What makes a Masai Mara safari such a great travel experience?
The Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya is one of the greatest wildlife reserves in the world and tops the African wildlife safari destinations. The reserve was established in 1961 with the intention to protect Masai Mara wildlife from hunters. It is found on the border of Tanzania within the Serengeti National Park Plains of the Rift Valley going southwards. It covers an area of 1,510 sq km of extensive open and luxuriant riverine forests. The Masai Mara boasts a great array of wildlife in a natural habitat. It is watered by the Mara and Talek rivers which run through the park. Because of the rivers, there are also plenty of hippos and crocodiles.
The Great Migration
Wildebeests crossing Mara River
Every year between June and October, about 1.5 million wildebeests cross the crocodile infested Mara River from the Serengeti plains to the fresher grassy grazing areas of the Masai Mara and return to the south around October. It is a big event in terms of wildlife tourism calendar. Towards the end of October, all the grass will be eaten by the wildebeests and over 400,000 zebras and other animals. The migration is as spectacular in the Serengeti part of the ecosystem as it is on the Masai Mara part. Several wildlife safari travelers and enthusiasts keenly follow this spectacle by timely traveling to Kenya and the non-traveling through the media such as on the Internet.
Other Wildlife In The Masai Mara
All other members of the “Big Five” are also present in the Masai Mara, much as the population of some animals such as the black rhinoceros and cheetah is cruelly threatened by predators and wildlife hunters. Hippos are found in large groups in the Masai Mara and Talek Rivers. The Serengeti plains between the Mara River and the Esoit Oloololo Escarpment offer the best game viewing spots for lion and cheetah. Kenya travelers are equally guaranteed to see leopards, hyenas, giraffe, impala, topi, baboons, warthogs, and buffalo roaming in the forested areas of the reserve plus several hundred bird species.
Masai Mara Safaris
You can get there by chartering a plane which touches down at the numerous small landing strips or gets there by a 4WD vehicle. It is advisable for those driving minibusses to prioritize getting there by using the southeastern route of the reserve since the route from Nairobi is long and bumpy much as it is more spectacular. Caution is that during the rainy seasons most roads become boggy and impassable and trap vehicles. That is why you need to careful planning for your Masai Mara safari.
Best Time To Go
The months between July and October are the best time to go, the wildebeest and zebra are at their largest concentration which provides food for the lions, cheetahs, and leopards. Between May and June, the plains are filled with long grass and it makes it hard for small animals to browse. It’s mostly the large animals like the giraffes, zebras, and elephants that you can see around. So it makes it difficult for the cats to hunt so they come up with strange strategies. Dusk or late evening while on game drives presents the best time to view the animals. We highly recommend to liaise with an expert safari agent in Kenya when considering your Masai Mara safari plans. But all in all, a Masai Mara safari experience absolutely makes wildlife adventures a lifetime experience.