Travel With The Pack: Great Wildlife Migrations To Join

Watch the herd go by—on land, air and sea.  
Illustration: Ishan Rathod
Illustration: Ishan Rathod


  • Elephants in Mali

These elephants migrate in search of food and water with the oldest female in the lead, as she has memorised the route over years.

This is the longest elephant migration on Earth.

  • Caribou in Alaska

115,000 caribou gather each summer to give birth before heading south for the winter, spurred on in search of food and by biting insects.

  • Wildebeest in Maasai Mara

Lakhs of wildebeest cross the crocodile-filled Mara River to feast on the Maasai Mara grasslands.

  • Red Crabs in Christmas Islands

The time of the migration of these crabs is linked to the phases of the moon, with the male crabs in the lead, followed by the females.

  • Burchell’s Zebra in Botswana

This is the longest terrestrial migration in Africa. It takes place within a composite of protected areas called the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA).

They migrate in search of fresh feeding grounds.

The stripes on their body help camouflage them from predators.

  • Pronghorn in Wyoming

They migrate in search of feeding grounds and to survive harsh weather.

Pronghorn not only embark upon the longest migration in United States but also the fastest land animal migration in North America.

  • Whale Sharks,  Mexico

They migrate to mate and feed themselves.

These massive, big-jawed creatures are amenable to having human company swim beside them.

  • Green Sea Turtle, Costa Rica

They return to the same shore where they were born to lay their eggs.

When on the field, avoid using flash photography as it will temporary blind the sea turtle, complicating its nesting activity and return to the sea.

  • Golden Jellyfish, Eil Malik, Palau

Millions of golden jellyfish thrive in this south pacific island’s Jellyfish Lake. By day, they follow the sun’s movement east to west across the lake. By night they migrate vertically, all in pursuit of vital nutrients.


Buttterfly Birds

Illustration by Ishan Rathod

  • Flying Fox, Australia

Their heightened sense of smell helps them to find their way around at night. It also helps them find food, especially pale colour fruits and flowers.

  • Albatross, Falkland Island, South America

The adults start breeding at seven years and continue until they turn 35.

Adults pair for life and return to use the same pot-shaped nest on the island each September to lay eggs.

The birds migrate northwards toward Uruguay.

  • Amur Falcon, Doyang Reservoir, Nagaland

Probably the largest congregation of Amur falcon recorded anywhere in the world.

Great measures are taken by the Indian Government to help protect these falcons from hunters.

  • Flamingoes, Gujarat and Mumbai

Despite being smaller in size compared to the other breeds of flamingo, they are largest in number.

  • Curlew Sandpiper, Mumbai

These birds can be spotted near Vasai Fort, the salt flats near Naigaon and Bhabola, Arnala and Agashi.

  • Bar-headed Geese, Maharashtra

These birds migrate from the Himalayas during the winter season in search of warmer climate.

  • Demoiselle Cranes, Rajasthan

Thousands of demoiselle cranes fly in to the Thar Desert every winter.

The villagers have created a chuggaghar or feeding house for these birds, where they can eat undisturbed by dogs and other predators.

  • Monarch Butterflies, Mexico

Every year as many as 60 million to one billion monarch butterflies make a journey of about 4023km from eastern Canada to the forests of western Central Mexico.

Monarch Butterflies arrive to Mexico during the winter months and make their homes in the tops of the trees high in the mountains.


Trip Notes

– Make sure you have your phone on silent.

– Put your camera on silent, too; the constant digital beeping can be irritating.

– Follow the guidelines laid down by the safari guides.

– Never tease or corner wild animals

– Don’t imitate animal sounds and keep your noise to a minimum. You don’t want to scare the animal.

– Never feed or approach any animal without the permission of your guide.

– Refrain from wearing bright colours.

– Layer up, the weather will quickly go from cold to hot and back again.

– Do not call, or try to attract or alter the natural behaviour of animals in any way for the sake of a photograph.

– Do not litter.

– Do not use flash photography when animals are close to the vehicle.

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