Hoteliers operating in the Maasai Mara game reserve are recording increased bookings thanks to a shift in the migration pattern of wildebeest to Kenya from neighboring Tanzania.
The famed migration kicked off earlier than usual this year with conservationists and ecologists pointing at change in weather patterns for the latest phenomenon.
The wildebeest migration, described as one of the seven modern wonders of the world, involves mainly wildebeests and zebras crossing to and from the Serengeti National Park in neighboring Tanzania.
The wildebeest migration spectacle normally begins in mid-June and continues to September. But this year, the gnus started their long trek at the end of last month, which is linked to prolonged dry weather that has reduced pastures in Tanzania’s northern Serengeti, prompting the animals to cross to Kenya.
The plains are already flooded with thousands of Wildebeest, much to the delight of the Lions, cheetahs, Leopards and Hyenas.
According to Alphaxad Mwangi, the Serena hotel manager, stakeholders in the tourism industry are optimistic of improved fortunes during the migration period but are concerned about the impact of the change in the early migration cycle.
Joseph Kima of Bateleur camp says increased tourism numbers have a positive impact on the Narok county government.
The gnus move from Tanzania to Kenya in mid-June for pasture moving from Kenya to Tanzania in September to breed. The gnus spend three months in the Maasai Mara and nine months in the Serengeti.