Masai Mara NP and Great Migration 066

We are heading for Masai Mara National Park. We had to take an armed guide on board, apparently the road is dangerous, it is said that at this place again and again tourists are attacked. We should drop the Ranger at Amboseli National Park, from that point the route to the Masai Mara is safe.

Masai Mara
Crossing a lavae field

The gravel road to the Talek gate is no piece of cake and we loose our brake pads, find them again, and go with no brakes to the Aruba Mara Camp, which is run by the German Gerdi. We will spend a few days.

The lodge and the campsite are right on Talek River and we can sit nicely on the bank of the river and watch the animals.

Masai Mara
Campsite of Mara Aruba Lodge

Warthogs romp, and a crocodile sleeps in the shade on the banks of the river.

Crocodile viewing from our camp site

Since our dog Tara is not allowed into the National Park, we have found another solution. She stays in the car in the shade, and we drive with Moses from the lodge for a day trip to the Masai Mara. We start early.

Masai Mara
Masai Mara – Moses of Aruba Mara Lodge

Moses is a traditional living Maasai, who works at the lodge and tours the park with clients. He loads the old Toyota Land Cruiser, and off we go.

After a few minutes game drive, we already see the first wild animals. The Masai Mara has the highest density of animals in all of Kenya.

The young giraffe inspects us curiously. Quickly the mother is at hand.

Masai Mara
Masai Mara Giraffe

It is just the time of the great migration of wildebeest and zebra,which follow the rains to constantly eat fresh grass.

Masai Mara
We and Moses in Masai Mara

Giraffes do not migrate. They are not so dependent on green grass, they eat the leaves of trees which are throughout the year lush and green.

We spot a pair of ostrich. The male has jet-black plumage, the female is light brown color to be camouflaged better during incubation of the eggs.

Masai Mara
Ostrich Male

More than 2.5 million animals going to the Great Migration, which is a 1,000-kilometer circuit. 1.7 million wildebeest and 800,000 zebras move, accompanied by Thomson’s gazelle. The tour starts in the south of the Serengeti in Tanzania. In May, the animals begin to migrate gradually to the north, the young are then already large enough to endure the trek. Between August and October, they come to the Mara River, where many of the animals die. In December, they pull back on the east side, in the south of the Serengeti.

Masai Mara
Great Migration

Moses spotted cheetahs. We drive closer. We can not see exactly if they are three brothers or a mother with teenage children. Moses thinks three males who form hunting communities, because the common hunting increases the chance of good prey. Cheetahs are not territorial, they follow the wildebeest on their migration and are fast runners.

Masai Mara

We drive on, we want to the Mara River. Moses drives the cruiser with great skill through water and on the grassy plains. We enjoy the scenery and fascinating wildlife.

In the tall grass we discover a spotted hyena. It seems to be hunting. She senses in all directions for prey. But she is alone, so the hunt is extremely difficult. The wildebeest have discovered her and flee. A small group of zebras is near, maybe they are the target of the hyena. The Zebras have discovered the hyena and flee as well Not a good day for the predator.

Masai Mara

Arriving at the Mara River, a few zebras and wildebeest awaiting their chance to cross the river safely. Again and again, an animal starts an attempt, but turn around at the last second. If an animal dares, the whole group follows.

Masai Mara
Mara River in Masai Mara

Some safari vehicles have gathered at the river to wait for the moment when the herd starts. A dead wildebeest is floating in the water. Probably a group further up the river has ventured a crossing and here the wildebeest drowned. Probably fell and drowned. Now the crocodiles will grab it.The group tries it again and again, but does not dare, not without reason, because on the opposite bank there is a mighty crocodile, waiting motionless for prey.

We do not want to wait anymore and decide to make a picnic at the river. Moses explores the situation. Here it seems to be safe. Only a couple of hippos splashing in the water, not very excited by our presence.

And a crocodile takes his laps in the water. A really pleasant picnic area. But Moses knows the nature and the animals better, so we have set up a small table and chairs here.

It’s a really nice place at the river. Moses peering through binoculars, if he can find something interesting. But there is nothing to see. It’s a really nice place at the river. Moses peering through binoculars, if he can find something interesting. But there is nothing to see. Alexandra watched the crocodiles in the water, but it’s time we have to go back.

On the way back we find a lion in a tree with a lioness. An unusual sight. Even Moses had never seen anything like it.

The day is coming to an end and we are tired and come exhausted back to the lodge.