Jambo! It’s time for the world cup of wildlife!
Welcome to one of the most spectacular natural phenomena one can experience, where the sensational migration of millions of wildebeest followed by zebras and gazelles makes a headway towards Maasai Mara National Reserve from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania from June and continues till October.
This breathtaking spectacle starts around late June when it becomes dry in Serengeti. The fear of no grass and water looms large in the wildebeest’s lives, making them start their annual pattern towards Maasai Mara. The herd continues their cycle towards Grumeti River, where the food chain is ready to take place in nature’s cradle.
The wildebeest will expend the water and grass and resume their journey.
During their journey further north, the herd waits to follow the leader to take the first leap of faith across the Mara River infested with preying Nile crocodiles and welcoming Hippos. The Nile crocodile keeps an eye at the ongoing event to spot the weakest of the herd as their prime victim.
It is said by Maasai people that these crocodiles and hippos live in harmony. Hippos are supposedly more dangerous than the Nile crocodiles and kill more preys than any other predator.
When the herd of wildebeests arrives at the Mara River, the leader of the first group takes a leap of faith and jumps into the river followed by others. Sometimes the whole herd might take several rounds till the leader is courageous enough to cross the river.
Till late October, millions of wildebeests and zebras will amass near the river and feed on the lush grasslands.
In November, due to short rain, the herd starts their cycle back towards South.
The annual cycle of migration depends on rain but the best time to catch the sight of this spectacular wildlife wonder of the world is between July and October on an African Game Drive!
Along with the players of the great migration, you also get to see the famous “Big Five”. The Big Five refers to lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard. Being the most difficult animals to hunt, they were named Big Five by the hunters in 19th and early 20th century.
You will find elephants playing and swimming in the water because these creatures adore water. The African elephants are one of the heaviest animals of the world.
Both white and black rhinos can be witnessed here, black rhinos being the most endangered species in Africa.
Moving south, there will be lions feeding on carcasses and ribcages of their preys adding up exhilarating memories to your safari journey. A heads-up for your trip, make sure you don’t wear any bright colours!
As the migration starts, the whole of Kenya’s food chain gets influenced leading to a balance in nature. The huge diversity of animals and plants sustains the whole ecosystem.
Imagine living a basic minimal, stress-free life, close to nature in the middle of Maasai Mara National Reserve. Tempted? Keekorok Lodge is a perfect place to live this dream. It is a well-fenced lodge from the wild animals and was built in 1962. You will find many options for game drives and other adventurous activities. Your stay will be full of surprises at Keekorok Lodge. Instead of your morning alarm, you might wake up to the roar of a lion!
As Kenya is close to the equator, weather over here is always pleasant which blooms up your journey. Make sure you do carry your camera with you because you don’t want to miss clicking these amazing wildlife moments!
Outside the town of Nairobi, is Lake Naivasha. It is curious to know that the word Naivasha is derived from a Maasai word “Nai’posha” meaning rough water. On the stretch of this lake, there are herds of zebras and wildebeest feeding on the fresh grass. Around this lake, there are no predators, hence no fear amongst these zebras against beasts of prey.
In the northeast of Naivasha, Aberdare National Park is located, on the central highlands of Kenya. An amazing spot for game viewing with the sights of wild animals coming down to the ark for quenching their thirst is something you don’t want to lose out on, in your trip to Kenya.
Visiting Kenya will let you experience the established African culture, which is very different from our modern way of living. Maasai people are fond of accessories, face painting, and colourful clothes. They are also named as fierce Maasai warriors. Being nomads, they hop from place to place with their animals.
A known custom of Maasai Mara is the “jumping dance”. It’s a ritual dance performed during Eunoto, the coming of age ceremony of junior warriors.
If you are planning to make a visit to Maasai Mara or have already witnessed the great migration, do share your thoughts and experience in the comment box below!