Maasai Mara game reserve

Facts about Maasai Mara

Also known as the Mara, the Maasai Mara game reserve is a large national reserve in Narok, Kenya, named in honor of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area who migrated to the place from the Nile basin. The description of the area when looked at a far distance means ‘’spotted’’ in the local Maasai language due to the short bushy trees which dot the landscape.

Maasai Mara game reserve is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation in Africa established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary covering 520 square kilometers. Later in 1961, the park was extended east to cover 1,821 square kilometers and then converted to a game reserve. The game reserve is the only protected area in Kenya with indigenous black rhino population. Also the park is world renowned with different wild life like lions, African leopard, African bush elephant, cheetah, hippopotamuses and crocodiles. The reserve is also a home to over 450 bird species. It is managed by the local Maasai people themselves differentiating it from other parks that are managed by Kenya wildlife services. The following are the facts that make the reserve more popular and unique at the expense of others;

Largest national reserve:  The fact that the reserve is the largest national reserve in Narok County the most famous Maasai town in Africa makes it unique. The reserve’s name was got in honor of the Maasai locals, the ancestral inhabitants of the region.

High population of predators: The reserve is much famous for the high concentration of predators especially lions and leopards. The shy leopards can easily be seen in their leopard’s trail and can also be sighted on the fig trees and on top of the rocky kopjes in the reserve. Also the reserve consists of over 600 lions living in its ecosystem. Among the other predators in the reserve include hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and many different others.

The local people (Maasai people): These people have properly protected the reserve with no personal intentions thus making the wild life free from poaching. The warm conservation of the reserve makes them enjoy the values of tourism.

Bird species: Maasai Mara national reserve records over 570 bird species where about 50 of them are preys including storks, eagles, vultures and others. Sight different other colorful bird species like sooty chat, Southern ground hornbill, secretary bird, kori bustard, ostriches, spur fowl and others.

Big five animals: Maasai Mara national reserve is one of the few areas where all the big five animals – lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos can be allocated. The small size of the reserve gives travelers a great opportunity to view almost all the big five animals through the game drive. The reserve also consists of other wildlife besides the big five including the hippos and crocodiles, which can be sighted around the mighty Mara River. Also, other animals like zebras, elands, cheetahs, hyenas, gazelles, topis and others will be seen.

Hyena research center: Due to the fact that Maasai Mara has the highest concentration of hyenas in Kenya, this made it the right place to serve as the Hyena research center which was set up by the Kenya wildlife services.

How to reach the reserve.

Maasai Mara national reserve is situated in the western part of Nairobi that is 280 kilometers from Kenya’s capital. The reserve can be accessed by the use if both road and air transports.

By air: The flights depart on a daily basis from Wilson airport.

By road: The drive takes about 5 to 6 hours from Nairobi passing through the Maasai communities. Expect a stopover Maasai town called Narok for craft shopping and lunch and then continue with the drive to the park.

Accommodations of Maasai Mara national game reserve.

The national reserve is well provided with improved accommodation facilities ranging from budget, mid-range and luxury costs. Among them include Neptune Mara Rianta luxury camp, Osero sopia river camp, little governors camp, AA lodge Maasai Mara, Olarro plains, Julia’s river camp, Governors camp, Mara duma bush camp and others.