Migration in the Mara
The air around you resounds with the hooves of a hundred thousand wildebeests and zebras crashing against the ground. Something about the urgency of it all reminds one of the rhythms of war drums. The dust rises high as the big cats watch attentively, singling out their next prey and the whole scene is backlit by the sun in the most extraordinary manner. It is definitely an experience of a lifetime. One that would imprint itself on your mind forever.
The scene unfolding before you is one of the most stunning phenomenons naturally occurring in the wild. It is the Great Migration. An exodus of wildebeests, zebras and many other mammals in search for greener pastures. It is a journey fraught with danger as carnivores and scavengers wait eagerly to feast on the unfortunate.
- A four-night/five-day in the heart of Masai Mara
- An exclusive experience with the optimal number of people per safari vehicle
- A stunning professionally guided Tour to Kenya’s best-known wildlife reserve in the peak season
- A wealth of natural history learning
- A fun and highly interactive environment without any barriers
Every year millions of ungulates such as wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes embark on an odyssey covering more than 500 km in the Serengeti ecosystem. This is an endless journey in search of water and greener pastures. The sound of their hooves and the red dust rising high has become a defining symbol of the region.
The sheer abundance of the fauna during this time is vertiginous, with numbers so large that it is impossible to visualize. The migrants include over 1 million wildebeest and zebra, close to 400,000 Thomson’s gazelle and around 12,000 elands. These animals join the herbivore residents of the area which are made up of elephants, giraffe, topi, buffaloes, waterbucks, etc. In addition to the already existing pathos and drama, are the multifarious predators hungrily eyeing their next prey. Meat-eaters and scavengers of all forms and sizes eagerly await their share in the exotic buffet.
If the word ‘resilience’ were to be animated and brought to life, the Great Migration would be it. These animals mate, give birth, nurse, and feed, all while being on the move and escaping the jaws of death at every turn. Masai Mara acts as a stage for the riveting and thespian lives of the animals and we are merely a privileged audience lucky enough to witness the great spectacle at such close range.
Rightfully dubbed the ‘Mecca of Wildlife’, the Masai Mara National Reserve is home to a miscellany of mammals, reptiles, and birds. This Tour is perfectly structured to maximize the sightings of all the wildlife that Mara has to offer.
Being the backdrop for the famous BBC Big Cat Diary series, Masai Mara is known for its sightings of the ‘Big Five’ – Elephants, African Buffaloes, Lions, Rhinoceros, and Leopards. Our daily game drives increase our chances of spotting any or all of these magnificent beings.
This Tour is timed perfectly with the movement of the wildebeests and their co-migrant companions and foes. The absolute zenith of the Great Migration safari experience is definitely the epic river crossing. It is the scene we have all watched in great rapture on various wildlife documentaries.
Hordes of ungulates arrive at the banks of the Mara river, with the promise of greener pastures just beyond. However, this part of their journey is fraught with life-threatening dangers. The biggest threat being the powerful and imposing jaws of the Nile crocodiles as they eagerly wait to treat themselves to the annual surplus. Moreover, the tempestuous river promises to be an onerous swim with a steep climb back to the shore on the far bank.
Having a front row seat to the various happenings of the Great Migration assures you an adrenaline packed, once in a lifetime experience. It is a memory that you will cherish and hold on to forever; a memory that you will fondly recollect many years later; a memory that is so deeply imprinted within you, you will want to keep going back to the land where it all began. After all, it is not everyday one gets to roam around a wildlife ridden savannah.
After arrival at Nairobi and completing the immigration formalities, the group will depart for the world famous Masai Mara National Park. We check-in to the lodge at lunchtime and after a fulfilling meal, we set out to explore Masai Mara on the evening game drive. Later in the night, we return to our accommodations at the resort.
We spend the entire days in Masai Mara on full day game drives. All meals and stay will also be at Masai Mara.
We check out from the lodge at Masai Mara and travel back to Nairobi. The group will be dropped off at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to board their respective flights back home.
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
- Road transfer from Nairobi to Masai Mara and back as per the Tour itinerary
- All safaris and reserve entrance fees
- Accommodation on twin-sharing basis in comfortable tents or rooms as per the Tour itinerary
- All scheduled meals while on the Tour
- Services of a driver-cum-naturalist
- Services of the Toehold Skipper
- One-litre bottled water per person, per day, while in transit and on safari
What’s Not Included?
- All travel expenses between your home and Nairobi Airport
- Any kind of personal expenses, optional tours or extra meals ordered
- Insurance, laundry and phone calls
- Any kind of drinks (including bottled water)
- Visa expenses
- Yellow fever and polio vaccination charges
- Optional tour to a Masai village and balloon ride
- Anything that is not included in the inclusions list
- USD 500 as booking amount
- Remainder to be paid 45 or more days before the departure date
All figures per person.
- 20% of the Tour fee 45 or more days before the Tour
- 40% of the Tour fee between 44 and 31 days before the Tour
- 80% of the Tour fee between 30 and 16 days before the Tour
- 100% of the Tour fee within 15 days before the Tour
Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.
Who should participate in this Tour? What are the eligibility criteria?
This Tour is open to everybody of a minimum age of 18 (unless accompanied by a guardian), and anybody enthusiastic about wildlife and/or photography will enjoy it. Apart from interest, fitness, a valid passport, valid yellow fever vaccination card and proof of polio vaccination, there are no other requirements. However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend you be familiar with at least the basics of photography. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
Are yellow fever and polio vaccination mandatory?
Yes; vaccination against polio and yellow fever is mandatory in many countries including India. Please talk to us for advice on how to get one.
Are earlier yellow fever and polio inoculations valid?
Yellow fever vaccination is valid for a period of 10 years from the date of administration, and polio vaccination is valid for a year. Please check your vaccination cards to verify validity. Please note that the vaccination must be valid as on the date of your return to your country after the Tour.
How different are our Group Tours from ordinary Tours?
Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven’t experienced themselves, our Group Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of an experienced naturalist. The common ingredients in all our Group Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are nature lovers, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.
How sure are you about sighting wildlife on this Tour?
Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings were unsatisfactory. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings – especially of leopards – are guaranteed.
What equipment do you suggest on this Tour if I want to make photographs?
A wide-angle or normal zoom is a staple for landscape and general photography. For birds and mammals, a focal length of at least 300mm is usually necessary. An additional 100mm often proves very effective especially for birds. However, if you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. What’s more, you enjoy a 10% discount on any equipment you hire for the Tour. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer.
What do I do if I do not have the requisite equipment?
If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer. What’s better, you enjoy a 20% discount on all equipment hired on our Toehold Outdoors Group Tours!