Map of Masai Mara showing current concentraion locations
Male wildebeests are at the end of the rutting season, so it is common to see males chasing each other or engaging in brief fights
The migration of wildebeests has started in the Masai Mara game reserve. They crossed the common border of Kenya/Tanzania from Northern Serengeti into Masai Mara, about 4 days ago. The wildebeests came through their traditional route west of Kuka hills though some herds come around the eastern side of the hills. They crossed the sand river which runs almost along the border, onto the Mara around Roan hill where they were seen the first day streaming in long lines heading north.
Over the past two days the migration progression has been quite fast, with wildebeest covering quite some distance per day. Today I found the herds have already reached the central plains and still highly mobile. However, the herds have split up as usual with one herds heading due north and the other heading west from the central plains towards lookout hill. These are expected to cross the river in the coming few days or by next week, going by the pace by which they have been moving across the plains over the past few days since they arrived in the Mara. Looking across into northern Serengeti, one can see big herds concentrated on the recently burnt patch south of the south Mara Bridge towards Naima Lumbwa hills. These are expected to join the main herds into the Mara one they have mowed down al the short grass on the burnt area.
What has been unusual about this years migration is that the main migration from the south arrived in the Mara early ahead of the Loita herds (This is the Kenyan resident herds of wildebeest) which usually migrate into the Mara from the east of the park. Normally when we start seeing them move into the park, it is a sign that the main migration from the south is on the way. The grass on the Mara plains is very tall and we thought this will slow the movement of eh wildebeest as they will have to keep feeding as they move on, but they seem just to be on a mission to migrate than looking for greener pasture.
The Mara predators, which have been starving over the lean period that was the past few months, are now waking upto a season of plenty. The prides of lion in the areas where the wildebeest have been through have already gorged themselves. The stage is now set for hunting activities in the Mara, as the predators seize the opportunity.
I will keep you posted on the progress of this natural phenomenon.