Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya. Masai Mara covering more than 1,500sq km is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya. It is located in the Great Rift valley in open grassland. Wildlife is most concentrated on the reserves western escarpment.
The annual wildebeest migration is the key attraction involving more than 1.5 million animals which arrive in July and leave in November. The swampy land provides more access to water and less access to tourists. The eastern end is closest to Nairobi and hence easier to access. The reserve has close to 100 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and more than 400 species of birds.
Masai Mara is an area of gently rolling hills, woodlands and acacia trees, watered by the Mara and Talek rivers and opens onto the Serengeti plains of Tanzania. much of the wildlife can be divided into birds mammals and reptiles. Mammals in the game reserve are cheetah, leopard, hyena genet, jackal, mongoose, serval wild dog, baboon.bush baby, monkey, hino, zebra, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, warthog, antelope (bushbuck dik-dik duiker eland, gazelle, hartebeest, impala, klipspringer, kudu, oribi, reed buck,roan antelope,topi, waterbuck and wildebeest).
The general location of animals depends on the habitat . Vegetation varies according to the type of soil and drainage, but is also influenced by fire raining and grazing animals. ‘Grassland’ is most common, especially in areas of poor drainage frequent fires or heavy grazing. ‘Bushland is vulnerable to fire and foraging elephants and its also a favorite for rhinos. ‘woodland is populated with acacia trees with rich edible leaves-monkeys and giraffes can be found. river are homes for crocodile and hippos.
Accommodations are available at the various lodges in the Mara- keekorok, Mara Serena, Mara Sopa- and camps such as fig tree, Governor’s Intrepids club, kichwa Tembo Mara Buffalo, Mara Cottar’s, Mara river and Mara Sarova.
What to do at the Masai Mara
The Maasai Mara, one of Kenya’s main tourist attractions is famed for being the unruffled habitat of lions, cheetahs, zebras, and the famous wildebeest migration which is considered one of the seven natural wonders of the modern world. There are many activities that make the Mara a spectacular travel destination.
The balloon safari gives you a magical birds-eye view of the stretching savannah. These rides which often take place in the wee hours of the morning, are even more epic as you get to catch the sunrise whilst watching scores of animals below you. Most balloon safaris culminate with an exquisite champagne breakfast.
A guided walking safari through the untamed beauty of the Mara is another worth while experience. The guides are often very knowledgeable so each step you take brings a new fact about world famous mara game reserve . The walk is an adventurous way to interact with the mara locals and come up close and personal with some of the animals.
The Mara is also a perfect location for exciting game drives through the reserves. During these drives you come across a plethora of animals and get wonderful views of the vast savannahs 8 plains of the Mara Game Reserve. The aim of game drives is to get you upclose 8 personal with the animals for your viewing pleasure. It is during these drives that you are likely to meet teams of animals undertaking their normal activities; catch the thrill in a predate on prey chase and kill or enjoy the extraordinary beauty that is in the world renowned mara topography.
Catch the scintillating view of the sun as it goes down as you enjoy a soothing cold drink while watching it go down the horizon. This is certainly one of Mara’s most breathtaking experiences.
Some guidelines when staying at the Masai Mara Game Reserve are useful:
- Keep noise to a minimum to avoid disturbing the wildlife.
- Listen and enjoy the natural sounds of the Mara.
- Do not litter or remove any plants, wildlife or other items.
- Don’t feed animals or take pets with you.
- Leave your vehicle or camp at designated areas.
- Don’t light fires unless permitted.
- Don’t hang out of your vehicle or sit on the roof.
- Don’t try to stroke passing cubs.
- Use a local driver or guide-they are familiar with the area
- If you drive yourself, remember animals have right of way.
- Keep to the speed limit of between 30 and 50kph
- Make sure your vehicle is reliable and carry a map, spare tyre and toolkit
- Don’t travel before sunrise or after sunset