Kenya Olonana 2

The Masai Mara Reserve is legendary for its abundance of wildlife. Big Cat country all year round, and it's also the stage for the biggest show on earth - the Great Migration.

From around July to October, millions of grunting wildebeest and zebra blanket the plains, often crossing the Mara River and moving between Tanzania and Kenya. The rich ecosystem attracts a stunning variety of bird and animal life. Take a game drive and follow antelope, bat-eared foxes, and crop-eared caracal. Find hidden spots where elephants roam. Search for that pride of lions on the hunt for prey. Spot birds from the 300 species that the Mara is famous for.

Olonana Migration Sep 2014


The Great Migration is still present in the Masai Mara this month, with many dramatic river crossings with huge crocodiles preying on the zebra and wildebeest as they try to cross the river.

There were many lion cubs around and buffalo, elephants, cheetahs, hyenas and lions were seen every day this month.

Masai Mara Migration June 14


The famous Great Migration has begun in the Masai Mara. Many wildebeest and zebra were spotted; and river crossings were seen too. The images of the migration were taken by Sanctuary Retreats' guide, Nelson, on Monday 16 June, 2014.

Sanctuary Retreats has a permanent camp in the Masai Mara - Sanctuary Olonana; as well as the seasonal Masai Mara Camp. This small and intimate tented camp is open from the end of June to the end of October each year and offers guests a front row seat to the Great Migration in Kenya.

Lion, cheetah, hyena, buffalo and elephant were seen every day during game viewing activities; and leopards were seen on 10 days of the month.

Olonana Lions

sightings - APRIL 2014

The beautiful Masai Mara presented Olonana guests with another month of incredible sightings - lion, buffalo, elephant and also hyena were spotted every day in April.

Much to the delight of guests - the vague leopard was seen quite often; while graceful cheetahs were spotted over a large part of the month. What a stunning month of game viewing!

Olonana Buffalo

sightings - MARCH 2014

Lions, buffaloes, elephants and hyenas were spotted every day in March - what a brilliant treat this was for guests at Sanctuary Olonana! Cheetahs were quite frequently seen - completing the incredible game viewing experience for which Olonana is so well known.

Leopards were quite shy this month and were only seen a few times. Overall, a stunning game viewing month in the Masai Mara!

Olonana - Feb 2014

sightings - february 2014

The migration has moved on, which means the lions and other predators in the area are having to roam further for food and yet our guests were able to see lions almost every day of the month. At this stage, the lions prefer hunting smaller animals like warthogs. Our guides have also spotted lots of new-born animals, like lions cubs, Thomson's gazelles, elephants and the resident wildebeests' calves. We've also been lucky enough to see plenty of cheetah, buffalo and hyena.

Olonana - Dec 2013

sightings - December 2013

December was an unusual and great month for sightings as the migration returned to the Mara in the first two weeks of December.  Guests were lucky enough to see a few river crossings and not even during "normal" migration season. The rest of the game viewing over the same period was unparalleled, with lions, buffalo and elephant  spotted every day of the month.

Olonana - Nov 2013

sightings - november 2013

The Masai Mara is still offering incredible game viewing, even though the migration has moved further south. Sightings of lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, hyena and cheetahs are regular. There also still plenty of plains game like zebra and impala around. The resident hippos in the river right in front of the camp provide day-long entertainment and background music, as guests enjoy a scrumptious meal or drink on the main deck area.

Olonana - Oct 2013

sightings - october 2013

By October, the main herds of both migratory wildebeest and zebra were located in the watershed area of the Masai Mara. Though a significant portion of the herds were located throughout the Southern Mara and Northern Serengeti ecosystem. There are also still plenty of predators in the area including lion, cheetah and hyenas. It seems like the area is going through a dry spell and with less palatable grass areas, there are lots of territorial disputes even with antelope families which is a rare sighting.


Olonana - sept 2013

Sightings - September 2013

The migration is in full swing with thousands of wildebeest and zebras crossing the Mara River on a daily basis. As usual, the crocodiles are never too far as they wait to catch an easy meal.  Even if the wildebeest and zebras manage to get to the other side of the river safely, they still face plenty of predators like lion, leopard and cheetahs. The more than 470 species of birds in the Mara ensure our guests have  enjoyed some great bird sightings including vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles, African pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird of Kenya.

Olonana - Aug 2013

Sightings - August 2013

This month has seen phenomenal game viewing. The migration is still in the area, which means predators including lion and cheetah are around and looking for an opportunity of the next meal. To the delight of our guests, our expert guides spotted lions, buffalo, elephant and hyena every single day this month! Other highlights include: a lioness up a tree with a baby buffalo kill, a cheetah mother with 6 new born cubs, the wildebeests crossing the Mara river for almost six hours straight, and guests spotting wildebeest crossing the river right next to the camp's dining area - all while having a delicious breakfast.