You Have to Be First at the River to Get a Drink
While on vacation in the Serengeti Plains of Africa, I sat on a riverbank for three hours watching a herd of wildebeest (or gnu) build up the courage to drink from the water. This herd was part of the Great Migration that happens like clockwork every summer. More than 1,000,000 wildebeest move northward from the arid Serengeti into the wetlands of the Masai Mara.
The migration is a long, dry and arduous journey. Frequently the only available water is the Grumeti River. Crisscrossing the wildebeest migration route through the Serengeti, the Grumeti represents both life and death to the herds. Unlike some creatures that can take their moisture from the grass they eat, the wildebeest must drink from the river to live. Although they can survive up to five days without water, they try to drink twice a day.
The Life-or-Death Challenge of the Great Migration
Hot from the sun, thirsty from the effort and dry from the dust, the animals arrive at the river. They must drink to survive. Yet the river supports other life, such as scrub brush, trees and fresh, sweet grass along its banks. Some of that life such as...