Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya, Big Five watching.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, also sometimes spelled Masai Mara and locally known simply as The Mara, is a large national game reserve in Narok, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honour of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area, who migrated to the area from the Nile Basin. Their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara” means “spotted” in the local Maasai language, due to the many short bushy trees which dot the landscape.
Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, with its populations of lion, leopard, cheetah and African bush elephant ( Big Five). It also hosts the Great Migration, which secured it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the ten Wonders of the World.
The Greater Mara ecosystem encompasses areas known as the Maasai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Triangle, and several Maasai Conservancies, including Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Mara North, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet.
Car Rental to Explore Masai Mara National reserve?
Planning to explore Masai Mara National Reserve requires you to book a strong reliable 4×4 Landcruiser and 4×4 Africa doesn’t recommend Safari vans to Masai Mara!
Dont miss to undertake the Kenya Safari to visit Masai Mara National Reserve the home to the big five watching in Kenya. We do offer the best required car rental services to explore Masai Mara . Check on the discounted rental deals to explore east Africa with 4×4 Africa.
Safari activities in Masai Mara National reserve.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve has been listed several times as one of the world’s Natural Wonders. It is one of the best places to spot wildlife in Africa and each year, hundreds of thousands of tourists visit to see some of Africa’s famous mammals.
Game drive in Masai Mara National Reserve
As noted earlier, the Masai Mara is one of the best places for game viewing in Africa. The Mara Eco-system offers opportunities not only to spot Africa’s famous wildlife but also to take great photos and videos. Game drives occur throughout the year and are arranged in areas with the highest concentration of wildlife. A typical game drive is carried out in standard tour vehicles with a retractable roof and can start in the morning or afternoon. The morning game drives start at 6am. It is the time when most animals are active and in very large numbers as they head out to eat. The afternoon game drive starts at 2:00pm and goes on up to 6:30pm. The best place to view wildlife during the afternoon game drive is at the watering holes as they come to quench their thirst.
Regardless of whether you go for the morning or afternoon session, expect to see all the big 5 mammals, zebras, giraffe, hyenas, elands and gazelles. Cheetahs are in plenty and well adapted to the Mara but you can also see black rhinos. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is the best place to observe cheetahs in Africa. The highlight of any game drive is observing one of the big cats pull down a zebra or wildebeest. After the game drive, an arrangement can be made to have picnic lunch in the middle of the African wilderness.
Apart from the day game drives, it is possible to also go for a night game drive in the clear night skies. The night game drive starts at 6:00pm and ends in the dark hours of the night. Night game drives provide an amazing opportunity to observe leopards, lions and hyenas tracking their prey.
You can also get to see nocturnal mammals and birds. Herbivores mammals remain alert and on tension in the night because they have to be alert for potential predators. Night game drives can only be done in the private Conservancies and with the help of Guides who know where to find the animals.
Night Game drive
With over 500 species of birds, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is a birders paradise. You can look out for giant ostriches or check out the birds of prey like vultures. Smaller birds can also be seen nesting on the thickets or edges of escarpments. On a typical birding excursion, you will be looking out for ducks, egrets, geese, herons, ostriches, hornbills, pelicans, spoonbills and storks. Apart from ostriches, the most interesting for ordinary tourists are the martial eagles and vultures.
Birding is led by very experienced and knowledgeable ornithologists/naturalists. These birding guides know all the different species of birds, plants and wildlife that you will encounter.
Samburu National Reserve is a unique destination for a cultural tour. Located in the Northern region of Kenya, it is home to the Samburu people who have preserved their traditional way of life for centuries. Visitors can explore the reserve and learn about the culture, history, and lifestyle of this vibrant people through guided tours.
Tourists can also take part in activities such as camel safaris and bird watching, as well as visit traditional villages to get a deeper insight into Samburu culture. With its vast landscape and abundant wildlife, Samburu National Reserve provides an unforgettable safari experience that will stay with you forever.
Where to stay?
Where to stay in the Maasai Mara depends on your wishes and budget. There are some of the Safari Lodges & Camps, Porini Lion Camp, Sand River Masai Mara, Saruni Mara, Sala’s Camp, Mara Intrepids Camp, Angama Mara, Cottar’s 1920s Camp, Richard’s River Camp, Offbeat Mara Camp, Mara Ngenche Tented Camp, Rekero Camp, Naboisho Camp, Elephant Pepper Camp, Sanctuary Olonana, Expeditions Camp, Little Governors’ Camp, Keekoroko lodge, Governors’ Il Moran Camp and others
When to go to Masai Mara Reserve
The Masai Mara offers a perfect tour throughout the year. Taking about the best time to visit Masai Mara, the season between July to November is the ideal time when you can witness the Wildebeest Migration.
The Wildebeest starts the migration from July to early August depending upon the rain. Still if you opt to choose any other rime, you can clearly spot the Wildebeest population who choose to stay there as the wildlife residing at Masai Mara.
How to access Masai Mara National Reserve?
The Maasai Mara is about 280 km. west from Nairobi City. A drive to Masai Mara takes about 5-6 hours. While driving you will enjoy breathtaking views including, that of the Great Rift Valley and also mount Suswa and Mount Longonot.
The road from Narok to the reserve is quite rough and it is advisable to use a 4×4 vehicle as this will make your ride a bit smoother. Once you get to Masai Mara there are a number of entry gates such as Sand River, Musiara, Talek, Sekenani or Oloololo Gate.