Chances are, you’ve heard of the Great Migration. And while it certainly is great, it’s one of the seven natural wonders of Africa after all, what about other animal migrations around the world? There are tons of interesting animal migrations around the world, but we’ve narrowed it down to a few of our favorites.
Giant Tortoises, Galapagos Islands
Giant Tortoises are known as the “slow and steady migrators.” They don’t cover a great distance. In fact, they only migrate a little less than four miles over a migration period of two to three weeks, but they migrate, nonetheless. Their journey begins in the highlands of Santa Cruz Islands. When the rainy season starts in December, they slowly make their way to the lowlands until about June or July, then return back to the highlands.
Zebra Migration, Botswana
Botswana is home to the longest terrestrial migration in Africa. Each year 25,000 zebra make their annual journey through Botswana’s Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks from the Okavango Delta, covering a distance of over 300 miles round trip. Travel to Botswana, specifically Jack’s Camp during the green season, to watch the migration under the shade of trees with a picnic lunch, or perhaps spot it right outside your veranda.
Southern Right Whales, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand
Southern Right Whales migrate between Antarctica in the summer and north to places like Australia and South Africa to breed and give birth. In Argentina, the best place to see them is along Peninsula Valdes in September, though they can be seen from June to December. And on the other side of the world in September, Hermanus, South Africa plays host to the Southern Right Whales as they return to the bay for calving and mating season. You know it’s a pretty big deal there too – there’s a n annual three-day Whale Festival to celebrate the best land-best whale watching in the world.
Cape Fur Seals, Namibia
Each November and December, hundreds of thousands of Cape fur seals travel to the Skeleton Coast to mate, give birth, and hunt for fish. The colony at Cape Cross Seal Reserve has seen as many as 210,000 seals at once, stretched out in the sand singing a chorus of grunts and bleats. Though the marshes and surf are heavy, they are no match for these agile underwater navigators. Some 6,200 square miles of coast has been designated the Skeleton Coast National Park, and the best way to see it and the Cape fur seal colonies is via a flying safari.
Monarch Butterflies, North America and Mexico
If you’ve ever thought about wintering in Mexico, then you aren’t so different than the Monarch butterfly. They can’t survive long, cold winters in most of the United States so they fly south 2,500 miles to Mexico if they live east of the Rocky Mountains, or to small tree groves on the California coast is they live west of the mountains. They make the round trip once, but amazingly, hibernate in the same trees each year – impressive once you realize they aren’t the same butterflies that were there the year previous. It’s actually their children’s grandchildren.
Emperor Penguins, Antarctica
November is perhaps one of the most adventurous times to visit Antarctica. It is late spring and early summer in the Great Southern Ocean—a time when the undisturbed landscape breaks free from winter and enters its breeding season. The penguins are a real treat in November too – the chicks that hatched in August are starting to molt their feathers as their waterproof plumage comes in, preparing them for their journey to the ocean with their parents.
Humpback Whales, Tonga
Each summer around September, a population of humpback whales make their way to the Vava’u islands to give birth to their young in the reef-protected waters of Tonga. You can even swim alongside the whales and see the natural phenomenon for yourself underwater.
Of course we can’t have a blog on the interesting animal migrations around the world and not include the Great Migration. It’s “great” for a reason, right? Some 1.5 million animals migrate between Kenya and Tanzania each year, and at all stops along the route, there’s something incredible to see – from calving season and great predator activity to thrilling Mara River crossings, the Great Migration promises an exceptional safari each year.
Talk to your Luxury Travel Consultant to see how to plan your journey around some of these interesting animal migrations around the world. Stay up to date on all our online content by following us on Facebook and Twitter.