Earlier in the year, we explored a timeless drama that plays out on the Mara River and now we’re working with two exceptional resorts to help you be a part of it. The story begins as the earth trembles in Africa’s Great Rift Valley. In the shadow of the rift, the plains of the Serengeti bear witness to one of Earth’s greatest spectacles – the migration of the wildebeest.
In our experience, one of the best ways to appreciate the enormity and excitement of this annual event, is to do so with the help of Mara Serena Safari Lodge and Governors’ Camp in southern Kenya. Both are exceptional resorts, who draw on their years of experience to not only provide amazing insights and perspectives of the wildebeest migration but also some of the most breath-taking safari excursions on the continent. As such, we’ve worked closely with both establishments to bring you an exhilarating and enlightening four day itinerary, which includes flights, transfers and accommodation, helping to maximise the magic of your experience.
Located in the heart of the famous Mara Triangle, renowned for its spectacular abundance and diversity of wildlife, Mara Serena Safari Lodge draws inspiration from the Maasai way of life, coupling African heritage with western glamour to create an exceptional resort that blends seamlessly into its surroundings. The rooms are styled to echo the circular motif of a traditional Maasai manyatta, each boasting panoramic views of the captivating savannah landscape, along with spacious outdoor seating areas and a private balcony. Besides enjoying two daily game drives, excursions and guided bush walks, Mara Serena offers cultural entertainments like Maasai dancing, in addition to bush barbecues and cocktail parties at the waterhole, creating an unforgettable experience from start to finish.
In contrast, Governors’ Camp comprises 37 luxury tents and has adopted a mixture of colonial and traditional African styles. Big and bright, the tents allow in plenty of natural light, each coming with an en-suite and a private veranda with views of either the sweeping plains of the Maasai Mara or the meandering Mara river. Governors’ Camp takes a very conscientious view of its place in the local community and the wider world, contributing to a number of charitable causes, from building local schools, to wildlife conservation, recycling and protecting the environment. The fact that Governors’ Camp is in an area historically reserved for Colonial governors and a very wealthy elite, should serve as a ringing endorsement for the level of distinction between it and the other safari camps across the continent. This is a safari camp of distinction.
If there’s a place where you’ll most likely spot the Big Five, it’s definitely here, but if it’s enchantment you’re after, the wildebeest migration will leave you charmed. If you’re lucky, you may get to witness one of the most thrilling, heart-wrenching and impressive feats of the migration – birth. The wildebeest have a three week window in which over 500,000 calves are born on the move. And as if being born in the middle of a migration wasn’t enough, the poor calves have only a few minutes to get up on their feet and learn to walk otherwise face being eaten. What makes this phenomena so impressive is that it isn’t just instinctively embedded into the memories of wildebeest. All of the region’s big predators appear to have the dates down in their diaries too. The biggest threat to the stampeding animal’s survival comes from cheetahs, and crocodiles, who make the Mara River crossing a particularly nail-biting leg of the journey to witness.
The success of the migration, from a wildebeest’s perspective, dictates which rivers crocodiles roam. It dictates if a cheetah lives or if it dies of starvation. In its wake, the migration allows smaller animals to graze shorter grass, balancing the Serengeti’s eco-system. Some wildebeest start the journey, never to see its end. Many weren’t even born at the start and defy all odds to reach the finish line, while others are born, hunted and eaten within minutes. If there’s a single event in the African calendar that embodies the Lion King’s ‘circle of life’ analogy – this is it. Geologists predict that a large portion of East Africa will one day break away at the Great Rift Valley and drift out into the Indian Ocean, which could spell an eventual end to the wildebeest migration. Fortunately, this isn’t due to happen for another 50 million years, so you still have plenty of time to catch it.
So, for a uniquely surprising Safari experience, capitalise on our expertise and head to Maasai Mara between July and September, where you’ll witness the power, majesty and drama of more than a million wildebeest chasing the rain.