Masai Mara National Reserve
Wildebeest River Crossing
Fact File: Masai Mara, Kenya
The mighty Mara remains one of Kenya's best loved game reserve. 1,672 sq. kms/ I039 sq. miles of wide savannah, rolling hills and riverine forest with huge grazing herds, bountiful birdlife and Africa's largest population of lions. Each year the Mara is the staging ground for the Great Migration, one of the most awe-inspiring natural events in the world.
The Greater Mara consists of private conservancies with the most famous for exclusive wildlife exploration and superior accommodation options being, Mara North Conservancy, Olchorua-oirua, Ol Kinyei, Olare-Motorogi, Lemek,
Masai Mara National Reserve
Voted Africa's Leading National Park for 6 consecutive years from 2013-2018, Masai Mara National Reserve has been esteemed as the home of the African wildlife safari. Accommodation facilities ranging from safari lodges, tented camps and on-the-fly camping wilderness experience are well developed and most affordable in comparison to other parks across Africa.
Nature is said to be unforgiving to those who fail to respect it. Wildlife and environmental conservation is an important tenet and is greatly magnified in the Greater Mara conservancies under the leadership of Masai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) whose vision is to create, enhance and sustain a vibrant and unified Mara ecosystem where the community and wildlife coexist sustainably for the prosperity of all.
Accommodation standard is the key determinant in a holiday budget and Masai Mara has a wide range of best value (decent) facilities to world class standards from as low as $250 (e.g. Mara Sarova Game Camp) per person per night to $1,800 (Mara Plains Camp). At Sky Queen Safaris, we offer bespoke safaris where holiday buyers choose accommodation facilities according to their budget and, of course, with our recommendations.
The Mara Safari Experience
Wildebeest Migration happens across the parks of Masai Mara, Kenya and Serengeti, Tanzania throughout the year. The timing and directions are rarely exact although the similarities year after year makes the phenomenon a real natural wonder.
The typical routes undertaken are:-
Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
January, February & March
- The migration animals are in Ndutu area of Southern Serengeti in Tanzania.
- By the end of March the wild party spread over the short grass plains in Southern Serengeti, Loliondo and Ngorongoro Conservation Area
- The great migration herds move north, through Moru Kopjes and Seronera areas of Central Serengeti
May to June
- The migration herds head north through Seronera towards the Western Corridor to cross the Grumeti River. This is the first annual crossing. Crocodiles have a feasting season and the predators have their sensational hunts.
- The great migration herds pass through Ikorongo and into the far north-west of the national park
Movement into Masai Mara, Kenya
July, August, September & Mid October
- By mid July, the herds cross the Sand River into Masai Mara National Reserve.
- There are traditional routes here where the herds head northwest into the Mara Triangle before crossing the Mara River. During these months, splits may be noted, with some crossing into Mara North Conservancy, others wandering to Talek areas and crossing to join the Loita herds in Olare Motorogi, Naboisho and Siana-Olarro Convervancies
Mid October - December
The herds move south again from Masai Mara into the eastern side of Serengeti through Loliondo Game Protected Area, wandering into NCA and heading to South Serengeti
Migration in Orbit
November, December & January, Serengeti Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania
Onset of short rains. Short grass sprouts. Zebras are particularly fond of short sweet grass. Most enjoyable feeding time as grass is most nutritious.
- Calving season.
- The herds are with young ones. Each follows the mother wildebeest.
April - June
- Beginning of the rutting season. Lasts until June
- Wildebeest have begin their migration north into Moru Kopjes, then west of Seronera
- Headed to Grumeti river for the first crossing of the year
- Grumeti River is a series of pools and channels, not continuous fast flow like the Mara River
- Feast for Crocos, though not as spectactular as the crossings of the Mara River in Masai Mara, Kenya
July to October
- First crossing at Sand River
- Series of crossing near the Lookout Hill
- Series of crossing into the Paradise plains
- Movement across to Greater Mara
- Joining and interlop of Loita Plains herds