Masai Mara National Reserve
Utter the words Masai Mara and for those not even well versed in safari holidays and travel, they will forge some sort of familiarity with the name.
The Masai Mara is undoubtedly the most famous reserve in Kenya, if not Africa as a whole and the Narok County-based reserve is revered around the globe for her plentiful collection of Big Five game, namely lion, leopard, the African elephant, African buffalo and Black rhinoceros.
With Kenya boasting numerous first rate reserves such as Samburu and Tsavo, the Masai Mara is an ideal choice for first time travellers whose animal sighting expectations are more than likely to be matched in this ever-popular park.
Vast open grasslands
Spanning a mighty 583 square miles, the Masai Mara can sometimes prove positively overwhelming to comprehend but a series of tried and tested safari routes ensure traveller fulfilment.
The Masai Mara earns its name from the Masai tribe that have inhabited the area since migrating there in the 15th century.
The iconic acacia tree that many associate safaris with is actually only found in the Masai Mara’s south east corner while the highest populations of animals are located closer to the Mara’s western fringes where the park borders the famous East African Rift.
Often travelled in all-purpose four-wheel drive vehicles, tourists’ eyes will also be averted to as many as 470 different species of bird that stand out amidst the azure blue skies.
The Masai Mara is home to a few extra temporary visitors between July and October each year. Wildebeest, topi and zebra join the Big Five as part of their seasonal migratory movements.
Migrating from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania between these months, their cross-border presence adds a little more magic to an already unbeatable location.
A fantastic location
In a country so vast, the Masai Mara safari is ideally located from Nairobi International Airport. Just four hours in a car from the Kenyan capital, travellers will also pass by Narok - the town sharing the name of the country the Mara is located in.
Narok is a fascinating town to discover at one’s leisure and offers travellers a different supplementary experience from the vast open plains.
Alternatively, the Mara boasts three airstrips of her own - Mara Serena, Musiara and Keekorok - so connecting flights can take place via light aircraft; a fantastic way to appreciate the Mara from above.
A range of touring options
Although popular, tours of Kenya’s Masai Mara don’t necessarily have to take place within all-purpose four-wheel drive vehicles.
The Mara is as much about her small townships as it is the vast open expanses of rurality and bicycle rides are a great way to get up close to traditional African customs and ways of life.
Of course, travellers may choose to sample a range of different touring options all on one break. Whatever way, the Masai Mara is an experience that will live long in the memory of her visitors.
- Safari Packing List
- Samburu National Reserve
- Tsavo National Park
- Aberdare National Park
- Shaba National Reserve
- Masai Mara National Reserve
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- Amboseli National Park
- Lake Naivasha
- Mount Kenya National Park
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- Kenya Climate
- Flights and getting around Kenya
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- Safari photography tips
- Top 5 Safari Lodges in Kenya
- Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Kenya
- Kenya people and culture
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