Maasai Mara National Reserve
Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the famous and popular parks in Africa. It has excellent game viewing throughout the year.
Maasai Mara is located in the far southwest of Kenya in Narok County, in about 180 Kilometers from Kenyan Capital, Nairobi. Its borders Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, forming the great Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem.
The reserve was established in 1961, and its currently covering 1,510 square Kilometers. River Talek, the sand, and the Mara River are the major rivers draining the reserve.
Both flights and road transport are the means of accessing the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Attractions in Maasai Mara
- Excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year
- Annual Wildebeest Migration
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
- The Maasai Village Visit
- Wide Varieties of Accommodations
Excellent wildlife viewing throughout the year
The wildlife viewing is superb throughout the year. The grassy plains and regular rainfall support a massive population of herbivores, in turn attracting many predators. All members of the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, black and white rhinos) are here all year round
The Masai Mara is one of the best parks in Africa for seeing big cats. Even leopards are generally relaxed, and their behavior is easily observed. Cheetahs are often spotted on the open savannah eyeing off their next meal. The yearly wildebeest migration coming through the park is one of the 7th wonders of the world.
Annual Wildebeest Migration
The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is home to the Great Wildebeest Migration, which is the largest animal migration in the world. Over 2.5 million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelles migrate in a clockwise direction across the ecosystem, following the rains searching for new grass.
They make their way from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara somewhere around July and August and usually arrive in September. Along the way, high drama is always present, as thousands of animals are taken by predators, and thousands more are born, replenishing the numbers and sustaining the circle of life. The crossing of the Mara River along the way is arguably one of the most exciting wildlife events on Earth; they usually start at the onset of high season in July, but timing depends on nature. Thus, this event is the highlight of this spectacular event. Eventually, they slowly head back into Tanzania around October.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hot air balloon ride is a once in a lifetime experience. The adventure begins just before dawn. We will pick you at the lodge and then drive to the balloon launch site. Here you will meet your pilot, receive a briefing, and watch the inflation of your balloon.
At dawn, we take off, rising as the sun rises and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take us. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude of your balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below.
The flight is for about one hour depending on wind conditions, on landing you will celebrate traditionally with champagne (well, an excellent sparkling wine), before sitting down to a full English breakfast prepared and served in the bush in ‘Out of Africa’ style. Later after breakfast, you will receive a Balloon Ride certificate of participation.
The Maasai Village Visit
The Maasai people are the few tribes in Africa that have managed to conserve their tradition and culture amidst global modernization.
See and experience the wonderful culture of the Maasai people. Visit the Maasai village for local interaction, cultural exchange, dances, fire lighting, and finally, a barbeque goat eating ceremony. In the village, Maasai women dancing will welcome you.
A guide will take you through the village, explaining in detail the way the Maasai live, their beliefs, and traditions. You will get demonstrations of how the Maasai make fire-using sticks. You will go into their houses, and you will see the full family set-up.
Finally, at the end of the guided tour, you will go to their market to have a chance to buy some items and curios made in their village. You can take as many pictures as you want while in the village.
Wide Varieties of Accommodations
Accommodations facilities play a great role in a remarkable safari experience. Accommodations in Masai Mara are of various variety; they can be categorized with either comfort (Budget, Mid-range or luxury) or structure (Camps or Lodges).
Other Activities includes:
- Bird Watching
- Night Game Drives
- Walking safari
- Horse Back Safaris
Best Time to Visit
You can visit the reserve throughout the year, but the best time to visit is June to October, during the wildebeest migration, and it’s also a dry season.