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Great Migration in the Masai Mara: Perhaps a Better Alternative than Serengeti?

Every year, the great wildebeest migration sees millions of wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras journey in a circular route from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara. Often regarded as the most spectacular of Africa’s natural phenomena, the wildebeest are driven by pure instinct in search of greener pastures, making it the greatest natural show on earth. They are also accompanied by predators stalking them as they move from grasslands to wooded forests in an epic journey that crosses thousands of kilometers in an endless cycle.

Now for many travelers, one of the most frequent questions on their minds is where to best witness this phenomenon. The Serengeti hosts the bulk of the event, but a Masai Mara migration experience is also pretty amazing. In any case, there is no straightforward answer and is instead something that will be determined by examining a few similarities and differences between the Serengeti safari and a Kenya safari in Masai Mara.

WILDLIFE

Zebras and wildebeests on the fields of Masai Mara

The wildlife of both the Mara and the Serengeti is very similar. At either location, you will get to observe the Big Five, the wildebeest and other animals across the plains in great numbers, along with numerous bird species. It’s not necessarily the country that determines which animals you will see, but the type of habitat. Since the Masai Mara and the Serengeti are basically the same regions, the game viewing experience isn’t too different.

WEATHER

If you are leaning toward spending the bulk of your safari adventure in Kenya, then the Mara is the natural choice for your great migration experience. You’ll be pleased to know that the weather in Kenya varies by location, from mostly cool every day, to always warm/hot, but the climate along the coast is tropical. In Tanzania, the climate is usually tropical while the coastal areas tend to be hot and humid, especially at the start and end of the dry season.

ACCOMMODATION

Elephants on the fields of governor's camp

Both countries offer very similar accommodation options, which range from budget-friendly to all-out luxury. Several establishments also offer mobile camping to follow the Great Migration, so in this instance, your choice of where to go will usually be determined by where the herds are at that time of the year and which accommodation options are closest.

EXPERIENCE AND EXCLUSIVITY

What tourists come to learn is that it is seasonality that usually makes one destination more attractive than another. This is also the case for the camps and lodges to be found along the way, which tend to differ in terms of location, level of luxury, and safari activities on offer.

Depending on whether your accommodation is in a private concession or park, you could find yourself jostling for a prime game sighting along with plenty of other tourists, or you could experience the feeling of having the wild all to yourself. Interestingly enough, Kenya and the surrounds of the Mara have more private concessions than Tanzania’s Serengeti, which makes a Masai Mara honeymoon more appealing.

MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE FACTS

a giraffe walking the fields of masai mara

Hippos are abundant in the Mara River as well as very large Nile crocodiles, who lie in wait for a meal as the wildebeest herds cross into Kenya.

Evidence of early human establishments, including pottery and arrowheads discarded by Neolithic man 2000 years ago have been discovered within the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Scientists have identified almost 600 species of wild birds in the park, many of which are migrants. Over 50 birds of prey, including eagles, storks, and vultures, make up Mara’s abundant birdlife.

Due to the high concentration of Hyenas in Kenya, the Masai Mara has been considered as a research center for Hyenas.

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK FACTS

thick herds of wildebeests in the serengeti

The name Serengeti is derived from the Maasai word siringit, which translates to “endless plains.” This is a rather accurate description considering the whole ecosystem stretches over 30,000 square kilometers!

The park has been listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its biodiversity and ecological significance.

The Serengeti eco-system is one of the oldest on the planet, boasting a diversity of flora and fauna that is unavailable anywhere else on earth.

The expanse of the Serengeti is home to Ol Doinyo Lengai, the only active volcano in the area. It ejects mineral-rich carbonate lava that fertilizes the land.

SO IS THE MASAI MARA A BETTER OPTION FOR THE GREAT MIGRATION?

Perhaps. The migration is definitely better in Kenya if you arrive around July to August, or if you wish to explore other destinations that are nearer in Masai Mara than the Serengeti together with your Great Migration adventure. Either way, they’re both fantastic safari destinations so you can be sure of having the time of your life.

