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Iconic Wildlife Migrations in Africa and Asia

Iconic Wildlife Migrations in Africa and Asia

Throughout the year, hundreds of species take part in incredible international migrations that see them travel hundreds of kilometers in search of food, water, breeding grounds or more favourable climates. Below we’ve explored some of the most extraordinary wildlife migrations across Africa and Asia that are well worth factoring into any trip.

Whale Migration, South Africa

Located east of Cape Town, the small town of Hermanus is predominantly known for its amazing whale-watching. The season runs between June and November, when hundreds of Bryde’s, Humpback and Southern Right Whales come to Walker Bay during their migration. Watch the whales playing and frolicking in the water from the beach; there is also a beautiful hike up to the cliffs and along the ‘Whale Walk’ which offers an even better view of these magnificent mammals. Boat cruises are also available to observe whales and other marine wildlife such as penguins, seals and dolphins. At the end of September, Hermanus hosts an annual whale festival in celebration of whales returning to mate and calve in these waters.

Suggested itineraries:

Self-Drive South Africa: An Epic Road Trip From Namibia to South Africa - Whales, Dunes, Shipwrecks & Wildlife Starlit South Africa: The Dream Luxury Honeymoon

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Elephant Migration, Botswana to Namibia

Botswana is home to one of the largest elephant populations in the world, and this migration is one of the largest and longest in Africa, involving up to 200,000 elephants. As the dry season progresses and resources become scarcer in the northern regions, massive herds begin their journey from the Chobe River in the north to the Okavango Delta in the south, creating a breathtaking spectacle. The timing of the migration is closely linked to the seasonal availability of resources, as elephants move in search of greener pastures and reliable water supplies. The best time to see large elephant herds in Chobe is between August and November.

Suggested itineraries: A Grand Safari Migration - Follow in the Footsteps of Botswana’s Giants

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Zebra Migration, Botswana

One of the most interesting migration routes is that of the Makgadikgadi zebras in Botswana, a 250km journey from Okavango to Makgadikgadi starting in November each year. The zebras remain here for roughly two and a half months before returning to The Okavango Delta in March, where they stay during the dry season (July to October). Only 55% of the zebras migrate to Makgadikgadi, while 45% of the population remain in Okavango for the entire year. One of the best spots for viewing this beautiful spectacle is Meno a Kwena camp (meaning “teeth of the crocodile”) which sits on the banks of the seasonal Boteti River on the western boundary of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

Suggested itineraries: A Safari of Discovery - Botswana Off-The-Beaten-Track

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Black-Necked Cranes, Bhutan

Black-necked cranes are one of the rarest birds in the world and, in Bhutan, are considered sacred and revered as a symbol of longevity. Every year, approximately 300 birds migrate from their breeding grounds in the Tibetan Plateau in China across the Himalayas to the Phobjikha Valley, seeking warmer temperatures. Their arrival in Bhutan in November is celebrated during the Black-Necked Crane Festival which takes place in Gangteng Monastery with folk songs, environmental songs and mask dances performed by locals, school children, and monks.

Suggested itineraries: Bhutan’s Beautiful Black Necked Cranes A Six Senses Journey Through the Kingdom of Bhutan Best of Bhutan: The Ultimate Luxury Grand Tour

For more information or to start planning a tailor-made wildlife holiday, please get in touch with us by email or phone: / +44 (0) 207 819 9770.

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