2014 Wildebeest Migration is here!

Weather
 
It’s drizzling in the Mara. The grass on some plains is green and short and in other parts it’s tall with the red-oat grass.
 
The sunsets and sunrise are great. After sunset, it’s cloudy with showers of rain.
 
Temperature
 
17c morning
 
27c at midday
 
25c after sunset.
 
Migration of Wildebeest and Zebras
 
The annual migration of the wildebeest and zebras from the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Loita plains in Kenya has arrived.
 
After the prolonged drought in the country, the Mara region was greatly affected with no grass for the cattle to graze. For the herds to survive, nocturnal grazing was allowed in the eastern part of the Mara reserve, where they have consumed three quarters of the grass.
 
Hence, the migrating wildebeest and zebra do not have enough to browse on in this part of the reserve. This has affected the usual grazing pattern where the zebras come first followed by the wildebeest and gazelles.
 
This has also affected their movement pattern. The herds are moving faster in search of grass. This means that the spectacular Mara River crossing to the west of the Mara to join the Mara Triangle conservancy may happen in the next few days. The most likely places for the crossing could be at the Lookout Crossing and Paradise Crossing which is west of Mara Intrepids Camp at Mara River.
 
The Talek River crossing will likely be between Mara Intrepids Camp and the junction of Talek and Mara River.
 
The Posse and Meta plains south of Mara Intrepids Camp are full of wildebeest and zebra.
 
The wildebeest male are busy trying to establish their dominancy and mating rites.
Predators
 
Predators’ sightings have been good because of the abundant food.
 
Lions
 
The prides of lions have started grouping themselves after a long period of separation due to lack of prey. It’s a survival strategy to avoid competition where the prides break into smaller family units of three or four depending on the size of the litter.
 
The Ridge pride now consists of three groups – one of eight individuals, another with seven members and another one of nine with Blacky and Lipstick. The males in the pride are converging between Rekero and Mara Intrepids Camp.
 
Double-cross pride went through a lot of hardship due to no food and dominance from the new male lions from Olare Orok pride. They came in and kicked out Mohican and Romeo2 from the Double-cross pride.
 
The old lioness with two cubs who had a deep cut on her back leg caused by a warthog managed to escape with her cubs from the sub-adult male lions of the Ridge pride – who most likely would have killed her cubs.
 
The Double-cross pride had nine cubs. Six were killed by the new two new males who came from Olare Orok conservancy (the same ones who chased away Mohican and Romeo2).
 
Notch’s four bully boys – Roan, Ciza, Crimes and Notch2 are at Olkejuronkai with the Shonko pride south of Mara Intrepids Camp.
 
Cheetahs
 
Amani and her four-month-old cub are at Survey, south of Mara Intrepids Camp by the Olkiombo airstrip.
 
Cheetahs tend to pave way for the wildebeest migration and rally behind them where the grass has been crop down. This attracts the small antelopes like Thomson gazelle which is the cheetah’s favorite prey.
 
Leopards
 
Leopard sightings are more than cheetah ones especially along Olare Orok and Intiakitiak Rivers. Saba and Jicho, the male leopard are at Olare Orok and Lerai. Another female leopard is at Intiakitiak.
 

 

 
Saba, the last born of (late)Olive, the famous female leopard at the junction of Intiakitiak and Olare Orok river.
 
Blacky, the Ridge pride male with a wildebeest kill at Shamarta west of Mara Intrepids Camp.
 
Wildebeest crossing Talek River east of Mara Explorer Camp.
 
Double Cross lioness with cubs of different ages cross suckling.
 
Romeo2, at Double Cross during his last visit after he was chased out of the Double Cross pride and territory.
 
***Click Here to follow our Wildebeest Migration Updates
 

Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

 

This entry was posted in Annual Wildebeest Migration, General, Wildlife Update. Bookmark the permalink.

Post comments:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>