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A Kenya trip without the inclusion of Masai Mara remains incomplete. This reserve is among the most prominent safari destinations. It is famous for a lot of reasons namely its flora and fauna. It is situated adjacent to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and forms the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. The main reason for Mara’s popularity is the Wildebeest Migration. This phenomenal wildlife event attracts people from all over the world. In African migration safari tours, one can have the chance to witness this event in Masai Mara.
The wildebeest migration is among the most dramatic wildlife events. It takes place in East Africa, primarily Masai Mara and Serengeti. During the migration, millions of wildebeest and zebra are accompanied by other hoofed animals like gazelles, and impalas. Together, they migrate from Serengeti to Maasai Mara, facing various obstacles along the way. The animals cross the countries of Kenya and Tanzania.
This is the largest known terrestrial migration and also the most beautiful to witness. The migration spans two national parks and appears straight out of a movie. Out of all the places, Mara is the best place to see the great migration. There are a lot of aspects to consider while planning to see the migration. These include the best spots, recommended months, best season, and suitable accommodation in Mara.
African migration safari tours not only showcase the wildebeest migration to travelers. One can also spot the diverse wildlife, enjoy other activities and visit numerous safari spots. A trip to Masai Mara is highly suggested to travelers desiring a unique vacation.
Get the insider stories and detailed descriptions of all tourist attractions, including the park
Drive to Naivasha
On arrival at the Nairobi airport, you will be met by our airport representative. Drive to Lake Naivasha (2 hours). Visit the great rift valley en route.
Check in to Elsamere resort, have lunch and take some rest.
In the evening head for a boat ride at the lake, where you come face to face with much of the bird life of the lake.
ABOUT LAKE NAIVASHA
A freshwater lake fringed by thick Papyrus in Kenya is a perfect destination that will make you gawk at its beauty. Lake Naivasha is a world-class birding destination that draws the attention of the residents of Nairobi to spend the weekends to enjoy the Africa boat safari here. A great range of game is drawn to these shores by the waters of the lake. Giraffes wander among the acacia, the Lake's large hippo population sleep all day in the shallows. Experience a guided walking safari in Crescent Island to observe pelican Kenya and cormorants along the shore. You might get to see buffalo, zebra, giraffe, waterbucks, gazelle, and many others.
Elementaita birding, Transfer to Nakuru, Safaris
In the morning, we take you to Lake Elementaita (1.5 hrs away) (en route Nakuru) for a round of bird watching, along with a packed breakfast. Watch flamingos and other birds at Elementaita. Around 11am, we start for Nakuru (30 mins away), and check in to Lake Nakuru lodge by lunch. Post lunch head for an afternoon safari at the lake Nakuru national park.
ABOUT LAKE NAKURU
Lake Nakuru National Park is a gem teeming with abundant flora and fauna. Situated at the foothills of the Great Rift Valley and surrounded by alkaline swamps and bushy grasslands, it is renowned for its topographical and ecological diversity. The soda lake which supports much of the wildlife in this national park is a sight for sore eyes. Gawk and be amazed at the ubiquitous Flamingos flaunting their pink beauty around the lake. The lakeshore is also the perfect place to lay your eyes upon the majestic Rothschild Giraffe and the White Rhino. Lake Nakuru safari brings you close to a variety of beautiful animals and birds. African sunbirds, Pelicans, Kingfishers, Lions, Hippos, Pythons are just some of the many flora and fauna that you'll be able to see. Lake Nakuru National park also has the highest population of Black Rhino Kenya allowing you to feast your eyes upon the sight of this greatly vulnerable traversing across the picturesque landscape.
Nakuru safari, drive to Mara
Go for a morning safari at Nakuru, and come back for breakfast. Post breakfast, drive to Masai Mara national reserve (4 hours)
Check in to Olgatuni camp by lunch, post-lunch take a little nap if you may wish.
In the late afternoon head for your first game drive to the Masai Mara national reserve.
