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.
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