The Mara Welcomes the Migration

It’s late June and the weather’s super. Early mornings are cool and become hotter followed with clouds building up late afternoon. There’s rain on the edges of the reserve.


The Talek and Olare Orok rivers are high, but still manageable to cross. The soft and dew-drenched grass is very palatable for the herbivores. They are not so thirst-driven to the dangerous spots at the rivers and luggas where the predators usually wait for what we call ‘meals on wheels’. The rains have also filled up the pools on the plains for the animals to wallow in and quench their thirst.




Both migrations – that is of the resident wildebeest from the Loita plains and the visitors from Serengeti – are on. Sand River is very busy with the wildebeest arriving from Serengeti.


The wildebeest and zebras scouts are running around, looking confused because they are unsure which paths to follow. This is because of the tall grass covering the Mara plains. For the migrating animals this isn’t much fun because only their heads and the ears are visible, making it difficult for them to see what is around them, which can be dangerous if there’s a predator around.


The Serengeti-Mara migration is south of Mara Intrepids Camp. The animals are moving faster than usual. We think this could be due to the rain in the last few days and the fresh grass.


The residents are around Topi Plain, especially the zebra.  There are also plenty of other herds of topi, gazelles and hartebeests.


Down south by Lookout Hill, the natural land mowers are with their foals. It’s the rutting season and hence there a lot of fighting and sparring as males try to keep their females together and ward off rivals who want to snatch them away. Sometimes the males even break each other’s horns during the battles – it’s the way the game is played.




The predators are having a good time. There’s plenty of food and the best time to catch any action is late in the evening and early in the morning. The rest of the day, the cats rest in the bushes to escape the heat of the day.




The prides are looking good and healthy. The cubs are very playful.


The Olkeju-Ronkai pride is in the middle of Meta plain concealed by the tall grass, making it hard for them to be seen. The pride number 11.


The Olkiombo pride is divided in two groups. They live in the same territory. The larger pride – where Notch is always – has twelve cubs and four lionesses. Notch the grand old lion loves being with the cubs.


The second group has one cub and five lionesses.




The Ridge pride is still together and has 12 members.


The Paradise prides with three dark mane lions are still operating on both sides of the Mara River with eleven individuals.


The Marsh pride is also divided in two. The group of nine has three lionesses, three cubs aged one year and three males. The group is at Topi plain. Two of the lionesses are mating.


The other group of twenty six has the male named Scar Face with them.




Leopard sightings are good, Olive and her cub Saba  are seen be Talek and Olare Orok rivers. Bahati is operating also seen along Talek River and the plains between Talek River and Rhino Ridge.




Malaika and male cub Tante aged one and half years, and Narasha (also called Alama) with her two cubs – male and female – are around Olkiombo plains. They delight guests at Mara Intrepids Camp with good sightings.



Have you booked your safaris? We have a few slots for the wildebeest migration at Mara Intrepids, which you can combine with a safari from Samburu, and then some sun at Lamu’s most amorous hideaway, Kipungani ExplorerDownload our specials or contact us on


Heritage Hotels (Kenya) manages two luxury camps in the Masai Mara - Mara Explorer and Mara Intrepids - in the confluence of the four game viewing areas of the Masai Mara. The camps are on the banks of the Talek River, with most tents spread along the banks.  Report by John Parmsau. Pictures by John Parmasau &  Ndeithi Kariuki  ©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya.
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