Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya
The 1510 km² Masai Mara found in south-western Kenya, is one of Africa’s prominent safari destinations. This Ecosystem holds one of the highest lion numbers in the world and this is where over 2million Wildebeest, Zebra and Thomson’s Gazelle migrate annually from that park’s Tanzanian extension (Serengeti National Park) in northern Tanzania around July to October, a migration so immense it is called the Great Migration. the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, cutting the two countries covers some 25,000 km².
The Wildebeest Migration is actually an unbelievable demonstration and a must see for any Kenyan visitor. This migration usually occurs between July and October, but this varies due to the rains. In short, the following are the major Highlights of Masai Mara:
1. Stunning Balloon Safaris
2. The Wildebeest Migration
3. Local Masai Communities
4. Private & Exclusive Concessions
5. Amazing Year-Round Game Viewing
6. Combine with the Serengeti
The Masai Mara National Reserve is only a fraction of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which includes the following Group Ranches; Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien and Kimintet.
Animal and Bird-life Masai Mara National Reserve
Wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle migrate into and occupy the Mara reserve from the Serengeti plains to the south and Loita plains in the pastoral ranches to the north-east from July to October. The “Big Five” are found in the Masai Mara, although the population of black rhinos is rigorously threatened, with a population of only 37 recorded in 2000. Hippopotami are found in large groups in the Masai Mara and Talek rivers. Cheetahs are also found, although their numbers are also threatened, chiefly due to tourist disruption of their daytime hunting. The plains between the Mara River and the Esoit Oloololo Escarpment are probably the best area for game viewing, in particular regarding lion and cheetah.
In the Serengeti, the wildebeest are the dominant inhabitants of the Masai Mara, and their numbers are projected in millions. Around July of each year these graceless animals migrate in a vast group north from the Serengeti plains in search of fresh pasture, and return to the south around October. The Great Migration is one of the most impressive natural events worldwide, involving an immensity of herbivores some 1,300,000 wildebeests, 360,000 Thomson’s gazelles, and 191,000 zebras. These numerous migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by a block of hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena.
Antelopes can be found in the park, as well as Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, impalas, topis, elands, duikers and Coke’s hartebeests. Large herds of zebra are found through the reserve. The plains are also a home to the typical Masai giraffe as well as the common giraffe. The large Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders. The Masai Mara is a major research centre for the spotted hyena. in addition, over 450 species of bird life have been identified in the park, including vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, horn bills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested Eagles, African pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird of Kenya.
Accommodation Facilities around Masai Mara National Reserve
There are a number of lodges and tented camps for tourists inside the Reserve and the Conservation area borders. The tourists/visitors cater for their own expenses unless previously arranged by Speedway Safaris.
Lodges and camps inside the Reserve include Mara Serena, Governor’s camp, Keekorok, and Sarova Mara. In the Conservation area are Royal Mara Safari Lodge, Siana Springs tented camp, Mara Sopa, Elephant Pepper, Mara Simba, and Sekenani camp. Mara Serena Airport, Musiara Airport and Keekorok Airport are located in the Reserve area of the Masai Mara. Mara Shikar Airport, Kichwa Tembo Airport and Ngerende Airport are located in the Conservation area of the Masai Mara.