MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

Covering an area of over 1,500 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya. 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...

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 by tourists. The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeests 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). Other game include hippopotami, cheetah, Grant’s gazelle, impala, topi, Coke’s hartebeest, giraffe, Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox. However wildebeest are by far the dominant inhabitants of the Masai Mara.

Their numbers are estimated in the millions. The Great Migration starts in July each year when well over one million wildebeest along with large numbers of Thompson’s Gazelle, zebra and other herbivores migrate from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to fresh pastures in the north and then back south again in October.

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.

Masai Mara Attractions: Wildlife 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species have been recorded including annual wildebeests migration involving over 1.5 million animals. 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.

Best time to visit - Peak season is between July and October, during the migration. Early November and February can also offer excellent game viewing.

Getting to Masai Mara: Main roads are all weather. Game viewing trucks can only be used by four wheel drives during the rainy season. The main road from Mai mahiu to Narok is currently under construction. 

Three airstrips serve the Mara:- Keekorok, Olkiombo, and Musiara all of them murramed.

Where to Stay: Maasai Mara has a range of accommodation to suit all budgets, tastes and interests. There are very basic campsites where you can pitch a tent and sleep under canvas in the wild, well appointed safari

Activities: Game viewing, camping, night game drives, visits to Masai cultural villages, ballooning, bush dinner, lunch and breakfast

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