- GENERAL INFORMATION
The Masai Mara is one of the best known and most popular reserves in the whole of Africa. Established as a reserve in 1961. Part of the reserve was given National Reserve status in 1974, and the remaining area of 159 km2 (61 sq mi) was returned to local communities.
Seasoned safari travellers, travel writers, documentary makers and researchers often admit that the Masai Mara is one of their favourite places. Perhaps it is because of the ‘big skies’, the open savannahs, the romance of films like ‘Out of Africa’ and certainly because of the annual wildebeest migration, the density of game, the variety of birdlife and the chance of a hot air balloon ride.
Also because of the tall red-robed Masai people whose lifestyle is completely at odds with western practices, and from whom one learns to question certain western values.
A combination of all these things plus something to do with the spirit of the place – which is hard to put into words – is what attracts people to the Mara over and over.
Area: 1510 square kilometres (5,80 sq mi).
Highest temperatures in daytime is 30C (warmest in December and January, coldest in June and July), at night the temperature rarely drops below 15C. The rainy season is April-May and November The dry season occurs from July to October.
The vast, seemingly ENDLESS GRASS PLAINS of the MASAI MARA , are punctuated by twisted, solitary acacia trees and large kopjes. However, the Masai Mara National Reserve contains a diverse array of habitats from hilly and rocky to plains, hills, valleys, rivers and associated riverine vegetation and forest.
The Mara plains are full of wildebeest, zebra, impala, topi, giraffe, Thomson’s gazelle. Also regularly seen are leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetah, jackal and bat-eared foxes. Black rhino are a little shy and hard to spot but are often seen at a distance.Hippos are abundant in the Mara River .
The ANNUAL WILDEBEEST MIGRATION which occurs within the Masai Mara .Ecosystem is the largest mass movement of terrestrial mammals on the planet, with over a million wildebeest and countless zebras making the journey.
The Mara birds come in every size and colour including common but beautiful ones like the lilac breasted roller (the National bird of Kenya) Red-Winged Schalow’s Turaco, White-Tipped Crest, Ross Turaco, Orange Buff Pel’s Fishing Owl, Wary Guinea Fowl. Jackson’s Bustard, Black-Bellied Hartlaubs Bustard and plenty of large species like eagles, vultures and storks. There are 53 different birds of prey.
Nile Crocodile, which you will see probably in the Mara & Talek Rivers. There is also a large variety of snakes in the Masai Mara (including huge African Rock Pythons, black-necked spitting Cobras and Puff Adders), lizards such as the enigmatic Red-Headed Rock Agamas and Chameleons, and the well-respected Leopard Tortoises.