Mara Game Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve is the Jewel of Kenya's
wildlife game reserve. Located 270 Kilometers way from Nairobi
in the south western Kenya,it takes 4 5 hours by road and
about an hour by flight from Nairobi. The Maasai Mara, also
referred to as the Masai Mara covers some 1500 Km2. It borders
the famous Tanzania's Serengeti National park to the south.
Maasai Mara is effectively the northern continuation of the
Serengeti National Park game reserve in Tanzania."Maasai
Mara", also known as "Masai Mara" is named
after the Maasai people (the traditional inhabitants of the
area) and their description of the area when looked at from
a viewpoint - "Mara", which is Maa (Maasai language)
for spotted: this is an apt description for the circles of
trees, scrub, Savannah and cloud shadows that mark the area.
It is famous for its exceptional population of Big Cats, game,
and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson's gazelle and wildebeest
from the Serengeti every year from July to October, a migration
so immense it is called the Great Migration and now dubbed;The
New 7th Wonders of the world.
Savanna Grassland and
The Maasai Mara reserve terrain is primarily open grassland,
with seasonal river- lets. In the south-east region are clumps
of the distinctive acacia tree. The western border is the
Esoit Oloololo Escarpment of the Rift Valley, and wildlife
tends to be most concentrated here, as the swampy ground means
that access to water is always good and tourist disruption
is minimal. The easternmost border is 224 km from Nairobi,
and hence it is the eastern regions which are most visited
by tourists. The reserve is drained by the Sand river, Talek
river and the famous Mara River which is crossed annually
by the migrating Wildebeests in the months of July - October
annually - The Annual Migration.
Visitors and A Myriad Wildlife Species
Virtually everyone who visits Kenya goes to this 320-sq. km.
of open grassland dotted with flat-topped acacia trees. A
visit to Mara is truly a staggering one, and which is likely
to have a profound effect on your own feeling of insignificance.
This is the Kenyan section of the Serengeti and animals are
in abundant. All year round, the Masai Mara, a living tapestry
of grassy savanna, spreading thorn trees, rounded hills and
tall gallery forests with its abundant wild life draw hundreds
of thousands of photographers and visitors from all over the
world. The Mara is home to millions of wild game such as wildebeest
and gazelle among others and are continuously tracked by Africa's
great predators. The annual migration of these animals is
one of the most inspiring sights on earth, and this is the
dramatic life and death struggle that tourists come to see.
Other animals seen are lion, elephant, cheeter, leopard, zebra,
antelope, impala, Thomson gazelle, topi, giraffe, baboon,
jackal, warthog, rhino and hyena.
Village Visits in Kenya's Maasai Mara Game Park
A visit to the Masai village, located inside the reserve.
This is a cultural village of the Masai tribe's people and
it is an ideal place to take video pictures, buy trinkets
and beadwork. Ballooning Safaris, Hot-air ballooning at dawn
as you drift quietly, is the best way of viewing the savanna
plains and the animals without the intrusion of vehicles and
the dozens of tourists. Accommodation facilities in Masai
Mara are plentiful and range from luxurious 5-star lodges
to Spartan tented camps. Hot air balloon excursions are available
in the Game Reserve.