The migration of the wildebeest has brought back life on the Mara plains again. For sometimes, since late last month, the wildebeests as usual had started going back into northern Serengeti. We believe, due to the prolonged dry spell, the migrating animals could not find enough water or grass as they proceeded south. Though the Mara was also dry when they left, there was still some grass and water in the rivers and streams that runs through the Mara and northern Serengeti. Since early this month, we have had sporadic showers across the Mara. This has caused new shoots of grass to grow in the recently burnt areas. These are places currently teeming with herds, as the animals are attracted to the new grass.
As a result of this, the wildebeests have started heading north into the Mara again. Right now all the plains south of the TalekRiver are full of wildebeests and zebras. The crossing points on the Mara River just below lookout hill are places to be now as the many animals cross the River west into the Mara triangle. For the past few days, one is guaranteed of seeing a crossing sometimes as early as 8-9am. These plains, shunned most of the year for its emptiness are for once teeming with activities. The lion prides around here are back to action and basking in the season of plenty. One such pride can be seen around Olkeju-Ronkai area on the central plains. The dominant males in this particular pride Notch’s boys.
While all these are going on in the south, the northern section of the park seems to have slipped into a brief quite period. The area around Musiara gate/marsh has only a handful of wildebeest whereas earlier in the month, this area was all covered with wildebeests. On the triangle as well, the northern section is still empty. Most of the herds on the Mara triangle are only from Oldonyo Olkineji extending to below Turner’s hill and Milima Tatu. Some of the herds have now got to Serena area and the very first one have started crossing the river again going east! It all appears the herds generally are making a huge cycle. We expect them to stay here till November since there is still plenty of grass.
Map of the Masai Mara showing current wildebeest concentration spots
Wildebeest at sunset on Burrungat plains