Mara buzzing with tourists as wildebeest migration kick off
It’s all systems go as the long-awaited wildebeest migration finally kicked off heralding full tourist bookings in Lodges and camps in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.
Maasai Mara chief park Warden Stephen Ole Minis said the widely anticipated spectacle was delayed for several weeks compared to previous years, as the precise timing of their movement is entirely dependent on seasonal rainfall patterns.
Speaking at the sand river crossing point at the border of Kenya and Tanzania, Minis said international demand for travel to Kenya to see the Great Migration is exceptionally high at the moment surpassing the bed capacity.
Minis said Hotels ‘at the Mara are fully booked ahead of wildebeest migration that will start anytime now, as big herds of Wildebeests are building up along the sand river in Tanzania.
However, the epic migration that started on Saturday has signaled loads of tourists in the Mara to witness what is famously called the ‘eighth wonder of the world.’
A spot-check in three top lodges in the Mara, MGM Muthu-Kekorok Lodge, JW Marriott villas and Sarova Mara camp are fully booked for the next two months, posing challenges for operators looking to secure space for clients eager to witness the migration during Kenya’s peak season.
Managers in the above hotels Yajit Kumarr and Stephen Shunai (MGM Muthu), Fairman Muhingi (JW Marriott) and Nicholas Maina (Sarova Mara) say there is difficulty in securing bed nights, especially at the top-end lodges who have had many pandemic-era bookings from 2020 and 2021 bumped into 2022 and beyond.
American tourists who were in the Mara for a honeymoon holiday Hallie and Zac Yeni from Philadelphia PA, in USA say they have had the experience of their lifetime in the Maasai Mara and hailed Kenya as the safest destination in the world.
The two who work as Commercial Real Estate developers and Social Workers respectively, say they enjoyed the natural habitat, with a lot of wildlife, fresh air and safe to be unlike back at their home where the environment is so polluted and a lot of crime.