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Widely regarded as one of the most magnificent natural spectacles on Earth, the Great Migration is a bucket list item for many travelers and the ultimate draw for anyone looking to explore East Africa.

If you’ve ever been curious about this incredible occurrence, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the Great Migration and give you a glimpse into this awe-inspiring event.

What is the Great Migration?

Every year, millions of wildebeest, accompanied by zebras, Thompson gazelles, and antelopes, set out on a journey across the Tanzanian plains into Kenya’s Masai Mara. Driven by the survival need to find food and ensure the survival of their herds, these animals embark on a fascinating migration cycle that plays out in real life. It showcases the wisdom and order of nature, highlighting how seasonal changes influence the movement of wildlife. As the weather shifts, the availability of food also changes, prompting the herds to adapt and move to places where food is plentiful, ensuring their survival.

What can I expect to see?

The Great Migration is not just about the famous river crossings, contrary to popular belief. While these crossings are indeed a thrilling part of the wildebeest migration experience, there’s so much more to witness. Imagine vast numbers of wildebeest, antelope, and zebras moving in herds across the plains. The landscape is dotted with thousands and thousands of animals, creating a unique spectacle that stretches as far as the eye can see. It’s like a sea of black dots that captivates your attention and beckons you to stop and marvel for hours.

The abundance of game also attracts predators, making the migration period action-packed with dramatic encounters between hunters and their prey. Within their journey, the herds face various challenges, including the famed river crossings. These crossings create tension, with the lurking danger of rushing waters and crocodiles waiting to make a kill. The game-viewing spectacle and the inherent tension serve as a constant reminder of the duality of nature—its power and fragility coexisting in a delicate balance.

Saruni Basecamp Great Migration in the Masai Mara

Where is the best place to stay?

If you’re planning to witness the Great Migration, our three properties within the Masai Mara offer different levels of proximity to the action. Additionally, our presence in the Lemek and Mara North Conservancies provides the added benefit of exclusivity, placing you right in the middle of the action while also offering a peaceful and tranquil experience.

Each of our lodges and camps is unique, while still honoring the splendor of the Masai Mara landscapes that make it an iconic safari destination. From the immersive experience of Saruni Wild, which brings you close to the wildlife, to the breathtaking views of the Lemek Valley at Saruni Mara, and the private safari home retreat of Mara Bush Houses for families and groups of friends, Saruni offers various ways to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Masai Mara while keeping up with all the action. Our team is well-equipped to advise you on the best property for your needs and ensure a seamless and unforgettable safari experience like no other in East Africa

Saruni Basecamp Saruni Wild double tent exterior at twilight

What are the best months to see the migration?

As mentioned earlier, the migration is a real-life example of the cycle of life and how animals adapt to nature and the seasons. This means that any shift in the environment can alter the precise timing of the herds’ journey each year. The duration of the migration process and how long the herds remain in one place are dependent on these subtle changes in nature.

However, the migration period generally takes place from July to September. During these key months, lodges and camps in the Masai Mara are in high demand. We strongly advise planning and booking in advance, whenever possible, to secure your spot and ensure you don’t miss this incredible spectacle.

What else can I do while visiting during the Great Migration?

While the Great Migration offers unparalleled game-viewing opportunities, there’s a range of other activities to enjoy during your stay. In addition to game drives, you can embark on a hot air balloon safari, partake in guided nature walks, indulge in bush dining and sundowners, join conservation-oriented excursions, and visit local communities. A stay with us is designed to inspire and offer enjoyment on multiple levels.

We also encourage considering an itinerary that combines more than one of our properties in Kenya. Discover the magic of Northern Kenya with Saruni Samburu or Saruni Rhino, allowing you to experience the best of what the country has to offer and further enrich your overall experience.

Saruni Basecamp Ballooning over the Great Migration

What should I pack?

To ensure a comfortable experience during your visit, we recommend packing the following items:

  • Wear neutral colors that allow you to blend into the environment. Avoid white and black, as they are more likely to attract bugs.
  • Pack a couple of pullovers or sweaters for the cool mornings and evenings, both long and short trousers, and sturdy walking shoes.
  • Bring a waterproof jacket, a hat, and sunglasses for protection from the elements.
  • Don’t forget to bring sun protection cream, binoculars, and your camera or video equipment to capture those incredible moments.
  • While we provide a flashlight or torch, you may also want to bring your own for added convenience.

Embarking on a journey to witness the Great Migration is an experience like no other. Nature’s spectacle unfolds before your eyes, leaving you in awe of its grandeur and beauty. Plan ahead, choose the best time to visit, and make sure to pack accordingly. Our team at Saruni is here to assist you in creating a seamless and unforgettable safari adventure.