The Great Wildebeest Migration Safari (One of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World)
Wildebeests migrate on a loop path through Tanzania and Kenya following the seasonal rains even when that involves passing through dangerous territory. Wildebeest, also called gnus, are members of the antelope family. They are related to oryxes and gazelles. A wildebeest can grow to 2.4 meters (8 feet) in length, and weigh up to 270 kilograms (600 pounds).
Wildebeest typically inhabit the Serengeti plains of southeastern Africa. For most of their lives, wildebeest graze in the grassy savannas and open woodlands of the plains, which straddle the nations of Tanzania and Kenya.
More than 1.5 million wildebeest migrate in an enormous loop every year. The annual migration northwest, at the end of the rainy season (usually in May or June) is recognized as one of the "Seven Wonders of the Natural World."
The search for greener pastures does not come without danger. Its migration route crosses many rivers, most filled with giant Nile crocodiles.
Wildebeest are considered keystone species because their presence has myriad effects on the ecosystem, unlike those of any other species. Wildebeest are the "lawnmowers" of the Serengeti grassland. They keep the grass short which in turn reduces the frequency of fires.