Once a year
The Great Migration, East Africa
“No one can return from the Serengeti unchanged, for tawny lions will forever prowl our memory and great herds throng our imagination,” wrote George Schaller, one of the world’s greatest living conservationists. This is especially true if you time your East Africa safari to witness the Great Migration – the annual 1200-mile journey made by over 1.5 million wildebeest, gazelles and zebras in search of grazing land.
Hot on their heels are hungry predators, quick to pounce on strays and stragglers as they stampede across the plains. Lurking in the river crossings are congregations of crocodiles, ready to snap up the weakest and slowest of these magnificent herds. It’s a journey of life and death, both savage and sublime for the spectators who also lie in wait along the route.
The largest over ground migration on earth straddles Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Maasai Mara, both part of a vast, cross-country nature reserve. One of the best vantage points to watch this epic journey is from Bateleur’s Camp, set in a 2,000-acre private concession on the rim of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. After a stunning renovation in 2018, this romantic camp is even more lavish than before. The tented suites, which each come with a private butler, reflect the glamour of vintage Africa.
From July to October, you can watch the wildlife sauntering or galloping across the plains from your private veranda or bathtub. Or set out on a guided game drive and get right into the midst of the action, as the earth rumbles and clouds of red dust fill the air. At dawn, take a balloon safariand marvel at the scale of the spectacle from the air. Or watch nature’s greatest show with a sunset cocktail on the Oloololo Escarpment, which commands views over the entire Masai Mara. It’s a sight you’ll never forget.
Selected images courtesy of the Bateleur Camp.