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World's Great Animal Migrations

Horizon International Images Limited / Alamy

Elephant Migration, Mali

Although Mali's African elephant population is relatively small (hundreds rather than thousands), the country's parched climate means its elephants must continually walk—in long queues, single file—search of new drinking water. It's striking to see scores of huge lumbering beasts marching trunk-to-tail across the Saharan landscapes south of Timbuktu (which are not preserves or parklands, but wild desert), or cooling themselves in the welcome waters of Lake Débo.

When to Go: Between February and May.

How to Get There: Explore Mali organizes custom multiday trips to see the elephants, with either camping or local-hotel stays in between. Because the elephants in Mali aren't accustomed to humans the way those in safari parks are, guides make sure to stay at a respectful, and safe, distance (from $402 per person).


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