ABOUT MASAI MARA
Located in the Great Rift Valley in the southwest part of Kenya, Masai Mara National Reserve is the flagship wildlife park of Kenya. Known as the mother of all wildlife parks, Masai Mara is an ideal place for you to see the African big five, namely elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and buffalo in all their glory! Being a mecca of wildlife, you will also get to spot other animals like wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, antelope, giraffe, ostrich, hyena, cheetah, and many more. Dominated by grassland savannah, the pockets of riparian forest, rocky hills, and acacia woodland intersperse the plains of the National Reserve. It is world-famous for the annual wildebeest migration in which 2.5 million wildebeest, gazelles, and zebras follow the rains searching for new grass. This Mecca of wildlife is also known for the 'Big Cat Diaries,' the popular series on BBC. With around 500+ bird species, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a great place to spot bird species like Kori Bustard, Rufous-bellied Heron, Sooty Chat, and many more. A Masai Mara safari will give you a chance to experience breathtaking safaris and incredible wildlife sightings!
Safaris at Masai Mara
Go for morning and afternoon drives at Masai Mara. During the day we look for river crossings at the Mara river or Sand river. . One of the evenings we will do a sundowner session, and one of the mornings will be bush breakfast.
Optionally, can do a balloon ride, or visit a Maasai village on one of the days.
Departure to Nairobi
After a morning drive, come back for breakfast and drive to Nairobi (6 hours). Reach by late afternoon.
Optional visit to Sheldricks Elephant orphanage or Giraffe center once in Nairobi.
The migration involves around 2 million wildebeest, large herds of zebras, a small group of impalas, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, and Grant’s gazelle. These animals migrate annually starting from Serengeti and ending the circuit at Masai Mara. It is believed that the journey covered by these migrating animals is around 800 to 1000 kilometers.
The Great Migration is recognized as the ‘Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The entire journey is filled with exhilarating events. Wildebeest are driven to embark on this treacherous journey for two things: food and water. During the entire migration, they are solely guided by their survival instincts. Once the land begins to dry up, the herds plan their annual trip across the plains. Most of the time, the herds are found in the lush grasslands of Southern Serengeti. Here, they typically congregate and give birth to their calves.
However, when the grass of Southern Serengeti begins to diminish, they move to Serengeti’s Western Corridor. They reach Mara in the latter half of the year. During this season, the park is filled with nutritious grass, a haven for migrating animals. They spend at least two months in the Mara before traveling back to Southern Serengeti which has now become fertile. The migration completes a perfect loop and the animals start preparing for the journey once again.
This migration is long and full of obstacles. Through this event, travelers can understand the true meaning of survival of the fittest. Throughout the entire migration, the wildebeest and other animals are constantly followed by predators. These include lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, and others. During African migration safari tours, predator-prey interaction is frequently seen. Other events like river crossings are the Kenya migration highlights. The Mara River and Grumeti River crossings showcase the herds trying to cross the river without falling prey to deadly Nile crocodiles.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara is distinguished by its dramatic landscape and wildlife. The area is dotted with beautiful acacia trees, rolling hills, and sprawling savannahs. The nearby region of the reserve is inhabited by the Masai people, the original ancestors of the land.
The reserve is home to the African Big Five which consists of lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, and rhinos. Other plain animals and endangered species are also found here. More than 40 percent of large African mammals live in the reserve. The Masai Mara is also made up of private conservancies. These offer Kenya private safari experience that remains unparalleled. Here, travelers can enjoy lavish accommodations, endless game drives, and opportunities to help local communities. Alongside the main reserve and conservancies, the Mara also has Masai villages and group ranches.
African migration safari tours mostly take place in Mara due to wildebeest migration. Every year from July to October, the herd enters the Mara in large numbers. They can be witnessed through game drives, walking safaris, and even hot air balloon rides.
Situated in the Nakuru County, Lake Naivasha is a large freshwater lake. It is found just outside the town of Naivasha. It is one of the highest lakes of the Great Rift Valley, set at an elevation of 1,884 km. Lake Naivasha is fringed with thick Papyrus and creates a stunning landscape. Most of the lake is surrounded by swamps and beyond that lies the forests of fever trees.
Lake Naivasha is easily accessible from Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi. It is the perfect place to enjoy short safaris. The lake is well known for its high population of flamingos and hippos. Avid birders and ornithologists term this lake a birder’s paradise. It is home to over 400 species of different birds. The pink flocks of lesser and greater flamingos that frequent the lake are the main highlight. Other animals spotted near the lake are giraffes, waterbucks, impalas, and giraffes.
