This time every year as the rains bring the Liuwa Plain back to life, the wildebeest migrate to the southern reaches of the national park to drop their calves. Our guides at King Lewanika report seeing the first calves arriving already, marking the start of the annual birthing season.
By synchronising the births over a few weeks, the wildebeest provide the best protection possible to their newborn calves. The predators can only hunt and eat so many times per day, so there is a greater chance for each individual calf to elude unwanted attention if they are merely one among thousands. If the births were spread out over a season, the supply wouldn't be as saturated and the predation rate would be much higher.
Within a few short weeks the herds swell with new life, and the next generation of knobbly-kneed wildebeest join the Liuwa Plain. The circle of life continues.
For several months, the herds will remain in the south, feeding on the mineral-rich grasses. Around June, they begin the next phase of their annual migration, heading back north for the winter season.
As if this natural wonder wasn’t incredible enough, this is also the season when the wildflower blooms sweep across the plains, bringing a mosaic of colour stretching as far as the eye can see. It's a magical time of year on the Liuwa Plain.
Join us at King Lewanika and discover this stunning landscape for yourself!
Aerial migration photo by Andrew Macdonald | All other photos by Will Burrard-Lucas