How to Plan For the July Wildebeest Migration Safari

  • Masai Mara wildebeest migration
    Masai Mara wildebeest migration
    Basecamp Explorer
  • An African safari to the Maasai Mara is unsurprisingly one of the most exhilarating as it offers one of the best scenic and memorable moments during the wildebeest migration.

    The wildebeest migration is documented as the seventh wonder of the world, and offers a spectacle like no other and is a sight to behold. During this period, close to two million wildebeests cross over from Tanzania's Serengeti National Park to Maasai Mara in Kenya.

    The migration attracts thousands of domestic and foreign tourists who troop to the Mara to marvel at this natural spectacle that takes place in July. Herds of gazelles, zebras and other wild animals join the wildebeests in crossing the Mara River from Tanzania to Kenya in a mass terrestrial movement. 

    Wildebeests graze in Masai Mara in Kenya
    Wildebeests graze in Masai Mara in Kenya
    Expert Africa

    Why July?

    Wildebeests migrate to Kenya in search of pasture around June to August.

    In January, the herds are in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, around Lake Ndutu, where there is enough pasture and water. 

    From February to March, the animals give birth to over 8,000 babies in the calving season. 

    Around April, they move north towards Moru and Simba Kopjes during the rainy season and reroute to Central Serengeti in May. 

    In June, they moved towards the Grumeti region preparing to cross over to Kenya for pasture.

    They then cross River Mara and head to Kenya in July and August. These months offer the best viewing as the wildebeests face off with hungry crocodiles in River Mara. 

    In September, they break into smaller groups, graze in Masai Mara in October and cross over to Serengeti in November. 

    Budget and Packing

    Hiring a touring agency is the easiest way to enjoy the wildebeest migration. 

    Tour agencies can link you with cottages, which can also be booked online. 

    Reviews on cottages, hotel and agencies can aid you in cross-checking the suitability of what you want.

    Touring agencies also promote and market the business, deal with customer queries and complaints, provide visas, passports and insurances, manage budgets and maintain statistical and financial records.

    They also guide tourists on gears and other assortments for early morning and late afternoon game drives – rough and muddy terrains. 

    Cottages

    PrideInn Hotels Group Managing Director Hasnain Noorani (centre) launched the PrideInn Mara Camp in May 2022.
    PrideInn Hotels Group Managing Director Hasnain Noorani (centre) launched the PrideInn Mara Camp in May 2022.
    Capital Group

    Cottages include Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Entumoto Safari Camp, Sarova Mara Game Camp, Fairmont Mara Safari Club, and Hotel group PrideInn among others. 

    PrideInn is the latest entrant in the Masai Mara. The camp was recently acquired from Azure Mara Haven and revamped to comprise 30 cottages and tents overlooking the Talek River.

    “The PrideInn Mara also has a 70-seater deck restaurant. We now have a beach, city and safari destinations presence,” Group MD Hasnain Noorani stated in early May 2022 while unveiling the new camp, further noting that the Group Hotel has branches in Mombasa, Nyali, and Westlands among others. 

    PrideInn is also looking to expand to 47 counties in Kenya. 

    As the August 9 polls are fast approaching, and clearly coinciding with the wildebeest migration, Noorani urged the government, aspirants and all citizens to foster peace and support the tourism sector which is still finding its feet after two years of grappling with a global pandemic. 

    “We thank the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta for supporting tourism and cushioning the sector. As we approach the elections, we urge all to maintain peace.

    “We appreciate him for opening the Nairobi Expressway and investing in other infrastructure projects such as the Dongo Kundu bypass, which largely big boost the tourism and hospitality sector by improving transport within and outside the city.” 

    A herd of elephants grazing in Masai Mara
    A herd of elephants grazing in Masai Mara
    Kenyans.co.ke
    JOHN MBATI