migration late oct - early nov?

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Jul 28th, 2005, 05:07 PM
  #1
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migration late oct - early nov?

Next year we will be in Uganda Nov 3-20 and want to see if we can catch the migration before Uganda. I know the migration is not predictable, but do you have any recommendations for the areas and camps/lodges (we prefer tents to brick and mortar) where we might have a reasonable chance to see it? Of course we are not averse to also seeing other game on safari! Thanks!
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Jul 29th, 2005, 04:21 AM
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If you'll be in Kenya or Tanzania prior Uganda, then end October may still have the herds in the Masai Mara. But from here they should be heading back into the Northern Serengeti.

It's almost a toss up as the herds have on previous years stayed in the Mara well into November and other years, they've left by early October - the rains dictate their movement.

Depending on the number of days and your budget - oh, I don't know. I actually missed the herds in the Western Serengeti beginning of June... so who knows.

My coin toss says - Northeastern Serengeti - Migration Camp or Mbuzi Mawe which are both permanent tented camps. From either of these you can drive in many directions if the herds aren't exactly at these camps - which isn't unusual as the herds can move daily.

 
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Jul 29th, 2005, 05:22 PM
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sandi - Thanks for your coin toss choice! I would love to do both the Mara and Serengeti to increase our chances of catching the migration. Unfortunately, we don't have the time to do both next year so we'll have to chose one or the other. Have you stayed at Migration Camp or Mbuzi Mawe?
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Jul 30th, 2005, 03:48 AM
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Mbuzi Mawe had just opened when we visited the Serengeti this past June, so didn't get to see or stay here. We here on Fodor's are waiting a report from a recent visitor for more detail.

Migration Camp was last year ('04) completely refurbished and is wonderful with large tents and a special tent for honeymooners. They've retained the original staff of longtime folks who have been with the camp for years with the former owners.

You couldn't go wrong with either of these camps. But the prices can be high, and without knowing your budget - you're the ones to make this decision. Remember end-October/into November is the high-season for this area of the Serengeti.

Let us know your decision.
 
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Jul 30th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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If you're going this year, Mbuzi Mawe has rates that are significantly less than they will be next year, because it's new. If cost is a factor, I'm pretty sure it's less than Migration Camp. But I would think Migration Camp's location would be marginally better for the time of year that you're going (I think it's about an hour north of Mbuzi Mawe?). Also, Migration Camp looks a little bit nicer to me but I would defer to others (Eben) on that. We are staying at both at the end of November (Migration first, then Mbuzi Mawe). Eben (climbhighsleeplow) recently reviewed both so if you can find a thread he posted on, click on his name and it should bring up his photos & reviews. If cost is not a factor then I'd go for Migration Camp. There is another new camp which I think is called Sayari which others have mentioned as well, farther north, maybe closer to the Mara, possibly better located for that time of year.
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Jul 30th, 2005, 06:02 AM
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lisa: Thanks for the info on the camps. I'll look for eben's posting. Unfortunately we cannot go this year as we already have a 3 week birding trip planned for Madagascar in Nov and can't take anymore time off. So you also think the best bet is the Serengeti, rather than the Mara, in late Oct?
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Jul 30th, 2005, 06:59 AM
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hi, i just talked with my kenyan driver over there in the mara yestarday. he is telling me the animals are still coming to the mara. i am thinking of doing a quickie to the mara late oct. he says it's a good bet they will still be here then. seeing there are still coming. if not, no biggie.
i was just there in june. all the migration was gone. BUT, there was plenty of lion. i was still satisfied.
not sure if the first part of this reply helps or not
thx, david
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Jul 30th, 2005, 01:19 PM
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david: Thanks for the info re: the Mara. Where in late Oct would you suggest staying in the Mara? I loved both the Mara and the Serengeti, but I was hoping to go back to the Mara again.
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Jul 30th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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hi, i always stay at the talek river camp site. around the corner from the talek gate.
thats what i prefer to do.if you need some info or want to converse on this mail me at:
[email protected]
cheers, david
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Jul 30th, 2005, 03:11 PM
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hi again, came across this. thought i should put it here.
thx, david

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
News from the Maasai Mara, Kenya 26th July 2005
The Great Migration enters its third week, with wildebeest and zebra herds increasing fast. The light rains that swept across the southern Mara have drawn the herds from northern Serengeti. They had briefly settled on the recently burnt areas, but insufficient amounts of rain in those areas were not enough to make the grass sprout.

Some crossing has been noted on the Sand River, with many animals moving into the Mara from Serengeti. However, itâ€s not yet dramatic since only a hand full of animals are crossing, and low water levels making it just a walk-across. The herds have now spread out between Keekorok plains and Roan Hill, and as far as Look Out Hill.