The most famous activity at Lake Naivasha is the boat safari. It is one of the best ways to get close to hippos and flamingos in the lake. At the shores, one can even spot animals like giraffes and zebras. Most of the accommodation of Lake Naivasha is found at Crescent Island. This island is a game sanctuary. Other famous sites near the lake are Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, Longonot National Park, and Elsamere Conservation Centre and Lodge. Lake Naivasha is a great addition to African migration safari tours.
Lying south of Nakuru is the gorgeous Lake Nakuru. It is protected by Lake Nakuru National Park. This famous Rift Valley Lake is filled with natural beauty and a thriving ecosystem. The lake is set precisely at the foothills of the valley. It is neighboured by bushy grasslands and alkaline swamps.
The lake’s alkalinity attracts millions of pink flamingos. They spread over the lake like a pink blanket and continually move together along the shore. The flamingos of Lake Nakuru are an iconic sight to capture. There are several other animals that reside inside the park. It is here that travelers can witness the rare rhinos quietly grazing. Zebras, Warthogs, elands, and leopards can also be seen. The park is home to unique tree-climbing lions which are only seen in Tanzania’s Lake Manyara and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.
There are various picnic spots found inside the park. Makalia waterfall is one such site that is ideal for picnicking or camping. Viewpoints like Lion hill and Baboon cliff offer panoramic vistas of the entire lake. Birding and safaris are the two main activities enjoyed at Lake Nakuru.
Amboseli National Park
After Masai Mara, the most visited park during Kenya group tours is Amboseli National Park. Amboseli stands under the shadow of the towering Mount Kilimanjaro. The picturesque sight of animals grazing against the backdrop of Kilimanjaro cannot be missed.
Swamps, woodlands, and open plains are some of the distinct habitats of the park. These habitats house various animals and birds. The park is famous for its bull elephant population. Other animals spotted are buffalo, cheetahs, lions, giraffes, spotted hyenas, wild dogs, and leopards. More than 600 species of vibrant birds reside in the park. Along with wildlife, the landscape of Amboseli is well known.
The park has an underground water supply that comes from the melting glaciers of Mount Kilimanjaro. This water supply feeds the springs and ponds of the park. Amboseli’s rivers and lakes support wildlife, especially during the dry season. During this season, diverse animals congregate near watering holes and so, game viewing becomes easier.
Yet another beautiful Great Rift Valley Lake, Elementaita is a soda lake. It lies between the lakes Nakuru and Naivasha. Much of Lake Elementaita is now part of the Soysambu Conservancy. Out of other Rift Valley sites, this lake is less explored and attracts a few tourist crowds. Travelers can easily enjoy the solitude and privacy of the area and its natural attraction.
The conservancy surrounding Lake Elementaita houses various globally threatened species. These include colobus monkeys, predators like leopards, the Rothschild giraffe, and others. Smaller predators like stripped jackals and tufted-eared caracals can also be spotted. Duikers, steinbok, bushbucks, and bush pigs are plentiful. Due to its alkalinity, more than 450 species of birds are found, including those migrating from Europe and other regions. One can also observe the lake’s varied habitats like volcanic hills, grassy plains, and acacia woodlands. At Lake Elementaita, the region’s rich history is seen in the form of lava flows and craters.
Lake Elementaita is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers a plethora of activities. Travelers can enjoy day and night game drives, bird watching, excursions to geological sites, hiking, and much more at Elementaita.
There are certain months favorable to see the wildebeest migration in full bloom. Travelers wanting to see the great migration in Masai Mara can visit the reserve anywhere between July to October.
After surviving the Grumeti River crossing, the remaining herd enters the north of Mara from July to October. However, they have to survive another deadly river crossing, the Mara River. The Mara River crossing starts in Mid-July and continues till August. Those wanting to witness this particular event must consider staying in private conservancies situated near the Mara River. Mega wildebeest herds are spotted till October.
Masai Mara is a year-round destination that showcases excellent game viewing every year. Since the reserve is prime territory for many African animals, wildlife adventures are guaranteed. All of this can be experienced while embarking on Kenya group tours from July to October. Not only can you see the wildebeest migration but also other wildlife species in these months.