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LoveTravel259094
LoveTravel259094
August 8, 2023
Asante Gosheni and espacially Hassan Nous tenons à recommander Hassan car nous venons de passer un séjour mémorable avec lui. Grâce à son expérience, sa connaissance parfaite du monde animal et des parcs, Hassan nous a permis de voir de nombreux animaux en étant extrêmement bien placé.
Bien évidemment les big five (même le rhinocéros!), la traversée de la rivière par les gnous et bien d'autres animaux.
En faisant un safari avec Hassan vous trouverez tout ce que vous êtes venus chercher.
A l'avenir si nous décidons de refaire un safari, nous voudrions repartir avec Hassan.
Myriam D
Myriam D
August 8, 2023
Hassan is the best guide !!!! Nous avons eu la chance de faire un safari de 8 jours dans les parcs nationaux du nord de la Tanzanie avec Hassan comme guide. Hassan est un guide très expérimenté.
Grâce à lui et sa grande expérience nous avons découvert et appris énormément de choses sur la Tanzanie, les animaux, les végétaux etc. Hassan est un véritable passionné qui aime transmettre son savoir.
En plus de ses connaissances, Hassan a un véritable œil de lynx et sais débusquer le moindre animal caché.
Grâce à Hassan nous avons eu la chance de voir beaucoup d’animaux et tous ceux du « Big Five ».
Parmi tous les véhicules présents lors des safaris, Hassan sait se frayer un chemin pour nous permettre d’avoir toujours le meilleur point de vue.
Hassan sait où se placer pour nous permettre d’avoir une vue sans égal sur les animaux, en les observant de très près.
Hassan est également un excellent conducteur. La route n’a aucun secret pour lui.
C’est également un guide très attentionné, toujours aux petits soins pour nous et d’une extrême gentillesse.
Nous recommandons Hassan les yeux fermés et si nous devions refaire un safari, nous demanderons d’être guidés par Hassan sans hésitation.
Merci encore à Hassan pour ces merveilleux moments qui resterons gravés dans notre mémoire !!
bonny l
bonny l
August 6, 2023
amazing Safari experience wiz gosheni nice trip wiz our amazing guide Samir We saw all the wild animals during Safari
thx a lot for the thoughtful and excellent service
highly recommend
FENG Y
FENG Y
August 6, 2023
愉快的非洲之旅 幸运的选择了gosheni Safari,我们的向导samir服务非常好,小朋友们都很喜欢他,非洲五霸除了犀牛没有看到外,其他都替我们找到了,寻找动物经验丰富,在超远的地方就能看到目标。可以在众多的车子中抢到一个很好的观赏位,办事灵活。
Vladimir T
Vladimir T
August 6, 2023
Great experience! Great experience! Starting from the trip planning the communications were very clear and smooth to organize the tour and select itinerary. In the end we opted for 5 days/4 nights route including the Tarangire, Serengeti and Lake Manyara nations parks as well as a visit to the Ngorongoro crater. The tour itself was excellent and very punctual, here kudos to our guide Wilson who is very experienced and knowledgeable about his job and also went well beyond his duty and gave us a nice summary of country’s history. It was really a pleasure to spend time with him and we managed to see the big 5:) Accommodations were superb: great camps, an amazing farmhouse close to Ngorongoro, meals were also good and picnic lunches well organized.
In summary the experience was highly satisfying, I sincerely recommend Gosheni Safaris and to ask for Wilson as a guide.
Allison B
Allison B
August 5, 2023
Great Taste of Tanzania Had a great 5-day tour. Our guide James was very dedicated to making sure we saw amazing sights. He asked us our favorite animals to see and made it his mission to help us spot them. The food was good, the lodging was very pleasant, and enjoying a glass of wine on lunches was a nice touch. Favorite lodging was definitely the Farmhouse by Ngorongoro. Beautiful landscapes along the entire tour, covered a lot of ground and got a great introduction to Tanzania.
Sukhraj S
Sukhraj S
August 5, 2023
Gosheni number 1 What an unforgettable 6 days, courtesy of Gosheni Safari and our guide/driver Zadock!!!
I booked this holiday back in 2020 but then had to cancel due to Covid. That was after a lot of research of tour companies and finally picking Ghosheni. The time was right to get this once in a lifetime trip set up again, so working via email with William at Gosheni we compiled the agenda…he was so helpful and we settled on one day in Tarangire, one day in Lake Manyara, three days in Serengeti and one day in Ngorongoro Crater…I’m now on the way to Zanzibar after an amazing experience, Gosheni took care of the whole package for my wife, three teenage sons and I.

