Hundreds of tourists have started streaming into the Masai Mara game reserve to witness the annual wildebeest migration.
The peak season in Masai Mara game reserve starts when the migration of hundreds of wildebeests cross from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Kenya.
A survey conducted by the Star revealed that almost all airstrips are busy as planes ferry visitors from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Maasai Mara.
This year’s migration was delayed by fires on the path used by the wildebeests from Tanzania.
Masai Mara game reserve is one of the Africa’s best known wildlife sanctuaries staggering, 1,530 square kilometres, being the home to a vast variety of wildlife.
Ilkeliani camp manager Charles Mwangi said many of these tourists are forced to pay more than they had planned to watch the spectacular migration because of this delay.
“They have no otherwise but to wait for the historical migration since they don’t want to leave before experiencing the spectacular 7th wonder of the world,” said Mwangi.
Daniel ole Kiptunen, CEO of Seasons Hotels said that nearly half of the tourists lodging at the hotel and those in transit to and from the Maasai Mara Game Reserve were locals.
“Kenyans have really learnt the value of visiting their own country,” said Kiptunen.
Kiptunen also noted that Narok town, the gateway to the world famous Maasai Mara, showed that some visitors could not find accommodation in the park and in surrounding conservancies.
He asked the government to improve access roads to the country’s tourist attractions because of its state.
Kiptunen also called upon the state to consider upgrading Ewaso Nyiro airstrip to international status so as to allow the landing of large aircrafts.
He said that the move enables tourists to directly fly to and from the Maasai Mara game reserve.
Sammy Nkoitoi, chairman of Siana wildlife conservation said that the surge of the tourists’ arrival in the country can only be boosted by positive factors like aggressive advertisement of the park.
“Let’s to market our country as the preferred tourist destination and Europe and other countries would continue being the biggest tourism source in the country for sometime to come,” he said.
The mass of over 2 million animals cover the savannah and grasslands as far as the eye can see. October to November is when the short rains begin to fall in the south and east Serengeti, so the herds start to leave the Maasai Mara, crossing the Mara River yet again, bringing all the same perils.
The annual migration of one million wildebeest (Gnu) from Serengeti National park to Maasai Mara has placed Mara on the world map to be named as one of the seven wonders of the world in 2006.
Mara the home of Kenya’s community Maasai popularly known as Maa are well known for their culture by the way of their life which provides a glimpse of Africa.