Book 2024 Masai Mara Migration Safari Packages
Imagine witnessing an astonishing spectacle of over two million mammals thundering across the vast plains of East Africa in search of greener pastures. It’s a sight so breathtaking that it leaves you speechless.
Welcome to the Great Migration—the world’s most extraordinary natural event in the unparalleled Masai Mara National Reserve.
In this post, we’ll guide you through key events, the best times to visit, and top experiences to help you plan a memorable Masai Mara Migration Safari. So, are you ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime? Let’s get started!
Book Your Great Migration Safari With Us
To book your wildebeest migration safari at Masai Mara Reserve, we invite you to contact us via phone or WhatsApp at +254-704-532-105. You can also connect with us via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We also arrange tours to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the Serengeti National Park for those who would like to follow the wildebeest’s life cycle. Our senior consultant, James Gatheru, is on hand to share all the details and packages available.
Great Migration Safari - Photos by Our Clients
The Great Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara
The Great Migration, also known as the Great Wildebeest Migration or the Serengeti Migration is the remarkable yearly movement of about two million animals. Wildebeest herds in the company of hundreds of thousands of zebra and other grazers cover over 1,800 miles across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
This epic trek stretches from the southern plains of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Just when you think the animals have found their everlasting paradise, it’s time to go back, again. This rhythmic movement has no beginning or end – it’s a perpetual cycle, ever repeating itself year after year.
What gets the animals moving?
The migration is sparked by the wildebeest’s reaction to the weather, following an instinct to find food to thrive. The herds move in a clockwise direction, from the southern Serengeti in Tanzania, through the central and western Serengeti, before crossing the Mara River into Masai Mara. The journey is dictated primarily by the weather patterns, as the animals move in search of greener pastures.
Their travels are made more treacherous by disease, fatigue, and a string of land predators such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs constantly trailing them. The rivers wildebeest herds cross are also infested with massive Nile crocodiles that have been waiting months for a sumptuous meal.
The sheer scale of this animal exodus is unparalleled and heart-wrenching too nevertheless one of the most exhilarating wildlife spectacles on Earth.
Why Watch the 2024 Migration In Masai Mara Reserve?
Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve, located in southwestern Kenya, is an extraordinary destination for witnessing the Great Migration. The reserve offers unparalleled viewing opportunities, particularly during the river crossing season between late July and August, and again in October and early November.
The herds face one of the most daunting challenges of their journey – crossing the treacherous Mara River that’s teeming with hungry crocodiles waiting to seize their prey. Some successfully evade the predators while others aren’t so lucky. But getting to the other side isn’t the end of the story. Hungry lions and other big cats are waiting to pick off weakened animals.
While the Main River is the main crossing along the migration route, Sand River and Talek Rivers also see considerable numbers of animals crossing there. The sheer drama and emotion of these river crossings make Masai Mara an unparalleled destination for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.
A safari trip to the Masai Mara Reserve is a thrilling adventure, filled with moments of sheer excitement and breathtaking beauty. Not only are you surrounded by a vast wilderness, but you’ll likely come across various wild animals on your way to your lodge or tented camp.
Many lodging facilities are spread along river banks, almost hidden among the Riverine forests to ensure human activities don’t interfere with the animals’ way of life. The rooms and viewing decks are strategically positioned to ensure guests can view a river crossing from the comfort of their abode.
Besides the river crossing, Masai Mara also boasts an abundance of resident wildlife, including the famous “Big Five” – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino. Towering giraffes, antelopes, hartebeest, bushbucks, and eland dot the Masai Mara plains while cheetahs, crouch in the long grass waiting to make a kill. Wild dog packs socialize in their homes while hyenas are always up to no good—stealing that which they didn’t hunt.
The reserve’s vast plains, dotted with acacia trees, provide the perfect backdrop for game drives and hot air balloon safaris, offering visitors an unforgettable African safari experience.
The 2024 Masai Mara Migration Route: Timeline and Key Events
As wildebeest migrate, they encounter various challenges and stages, each more exhilarating than the last. From the calving season in Ndutu to the mating season in central Serengeti and the dramatic river crossings at the Mara River. Each event offers an unforgettable spectacle that will leave you in awe of nature’s power and resilience.
Let’s briefly look at each of these events to help you gain a better understanding of them
Calving Season in Ndutu
The calving time in the Ndutu region of southern Serengeti is a remarkable event that marks the beginning of the Great Migration. From January to February, an estimated 500,000 calves are born, with over 8,000 wildebeest babies being born each day during this period! These large numbers help replenish the numbers lost in the previous migration cycle and expand the herd.
