Reporter’s Diary: How we covered the 2021 Maasai Mara wildlife migration

As the sun set on our news team’s final day of reporting on 2021’s annual wildlife migration in the beautiful Maasai Mara, we took a moment to reflect on our time working in this fragile ecosystem.

Reporting on the annual wildebeest migration in this part of southern Kenya is a difficult experience to forget. Some of the moments that stand out most are the expected ones: those high-drama scenes like watching hundreds of wildebeest streaming across the Sand River, avoiding crocodiles and other predators, watching a leopard cub feast upon a Thompson’s gazelle high up in the branches of a tall tree.

But there are also those more quiet, humble moments. The gentle charisma of simple antelopes, or the dazzling brilliance of the Mara’s many colorful birds, like the lilac-breasted roller. 

There’s also something very special about the peace and serenity of this protected nature area. Going to bed at night under the shelter of a simple tent, with nothing but a thin layer of canvas separating you from the immense wildness of the great outdoors. Waking up to a chorus of birdsong in the early morning before getting ready to head out onto the grasslands for another day of wildlife reporting.

But beyond flashy footage of ferocious animals and majestic landscapes, what sticks out most is all the careful work that goes into maintaining the delicate balance of the Maasai Mara. Like making sure that tourism, which is a vital economic activity here, doesn’t come at the expense of agriculture or livestock rearing. Or making sure that the wildlife that call the Maasai Mara home don’t come into conflict or friction with the human populations that also inhabit it. 

It’s safe to say that the CGTN Africa news team will not soon forget the experience of reporting on this incredible spectacle, and will look forward to continuing to do so in the years to come.