banner- of 2-3 black white striped zebras splashing in water, side view of faces, dark muzzles very outstanding on their snouts, green hillside background

MetaZoo Activity: Zebra Migration

Migration is a fact of life for many animals who need to follow resources to survive in their changing habitats. Zebras are one of the many African mammals that migrate every year. One of the most dangerous spots for zebras during their long migration is the river crossing. In this game, you will act as a zebra herd and take turns making your way across the treacherous terrain in a single file line. You can design you own safe route across the “river” or use one of the maps in our answer key.



  • Using sidewalk chalk or masking tape, layout a 5×5 grid to represent the river your zebra herd is trying to cross
  • Players will begin crossing the river one at a time and the current player must finish their turn before another player can start their journey.
  • Players may start from any square but can only move one square at a time and may not move on a diagonal.
  • There are two types of squares: safe squares and kill squares. If a player steps on a safe square, you say “safe” and the player may continue. If a player steps on a kill square, you must tell them how they died (crocodile attack, lion attack, deep water, strong current —be creative!) and send them to the back of the herd to try again.
  • The game ends when the whole herd makes it across the river safely.

Information on Migration

  • Many animals are migratory following food and water resources as the seasons change from wet to dry or warm to cold.
  • Africa is home to many notable migrations as herbivores move across the Savannah. In the Serengeti almost two million hoofstock (zebras, wildebeests, gazellee, and more!) migrate in a large circle covering about 500 miles.
  • Grey whales have the longest known migration of any mammal at 10,000 to 12,000 miles round-trip.
  • The longest zebra migration is 300 miles, this recent discovery is the longest straight-line migration journey know in African mammals.
  • Humans migrate too!

Thinking Questions

  • How many times did you die trying to cross the river?
  • What other animals migrate?
  • What do you think happens when humans block animal migration routes?