Meanwhile, the Loita herds of wildebeest and zebras are now spread across from Musiara Gate, down to Ntiakitiak River and south to Talek Gate. Over the past seven days, they have been streaming in small numbers towards Paradise Plains, with some crossing westwards onto Mara Conservancy. Guests at the Explorer and Intrepids have enjoyed a week full of excitement and first class viewing of nature at its best, and the fun is just beginning!

PREDATORS:
The lion prides along the north bank of the Sand Riverâ€s have regrouped for the season of plenty. Known to be the largest pride in the park, they have been on a strict wildebeest/zebra diet since the herds came into their territory two weeks ago.

To the north, the Ridge pride is still very active. Our guests have witnessed many kills, even during the day in the last seven days, as the pounding hooves of the migrating herbivores keeps awakens the lions from their slumber. The old Bila Shaka pride to the north of Rhino Ridge is rejuvenated, with 9 very young cubs now.

Lately it has become easier to spot Cheetahs than has been the case in the previous weeks. Leopards are also starting to get active and their sightings have improved remarkably. Bella, the Big Cat Diary star, can still be seen around with her cub. True to our prediction, with more prey around, she is being seen more regularly.
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Jul 31st, 2005, 01:12 PM
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david: Thanks for the info and update...definitely food for thought!
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Jul 31st, 2005, 04:04 PM
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hi check this out. thought this map would be of interest.
thanks, david

http://www.masai-mara.com/mmvmk.htm
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Jul 31st, 2005, 04:15 PM
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hi again, it may not bring you directly to the masai-mara map. click on: masai-mara just above the map.
cheers, david
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Aug 6th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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hi, i am on top of it . i am going back to the mara. leaving here oct 16th. be in nairobi oct 17th. drive to the talek river camp oct 18th-oct 22nd.maybe even the 23rd. head home on the 24th.
thx, david

Thursday, August 04, 2005
News From the Maasai Mara, Kenya 3rd August 2005
The numbers of wildebeest has increased considerably in the past week. More herds crossed the border during the week, pushing the previous groups further north and west to Burrungat, Meta and Central plains. The first groups have already crossed over to the Mara triangle. The past few days have seen a few crossings on the traditional route, just below Look Out Hill with most herds heading westwards.

The Serengeti herds have meanwhile split into two groups. One group is heading north towards the Mara Intrepids and Rhino Ridge to join up with the Loita herds, while the other is heading west into the Mara triangle. The northern groups have been crossing the Talek River between Talek gate and Mara Intrepids. An earlier assumption that the amount of grass in their way would slow their pace has proven wrong. These Serengeti herds are part of the eastern migration that came right from the central plains in the Serengeti into the Mara. The western wing herds are yet to cross into the Mara. Normally these would come through the south western side of the Mara around Ngiro-are and Engoikwaatet Salt Lick. From all appearances, the concentration will be even higher this year when all these herds merge.

The Loita herds have spread out over a wider area in the past week, with some crossing the Mara River into the Mara triangle, and others headed south wards to join the Serengeti herds. If the grass on the Mara plains is not burnt, then the herds may spend more time here this year although their natural instinct to move on normally goes beyond anything else.

PREDATORS
Lion prides in the Mara are now re-grouping and going on a feeding frenzy as the herds go through their territories. The Ridge Pride, our feature over the lean period, has now become a major attraction. Their hunting skills leave a lot to be desired, what with a few older cubs overzealously trying their stalking skills even on larger animals! It is laughable to see them retreat for dear life when confronted by buffalo. But nothing to lose here; it is all part of the training and that is how hunting skills are honed.

The three main prides near Keekorok Lodge have been a daily attraction our guests from Siana. Leopards†sightings have also become a daily occurrence. Bella, our main feature star has been spotted along the Talek and Olareorok Rivers over the past week, with her son Chui a bit rarer. With more herbivores spread across the plains, cheetah activity has increased considerably, with guests getting daily treats to spectacular hunts.

OTHER INTERESTING SIGHTINGS.
Our guests were treated to a rare sighting when a python killed a gazelle, fought off a pair of jackals, only to lose it to a lion that appeared from nowhere. The lion had only seen the dead gazelle. She proceeded to pick it and had carried it briefly when she noticed the snake wrapped around it. Dropping the prey hastily, the lion was in luck when the disturbed python unwrapped from the gazelle and slithered into the bush.
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Aug 6th, 2005, 01:27 PM
  #15
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Dave: Oooo, I'm green with envy! We have to wait until next year to experience the Mara again. Thanks for all the info you're posting. Have a great time and let us know how the migration turns out at Talek Gate in Oct.
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Aug 7th, 2005, 03:48 AM
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hi, thought you were going this oct. sorry about that. yes, it really bites to have to wait so long. already thinking of maybe Feb. and again in late June. ok, i shall keep posting the info as they post the news from there.
take care, david
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