Masai Mara Game Reserve
Situated on Kenya’s south-western border with Tanzania, the Masai Mara is perhaps the world’s most famous wildlife area – an extension of the famous Serengeti plains and one of the few areas where animals can be seen in the large numbers that existed a hundred years ago.
Lying at an altitude of around 5500 ft, the habitat is predominantly open grassland plains dotted with trees and thickets, and incised with forested drainage lines. The Mara and Talek rivers flow, or hold water, throughout the year, sustaining the vast wildlife population. The diverse habitat enables many different species to co-exist, including the Big 5 – elephant, black rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard and it’s not uncommon to see some 30 species of larger mammal on a three or four day Masai Mara safari. The birdlife too is impressive with over 500 species recorded.
The Masai Mara is particularly impressive when the annual wildebeest migration is in residence. The migrating herds of zebra and wildebeest usually arrive sometime in July and remain until late October. During this time, the herds often cross back and forth across the Mara River. These river crossings can be very dramatic with crocodiles and lion waiting in ambush. The Masai Mara is also known for its excellent ‘big cat’ viewing, and plays host to the BBC’s popular Big Cat Diary series. Even outside of the ‘migration season’ the Masai Mara safari region offers spectacular game-viewing, particularly the larger predators – lion, leopard and cheetah. Although the Masai Mara attracts a huge number of visitors, and it is difficult to have this game-viewing paradise to yourself, there are selected areas which offer a more exclusive experience.
The whole Masai Mara safari region encompasses the official Masai Mara Game Reserve, as well as a series of Maasai-owned group ranches and private conservancies that border the reserve to the north. There are no fences between properties and outside the National Reserve itself, the wildlife mixes freely with the local Maasai people, who can often be seen tending their livestock. The Maasai, a very proud people, are an integral part of the ‘landscape’.
Safari camps which lie outside the reserve itself may offer walking safaris as well as game drives. Horse riding trails are also available, whilst limited private safari houses are perfect for families.
For more information on Masai Mara safaris please call us on 01787 888590 or contact us to speak to one of our safari specialists.