Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara National Reserve
Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the top tourist attractions that travelers majorly come to Masai Mara to witness. Wildebeest migration in Masai Mara national reserve is the world’s largest terrestrial wildlife migration. This is considered as natural wonders in the world that attracts the highest number of tourists. The migration is composed of millions of wildebeest, thousands of zebras and other plains game that cross the Mara River from Serengeti national park of Tanzania. The Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration is annually event which is remarkable. The wildebeest move from North Serengeti crossing the Mara river to the South of Masai Mara national reserve. The migration follows the rainfall patterns and comes to Masai Mara to look for the fresh lush grass and fresh water.
The wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara national reserve journey takes almost 3000 kilometers as the movement is circular. The migration does not have the starting or ending point but moves Rhythmically in a clockwise direction. This makes it hard for humans to predict their movements or day of crossing until one starts jumping inside the water. The Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration is unique in that there is no leader every one leads and moves anyhow. The Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration is circular that happens throughout the year rotating within the Masai Mara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti national parks.
The wildebeest migration starts from Ngorongoro early in the year when the wildebeest go to the Ndutu area for the calving season. This is when millions of wildebeest are born after the migration continues to Serengeti in the Seronera area. From Seronera the migration goes to the Western part of Serengeti in Grumeti river where they will be crossing the river. In July the climax of the wildebeest migration is witnessed from Mara river when millions of the wildebeest to Masai Mara.
How the Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration happens
There are 3 biggest things that travellers think about when it comes to Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration. Below are the Misconceptions:
The Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration happens in July and October only. The wildebeest migration is all year around action but its climax is witnessed in July when the wildebeest cross the mara river to Masai Mara. The Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration happens in July when they are crossing from Serengeti to Masai Mara national reserve. In October the wildebeest migrations happen back from Masai Mara national reserve to Serengeti this time around not passing through Mara river.
The river crossing can be predicted
The Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration real starting time of crossing the river cannot be ascertained. Its always clear that even the wildebeests themselves cannot know that is why they are fearing who to start. At certain points some wildebeest run away as they return back. Others stop at the river banks grazing along with other animals.
Lastly, the wildebeest migration follows the rainfall patterns. The effect of rain fall to the grass gives the wildebeest which like to grass in short grass for an easy and long sighting of their predators. However, the long or short rains are now a predictable in Africa as it used to be and this has made it difficult to tell when the Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration happens till its seen happening. But the main fact it remains within estimated months only the day is hard to tell. This makes it clear to the travellers that the Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration happens annually though unpredictably. This means it can start early this year or late depending on the weather pattern of the year.
The wildebeest migration is led by strong male wildebeests though moving in a zigzag clockwise pattern.
The other unique thing of Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration is that during July time of crossing from Serengeti national park to Masai Mara the wildebeest cross from Mara river. In October when the wildebeest return back to Serengeti they pass through the Loliondo in the East. Hence the migration wildebeest do not use the same route when coming and returning park. This is called the survival for the fittest as the wildebeest pass through Mara river amidst the hungry large Nile crocodiles on the river. On reaching the land the lions are on a wait alongside other big cats and predators.
During the wildebeest migration period, it is very hard to get available accommodations on the last minutes. This is called peak season and lodges or camps around the mara river are booked months early before the time of coming.
Best time to view Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration
Wildlife viewing in Masai Mara is all year round, unlike Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration which happens in the specific time frame. The migration times the dry spell when the grass is short. They will cross to Masai Mara national reserve during the dry season and cross back when the short rains of November start. The Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration starts from July and they remain in the reserve till October. Late in October when the rainy season prepares to start they will start moving to the East of Masai Mara national reserve. This is the best time to always visit Masai Mara not only for wildebeest but also a good time for the most rewarding game drives for the big five and other big games. The best time is the dry months that start from June to October. Enjoy the best of an African wilderness through the best local tour operator which can advise you on the best time of Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration. The real timing of the Masai Mara national reserve wildebeest migration may not be easy to predict as the weather keep changing annually.