The Twin Migration Pt. 1 + Maasai Mara Budget-Travel Tips!

Travel, Travel Tips
Wildebeest_Migration

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? 😀

Twin_Migration

 

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’.

wildebeest migrationTwin Migration

 

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’.

And, when they invited Mwarv, Josh Kisamwa and I on a road trip to Maasai Mara for Part 1 of Twin Migration, we were more than game! 😀

 

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…

Road_trip

 

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.

Maasai_Mara_Sekenani_Gate

 

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.

Maasai_MaraTwin MigrationMaasai_Mara_Sunrise

 

These mesmerizing sights certainly lived up to the famed Mara sunrises!

Maasai_Mara_Sunrise

 

 

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. 🙂

wildebeest_migration

 

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…

 

wildebeest migration

Fresh wildebeest carcass left about for vultures…

 

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.

Maasai Mara River

 

Later on, we caught up with these Maasai Morans at the Mara Serena Airstrip where numerous tourists were flying in and out.

 

maasai mara

 

I felt right at home with them, with my ‘quarter’ Maasai roots coming alive…

maasai mara

Twin MigrationTwin_Migration

 

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…

 

Maasai Mara

Twin_Migration

Tourism CS, Najib Balala capturing shots of elephants …on a game drive

 

I loved watching how these wildebeests get in formation and move along in that uniform line… It’s truly a wonder of nature.

wildebeest migration

wildebeest migration

 

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!

Maasai Mara

Josh having his ‘King Mufasa Moment’

Maasai Mara

Mwarv reminiscing about the time he won a School Milk Challenge…

 

Mara Serena have done an excellent job of blending nature and the Maasai culture into their overall structures and décor.

Mara serena safari lodge

Twin_Migration

 

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…

Twin_Migration

Twin_Migration

Twin_Migration

Twin_Migration

 

Mwarv and Josh took advantage of the expansive, cloudless skies to shoot some long exposures shots…

Twin_Migration_Mara

 

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!

 

Mara_Serena_Safari_Lodge

That Mara feeling…

 

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! 😀

 

Photography Credits:

Mwangi Kirubi (Mwarv)

Josh Kisamwa

Magical Kenya

 


 

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! 😀

 

 

<<Love and Light. Stay Inspired Always>>

 

 

 

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Nade
    November 14, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Inspirational.. really! This is such a beautiful place.. words can’t describe its beauty.

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      November 22, 2018 at 8:41 am

      Thank you Nade! I agree, the Maasai Mara is surely the gift that keeps on giving! 😀

  • Reply
    william Ligami
    September 25, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    Nice Articles…..any writings about aberdare?

  • Reply
    Ray
    August 31, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Great writing skills, the story smoothly winds up and down the hills of my imagination… Great work though

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      September 2, 2018 at 7:02 pm

      Wow, thanks Ray! Truly grateful for the kind words!! And I’m so glad you enjoyed it!! 😀

  • Reply
    Irene Nyabuto
    August 27, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Wow Marion! Surprise we did not bump into each other at the Mara… I also made my maiden trip at around the same time..14th to 17th August. Wah!! mention nothing about the bumpy ride… I could not eat for a while once we got to our Hotel. But the animal views, the great tour guides and the friendly Masai’s more than make up for it! We marveled continually about the peculiar way the wildebeest moved in a single line for kilometers…eeish! Did you capture the Giraffes in the sunrise…. just beautiful! Glad to hear about the season tickets! Will be on the look out for them.

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      September 2, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Oh wow! That would have been epic! Haha gosh you are right… We called it the ‘African massage’ gosh, it’s quite the bumpy experience, but you are right…the beauty and wildlife is worth it! 😀 😀 Thank you for reading Irene! And cheers to maiden trips!! So special! 😀 😀

  • Reply
    Ule Msee Wa B4
    August 26, 2018 at 12:45 am

    To be honest I did not know of a twin migration in Kenya only the Maasai Mara one. Excited about that Watamu blog already. Looking forward for the same. Will be here waiting for the article to be published

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      September 2, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      Awesome! Thank you for reading! Really glad you enjoyed it! And yay, the Watamu Blog is now up!! Happy reading!! 😀

  • Reply
    Shanghai
    August 20, 2018 at 12:04 am

    Very insightful piece Marion, great job! Your tips will come handy on our maiden Mara safari in 2019.
    Cheers

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      August 20, 2018 at 10:42 am

      Aaaye! That’s the spirit! I wish you all the best when you go! And thank you for reading!! 😀

  • Reply
    Enid
    August 18, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Oh wow! Now I know I can afford to go to the Mara….thank you

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      August 20, 2018 at 10:41 am

      Yees you can Enid! Time to #tembeaKenya 😀 Thanks for reading! 🙂

  • Reply
    Vivian wanimo
    August 18, 2018 at 7:14 am

    You have brought Maasai Mara right at my doorstep and looking forward to the seasonal tickets.

    I had never heard of the twin migration looking forward to reading more about the whales and marine migrations. Good job Marion

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      August 20, 2018 at 10:40 am

      I am grateful for the opportunity to share Viv! Thank you and I sure hope they make the seasonal tickets a reality soon too! 😀 Thank you for reading Viv 😀

  • Reply
    Stanley
    August 17, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Good work Marion have never known we have twin migration in Kenya .I know only one wildebeests migration now I know we have whales migration thanks for revelation

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      August 20, 2018 at 10:38 am

      My utmost pleasure Stanley! Yes, Kenya is blessed indeed to have two! Thank you for reading! 😀

  • Reply
    Christine Munene
    August 17, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Twin migration! To think we actually have whales coming this way!

    Thank you scrapbookjourneys for taking us on a tour of the Mara!

    Looking forward to those seasonal tickets!

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      August 20, 2018 at 10:37 am

      It’s amazing right!? My goodness, and not just on tv but in real life! It’s my pleasure and yes, me too! That will be awesome! 😀

  • Reply
    Njugush
    August 17, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Great insight on Mara . It gives me a hunger and desire to be there

    • Reply
      Scrapbook Journeys
      August 20, 2018 at 10:36 am

      Yess!! That’s the spirit Njugus#h, now to make it happen 😀 Thank you for reading! 🙂

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