The Masai Mara National Reserve, located in southwest Kenya and measuring 1,510 square kilometers (583 square miles), is a country of beautiful landscapes, plentiful wildlife, and unending plains. The classic Masai Mara safari has numerous attractions because the reserve has a great year-round concentration of wildlife, including the famous Great Migration of almost two million wildebeest, zebras, and other antelopes.
The reserve is a photographer’s and naturalist’s dream, with elephants, buffalo, giraffes, lions, and cheetahs roaming freely among migratory wildebeest and zebra. Leopards are commonly seen, endangered black rhinos hide in impenetrable thickets, and big rafts of hippo and massive crocodiles can be found in the Mara River. Almost 450 bird species can also be seen in the park.
Along with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, it constitutes one of Africa’s most diversified, magnificent, and spectacular eco-systems, as well as possibly the world’s best safari big game viewing eco-system.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve covers 1,510 square kilometers (580 square miles) and rises 1,500–2,170 meters above sea level. When the conservancies are included, the area is at least double the size. It is home to around 95 animal species and over 570 bird species. This is the World Cup of Wildlife, and there is no better venue in the world to see what the Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Park have to offer.
Wildebeest Migration: Make sure you have a safari itinerary that includes a visit to the Maasai Mara. The migration of the wildebeests is nothing short of spectacular. It’s something you should put on your bucket list. Although Kenya is a terrific year-round destination, the best time to visit is from July through October.
MEET THE MAASAI TRIBE IN THE MASAI MARA.
The Maasai have lived in this area since they moved from the Nile Basin many years ago. In Maa, the native Maasai language, Mara means “spotted.” It refers to the many short, bushy trees that may be seen as you travel through the park’s savannah grasslands. You can visit one of the Maasai tribe’s settlements in the Masai Mara to witness how they live.
The National Reserve is home to approximately 95 mammal species and over 400 bird species. The fauna is usually concentrated on the reserve’s escarpment. You may visit Masai Mara between August and mid-October to watch the huge migration of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, antelopes, and impalas. They had most certainly crossed across from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park on the other side of the border by then. Almost 2.5 million wildebeests participate in this annual migration. Thousands of animals are crossing the hazardous Mara River in herds in search of new pasture on the other side. Crocodiles are already lurking in the shallows. This is a thrilling show that you should not miss!
MASAI MARA–MARA TRIANGLE REGION
The Masai Mara Triangle attracts visitors because it is one of the best places in the world to see animals. The Mara Triangle is traversed by the Mara River. It is the first location that the Great Migration visits after crossing from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara. You have a great chance of seeing a variety of animals here. The Masai Mara is home to the famed Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino, and buffalo). You may also observe cheetahs, servals, hyenas, bat-eared foxes, and black-backed and side-striped jackals. Hippos, crocodiles, baboons, warthogs, topis, elands, Thomson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles, impalas, waterbucks, oribis, reedbucks, zebras, and many other creatures live in the Mara Triangle.
THE MOST COMMON ANIMALS IN THE MASAI MARA
- The big five: elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo
- Migration animals: wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, antelope, and impala
- Bat-eared foxes,
- Black-backed and side-striped jackals
- Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles
- Water- and Reed Buck
FACTS ABOUT MASAI MARA
Although each year is unique and there are no assurances about how the great migration will unfold, there is a consistent trend that we can observe:
- There is a large migration in the Masai Mara and Serengeti, and it is still on the Serengeti side in July.
- From August to mid-September, on both sides, half in the Serengeti, half in Masai Mara.
- From mid-September to mid-October, mainly on the Masai Mara side (the most interesting time to go to Masai Mara).
- If you want to watch the river crossing, the Serengeti is less crowded; most people believe this to be the best spot.
ACTIVITIES IN THE Masai Mara National Reserve
- Game viewing
- Night game drives
- Visit the Maasai cultural village.
- Balloon safaris
- Bush dinner, lunch, or breakfast
Temperatures can reach 30°C during the dry season, which runs from June to November and February to March. Temperatures frequently dip to 20°C during the rainy season, which lasts from November to May, with peak rainfall in December–January and April–May. It typically does not rain throughout the day, with sunny mornings giving way to rain clouds in the afternoons and evenings.