This explosion of new life doesn’t go unnoticed by predators such as lions, leopards, and hyenas. Adult wildebeest can often be seen encircling the calves to protect them from predators. But these scheming predators always find a way to infiltrate the herds and take off with a calf. These intense predator-prey interactions make the calving season an incredibly exciting time for wildlife enthusiasts. The circle of life unfolds before your eyes.
The Mating Season in Central Serengeti
As March begins, the calving season is coming to a close and the calves’ wobbly feet are finding their ground. The herds move slowly to give their young ones time to grow but open plains are no place to rear young ones as their vulnerability to predators is higher. April sees the wildebeest cross from the plains and Ngorongoro conservation area and into Seronera in Central Serengeti.
By May, a sea of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles pass through Moru Kopjes, where lion prides thrive which means predator interactions intensify. This is also the mating season and you’re likely to spot bulls fighting for the right to continue their lineage. By June most females have conceived and the wildebeest now head towards what will be the first river crossing and their first major challenge—the Grumeti River.
The river crossings are undoubtedly the highlight of the Great Migration, offering some of the most dramatic and breathtaking wildlife encounters on the planet. Wildebeest cross the Grumeti River in Serengeti National Park in Tanzania before reaching the Mara River crossing.
The Grumeti river water levels are determined by rainfall and the water levels are typically low in June. The wildebeests’ greatest headache isn’t the water levels, but rather the Nile crocodiles that have been waiting for months for them to come. The crocs swiftly grab the weakest animals and make a meal of them. On the opposite bank, the herds split up – some head toward Grumeti Reserve while others venture towards the Masai Mara.
The Mara River crossing is the most dramatic and thrilling part of the entire cycle. Hundreds of thousands of migratory herds gather along the banks of the Mara River, preparing to brave the treacherous waters teeming with hungry crocodiles.
Mara River has steep banks and a higher flow rate which makes crossing all the more difficult and chaotic. There are times when animals cross the river only to find the ravine on the other side too steep to climb up. They then turn back and re-cross the crocodile-infested mara to start over. So you have animals moving forward and others turning back.
Those that turn back rethink the route and when one brave animal jumps into the water, the others follow in dramatic fashion. Sometimes they will cross the crocodile-infested river safely, other times, some will fall into crocodile jaws or get swept away by the raging waters.
The sight is both awe-inspiring and heart-wrenching, as the animals struggle to reach the safety of the opposite bank. The sheer drama, emotion, and adrenaline-pumping action of these river crossings make them a must-see event for any wildlife enthusiast visiting the Masai Mara.
Best Times to Visit Masai Mara for the Migration
While the Great Migration occurs throughout the year, the best times to visit the Masai Mara for the migration depend on the events you’re most interested in witnessing. If you’re interest lies in witnessing the calving season or the rutting season, we can arrange for a safari to the Serengeti National Park.
If you would like to witness the dramatic river crossings, then a stay in the Mara is right up your alley. Either way, you’ll walk away with a memorable experience.
Peak Migration in Kenya
It’s generally believed that the peak migration in Kenya takes place between July and November. The season attracts visitors from all around the world who flock to the Masai Mara to witness this incredible spectacle. During this time, the herds are spread across the vast plains of the Masai Mara, offering fantastic game-viewing opportunities and stunning photographic moments.
The herds’ constant movement in search of fresh grazing provides a dynamic and ever-changing landscape that adds to the excitement and unpredictability of the experience. Remember to book your safari well ahead of time though, as the popularity of this season means accommodations and game drives tend to get booked quickly.
River Crossing Season
The Mara River crossing season is particularly thrilling as herds gather along the banks of the Mara River and make daring leaps into the treacherous waters. Based on the age-old route, these crossings usually take place between late July and August, and again in October and early November. They provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness:
- The sheer presence of the migrating animals
- The determination of the wildebeest as they navigate the dangerous river
- The raw emotion of the herds as they face the challenges of the migration
It’s essential to note that the exact timing of the river crossings is impossible to predict, as the herds’ movements are dictated primarily by the weather. Nevertheless, planning your visit during the river crossing season increases your chances of experiencing this awe-inspiring event and gathering memories that will last a lifetime.
Accommodation Options on a Migration Safari
As you plan your Wildebeest Migration Safari, carefully consider the various accommodation options to meet your preferences and budget. The two primary types of accommodations you can choose from are permanent lodges and luxury tents or mobile camps.
