It is that time of the year again when tourists flock the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya for the annual Wildebeest Migration.
Also known as the Great Migration, tourists have another opportunity to immerse themselves in Kenya’s beauty. An estimated two million wild animals cross the Mara River in search of pasture in Kenya. They travel back to the Serengeti towards the end of September.
The new season spells good news for hoteliers in the Mara as tourists start arriving. Last year, things were tough due to travel restrictions following the Covid-19 pandemic. Only a dozen tourists – most of who reside in Kenya – made it to Maasai Mara.
A majority of Kenyans stayed home in fear of contracting the virus, which was ravaging the country then. Hoteliers were left grappling with canceled bookings then.
Hitherto, things have changed with most hotels recording increased booking in the next four months when the migration is on.
Masai Mara’s Chief Park Warden Joseph Sindiyo says the real action is yet to begin despite thousands of gnus crossing over to Kenya. It is a mating season for gnus – they mate in the Maasai Mara before crossing back to Serengeti.
“The actual migration is set to happen any time. Huge herds have crossed Sand River, and in the next few days, they will plunge into Mara River, marking the official migration,” Sindiyo tells the Standard.
So, What Are The Dos And Don’t’s Of Maasai Mara?
In August 2020, a stir following ignorance was shown by a section of visitors watching the Great Migration in Maasai Mara. During this period, the reserve plays host to thousands of tourists tempted to do the unthinkable as they make memories.
They end up putting their lives in untold danger, and the most probable and ultimate aftermath would be death. In August 2020, some tourists alighted from their tour vehicles while the wildebeest leaped forward towards the crocodile-infested Mara River. They exposed themselves to untold danger in the name of enjoying the moment.
What followed was a 30-day ban for several tour operators who flouted the rules set by managing the game reserve. So, what are the dos and don’ts while visiting the Maasai Mara?
First, you only alight from the tour van at designated areas within this vast savannah park that is Maasai Mara. You are prohibited from driving off-road – drive only on the allowed tracks and the main road between 0600hrs and 1900hrs.
Littering is also prohibited. The rules dictate that you should dispose of your litter in bins provided in accommodation facilities within the vicinity of the park or elsewhere. Harassing wildlife or overcrowding is also not allowed.
Lastly, once in the protected area, you are not allowed to remove or collect anything.
With this, it is possible to stay safe and enjoy your trip to Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
What You Can Expect To See In Maasai Mara
Have you ever thought of the terrifying moment you see a lion? Well, it is quite an experience in the game reserve. The lions are phenomenal. They hunt their prey with a lot of agility and aggressiveness. Elephants move in hers, foraging without much bother about the startled onlookers.
How To Enjoy Game In Maasai Mara
The Mara has more than one way to enjoy the sight of the wild. Hot air balloon safaris sum up your adventure in the wild. Elevated high up in the sky, the hot air balloon safari is one of the world’s best experiences in touring any setting. Each hot air balloon has a capacity for 16 passengers, accommodating both adults and children (who should be above four years and in the company of a guardian).
The beauty of a hot air balloon safari is that it rises above altitude, is controlled by wind current and speed. The balloon’s pilot is limited to controlling its up and down movement, but the rest is up to the day’s wind current and speed.