Bushtops Camps head ranger Daniel Lomoe anticipates an epic encounter. It is many years since we have seen the Mara swollen with so much water. The river is running in rapid torrents, making the perilous crossing more dangerous than ever. Any massed grouping of wildebeest is thrilling to see, but the prospect of thousands of tonnes of energized herbivores making a desperate surge through the currents and crocodiles promises to make the greatest show on earth doubly spectacular.

Initially, we thought there might be an early migration, but ample rains have led the herds to pause. This is frustrating for those who anticipated an early arrival from the massed animals (last year they reached the Mara River in early June), but an exciting prospect for others: now we expect large migratory herds attempting river crossings throughout August, lasting well into September and October. Small pockets of wildebeest have arrived in the Mara through sand river and we continue to game drive towards the large herds from Serengeti Bushtops.

It is all rather reminiscent of 2012, when heavy rains generated ample food and water in the southern Serengeti, delaying the migration. Like then, however, we know the herds will be driven onwards, pressured by new arrivals, the search for new grazing, and the desire to produce springtime babies in the Southern Serengeti. Even wildebeest have traditions!

Slowly, however, the herds from the western corridor are beginning to move, with Tanapa rangers telling us they have reached the Ikorongo game reserve, en route to the Northern Serengeti. North of Serengeti Bushtops, herds of elephant can be seen and heard on the move, disturbed by (and running away from) the noisy wildebeests.

So for now, the migration is moving at its own pace, in control. Only the older ones know that soon, every one of them faces a timeless challenge and perilous river crossing.

We’ll be watching!

Contact us for last minute space to see the migration this August or September.

Update courtesy Bushtops Camps.