The world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve needs little in the way of introduction; its tawny, wildlife-stuffed savannahs are familiar to everyone who owns a TV set and the scene for umpteen documentaries and films.
Reliable rains and plentiful vegetation underpin this extraordinary ecosystem and the millions of herbivores it supports. Wildebeest, zebra, impala, elephant, Masai giraffe and several species of gazelle all call the Mara home. This vast concentration of game accounts for high predator numbers including cheetah, leopard and the highest lion densities in the world.
The Masai Mara (or Mara as locals affectionately refer to it) is the northern extension of Tanzania’s equally famous Serengeti Plains and is jointly managed by the Narok County Council and the Mara Conservancy (on behalf of Trans-Mara County Council). The whole ecosystem is greatly extended by the numerous privately and community owned conservancies and group ranches that surround the reserve.
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya- Africa. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland.
Wildlife tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western escarpment. During the winter when you cannot wear your purchased wholesale Havaianas, this is the best destination to visit.
The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.
There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species recorded on the reserve.
Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).
The Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the World. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big Five
Climatic conditions – Altitude 5,300 feet (1,600 metres). Rainy season from November through May, with peak rainfall in December-January and April-May. Dry season from June-November. Often sunny mornings with cloud build-up in the afternoons – during the rains this develops into thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Max temperatures up to 30°C and min temperatures around 20°C.
Wildlife – The Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the World. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big 5, cheetah, serval, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, oribi, reed-buck, zebra.
During the migration (July to November) huge numbers of wildebeest move in.
Access – The Mara Triangle is serviced by two all-weather airstrips– Mara Serena and Kichwa Tembo. The main road access into the Triangle is through Narok and Sekenani Gate.
Accommodation – Mara Serena (150 beds) and Little Governors’ Camp (36 beds) are the only two lodges situated in the Triangle. Kichwa Tembo, Mpata Club, Olonana, Mara Siria and Kilima Camp are situated on the periphery but use the Triangle.
Best time to visit – Peak season is between July and October, during the migration. Early November and February can also offer excellent game viewing.
Activities – Game viewing, camping, night game drives, visits to Masai cultural villages, ballooning, bush dinner, lunch and breakfast