This is Kenya’s most popular park. No amount of superlatives can describe the massive river of wildlife in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Masai Mara National Park, an area encompassing 1510 square km of endless plains, wonderful views and wildlife. The Masai Mara is named after the Maasai people who live in the area. It shares a common border with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
The Maasai People
Masai Mara National Park is inhabited by the legendary Maasai communities dwelling with their cherished cattle herds. A century of close association with the wildlife has resulted in a symbiotic relationship, where wildlife and people mix with one another on a daily basis. The Maasai were traditionally nomadic pastoralists, originally migrating from the northern Nile Valley. And despite many attempts to subjugate them, they remain proud, resolute and fixed to their livelihood of raising cattle.
With their bright colors and beadwork, they stand in striking contrast to the deep greens and yellows of the savannah. These communities of Maasai villagers born of this land complete the rich experience of this very special place.
The Great Migration
For three months of the year (August to October) the Masai Mara Reserve is home to the world’s greatest wildlife phenomenon, the Wildebeest Migration, and perhaps the most impressive wildlife procession on the planet, you shouldn’t miss this massive display of over 2 million animals responding to the ancient cycles of nature. This is an epic journey through the Serengeti-Mara eco system, surging over the flood-swollen Mara river, attempting crocodile-infested crossing points, and shadowed by their padded foot predators.
The sight of thousands upon thousands of animals storming over the Mara River is unforgettable which crosses its rolling grasslands from each year. The Mara can be visited all year round and has one of the highest concentrations of predator to prey ratio in Africa.
The reserve is in the Great Rift Valley in southern Kenya and borders the Serengeti plains in Tanzania. The Mara is just a few degrees south of the equator, so length of day and temperature do not fluctuate very much.
Temperatures vary between 20oC (68oF) and 30oC (86oF). Mornings in the reserve tend to be bright and clear, but in season, rains develop in the late afternoon and evening. The thunderstorms here can be spectacular.
Best time to visit:
The reserve is accessible year-round, but the peak season is July through October during the migration. Peak rainfall is in December – January and April – May.
The reserve is open daily from 06:00Hrs to 18:00Hrs. The main roads here are always accessible. However, the game viewing roads can only be used by 4 x 4 vehicles during the rainy season.
By road – you can book a tour with Wasili Kenya Safaris from the coast or Nairobi. By air – fly in safaris can land at the park’s all-weather airstrips – Musiara, Keekorok and Olkiombo.