The Great Migration in Kenya’s Masai Mara is an all-year-round event, where over 1.5 million wildebeest upon thousands of zebra and other grazers start their long legendary journey of over 1,800 miles in a large round trek from the drier lands in Tanzania, heading towards the north to Kenya’s Masai Mara in search for lush grass to graze.
The Masai Mara comprises 1,500 square kilometers with vast endless plains that encounter short sweet grasses, which is a source of ample feeding for the plentiful herbivores within the region. The Great Migration is one of the most remarkable wildlife encounters in the world, a reason for the fame of Masai Mara Reserve. Masai Mara is made up of two major rivers that are the Mara and the Talek that race through the reserve and provide the required water for the wide range of wildlife in Masai Mara. The Great Migration is highly dependent on the seasons and where the rains are.
The migration may not take specific routes since it is influenced by the factors such as; where are the best grass and the presence of predators. A visit to Kenya’s Masai Mara offers a great experience of the natural mammal migration and is a must-see for anyone visiting Kenya. During the migration, crossing the tremendous Mara River-infested with crocodiles lying in the waters waiting to catch their prey, is the climax of the migration and is recommended by many travelers as the best time to see the Migration.
The question may be when does it start?
The Great Migration occurs all year round and since it is dictated by the spatial distribution of rainfall, at different months of the year migration can be seen at different sites.
The exact dates when the Great Migration commences are not well known however, the first groups of grazer mammals start arriving to gather at the northern edge of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and the large numbers gather here for days without crossing the Mara River.
The migration starts in July and ends in late September which makes it difficult to predict the real date when the movement starts. This is, therefore, the best time to see the migration with animals in large numbers gathering and crossing the bloodthirsty river with fast-flowing water and infested with crocodiles, and many predators like lions, hyenas, and leopards in a long wait to catch their prey.
However, the best view of the dramatic incidence of crossing the Mara River can be thrilling to take a look while on the other side of the river and most travelers recommend it as the best time to see the migration. In accordance with our expertise, we would recommend mid-July and late August as the best time to see the migration.
The lack of adequate rains in the Masai Mara between December and April for the growth of short sweet grasses for the wildlife to graze on highly explain the presence of large numbers of grazers in the far southern part of Serengeti between this period and therefore the best place to view the wildlife in Serengeti.
However, around February is always a calving period and visitors usually have plenty of chances to see wildlife giving birth in the region. The need for favorable grasslands to sustain the young ones being given birth causes the swift movements of the animals and between March and mid-April, they force their way northwards.