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Africa’s Lesser-known Spectacles that Involve Vast Numbers of Critters on the Move

Every year in August, the nomadic lesser flamingos of sub-Saharan Africa flock to the Great Rift Valley lakes of East Africa – primarily Kenya’s Lake Bogoria – to feed on immense blooms of microscopic blue-green algae (a cyanobacteria known as spirulina), before flying to Lake Natron in northern Tanzania to mate and nest around November. With flamingo numbers at each of these two lakes often topping two million, these moving seas of pink are a truly breathtaking sight to behold.  Every October, the skies of Central Africa go dark as more than 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats make their annual pilgrimage from the Congo Basin to Kasanka National Park in Zambia to feed on the waterberries, mango, wild loquat, and red milkwood berries that appear in abundance at this time of year. During what is known as the largest mammalian migration on earth, the bats devour around 4.4lb (2km) of this fruity ambrosia each night, leaving the trees stripped bare of their succulent bounty by the time the nocturnal creatures depart towards the end of December.