Kenya Wildlife Safari: Wildebeest Migration
"The seventh greatest wonder in
the world". It is now officially known
through out the world. Many
come back time and again. They have witnessed this mass
movement of wild animals roaming free through unspoiled
and savage wilderness. The air fills with the click-
click of the cameras tirelessly. You have not seen
something like this before.Maasai Mara Serengeti
Wilderbeest Migration Safari
Africa is changing at a quick pace and human
encroachment into the wildlife reserves has continued to
erase the traditional routes. In association with
development and changes of the way of life, the image of
wildlife roaming free is slowly getting erased.
Fortunately, Masai Mara National reserve holds on to its
charisma of an open, limitless land. It is one of the
places in Africa that still prides in wildlife
Masai Mara is located in the South-western of Kenya, 290
kilometers from Nairobi. The abundance of wildlife and
the remoteness of the reserve implants memories that no
money can buy.
The Migration is a recent phenomenon (60's and 70's was
the biggest boom) with about 250,000
individuals. Gradually, with time the number has risen
to the current population of over 3,000,000
individuals. Add to it an estimated 1,500,000 Zebras and
the result is one of the most magnificent scenes in the
world. The massive display attracts hundreds of big cats
as the populations provide abundant prey. The giant
African crocodiles lie in wait, patiently, as the big
herds come to cross the river or to drink.
It is the masai community who are not so pleased with
the whole phenomenon. The wildebeests compete with their
huge herds of boran cattle for the grasslands. To them,
it is a big calamity especially because the wildebeests
transmit diseases to their herds and poison the waters
with their fetal sacs.
This world famous migration is a circle of life which,
in simple terms, means that there isn't a
start or an end. Only where the herds are located at a
particular time. The big determinant is the
availability of pastures. The plains of Ngorongoro
Conservation Area in Serengeti are a favored spot as
grass abounds and the wildebeest find a safe place to
graze. It is also here that over 500,000 new calves are
born and many are taken by the nearby waiting Jackals or
Hyenas.Maasai Mara Wilderbeest Migration Safari From
New borns have little time to strengthen their legs. As
soon after birth, the “pilgrim" continues. By April, the
rains are over in southern Serengeti and the plains have
dried up. The great herds then
gather and face the long march northwards and westwards.
The natural lawn mowers abandon
the exhausted grasslands of southern Serengeti to head
for the already tall grass of the Western
corridor, near the shores of Lake Victoria.
The pioneers of the migration movement are the majestic
herds of zebras. They prefer the long
stems of the coarse grass. This way, they leave behind
shorter grass which is favored by the wildebeests.
In late June to July the mass start pouring into the
Kenya Masai Mara reserve where fresh, tender
and mineral-rich grass is already waiting. Here they
meet the resident Mara populations which
add up to about 150,000. Also commonly referred to as
the Loita plains herds, they spend most of the season
northeast of the Mara. When it gets dry, they pour into
the interior of the Mara in search of greener pastures.
The migrating herds spend roughly 3 to 31/2 months in
the Mara crossing through Sand River, which is a
tributary of the Mara along the boundary of Kenya and
Tanzania. They trek westwards and cross the Mara river
and sometimes the Talek river. Usually around this time
heavy rains on the Mau Escarpment (origin of Mara River)
fill the Mara river to the brim.
This is a good time to watch the trunk-looking
Crocodiles, while they await the forthcoming feast.
Finally, the gnus (wildebeests) venture into the river.
This gregarious coordinated behavior of the herds,
usually teamed with zebras, creates an unimaginable
scene. Just what the cameras have been waiting for.
They wander along the river looking for a convenient
crossing point. This is a moment
filled with tension for both the gnus(wildebeests) and
the audience. They survey for a less steep and with no
obvious danger. Finally, one takes courage and plunges
into the river and magically the rest falls onto the
footsteps and in one organized line cross the river.
In addition to the crocodiles, accidents also occur. The
river’s current can be too strong for some especially
the young ones. Or simply getting stuck between the
rocks in the river and breaking limbs, a direct ticket
to the jaws of the giant crocodiles. Finally, the
crossing is done and the trek to their unknown (or
Maasai mara Serengeti wilderbeest migration SafariIn the
month of October, they are already heading to Serengeti
where the rains have treated the southern grasslands to
lush, green carpet of rich grass. Once again, they are
heading to the southern plains, where a new generation
will be born to start the cycle of life all over again.
Arrive at JKIA Nairobi and spend the night at New
Stanley Hotel/Serena Hotel. (Dinner and Overnight at the
DAY 2 NGORONGORO
Board a flight at 9.00 am to Kilimanjaro airport,
near Arusha, where you will be met and driven to the
Lake Manyara Serena Lodge for lunch. Later continue to
the Ngorongoro with a brief visit to the Olduvai Gorge,
which is often referred to as 'The Cradle of Mankind'
and is one of the most prehistoric sites in the world.
Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge.
DAY 3 NGORONGORO
Drive down into the crater for a full day of game
viewing (subject to change). This extinct volcano plays
host to wildebeest, zebras, buffaloes, gazelles,
elephants, rhinos and big cats. Visit a local Masai
Village. Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge.
DAY 4 SERENGETI
After breakfast, drive to the Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, set high on a ridge
commanding panoramic views, draws its inspiration from
the circular 'Rondavel' dwellings and winding paths of a
traditional Masai village. Lunch followed by an
afternoon game drive. Overnight: Serengeti Serena Safari
DAY 5 SERENGETI
Take an early morning balloon flight over the Serengeti
and a 'bubbly' bush breakfast (optional extra) or an
early morning game drive followed by breakfast at the
lodge. Later enjoy an afternoon game drive. Overnight:
Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge.
DAY 6 WESTERN SERENGETI
After breakfast, drive to the Western Corridor with game
viewing en route to the Kirawira Tented Camp, the
epitome of colonial-style safari luxury. Lunch and
afternoon game drive. Overnight: Kirawira Tented Camp
DAY 7 MASAI MARA
After breakfast drive to the Kenya/Tanzania border at
Isebania with a packed lunch. Change of vehicle,
continue safari with game viewing en route to the Mara
Serena Lodge. Overnight: Mara Serena Safari Lodge.
DAY 8MASAI MARA
An opportunity to enjoy an early morning balloon flight
over the Mara followed by a 'bubbly' bush breakfast
(optional extra), or an early morning game drive
followed by breakfast at the lodge. Time to relax by the
pool and marvel at the endless panorama which stretches
out before you. A second game drive will take place this
afternoon. Overnight: Mara Serena Safari Lodge.
DAY 9 BACK TO NAIROBI
Return to Nairobi (360 km), then proceed with your
Light aircraft baggage allowance - 15 kg.
Reservation For Enquiries