Great Wildebeest Migration Masai Mara
The Great Wildebeest Migration is a migration without end. The large herds of wildebeest and plain zebras move between Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ndutu region. The large herds are always on the move not to overgraze. They follow rain knowing there is fresh grass.
Wildebeest migration July 2022 part 1
Wildebeest migration July 2022 part 2
Wildebeest migration July 2022 part 3
When the Great Migration is mentioned the name of Prof. Dr. Bernhard Grzimek and his son Michael Grzimek who dedicated their lives to safe the migration can not be left out. They pleaded with governments to protect all areas the wildebeest and zebras require for their annual circuit. The graves and memory plates are on top of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Every year the Great Wildebeest migration has a different pattern. Changing rain falls due to global climate change is influencing their timings and moves. Therefore we can not exactly predict when they will walk through Sand River which is the boundary between Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. We can only guess since in some years they entered into the Masai Mara in June in other years during July. October to November is the period they move back to Serengeti.
Sand River – the boundary between Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park is most of the time a sandy river bed. But still it is a great sight when animals come to drink and walk through the river. Zebras are the first to come since they prefer
the tall grass with the seeds and they can just hope there is no lion hiding. Wildebeest herds will follow and eat the grass down to stubbles making the area look like a football pitch.
Then the movement goes towards Talek and Mara River and further North. We will wait for the herds to cross the Mara River which is a spectacular sighting – hippos defending their territories and crocodiles waiting for their prey.
But it is not only the Wildebeest and Plain Zebras migrating – also many Topis and Thomson Gazelles make the move. They are even able to cross the Mara River! Lions and cheetahs without territory follow the abundance of food.
The herds are not just congregations without rules and order. Plain Zebras live in families with 1 adult stallion, the leading mare and other females. These families can connect with other families to build larger groups. Wildebeest cows are accompanied by their calf born in Ndutu area in February and sometimes one or 2 older once. They move in breeding herds. Bulls build bachelor herds.
Follow us and you will see one of the world’s wonders…
When we guide you to the Masai Mara you will spend the whole day in the wilderness. All our guides know the Masai Mara in and out and will take you to the best spots. Close to the herds, patiently waiting when they show signs to cross the Mara River. But we also have an eye for predators like lions, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and leopards. With all these activities you will also meet elephants, Maasai giraffes, various antelopes, hippos and large crocodiles.
We don’t have kilometer restriction while on game drives and timing is within the park regulations. This increases your chance to witness many activities and different observations of the Great wildebeest migration. Having lunch under a shady tree is very enjoyable – you watch wildlife (not dangerous once) while enjoying delicious food.
If you are lucky you will witness a hunting scene. Most of the time we manage to see predators feeding – and what a spectacle when different species of vultures arrive and rip off the last bits of meat. Lappet-faced vultures, White-backed vultures, Rueppel’s Griffon vulture, Hooded vultures, Bateleur eagles, black-backed jackals and spotted hyenas are among those waiting for a large predators to give up their prey.
The accommodation during the Great wildebeest migration are chosen for you are not only having great locations for game drives – they also have very friendly staff and excellent food. You can watch some wildlife passing the camps. Birds are also present with many different species.
Photos by Elvira Wolfer
Great Wildebeest migration - 10 days Masai Mara pure
Day 1 – Arrival in Nairobi
Upon landing in Nairobi you will be awaited at Jomo Kenyatta international Airport and taken to the hotel about 30 minutes drive away.
Hotel Rudi, bed breakfast
Day 2 – Nairobi National Park
After an early breakfast your driver/guide will pick you at the hotel and drive a short distance to the entrance of Nairobi National Park. You will spend the day here and have picnic lunch near a river where you will take a short walk with a ranger. Return to the hotel in the evening.
In the only park in the world bordering a capital city you will find White and Black rhinos, lions, buffalos, Maasai giraffes, Kongonis and other antelopes. For those who love birds it is an amazing place with nearly 500 recorded species.
The Ngong Hills and the culisse of the skyline of Nairobi with wildlife in front is a very special view!
