After a long wait, the wildebeests have now entered the Mara! This was confirmed yesterday after a fact finding mission round the entry points along the Mara and Serengeti border. Though this is still in its’ initial stages, every indication shows that the stage in the Mara is set for the world’s most fascinating wildlife spectacle, now termed as one of the new 7 wonders. The delay in arrival of the wildebeest was due to the amount of grass in their way. Since the beginning of the year, we have had continuous rains which resulted long grass on the plains across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
A herd of almost 10,000 wildebeest have crossed the border between Sand river gate and Naimalumbwa hills. They could be seen yesterday taking their traditional route towards Roan hill. Their movement however is slower because of the amount of grass in their way. Since May we have continued having intermittent rains which has made the plains covered in long green grass. This is expected to slow the migration movement north. Looking onto the Serengeti from the sand river, one can see isolated herds of zebra and wildebeest heading north though reluctantly. We anticipate this concentration to build as the herds push up north into the Mara.
Speaking to fellow guides in Serengeti national park, they informed me that the migrating herds have taken three wings one wing heading north from Grumeti area through Wogakuria. These herds should be crossing the Mara River inside Serengeti anytime into Masai Mara. The second wing is approaching Bologonja from the south and we have started to see a few of these animals crossing the Sand River into the Mara in the last couple of days. The third wing has come through Klein’s and most of these now crossing into the Mara round the eastern side of Kuka hills.
The Loita population of wildebeests and zebras has also moved into the Mara. They came in about four days ago. A herd of about 4,000 zebras and wildebeest can be seen around Musiara gate in the north and others just south east of the Talek gate and this consist mainly of Zebras. Their concentration however is still low but we expect a build up in the coming weeks. Most of these herds are moving into the reserve from the conservancies of Mara North, Olare-Orok etc, where they have been over the past few months.
The Mara predators in the areas where the herds are concentrated have suddenly woken up to the season of plenty again. The marsh pride lions have now established themselves along Bila Shaka stream where the wildebeest are coming for a drink. Since the entry of the migrating herds into the area, these lions have always had something to eat. We have also seen Hyaenas along in these areas killing the young wildebeest’s calves.