The wildebeest migration at the Masai Mara Game Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve is considered a “must see” for any visitor traveling on safari in Kenya. It is on the “to do” list of most Kenyan visitors because the park is graced by a wide variety of unique and exquisite wild life and birds.Masai Mara is the best place to see all of the “Big Five” animals (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo) together. The famous wildebeest migration also takes place at the Mara.
The Mara is also home to the richest concentration of wildlife, including the “Big Five” (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo), zebras, antelope, gnus, Oribis, hyenas, giraffes, warthogs, gazelles, hartebeests, hippos, crocodiles and others. The park has the largest concentration of African lions, including the black-maned lion.Birdlife is as plentiful as wildlife at the Masai Mara, which boasts over 400 different birds species. The park experiences a hot and dry climate with a regular rainfall season twice a year.
Maasai Mara derives its name from the indigenous people of Kenya – the Maasai tribe – and the Mara River that cuts through the park. The Mara River is the major water source in the park, providing water year round for the thousands of animals of the National Reserve, but it is in the months of late July to October that the river hosts the herds of the Great Migration - and the famous drama-filled river crossings. Giant Crocodiles wait all year for the herds to cross the Mara, and when they do, the Crocodiles feast.
The Masai Mara Game Reserve is one of the best places in Africa for wildlife viewing. Game drives are a great way to experience the park and they take place all year round. If the big cats are what you’re looking for on your Kenyan safari, you are guaranteed to spot them at the Mara.All of the “Big Five” animals (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo) can be spotted here.
Over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebras and several species of antelope make an annual circular tour between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures. The trek happens with a fair share of animal drama as the migrating herds attract the attention of hungry predators – the hyenas and lions that prey on the lame and sick animals along the way. The animals trek for four months (July-October) towards the Mara. The months of July and August are the best times to see what is truly the world’s most spectacular wildebeest migration and the dramatic sights that occur during the mass crossing of the swollen Mara River.
There are several lodges and camps available for lodging inside the Reserve.
When to visit
The Masai Mara provides the best view of the famous wildebeest migration as the animals cross the Mara River between July and August.
Masai Mara National Reserve (also known as Masai Mara or The Mara) is situated within the Great Rift Valley in the southernpart of Kenya. The Reserve is 270km from Nairobi and takes about 5 hours by road and 45 minutes by charter flight.