Friday, July 4, 2008

Masai Mara migration of 2008 has begun

One of the highlights of the annual migration, the arrival of the wildebeest into the Masai Mara, has commenced. The first arrivals from the Serengeti have started crossing the crocodile infested waters of the Mara River. This is what most people consider to be the quintessential “annual wildebeest migration” and this year looks likely to be a spectacular event. Only the first few thousand, of an estimated 2 million plains game, have arrived in the Masai Mara, but their arrival is a great source of excitement amongst safari enthusiasts.

There is plenty of water and the Mara and Talek Rivers are flowing strongly. There has been some rain in the last few days. New fresh shoots of grass are appearing where rangers burnt the long grass over the last few weeks. In other parts of the reserve the grass is still long making game viewing a bit more challenging. This will soon change as the wildebeest, zebra and gazelle churn up the soil with their hooves.

Camps in the Mara and adjacent ranches are reporting strong interest in this year’s migration, but most camps still have limited availability. This is unusual for the high season as most camps are normally fully booked 6 months to a year in advance. The current lower tourist numbers is probably due to the bad publicity associated with recent elections in Kenya, the increase in the price of international flights and the downturn in the world economy. This is good news for those visitors that do get see the crossing this year as there may be less people around. But, it is still early enough in the season for this to change.

Even though the big news is that the migration has started entering the Masai Mara, it is important to note that the entire migration is spread over a large area covering the Serengeti and Masai Mara. The tail end of the migrating herds is around Ikorongo in the western corridor of the Serengeti, large populations can be found in the northern Serengeti, while some herds are heading in easterly direction towards Lobo. For the next couple of months the wildlife will move back and forth across the northern Serengeti and Masai Mara, constantly criss-crossing the rivers and Kenya-Tanzania border.

1 comment:

Masai mara wildlife said...

Nice post. Masai Mara wildlife safari in East Africa is the kind of experience. Rift Valley the largest administrative province in Kenya. In Masai Mara there are many animals such as lions, elephants, leopards, hippopotamus, rhinoceros. 450 bird species have been recorded. There are many hotels in Masai Mara such as Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Mara Intrepids Club, Siana Springs Intrepids Lodge. You can see game reserve, Balloon safari, Lake Victoria, Mfangano Island Camp, Lake Manyara National park.

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