For birders wanting to visit Rift Valley lakes, October to March is ideal. During these months, many migratory species arrive in Kenya, making birdwatching successful and exciting.
When it comes to accommodation, an endless choice of camps, lodges, and hotels are found. Maintaining the concept of the African safari, many lodges and camps stick to rustic interiors yet offer excellent services. Accommodations found inside Masai Mara and other destinations are luxurious and built to make travelers feel comfortable during the entirety of their stay.
Here are some top accommodation options to pick for your African migration safari tours.
Lying on the shores of Lake Naivasha, Elsamere is a beautiful and cozy lodge. It is named after the popular Elsa the lioness who was raised by naturalist Joy Adamson. The lodge only accompanies 20 guests to ensure privacy and personal service. Elsamere Lodge is a birders' paradise as one can constantly see colorful birds visiting throughout the day. Guests staying at Elsamere can actively support the conservation efforts of the lodge.
Lake Nakuru Lodge
Located inside the Lake Nakuru National Park, this beautiful eco-lodge is in one of the best-rated locations. The Lake Nakuru Lodge is famed for its uninterrupted views of the lake and resident wildlife. This huge property offers 95 deluxe rooms that are spacious and come equipped with basic facilities. Guests staying at the lodge can enjoy great views of the park, lake, or garden depending on the room type. The lodge’s suites come with sitting rooms and private verandas. Lake Nakuru lodge offers many facilities to guests such as a spa, swimming pool, restaurants, birdwatching, excursions on horseback, and many more.
Olgatuni Camp provides the most authentic stay in Masai Mara. Built right in the middle of the reserve, the camp offers the complete experience of African safaris. Although the camp is situated in the middle of the wilderness, the services are top-class. What makes this camp an obvious choice for African migration safari tours is its location. Guests can enjoy sightings of the resident game near the camp. These include lion pride, leopard, and cheetah territories. Offering only 14 tented camps, each unit is fitted with basic facilities to complete your safari experience. With Olgatuni Camp, one can enjoy game drives, sundowners, hot air balloon rides, and much more.
Kenya Group tours are becoming popular among avid travelers. If you are planning for African migration safari tours, it is highly recommended to contact a travel company specializing in such itineraries. This way you can personalize your trip according to your needs and requirements.
NO OF NIGHTS
LAKE NAKURU LODGE
Elsamere Lodge is a unique destination in Naivasha which places conservation as its priority. The lodge offers 10 double rooms, with private verandas which face the beautiful lake Naivasha. Elsamere is also a bird watchers paradise where different types of bird species can be seen.
Tripadvisor - https://bit.ly/3BVDOxO
Situated inside Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Nakuru lodge is an eco-friendly lodge that offers unobstructed views of the surrounding wildlife and the lake. The lodge provides accommodation in 95 spacious deluxe rooms complete with en suite bathrooms. The rooms also have great views of the park, garden or lake.
Tripadvisor - https://bit.ly/3ASiNmq
Arguably it has the best location in Masai Mara national reserve, with 3 Lion prides, 2 cheetah families and 4 leopards within a 3km radius from the property. Its located right in center of the park, and main migration crossing point is 10-15 mins away. All the tents have en-suite facilities and the food is sumptuous.
Tripadvisor : https://bit.ly/2YyiLCG
|DEPARTURE MONTH/YEAR||TOUR START DATE||TOUR END DATE||PER PERSON ON TWIN/DOUBLE||SINGLE OCCUPANCY|
|JULY 2022||Sunday, July 03, 2022||Saturday, July 09, 2022||$1,750.00||$2,150.00|
|JULY 2022||Sunday, July 17, 2022||Saturday, July 23, 2022||$1,750.00||$2,150.00|
|AUGUST 2022||Sunday, August 07, 2022||Saturday, August 13, 2022||$1,750.00||$2,150.00|
|AUGUST 2022||Sunday, August 20, 2022||Saturday, August 27, 2022||$1,750.00||$2,150.00|
|SEPTEMBER 2022||Sunday, September 04, 2022||Saturday, September 10, 2022||$1,750.00||$2,150.00|
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