In this section, we will explore the pros and cons of each option, helping you choose the perfect accommodation for an unforgettable safari.
Permanent Lodges & Luxury Tented Camps
Permanent lodges and luxury tented camps are often situated in prime locations for viewing the migration and offer comfortable lodging.
Compared to mobile or budget camping facilities, these lodges provide luxurious and exclusive experiences making them ideal for travellers seeking luxurious and intimate safari experiences. In addition to their prime locations, permanent lodges often boast a range of amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and fine dining options, ensuring that your stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
In addition to their prime locations, permanent lodges often boast a range of amenities such as swimming pools, spas, and fine dining options, ensuring that your stay is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Examples of luxury lodges and tented camps include Sanctuary Olonana, Governors Il Moran Camp, Angama Mara, Rekero Camp, and Sala’s Camp
One drawback of permanent lodges is their higher cost compared to mobile camping options. They aren’t flexible in terms of location, which is disadvantageous for travellers who wish to follow the herds closely throughout the migration.
Mobile camps typically consist of tents or other temporary structures and provide basic amenities such as beds, dining areas, and sometimes even en-suite facilities. These camps are conveniently set up and taken down as needed, allowing for flexibility in exploring different areas.
Since the campsites are easy to move from one location to another, you can explore different areas and experience different parts of the migration. Mobile camping allows you to follow migrating herds as they move from place to place which makes for an authentic safari trip.
One of the significant advantages of these camps is their affordability compared to permanent lodges. However, they may not offer the same level of comfort and luxury as permanent lodges, and the facilities can be more basic. Despite this, mobile camping remains an excellent option for budget travellers and those seeking a more immersive and authentic safari experience.
Tips for Planning a Memorable Great Migration Safari
Though the prospect of planning a memorable Great Migration Safari can initially seem overwhelming proper tips and guidance can simplify the process. This will help create a wonderful adventure that will fill you with cherished memories.
In this section, we will offer some valuable tips for planning your dream safari aka the length of your trip and other activities to undertake.
Length of Trip
Given the unpredictable weather patterns and the dynamic nature of the Great Migration, planning a longer trip can elevate your chances of witnessing the migration.
Herd movements are primarily influenced by weather and the availability of fresh grazing. An extended safari increases your chances of seeing the herds in splendour and seeing them cross the Mara River.
A typical Great Migration in Masai Mara safari lasts between two to four full days, allowing you ample time to explore the reserve and witness the migration at your own pace. However, if you have the flexibility and budget, consider extending your stay to maximize your chances of experiencing the migration in its entirety.
Engaging in Diverse Activities
To create a well-rounded experience, consider diversifying your activities during your Great Migration Safari. Game drives are the most popular way to witness the migration. Besides this, consider embarking on other exciting activities such as hot air balloon rides, bush walks, and cultural visits to local Maasai communities.
Varied activities allow you to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Masai Mara’s rich wildlife, landscapes, and culture. Not only will your safari become more enjoyable but you’ll succeed in creating a memorable experience. One that you’ll cherish for years to come.
The Great Wildebeest Migration is a breathtaking and awe-inspiring natural spectacle that offers an unparalleled wildlife experience in the extraordinary Masai Mara National Reserve. By understanding the different aspects of the migration cycle, and choosing the best time to visit, accommodations and activities, you can create a wonderful adventure.
Are you ready to embark on your dream Wildebeest Migration Safari? Talk to us today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Time of Year Is the Migration in Masai Mara?
July to October is when the Migration happens in the Masai Mara. The savanna grasslands become abuzz with wildebeest, zebras and other herbivores during this amazing time of year.
What Is the Migration in Masai Mara 2024?
The Migration in Masai Mara 2024 is an awe-inspiring spectacle as over two million wildebeest, zebras, eland, and gazelles prepare to embark on an epic journey from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara!
Which Month Is Best for Safari Masai Mara?
The best time to visit the Masai Mara for safari is from late June to early October when the migration is in full flow. This period is ideal for viewing wildlife without the crazy crowds of midsummer, offering an unforgettable safari experience.
How Long Should a Masai Mara Migration Safari Last?
A Masai Mara Migration Safari should last at least two to four full days at the very least.
What Types of Accommodations Are Available for a Masai Mara Migration Safari?
There are permanent lodges, luxury tented camps and budget options available. Each of these offers unique experiences.