The annual Wildebeest Migration in the Masai Mara and Serengeti game reserves is the most spectacular wildlife show in the world. Every year, between August and November, about 2 million wildebeest and zebras move in search of greener pasture and water as seasons change.
Although the migration timing varies, the best time to get a glimpse of the dramatic event is between June and August when the wildebeest gather in preparation to cross the renowned Grumeti River. Numerous predators such as lions, hyenas, cheetah, leopard and a host of carnivores can be spotted hovering around the area waiting for a chance to strike the weak prey.
The wildebeest make their arrival in Mara between August and September, although at times they arrive as early as July. The animals remain in the park between October and November before gradually returning to Serengeti. This usually happens between December and January.
The Masai Mara National Reserve, located in the southwest Kenya on the border of Tanzania, is the most popular game park in Kenya. Although it is relatively smaller in size compared to other Kenyan national parks, Mara is home to an amazing concentration of wildlife. It is therefore one of the most popular Kenya safari destinations.
The national park borders the Serengeti plains along its southern end and it is nourished by the Mara River. The river has plenty of hippos and crocodiles that make the annual Wildebeest Migration a really dangerous task.
Masai Mara is situated 168 miles from Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, and is reached by road and air. The road trip takes at least 6 hours by a 4WD vehicle as the roads are quite rough and should be avoided during the rainy season (April-May) as the roads become impassable.
Because of the bad quality of roads, most tourists prefer flying into the Masai Mara. Unfortunately this makes their safari more expensive and they miss out on some of the thrill of traveling in an African bush. There are several airlines offering daily scheduled flights from Wilson Airport in Nairobi to the Mara; a 45 minutes flight.