Our guide and driver was Zadock, a humble, honest, genuine, proud and generous man. He did absolutely everything for us, answered every question and took us to all the places to see the big five up close, hunts and more.

The food was served every lunch time as a picnic, with plates, blanket, wtc whilst others had lunch boxes. The Jeep was cleaned daily, and was extremely comfortable along the difficult rough terrain…a credit to Zadock.

Zadock had so much knowledge not only of the animal kingdom’s hundreds of species but also the history of Tanzania, Africa, politics, and social customs, we felt as though he was part of our family.

Thankyou Zadock and Gosheni, I very rarely write reviews after holidays and I have travelled extensively around the world, but these guys are special and have made this so memorable for my family and I….I recommend to everyone if you are unsure about who, how, what, these guys will sort out the whole trip and at a very reasonable price.

Well done William, Gosheni and Zadock, and I really hope you get to be recognised as the number one tour company in Tanzania!
Eric W
Eric W
August 4, 2023
Extraordinary Safari with Gosheni I am so glad to have Gosheni as our tour operator. They provide excellent service starting from arranging the tour till the end of our safari.
As our city had quarantine arrangement due to COVID-19, we were so worry about our trip. Luckily, Gosheni is so considerate and try their best endeavors to rearrange our scedule. With their assistance, everything is set and we feel comfortable for all of their kind arrangements.

During the safari, we have a terrific tour guide, Edward! He takes care of all the stuff and administration including liaison with hotels, lunch packing, other add-on safaris so that we can fully enjoy the trip.

Not only Edward spots a lot a lot of animals and birds for us, including the top 5 in the trip, he also introduces us the habitat and features of the animals and birds. We are very impressed by his rich knowledge and do enjoy listening the "stories" of the animals.

Edwward is definitely experienced and propose the best programme during the safari, e.g. he tries to maximise our time for the game drive in different locations and tribe visit. We fully trust his expertise and professionalism.

We are very happy with Edward and Gosheni. We will absolutely consider them in our next Africam safari.
Priyank S
Priyank S
August 4, 2023
Amazing Safari with Gosheni and Ombeni Our guide, Ombeni, was the best part of our trip. He is really knowledgeable, friendly, and we trusted his expertise for the whole 9 days across Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro. We were lucky to see some amazing things on our game drives. Having grown up in Kenya, I have been lucky to go on many safaris, and this is one of the best I've been on.
The food was excellent, and even on the all-day game drives we had a cooked, sit-down meal for lunch which was a big plus point. All the accommodation was excellent as well.

We had a bespoke itinerary which we planned in advance with William from Gosheni, and he was extremely helpful in answering our questions and accommodating our requests.

I would highly recommend Gosheni and especially Ombeni for future travels.
Banu
Banu
August 4, 2023
Dreams come true!!! Thanks to best guide Hassani I have been dreaming Serengeti Safari tour for a long time and Gosheni Safaris made my dreams come true. We completed our 5 days safari at the end of July and it was wonderful. We visited Central Serengeti, North Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
The company is very professional from beginning to end. Peter the owner of Gosheni Safaris helped us a lot about planning our itinary. I asked too many questions and he replied all of them everytime. Sometimes he can be in the bush and has no internet connection but be sure he always will reply your questions. Just be sure that you are in safe hands and Hakuna Matata☺️

Our guide was Hassani who is a perfect guide, safari driver, friend and everything. He always did his best to show us as much as possible. We always felt safe and witnessed lots of amazing moments by help of Hassani. Beside being a perfect safari guide, he prepared very nice lunch tables every afternoon. He is very funny person and makes lots of jokes during the safari. I higly recommend Gosheni Safaris which is best one and Hassani who is a very good guide. I want to thank Hassani in person for making our safari perfect and looking forward to meet again🙏🏻

Tips: I recommend ‘Morning Hot air Balloon safari’.

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