Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Migration News: Mara River rises following some rain

There has been rain over the Mara in the last week. This has quickly filled the Mara and Talek Rivers and temporarily halted the crossings. The herds are backed up at Paradise and Pump-House crossing points waiting for the rivers to subside a bit. The rain should bring some much needed sustenance to the grass plains that have been maintaining huge herds of wildebeest. The herds are spread across most of the Masai Mara and adjoining Maasai community land, conservancies and ranches.

This has been a spectacular season for the migration. The wildebeest numbers are probably the highest seen in a number of years and at least comparable to 2001. There has been sufficient rain and generally the migration has been running a few weeks ahead of the normal migratory pattern. The grass was burnt back around June in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. This was following by a decent level of rain which resulted in excellent grazing conditions for the arriving migration. They will now stay north in the Masai Mara and northern Serengeti until the first signs of rain in the southern Serengeti. They are likely to start heading south only towards October, giving them a long stay in the Mara this year.

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