Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Migration Update: Herds split towards north, west and east

The migrating herds have split into a few large core herds. The bulk of the migrating herds have moved south towards the virtual unfenced border between the Serengeti and Masai Mara. This area of the Masai Mara is known as Engoikwateet salt lick. They drifted south from the Mara Triangle which now only has a few smaller herds. A large number of wildebeest and zebra have also moved south east from Burrungat plain and Topi plain towards Meta plain and the east part of the Masai Mara. At the same time, most of the herds that were on Paradise plain have moved north into the conservancies around the Masai Mara. This movement pattern is likely to change again as the weather changes. The herds will stay close enough to the water source of the Mara River. They may drift away to the south or north for a while, but will return quickly depending on the supply of water and grazing elsewhere.

The river crossings along the Mara River and Talek River have continued to be spectacular with thousands of wildebeest and zebra crossing in stampedes. More wildebeest get killed in the stampedes than would ever be taken by crocodiles. The banks and river beds of the Talek and Mara Rivers are lined with carcasses and the walking wounded, with broken legs caused by the stampedes. Carcasses have also been seen floating down the Mara River.

We continue to recommend splitting your safari time between a camp that is based close to the Mara or Talek Rivers and a camp in one of the private conservancies. Most camps are still have late availability, a sign that tourism still has not fully recovered in Kenya. See our detailed map of the Masai Mara Reserve for a full list of camps in the Reserve and adjacent conservancies.

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