The Maasai (Masai) Mara national park and reserve, once described as “Kenya’s Jewel never to be lost”, is in a class of its own. The best known wildlife sanctuary in the World Maasai (Masai) Mara National Reserve has acquired a high flier status having been named “the seventh wonder of the world”. The seventh wonder of the world is the spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration between Maasai (Masai) Mara and Serengeti.
The Wildebeest Migration
The Wildebeest Migration in Maasai (Masai) Mara /Serengeti wildebeest migration is not about wildebeests migrating per se but rather its influence on the movement patterns of the other animals including human beings. The migration comprise of the never ending milling of over 2.5 million wild animals composed of a about 1.7 million wildebeests, and 800,000 common Zebras and gazelle, followed closely by their predators-lions, hyenas, leopards, jackals. Hovering in the skies are thousands of vultures, the super predators. Patient in nature, they survey the migrating herds descending on the dead carcasses reducing them to skeletons in a matter of seconds. The hazardous crossing of crocodile invested Mara and Grumeti rivers is magical wonder of nature attracting thousands of human beings. This survival of the fittest spectacle has been described at the “seventh wonder of the modern world”. Strategic sighting of the migrating herds tend to influence the setting up of tourism facilities. The best time to witness migration in Masai Mara National Park Kenya, is between July to September.
Masai Mara wildebeest migration safaris
Several wildebeest migration safaris are organized in both Maasai (Masai) Mara and Serengeti National Parks. The duration of the safari depends on various factors but mostly on time and budget but also the flexibility of the guest. The all drive 11 days Masai Mara Serengeti Migration Safari commences from Nairobi and returns to the same via Maasai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, and Amboseli. The 8 days fly drive Wildebeest Migration Safari Masai Mara National Park (Mara Explorer 8 days) is a luxury option. Guests fly from Nairobi Wilson to Masai Mara and return to the same. The 4 days 3 Nights Migration safari combines Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park and Lake Naivasha. The 6 days Best of Tanzania Safari focuses on wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park. The best time to witness migration in Masai Mara National Park Kenya, is between July to September. Serengeti National Park is best visited between March and May. All these safaris can be combined with 4 Days Gorilla tracking in Rwanda .
Accommodation in Masai Mara
AS of now Masai Mara has 108 properties with a abed capacity of 4000.
The Tented camps and safari lodges in Masai Mara fall under three categories- luxury, mid range and budget. While only 12 properties are inside the Mara reserve others are in the neighboring group ranches. Does it matter where you spend the night while in Mara? Yes. If you are interested night game drives and lots of local culture then you can stay in the group ranches. Group ranches are privately run by the local people. However unplanned development coupled with large number of visitors threatens the very survival of the reserve. Large numbers of visitors are associated with high degree of pollution in terms of noise, dust and changed animal behavior which can lead to extinction of venerable species like the cheetah which hunts only during the day.