The wildebeest migration is rated as one of the world’s most incredible wildlife spectacles, and a phenomenon that should have its place on every safari lover’s bucket list. Every year, over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and antelope migrate clockwise around the Serengeti/Masai Mara ecosystem. They travel up to 3000 kilometres each year in search of rain ripened grass. It is a natural phenomenon like no other, a spectacle not to be missed and, most definitely, an event that belongs on your bucket list.
The trouble with the wildebeest migration is that it can be so unpredictable and it can be difficult to be in the right place at the right time, and you could miss the whole event. Therefore, we’ve made a list of the best places to stay to make sure you get to see a wildlife spectacle like no other without the hours of driving to spot their movements.
Where to Stay in Masai Mara, Kenya
The ideal time to stay here: August – December
The Masai Mara sits at the top of every safari lover’s bucket list. This exceptional reserve comprises 1,500 square kilometres of endless, savannah grassland. In amongst whistling thorns, white thorns, fever trees and wild olives, the great plains of the Masai Mara are home to Africa’s most majestic animals. The red grass savannahs, brightly coloured Maasai villages, interminable vistas and distinct horizons combine to ensure the most quintessential African panorama.
Perched on the edge of Africa’s Great Rift Valley is a lodge that comes as close to heaven on earth, as possible. Angama Mara, Swahili for “suspended in mid-air” boasts the best views in the Masai Mara. A place that constantly takes your breath away, where happiness reigns and peace is all-encompassing, where you literally stand on the edge of the world. Owner-managed and run by the reputable Fitzgerald family, Angama Mara is the ultimate African safari destination.
Situated in the luscious river woodland of the Ntiakitiak River, within the Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the Northern border of the Masai Mara, is the definition of grandeur and colonial opulence. Mara Plains is a lavish and magical wonderland. From the minute you step onto the rope bridge, you are immediately transported into your very own, African, home away from home. “A camp’s success is in the details,” says Dereck Joubert, CEO of Great Plains and Mara Plains is testament to this.
Perfect for: Family or friends travelling together
On the edge of the Mara Triangle, beneath the Olooloolo Escarpment, Swahili for “zigzag” lies a lush, magical oasis of giant fig and wild ebony trees that is home to an intimate, colonial, Kenyan escape. The sanctuary of comfort, shade, coolness and luxury is a welcome retreat from the heat and wide-open spaces of the surrounding savannah. Enquire now and let us plan the ultimate East African Safari for you.
Perfect for: Groups and families (children of all ages welcome)
Ol Donyo Lodge is one of the oldest and most classic of Africa’s safari destinations. Kenya’s first Relais and Chateaux lodge represents the ultimate of private, exclusive safari bliss. Located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park, it offers endless views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the savannahs below. Breathtakingly beautiful every way you look, Ol Donyo is a must for the bucket list, the ultimate luxury destination in South Eastern Kenya.
Mara Expeditions Camp
Set on the very outskirts of the Masai Mara and on the edge of the Mara North Conservancy is this unbelievable luxury safari hideout. At Mara expeditions camp you immediately become an intrepid explorer, with so much to investigate, to learn and to enjoy. The never-ending plains become your playground and the big-hearted, ever-smiling, genuine African staff… your friends. Mara Expeditions Camp has been built on a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River where the dese riverine forest meets the golden plains. It’s a place where lion calls dominate the nights…
Where to Stay in the Serengeti
The Serengeti National Park, meaning “endless plains” in the Maasai language, is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve and undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous wilderness areas. It is most celebrated as the site of Africa’s greatest spectacle, the annual Great Migration when an estimated three million antelope – mostly wildebeest — migrate to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. This epic, seasonal journey is something every safari-goer and lover of Africa should experience at least once. The Serengeti has so much to offer: from action-packed game drives, to epic hot air balloon adventures and an abundance of game that makes it the iconic safari adventure of a lifetime.
&Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp
Set in a wild and remote section of the Serengeti’s Western Corridor is a riverside paradise like no other. Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp was built for and inspired by the Great Migration as it sits minutes away from one of the key crossing points on the Grumeti River. This lush haven is the perfect way to escape from the crowds of the Greater Serengeti to relax, put your feet up, immerse yourself in nature and resign yourself to the fact that you don’t have to lift a finger in order to have the time of your life!
Perfect for: Romantic getaways and families/groups travelling together
&Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas
Set somewhere in the vast Serengeti in hot pursuit of the massive herd of the Great Migration is this unbelievably luxurious semi-permanent camp. It is the absolute ultimate in true bush immersion and wild African adventure, your very own wildlife haven set up in only the very best part of the Serengeti for that particular time of year. Escape from the real world entirely, put your feet up and relax while sharing Africa’s most famous wildlife area with its wildlife as intimately as possible.
Perfect for: Adventurous travellers and families
Alex Walker’s Serian
Alex Walker’s Serian is the ultimate mobile camping experience, with four camps in the Serengeti it will bring you as close as humanly possible to the migrating herds. Revel in the fresh air, the unspoilt bush, the wild animals and this wholly natural setting; let the harmony and tranquillity of your surroundings infiltrate you.
Close to the famous Lamai wedge overlooking the unspoilt plains of the Northern Serengeti and minutes from the mighty Mara River’s most famous wildebeest migration crossing points is this award-winning camp offering only the very best in exclusive game viewing while indulging you in remarkable luxury. Perched high up on a hill overlooking the great expanse of the Serengeti is Sayari, Swahili for ‘planet.’ And you definitely do feel as if you are on your own planet.
Singita Faru Faru
Singita Faru Faru really is something else, it is the ultimate in classic safari lodges, set in one of the most exquisite locations, boasting incredible game experiences and the very best East African hospitality. Here you don’t even need to leave the lodge, due to the waterhole the safari comes to you.
Resembling a deluxe ranch house in the midst of the African bushveld this is one Africa’s most exquisite destinations and another Singita – ‘place of miracles’. From June-September you may even have a run-in with Africa’s most phenomenal spectacle, the great wildebeest migration… something that should most definitely take the top spot on any bucket list. Witness as thousands of wildebeest make the trek from the Southern Serengeti, up North to the Masai Mara in search of rain ripened grass.
Let’s Make it Happen! Our team will make sure you get to experience a side of Africa that few others ever get to see. Contact us here for more information.