The 2016 annual migration of the wildebeest has begun a lot earlier than normal.
The first herds were seen at Sand River early June coming in from the Serengeti in Tanzania and moving north into the Maasai Mara.
Following the unusually long rains over the past few months, the tall grass was burned for new grass to regenerate. It’s now very fresh and nutritious and has slowed the movement of the wildebeest around Meta Plains, Pololet Hills, Murram ya Ashnil. Some herds are headed towards Olmisigiyioi.
From Lookout Hill, we can still see big herds in the Serengeti making their way towards Sand River. It seems that there will be major river crossings in a few days’ time. Herds are also seen heading west where they will cross the Mara River at the Mara Bridge and into the Mara Triangle.
A few herds of zebra and wildebeest are crossing Olkeju Rongai into Possee Plains. At Hammercop Crossing, some herds are heading towards Maji ya Fisi.
With the migration, we are seeing more vultures like the White-backed vulture and Rüppell's griffon vulture (recorded at 37,000 feet as the highest flying bird) looking for leftovers. Both species are listed endangered
The Loita herd is at Topi Plains heading east towards Double-Crossing. Some have crossed into the Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorers area and are heading towards the Talek River to meet the herds from the Serengeti while resident herds are moving in from the Olare/Motorogi conservancies.
It’s festive season for the predators with several kills seen.
Report and pictures By Raphael Ole Koikai – Head Driver Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.