Hotel Rudi, full board
Day 3 – Nairobi – Masai Mara National Reserve
Your journey over the rim of the Great Rift Valley starts after you had your breakfast. To see the volcanos Longonot and Suswa you will stop at a view point before further descending into the Great Rift Valley.
The tarmac road leads through Maasai land to Sekenani Gate. After checking in you enjoy a short game drive to the camp along Talek River.
After lunch and a rest you explore the area during the afternoon game drive.
Basecamp Explorer, full board
Days 4 – 7 – Masai Mara National Reserve East side
Most days you will leave the camp after breakfast, carry picnic lunch you will enjoy in the wild at a safe place and return to the camp later in the afternoon. If you wish you can also choose to go very early morning and spend midday at the camp from where you an see wildlife just across Talek River and do an other game drive in the afternoon up to 18.00 when the gate closes. Full day excursions to follow the Great Wildebeest migration allow to stick around the Mara River not to miss a crossing in case the herds are showing intention to cross.
Depending on the whereabout of the big herds you concentrate your game drive to that area. Basecamp Explorer has a very ideal location since you can head to all different directions and so react to the animals movement and see different landscapes.
For sure you will spend time along the Mara River – not only to see hopefully wildebeest and zebras crossing, but also to see the many hippos and large Nile crocodiles. On the way is always something to encounter – from elephants to Maasai giraffes, buffalos, oribi, steenbock, topi, kongoni, serval, Banded mongoose, Black-backed jackals, warthogs and the big cats as well as spotted hyenas.
Basecamp Explorer, full board – Basecamp Explorer Kenya is the winner of the 14th Edition of the 2019 Eco Warrior Awards under the Social Impact category.
Day 8 – Masai Mara East – Masai Mara West (Triangle)
After breakfast and checking out you are heading Southwest to the border of Serengeti National Park and cross the Mara River bridge to Triangle side.
You drive North while observing the herds on this side. Should you spot any close to the Mara river you will watch and wait if they cross or not. Often they move up and down the river for hours until the pressure to jump into the water is strong enough.
Picnic will be under a tree providing some shade before you continue your game drive with the Olololo Escarpment in sight. You will notice the landscape has changed. Later in the afternoon you drive up the road to the camp where the surprising view down to the Mara River, the grassland and the hills in Tanzania is awaiting you.
Mara Siria Camp, luxury tent or cottage, full board
Day 9 – Masai Mara West (Triangle)
Watch the sunrise over the Masai Mara, enjoy your breakfast and then start the drive down to the entrance. Beside concentration on the wildebeest migration you look out for lions, leopards, cheetahs, serval cats and many more.
Depending on the weather / road condition you might pass the swamp area where often serval cats can be found. Lions, elephants, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes – the variety of game is immense and dense.
Again you have packed lunch with you which you will take at a nice and safe place.
You will also visit the Mara River at a different crossing point and who knows you might be lucky…
Later in the afternoon return to the camp on the Olololo Escarpment.
Mara Siria Camp, luxury tent or cottage, full board
Day 10 – Masai Mara – Nairobi
Breakfast and check out before again you drive down to Masai Mara. The last day and you spend it driving across the Mara bridge and through the Eastern part of the Maasai Mara. Of course you will do game viewing!
By around noon it is time to exit through Sekenani Gate and head to Nairobi. Picknickluch this time will be at a curio shop instead of the wilderness.
You drive around Nairobi town on the bypass and straight to the airport. The drive will take 5 – 6 hours depending on traffic.
There is the possibility to fly from Masai Mara to the local airport in Nairobi either in the morning or afternoon. A day room until 18.00 hours can be arranged at the international airport.
Prices for the Great wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara
low, mid and high
July – September
Price from per person sharing, 4 guests
Included in the price:
- Airport transfers
- Safari in Landcruiser with guaranteed window seat
- Unlimited mileage while on game drive
- Experienced, English speaking driver/guide
- Accommodation / meals as in the program
- All park and reserve entry fees
- Mineral water in the car
- Flying Doctor evacuation insurance
Not included in the price:
- Any flight, visa
- Personal insurances (mandatory)
- Any not listed service like Maasai village visit or hot air balloon ride (we can prebook and include)
- Personal expenses like laundry, souvenirs
- Any Covid requirement