Masai Mara has caught our imagination as the land that witnesses the spectacular wildebeest migration every year. Hundreds and thousands of herds migrate from the dry and withering plains of Serengeti to the green grazing grounds of Mara. Millions of adult zebras and gazelles accompanied by the numerous calves born before the beginning of the migration, in January and February, undertake the perilous task of crossing the Mara River to arrive at the Maasai Mara plains. From December, the herds begin their journey back to Serengeti.
The wildebeest migration begins from the Serengeti plains from mid June. There are animals in this plain throughout the year. If you are only interested to watch different types of animals roaming around the plain, then you can stay in Serengeti, because only 3 percent of Serengeti’s population migrates to the Mara grassland.
Masai Mara National Reserve
However, to witness the wildebeest migration you should visit the Masai Mara National Reserve. Migration of millions of herbivorous animals, such as, zebras and gazelles followed by their predators, such as hyenas, lions, leopards and cheetahs, along with the vultures flying above, conjure up the most spectacular image of the wildlife of eastern Africa. The main migrating herd comes from the Tanzania’s Serengeti plains. In the Mara, plains they are joined by more herds from the Loita Hills located east of the Mara plains.
Time to visit the wildebeest migration
Although, there is no specific time for the migration, but from mid-June the herds start arriving in Mara’s grasslands. Between July and August is the best time to view the animals crossing river. From June until October Mara’s plains are filled with the migrants. However, if there is less rainfall on the Mara grasslands, chances are high that there will be no migration of animals from Serengeti.
Besides the migrating animals, Mara’s grassland is also home to elephants, rhinos, buffaloes and the big cats. Crocodiles and hippos are found in the river crossing the plain.
Where to stay
Both Serengeti and Mara are suited for viewing the wildebeest migration. There are a number of lodges in Mara. There are also provisions of living in tented camps.