August 2013: The great migration (Mara river- Tanzanian side)
In August we spent five nights in the far north of the Serengeti in a new Asilia Africa camp, Olakira Lamai, at the Lamai wedge not far from the border with Kenia. I can highly recommend the area and the camp. Richard John, the camp manager was great and with Messenga we had a fantastic guide.
Northern Serengeti is where you have to be to have the best view of the spectacular crossings of the wildebeest over the Mara river as part of their annual migration. The wildebeest often cross several times a day in both directions. When it is raining, they get confused. You also need some patience!. Sometimes the wildebeest look as if they are just about to cross but after a while they decide to turn round and move on. More than once we saw the smaller group of wildebeest that was already at the other side of the river crossing back to rejoin the large group that had decided to move on.
People often think that the Mara river is located only in Kenia's, Masai Mara. A large part of the Mara River is however located in Tanzania. Around Lamai, the Serengeti is desolated. You are over 100km north from Serenora where 90% of the tourists to the Serengeti are and more importantly you are far away from the traffic jams at the Kenian side of the Mara river .
We had seen the wildebeest crossing the Mara in Kenia in 2011 surrounded by 60+cars but on the Tanzanian side the experience is so much better. Once it was us and just one other car and we were in the prime spot when they started crossing. The crossing lasted for over 1.5 hours.
The wildebeest get very excited at a crossing point and some become suicidal and can't wait for their turn to cross and just jump from high up onto the other ones.
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