The Masai Mara National Game Reserve
Masai Mara is a national game reserve in south west Kenya along the great rift valley in Narok county contiguous with Serengeti national park in Tanzania around the Mara region with exceptional populations of lions , leopards cheetahs and elephants.
Main entries to the park
Located eastern border in Sekanani and it’s the main road from Narok town and it’s the most preferred gate
It’s the most developed in Masai Mara located in the north western side of Masai Mara
Located on the out skirts Ololaimutia town in the hilly eastern end of Masai Mara
Located north eastern end of Masai Mara and it’s not far from the Oloolo gate
Sand river gate
Located at the northern banks of the sand river on the tributaries of the Mara River. It sits on the southern border of the Masai Mara reserve, few meters from Tanzania Kenya border and also Bolongoja gate into Serengeti national park of Tanzania
It’s located in the north eastern region and it’s a short distance south of the Mara River
This beautiful destination has attractions which include;
The Mara triangle
This is located in the southern west part of the game reserve which has the Oloololo escarpment, Mara River and the international boundary which forms a triangular shape. This Mara triangle is known as a home of cheetahs, wildebeest and zebra among others. It can be accessed easily through the Oloolo gate in south west.
The Mara north conservancy
This zone is a home for leopards and a center of big cats among other beautiful wild life and it is located in the north of the Masai Mara game reserve.
The Mara River
This is located in the southern part the game reserve which has the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Olare Orok in the West, and Ol Kinyei in the East known for its large prides of lions.
This place is also good for birders because of its bird species that are in large numbers like the white headed, buffalo weaver, bush pipit among others. Mara Naboisho can be accessed by road 5hours away from the city of Kenya Nairobi
This is in the northern part of the game reserve and is best for game viewing. This is a small reserve that is home to few travelers, so it is never crowded, the views are wonderful and sightings of animals are satisfactory.
There are many species of carnivores and herbivorous, as well as birds; the landscapes are also fascinating; here, in addition to the classic game drive, you can do night game drives, walking and off the track safaris.
The best time to visit Masai Mara
For Birders the best time to visit is the months of November to April and June to October though it’s still possible to visit it any time throughout the year
For Photographers it’s possible to visit throughout the year but the best time is the months of February and March because during this period the pastures are greener and the provide amazing photography
You can visit Masai Mara at any time of the year but the best time to view wildlife is during the months of the July to October where it’s always a high season during that season and its always a great opportunity to watch the great wildebeest.
During the great wildebeest migrations is when exceptional populations of different kinds of animals move to and from the Serengeti national park to look for water and pastures every year.
To access Masai Mara National game reserve can either be by road or by air transport.
What to do at Masai Mara
Game drives which can be done all day to get a spectacular view of the wildlife and the park. It can also be done for photography and night game drives are also possible
Hot air balloons these are best for a romantic getaway and the balloon safaris at Masai Mara always take place at dawn.
Horseback safaris these always are very good where you get to feel close to nature
Bush meals and sundowners you get to enjoy a romantic dinner in the wild places of Africa and a sundowner at a scenic spot
Walking safaris and nature hikes the nature walks can be done in the main reserve while the longer walking safaris and treks can be done outside the reserve
Masai village visit here you get to enjoy the glimpse of the Masai tribe and their unique way of life
The Masai tribe
The Masai people are historically nomadic people, their houses are normally circular or loaf shaped and they are built by women. The men including the elders they determine the matters concerning them.
When a person dies in their culture they don’t burry the person, they are left in the fields for the scavengers since they believe that burying is harmful to the soil. They also measure a man’s wealth depending on the number of children and cattle
They also believe in a God called Engai or Enkai that he’s manifested in different colors with meanings but today most Masai’s are Christians and few are Muslims
The Masai diet consists on the following basic foods; fat, honey, blood, milk, meat and tree bark supplemented with maize, rice cabbage among other food crops. The skins and hides are used as bedding while the cow dung is used for building.
The great wildebeest migration
The migration happens around the month of July where the Serengeti national park of Tanzania plains dry out and the herds of animals keep moving searching for water and food. By mid august the herds will have flooded Kenya Masai Mara until the early October. This is when game viewing is at its peak.
The herds of animals move across the Mara River and some the Grumeti region where exceptional populations of animals travel every year in large numbers which makes it the great wildebeest migrations.
In the month of November the Masai Mara is green and the rains have started and the animals have gained strength and they begin moving southwards back to Serengeti where the its now also green and pastures are available
It’s essential to plan your trip early and experience the migration