Great Migration in the Masai Mara

The Place
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. The Route SafariLink and AirKenya service 45-minute flights from Nairobi to six airstrips around the reserve.

Why Now?
Early each year, more than 1.5 million Serengeti wildebeests, accompanied by vast herds of zebra and other hangers-on, begin a 2,800-kilometer migratory circuit north from Tanzania to the savanna grasslands of the Masai Mara. Known as the Great Migration, the movement peaks in August as the animals arrive in Kenya and cross the Mara River, stampeding down its banks and across its crocodile-infested waters.

What Else?
Wildebeests aside, the reserve is home to one of the world’s greatest arrays of wildlife, including the highest density of lions in Africa. Available through most hotels, game drives, bush walks, visits to Masai villages, and—for those with a head for heights—balloon safaris are a must.

Where to Stay
Accommodation on the reserve comes in the form of tented camps. Among the best is the Fairmont Mara Safari Club (doubles from US$720), where 51 luxury tents provide front-row seating this time of year with private verandas. —Gabrielle Lipton

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2014 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“African Odyssey”)

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