It's nearly that time again! When the great herds of the wildebeest migration cross the Kenya border and arrive on the plains of the Masai Mara. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Greatest Show on Earth, this is truly one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet! The wildebeest migration is a movement of approximately 1.5 million wildebeest throughout the Serengeti and Masai Mara ecosystems. Accompanying them are roughly 400,000 zebra and 200,000 gazelles, making a total of over 2 million migrating animals! Lines of animals stretch as far as the eye can see across the plains. Most dramatic of all is the moment when the migration arrives at the Mara River which they must cross to reach the rich grazing. As the animals throng, crocodiles cruise the waters waiting for the bravest to lead the plunge into the swirling currents.
With so many great camps in the Masai Mara, it can be hard to decide which one is best for those wishing to be right among the action during migration season. To help you choose, the consultants at Bench have put together our Top 5 camps in the Masai Mara during the wildebeest migration!
1. Governors' Camp
Nestled along the winding banks of the Mara River, Governors’ Camp is located in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara and offers some of the best game viewing in the Reserve. The camp is unfenced, allowing wildlife to roam freely. Some of the 37 en-suite tents line the riverbank, tucked into the forest they enjoy uninterrupted views over the Mara River. Others have views across the sweeping plains of the Masai Mara. Governors' Camp offers a wide variety of activities to explore the Mara and its wildlife.
2. Karen Blixen Camp
Karen Blixen is an eco-friendly luxury camp that gives a sense of the exiting explorer days when the savannah was seldom visited and elaborate camps were set up providing a luxurious and stylish retreat after each day’s adventure. The camp comprises 22 large luxury canvas tents each placed with undisturbed view along the Mara River. Karen Blixen is the perfect place to sit back and relax with a gin and tonic overlooking the Mara River and the wildlife coming to drink, whilst exchanging stories about the adventures of the day. During the wildebeest migration, guests are taken on full day game drives to different crossing points so they have a chance to see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River.
3. Naibor Camp
Naibor is a luxury tented camp, a striking combination of contemporary style and comfort. The camp is hidden in the riverine woodland of the Talek River about 2km from the point where it flows into the Mara River, just about the very heart of the Mara Game Reserve. This is a superb location from which to explore the Mara habitat, host to a vast array of wildlife. Many species of herbivores and ungulates support the many carnivores living here. While there is fabulous wildlife viewing throughout the year, Naibor is strategically placed for the wildebeest migration, being close to all the major wildebeest crossing sites over the Mara River.
4. Mara Plains Camp
Mara Plains is a small, high quality camp located on the northern border of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve in the 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy. The camp is made up of 7 canvas rooms on raised decks with sweeping views across Kenya’s notable savannah. Rarely a night passes without lion roaring nearby, while leopard are regularly found to wander through the camp and cheetah have established territories on the savannah nearby the main area. With access to over 375,000 acres of wildlife-rich land, 100,000 of it private, this intimate camp blends the finest wildlife viewing with the absolute best of safari hospitality and guiding. The wildebeest migration seasonally congregates outside camp.
5. Neptune Mara Rianta Camp
Nestled in the heart of the exclusive Mara North Conservancy, Neptune Mara Rianta Camp overlooks the Mara River, which winds itself around the camp. The 20 luxury tents are built on elevated wooden platforms and have their own private viewing deck from where hippos and other wildlife are regularly seen. During the wildebeest migration, guests are taken on full day game drives to different crossing points so they have a chance to see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River.
For more information on any of these camps or to discuss your own safari to see the wildebeest migration, please contact our Africa Experts.