vibration of a thousand hooves

Having worked with &Beyond for 18 years now, I had the privilege of managing &Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp for 3 years. I fell in love with the Serengeti from the day I arrived and to this day, it is one of my happiest places!

Grumeti is right in the path of the Great Wildebeest Migration. They start arriving there in June and they announce their arrival with a low hum that slowly builds as more and more of them arrive. This is where they pause for a month or so, and this call becomes the background to your days……and then just as suddenly one day they are gone again!

I used to love to take a drive out onto the plains around the camp and sit amongst the herds. Words cannot express the vibration, the dust kicked up by thousands of hooves, the smell of trampled grass, the bleating – it’s all a phenomenal assault to the senses! The lines move outstretched in what appears to be a never-ending herd as they surge on and on! To be a witness of this instinctual drive for survival that has been happening for thousands of years brings home just how insignificant we are.

Lurking nearby, are always the opportunistic predators, looking for a soft-target – the young, the wounded or the old. Although it can be heart-wrenching to watch, the cheetah, lions, hyena and jackal all have their young to feed and teach the ways of survival. The crocodiles’ feast at the rivers and the circle of life continues as it has done for millennia. It’s a numbers game and it is because there are so many on the move, that so many survive.

In the time I lived there, I never tired of it. I loved hearing about each guest’s migration experience and seeing their photos each night. I’ve been back several times too and creating this experience for my guests is a highlight for me.

I’ve been fortunate enough to find a painting that captures the essence of my love for the great migration, which I have on my wall at home. Every time I look at it, I am transported back to this incredible place I was fortunate enough to call my home… I think I need to go back again soon!

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Karen Richards

&Beyond Travel Specialist

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