Masai mara National Park is one of Africa’s most well-known and significant animal conservation and wilderness regions, notable for its outstanding lion, African leopard, cheetah, and African bush elephant populations. It also hosts the Great Migration, which has earned its recognition as one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders and one of the World’s Ten Wonders.
The reserve is located in the southwestern part of Kenya in Narok county close to Tanzania’s Serengeti national park. Masai mara is situated along the great rift valley and it was named in honor of the Masai people. The reserve was established in 1961 and it’s covering an area distance of 1510 square kilometers governed by trans mara county and Narok county.
The protection area in the Greater Maasai Mara environment is around 1,510 km2. It is the northernmost region of Tanzania’s and Kenya’s 25,000 km2 (9,700 sq mi) Mara-Serengeti environment. It is flanked to the south by the Serengeti National Park, to the west by the Siria / Oloololo escarpment, and to the north, east, and west by Maasai pastoral ranches.
Masai mara National Park’s topography is mostly open grassland with seasonal riverlets. There are groupings of the unusual acacia tree in the south-east area. It has a semi-arid climate with biennial precipitation and two separate wet seasons. Local farmers have referred to them as the ‘long rains,’ which last around six to eight weeks in April and May, and the’short rains,’ which last approximately four weeks in November and December.
Rainfall: 83 mm (3.3 in)/month; Elevation: 1,500-2,180 m (4,920-7,150 ft); 12-30 °C (54-86 °F) temperature range
From July until October or later, wildebeest, topi, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle migrate into and occupy the Mara reserve, from the Serengeti plains to the south and the Loita Plains in the pastoral ranches to the north-east. The reserve is also home to herds of all three species.
The reserve is home to the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo, black and white rhinos) may be found here all year. The black rhino population was quite abundant until 1960, but it was severely decimated by poaching in the 1970s and early 1980s, plummeting to a low of 15 animals.
The Mara and Talek rivers are home to vast herds of hippopotamuses and crocodiles. The grasslands between the Mara River and the Esoit Siria Escarpment are arguably the greatest region for lion and cheetah sighting.
The reserve is home to a number of huge predators. Lions are the most dominating and may be seen in big numbers here. Spotted hyenas are another common carnivore that may often fight for food with lions. Leopards can be found anyplace in the reserve where there are trees where they can hide.
Cheetahs may also be seen in large numbers on the wide savanna, where they hunt gazelles and wildebeest. Due to the extensive transfer of illnesses such as canine distemper and the fierce competition they face from lions, which may often obliterate entire numbers, African wild dogs are relatively scarce here.
The park is home to about 470 bird species, many of which are migratory, with over 60 of them being raptors. Vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles, African pygmy-falcons, and Kenya’s national bird, the lilac-breasted roller, all spend at least part of the year in this area.
The game viewing safaris take you down on the masai land within your 4×4 safari vehicle giving a chance to meet up with the big five land mammals and plenty of wildlife that roams within the reserve. Some of the animals you can spot include the elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, antelopes, nile crocodiles, hyenas, hippos, rhinos and many more
Hot air ballons
A hot air balloon ride above the Masai Mara is arguably the most amazing way to experience this wonderful habitat. Get a bird’s-eye view of the area and experience the Masai Mara’s splendor from above. The hot air balloon takes off from the Little Governors Camp shortly before morning, ascending as the first sunshine illuminates the Mara. Giving you the fascinating aerial view of the wildlife.
With 470 species to discover, the Masai Mara is an excellent spot for birding. Although the huge animals get most of the attention, there are some beautiful birds to be seen as well. Ostriches, the world’s biggest bird, small sunbirds, and 46 distinct birds of prey are among the many species.
A walking safari is an excellent opportunity to see the Masai Mara in the same way that early explorers did. Explore the region on foot with one of our highly experienced guides. Enjoy extra excitement as you explore the Masai Mara in search of some spectacular animals now that you are not inside a 4×4 safari vehicle.
Visit mfangano island on lake Victoria
Mfangano Island is a land location in Lake Victoria where you may unwind after or before seeing the Masai Mara. The entirely diverse setting is an excellent complement to your savanna adventures in Africa.
Cultural encounters at Masai mara National Park
The Masai have been living in the Mara for several hundred years and maintain ancient rituals and traditions, albeit with a little impact from the contemporary world. You may visit a Masai settlement, such as Mara Rianda, while in the Masai Mara.
This is a village of 48 traditional huts encircling a livestock field for the Masai. This is an excellent spot to visit if you want to learn about Masai culture and appreciate traditions and practices that have stayed unchanged for years.
Visit the mara river
Because to the yearly wildebeest crossing, the Mara River is one of the most famous in the documentary world. The river flows through Kenya’s highlands before emptying into Lake Victoria, the world’s biggest tropical lake.
This is a vital water supply for wildlife near the Mara River, and it may quadruple in size after severe rains. Birds, hippos, and crocodiles may be seen here, and the river is located in the middle of the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Witness the wildebeest migration
The wildebeest migration is an annual phenomenon in which over a million wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle move in a continuous cycle from Tanzania to Kenya’s Masai Mara, following the rains and fresh grass.
The migration is usually between July and October, and it is eagerly awaited by both visitors and predators in the Masai Mara. This is also the time of year when the wildebeest give birth, and life reverberates across the Mara. Life begins not only with the birth of wildebeest, but also with predator activity and the entrance of lions and hyenas.