Every year, herds of wildebeest. zebra and gazelle numbering hundreds of thousands cover the Great Migration path of over 3 000km in search of lush grasses following rainfall. They thunder over the plains to the riverbanks in a remarkable quest filled with challenges. These animals are followed closely by a number of predators.
But the deadliest of obstacles in their path has to be the river crossings. Facing the possibility of being eaten or drowned, the annual migration is undoubtedly the most beautiful and yet the cruellest wildlife spectacle. While the migration often draws criticism for the large numbers of visitors and busy sightings, the Great Migration is not all this magical reserve has to offer. It is the perfect destination for game drives, safari walks, scenic flights and hot air balloon rides.
Finding the right advice before you go is important. The correct timing makes it possible to observe animals in peace and tranquillity. Apart from the wildebeest that take part in the migration, look out for lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. The Masai Mara is also home to popular species like zebra, the Masai giraffe, hyena, eland and gazelle.
The migration might not take a specific route. It is steered by natural factors such as annual rainfall. However, the arrival of wildlife in the Masai Mara is guaranteed – providing the best view of the migration as the animals cross the Mara River.
The land in the Mara is flat and open, making it really easy to spot game within a 360-degree view.
8-day Amboseli, Mount Kenya & Masai Mara Flying Safari
This 8-day tour explores the capital city of Nairobi. the Amboseli National Park, and the Masai Mara National Park. Your adventure begins deep inside the Nairobi National Park. Explore Kenya’s oldest reserve, known for its Black Rhino Sanctuary before continuing to the Amboseli National Park, the best place in Kenya to see elephants at close range. Then you will head off to 0J Pejeta Conservancy, a pristine wildlife area between the Aberdares and the majestic Mount Kenya. Finish off at the Ola re Motorogi Conservancy, a pristine and exclusive 33 000-acre wilderness.
From R48 345 per person sharing.
10-day Luxury Mara, Serengeti & Manyara
This 10-day tour highlights the best of East Africa. Your safari adventure begins in the savannah wilderness of the Masai Mara, and then continues to the Serengeti. Two days are spent at a luxury mobile camp, moving around to anticipate the action of the Great Migration. Next you head to Lake Manyara National Park, a diverse wilderness area with its Rift Valley soda lake, dense woodlands and steep mountainsides. The park is famous for its tree-climbing lions, elephant herds and flocks of pink flamingos. The last stop is the Ngorongoro Crater. From R98 113 per person sharing.
10-day Authentic Mara, Serengeti & Ngorongoro Safari
This 10-day tour offers the ultimate safari experience, including three prime game-viewing reserves – Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro – and luxury accommodation. Start off with a three-night stay in the private Mara Naboisho Conservancy, a pristine wilderness that offers spectacular game viewing.
Venture to the unspoilt northern plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania, known for extraordinary wilderness encounters and remarkable luxury accommodation. Your journey continues to the magnificent crater highlands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Set on the edge of the mountain forest hugging
the Olmoti volcano to the north of Ngorongoro Crater, The Highlands strikes a perfect balance between
a true wilderness experience and a stylish, contemporary escape. From R96 948 per person sharing.
The best time to visit Kenya
For general game viewing there is no real ‘best time to visit’. Many visitors go for the wildebeest migration. The best time to see this spectacle is from July and the end of November. However. the Masai Mara is widely regarded as a year-round safari destination.
How to book
As a destination, a Masai Mara safari never disappoints! Ensure you are in the right place at the right time by speaking to one of the safari experts to help you plan the ultimate bucketlist adventure.
Visit Safari.com’s website or email HelpMePlan@safari.com.
Written by Nadia Coombe
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