Inside Information from our Team:
Antony Kiplagat, Guide at Elewana Sand River Masai Mara, updates us on this year's Migration
Born in Kenya, Antony knew at the age of 13 that life in the bush and following in the footsteps of his Dad was for him and he too became a guide. As the community chair of his local environmental committee and with an intricate understanding of the delicate balance of nature, Antony works to preserve the bush.
Antony shares some insight to this year's migration...
This year’s migration was one of the most unique and incredible events I have ever witnessed, both in terms of the numbers and how it transpired. The ‘great migration’, as this assemblage of nomadic hoofed animals is known, has over 1.3 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and more than 400,000 gazelles. It is the last great land migration on earth. Their perseverance following grazing pastures takes them on a journey around 1,600 km a year.
The Covid-19 pandemic is undoubtedly a life-changing event for of our generation, however for wildlife and nature there may have been short-term benefits. With the exodus of tourists, nature within the Maasai Mara had a breath of fresh air and returned somewhat to its natural authenticity, often seen in low season.
This year’s quieter tourism season made it possible for wildebeest to roam freely at their natural pace, unhindered. They had easy access to the red oat grass that had grown enormously due to the heavy rains and lack of human disturbance, resulting in numbers never recorded before. One of my highlights was witnessing a major crossing of about 10,000 wildebeest, without another vehicle in sight. Another was at Little Sand River camp where we saw a crossing just next to the deck with a big male lion in pursuit.
As Guides, we are passionate about the wild spaces we operate in and being able to share our knowledge of these incredible places and their inhabitants. When our guest’s leave, they take with them memories to last a lifetime. There is no better place to witness the great migration than from the luxury of Elewana Sand River Masai Mara, lying on the northerly route of the spectacular annual migration. The excitement of waking up before the sunrises, heading out on an early morning game drive and enjoying a bush breakfast surrounded by animals, is all part of this unforgettable experience. A day is never complete without a sundowner and watching the sunset over this indescribable landscape. The colours, the smells, and the sounds are all a feast for the senses.