Every year, between June and August, over a million wildebeests, zebras and gazelles cross over from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve in search of fresh pasture.
The dramatic event, which is thought to be the world’s biggest wildlife show, offers visitors numerous opportunities to photograph the great animal parade.
The Masai Mara Game Reserve is the main focus of a great migration photo safari. It is in this reserve that the animals cross over the crocodile-invested Mara River – a dangerous affair that leaves thousands of wildebeests and zebras dead. On arrival at the Mara River, the wildebeests are initially reluctant to swim across and it is only after a brave animal takes the first plunge into water that the rest follow suit.
Wildebeest, zebras and gazelles in their thousands do not make it to the other side and their carcasses nourish the crocodile and hippos for weeks. The lucky animals get into plains of the Masai Mara where they mate and feed on the fresh foliage until early December when they return to the Serengeti to give birth to a new generation of wildlife. The wildebeest migration does not follow a time-line since the event is instinctive – triggered by the depletion of grass in the Serengeti National Park. Nevertheless, those who visit the Masai Mara Game Reserve between June and August have a higher chance of catching the event.
Kenya tours and safaris are not limited to migration expeditions. The country also offers numerous activities such as game viewing safaris, hot-air balloon safaris and beach holidays among others. The country is endowed with more than 50 wildlife sanctuaries, spectacular landscapes and unspoiled beaches that make for great tours and safaris.
Some of Kenya’s top wildlife parks include Masai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo, Lake Nakuru, Mount Kenya and Aberdares among others. For those seeking to enjoy beach holidays at the Kenyan coast, Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi offer some of the most rewarding beach vacations in East Africa. The coastal region enjoys sunshine throughout the year, with average temperatures of 27°C.
The area experiences two rainy seasons: April to June and November to December. However, the rains tend to fall during the nights thus enabling visitors to enjoy their holiday even during the rainy season. Kenya is generally an all year round travel destination – thanks to the country’s favourable weather. However, the dry season – usually December to early March and July through October – is the best time to go on a game viewing safari in the country. During the dry season, the vegetation is typically thin and animals tend to assemble around waterholes – allowing better views of the wildlife.