Hello my friends! 😀 Did you know that Kenya hosts two of the most remarkable wildlife and marine-life migrations in the world? Yes, No…?
Well, this past weekend I got to visit Maasai Mara, for my first time ever, to experience part 1 of the Twin Migration…
What is the Twin Migration?
Here in Kenya, the Wildebeest Migration in the Maasai Mara, & the Humpback Whale migration in Watamu both occur around the same period: July through October… Amazing right? 😀
In what’s been marked as one the New 7 Wonders Of The World, about 1.7 million Wildebeests (along with some Thomson’s gazelle, Zebra & Eland) migrate to the Maasai Mara National Reserve, yearly, to and from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania in search of ‘greener pastures’.
Meanwhile, in Watamu the Humpback Whales migrate up to 5,000km from the Antarctic to our warmer Kenyan Coast for breeding and feeding.
Thus, in recognition of Kenya’s role as home to these 2 phenomenal migrations, our Kenya Tourism Board dubbed it the ‘Twin Migration’.
Road-Trip to Maasai Mara…
Our journey started early Friday evening, arrested by the busy Nairobi traffic on Ngong Road. However we made it to Narok well in time to break for the night…
Come Saturday morning, we left Narok before the crack of dawn, in readiness for the 4-5 hours’ drive ahead.
The ride to the Mara Sekenani Gate was as rough as I’d been warned. But with the ongoing roadworks, this should hopefully make Maasai Mara accessible & affordable to more local visitors.
I love that the Mara experience begins before you arrive at the Park gates…
And for us, it began with a spectacular, sunrise that quickly lit up the vast, gorgeous landscapes in warm hues of orange.
These mesmerizing sights certainly lived up to the famed Mara sunrises!
Maasai Mara… The gift that keeps on giving
Past the Sekenani Gate, driving through the Mara felt like a Morning Game Drive treat with wildlife sightings every so often. 🙂
We spotted a lone wildebeest trudging along ever so slowly, and I couldn’t help wondering about its family…
Did You Know?? During the migration, some calves get separated from their mothers, but even if another wildebeest cow has lost her own, she will not adopt a strange calf!
The poor calves are immediately thrown into the world of ‘survival for the fittest’; unless they are lucky enough to reunite with their moms…
That morning, the Mara river where most of the Wildebeest Migration action happens, was quite uneventful…except for a few baboons roaming on the bridge.
Later on, we caught up with these Maasai Morans at the Mara Serena Airstrip where numerous tourists were flying in and out.
I felt right at home with them, with my ‘quarter’ Maasai roots coming alive…
My hopes of seeing a male lion ‘Mufasa’ did not happen.. Nevertheless, our great driver Julius spotted 10 lionesses, lazing around in a bush, hiding from the afternoon sun…
I loved watching how these wildebeests get in formation and move along in that uniform line… It’s truly a wonder of nature.
Lunch at Mara Serena Safari Lodge
After the hot, dusty game drive, lunch at Mara Safari Lodge was a welcome treat! 😀
Perched on a hill, you get a vantage point to the most outstanding views! They are simply surreal!
Mara Serena have done an excellent job of blending nature and the Maasai culture into their overall structures and décor.
More so, the food was simply delightful! It’s during lunch that I got a chance to meet the Tourism CS Najib Balala.
His remarks about creating seasonal tickets to boost local traffic to Maasai Mara, when effected, would go a long way in making it more accessible during off-peak seasons.
Sunsets and Elephants
Later on, our ways back to Narok were blissfully littered with elephants, ever so majestic and graceful…
Mwarv and Josh took advantage of the expansive, cloudless skies to shoot some long exposures shots…
Tips On How To Travel To Maasai Mara On A Budget >>
- With most places in the Mara fully booked during this peak Migration season, a stay in Narok can be as cheap as Kes. 1,100 per night at a B&B.
- Kenyan Citizens pay Kes.1, 200.00 and Non-residential pay at least 80USD, per day. >>Plan to check in at the Park after 10 am, and leave within 24 hours to avoid paying Park Entry fees for two days.
- Try budget friendly camping sites in Maasai Mara, like Riverside Camp (near the Maasai Mara Talek Gate) where you pay between Kes. 4, 000 on B&B, and Kes.1, 000 to pitch your own tent.
- There’s a daily bus from Narok to Talek at 3pm; and it departs at 6pm from Talek to Narok. This could be tricky though, since you need your own vehicle within the park…
- Check Facebook travel forums for people organizing group trips for as low as Kes 15,000 all inclusive.
P.S. You might also like>> 5 Easy Ways To Travel On A Budget!
I must say- my first Maasai Mara experience was pure bliss! I felt the true spirit of the Mara in the friendly Park officials, to the jovial Maasai Morans and our incredibly beautiful wildlife.
Many thanks to the Kenya Tourism Board for having us along on this Maasai Mara adventure. And cheers to my fun companions, Josh and Mwarv, with whom there’s never a dull moment! 😀
Thanks for reading!! 😀 Have you been to the Maasai Mara? What was your experience like? Or are you planning to go?
I would love to hear your stories… Leave a comment down below and let’s chat all about it! 😀
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