The annual migration is Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle, and one of the main reasons why nature lovers and photographers descend upon East Africa. The migration happens year-round, and sees thousands strong herds of wildebeest, zebra and antelope following a continuous loop snaking its way through the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The herds are at the mercy of the weather, and tend to follow the rains. The rains replenish landscape and provide nutritious laden grazing grounds, and ample supplies of water which is much needed in the otherwise brutally dry savannah. Because of the high concentration of plains game, big cats wait in the wings – especially during Spring time when the ungulates calve. Not only do visitors descend upon the area for spectacular migration sightings, but also for the prolific big cat kill.
Wildebeest are notoriously erratic and often veer off course, making it impossible to predict where herds will congregate at a particular moment in time. For migration timelines, we tend to look at upcoming weather patterns, birthing season and previous years movements. It gives good insight and allows us to create a rough route of where wildlife is located at any given point.
The river crossings are the most sought after periods of time during the migration, and they tend to happen on the banks of the Mara River. There are points along the river where the herds are able to cross without too much difficulty. The organised chaos at the river crossings tends to happen between July and August; which is also the most productive time of year to watch predators flush out prey.
It’s important to note that the bustling Mara River is hugged by the Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Reserve, which are open to the public and day visitors. If you want a sense of exclusivity then it’s advisable to stay in a private conservancy. We’ve selected our top 4 perfectly placed Masai Mara Lodges ideal for the Migration in Kenya.
Sala’s Camp brings a sparkle of elegance to the bushveld. This luxury tented safari camp is ideally located on the convergence of two mighty rivers inside the Masai Mara National Park.
Each of the 7 safari tents are located in the thick of the riparian vegetation on the banks of the river. In total, the camp can accommodation 18 guests, and there’s even a spacious honeymoon tent available. This is exclusivity personified. Rooms have sitting areas, and views of the Kenya’s untouched savanna. Deep set copper baths, plunge pools and power showers are just a few of the added value extras one can expect at Sala’s Camp.
The camp has atmosphere and heart, and a favourite past time is to sit around the campfire and share stories. Game drives, bush breakfasts and hot air balloon safaris are just a few of the activities to enjoy while on a sojourn in Kenya.
The tall forest of trees provide a canopy of shade for those unbearably hot days in Africa. The area is smack-bang on the path of the wildebeest migration where it’s possible to witness the dramatic and chaotic river crossings.
Sala’s claim to fame is that they were the first camp to witness the migration. Pioneers when it comes to witnessing the migration!
andBeyond Kichwa Tembo
Kichwa Tembo offers a classic safari experience in a private concession bordering the Masai Mara National Park. Kichwa Tembo is not just a safari, but it’s an experience that offers signature elements one has come to expect from an ultra-luxury safari.
The delightful Tuskers Bar offers the perfect place to relax with a sundowner, while the swimming pool offers a placid oasis in the middle of the untamed wilderness. When guests aren’t relaxing around the poolside or at the bar, they tend to amble down to the massage tent for the ultimate relaxation experience.
There are 12 classic tents, 20 superior tents (including 3 family tents) and 8 superior view tents. Tents are built from light canvas and wood, and are ultra-luxurious little hideaways set beneath the trees and/or in the open wilderness. Surrounds comprise riverine forest meeting open plains, and the entire camp is set-up right in the path of the great migration.
Kichwa Tembo offers incredible ways of exploring the area, which include hot air balloon safaris, bush walks and endless talks with the Maasai warriors.
Porini Lion Camp
Porini Lion Camp offers a unique and adventurous safari experience in an exclusive conservancy, the Olare Motorogi Conservancy. It is here where guests are afforded opportunities to enjoy game drives and informative walks along the Ntiakatiak River with the rather regal and beautifully clothed Maasai community.
Porini is an award-winning eco friendly camp located in a community-integrated conservancy. Porini truly provides one of the most on-the-ground migration safari experiences in Kenya while not forgoing any form of luxury.
Accommodation is in large, breezy canvas tents that give rise to spectacular wilderness views. There are 9 individually decorated tents accommodating 2 people, and one family tent.
The area rests on the border of the game-rich Masai Mara National Reserve, and the conservancy itself is certainly no stranger to big cat sightings. As a matter of fact, Porini is reputed to be one of the top areas to view migration predator action, and boasts 7 lion prides in the area.
Angama Mara Safari Lodge
Do you remember the iconic movie, Out of Africa? We do ! The extensive and mind-blowing savannah scenes in the movie were filmed – in part – within the Angama Safari Lodge Conservancy. Romantic, classic and wild; the location is enough to stir the soul.
This 700 hectares of prime landscape borders the Mara Triangle and has a frontage of over 1 km of Rift Valley. It’s a naturalist’s paradise, complete with dramatic views from the edge of the Rift Valley, where the camp is located.
Angama has two separate camps, each with 15 tents. Family tents are available at both camps and ALL tents have picture perfect views of the wilderness beyond. Guests will be pleased to know that amidst the untouched African paradise there lies the main area, which is the pavilion. This is the central point and hub of both camps, home to a safari shop, swimming pool, and fitness room. Expansive wooden decks and various relaxation points at camp ensure there’s never a missed opportunity to sit back and soak up the surrounds.
The best way to view the action of the migratory path? To take part in one of the many activities on offer which include bush walks, game drives, hot air balloon safaris and talks with the Maasai warriors.