The Masai Mara National Reserve is found in Kenya. It has a number of private conservancies that stretch all the way to Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. This large protected Mara land is one of top wildlife destination in Kenya and Africa.
If you are looking for a perfect game viewing then Masai Mara should be your choice. There is no other place with such diverse and high population of game. The viewing is excellent all year round thanks to the diverse population of the resident animals including leopard, elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hyena, gazelle and eland.
Serengeti to Masai Mara
From July to November every year wildebeest, gazelle and zebra make a dramatic river crossing to reach the Mara. They would encounter enormous crocodiles waiting to feast from migrating prey. This migration involve more than two million white beard wildebeest, zebra and gazelle in a seasonal annual cycle triggered by rainfall patterns. During November short summer rains the last phase of the migration occurs when wildebeest move south to their Serengeti calving ground. Another calving season also occurs in Mara between December and January, known as green season, with enough water and pasture. This is when they give birth to their calves. At this time, predators also spot great opportunity to raise their curbs and pups due to easy prey around. This thus creates a wonderful viewing and photographic opportunities.
Migration patterns of herd cannot be precisely predictable due climate change. Rainfalls at a time delay or come earlier than expected thus altering the whole calendar of the migration.
In January, the herds are in Tanzanian’s Serengeti National Park, moving down into Southern Serengeti, Lake Ndutu and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Southern Serengeti offers big cat action due to vulnerable calves since this is calving season.
In February the herds are still in far Southern Serengeti thanks to enough grazing of Southern Serengeti, Lake Ndutu and Ngorongoro conservation Area. At this time male will be teasing their female counterparts for mating purposes. This mean that when fertile female reach Mara months later, they will be heavily pregnant. Making them even more vulnerable to predators.
At March the herds will still be in southern Serengeti but in preparation to retreat northward.
April: at this time the herds have begun moving northward some even are in central and western Serengeti already. Remember the almost two million wildebeest, gazelle and zebra do not move in one herd but generally in many fragmented groups.
May: dry season begin to bite and water sources start to dry out hence the move toward the Mara River.
June: the herds are generally still in western and central Serengeti but in preparation for their toughest journey. The weather is cooler and much drier.
July: the herds have reached western Serengeti and Grumeti Reserve and on the side of the water they have to cross fearing huge crocodiles waiting eagerly. It is the start of major crossing of the river that is exiting. Catch the action of Wildebeest migration at historic crossing areas.
August to October Those who survived the crossing would be in Masai Mara National Reserve. And in November they move back to Serengeti and another calving season begins in December.