TRAVEL GUIDE TO MASAI MARA NATIONAL GAME RESERVE KENYA
Travel guide to Masai Mara National Reserve: This guide includes the most important information necessary to every travel lover planning to visit Masai Mara National Reserve. First and foremost, Masai Mara national reserve sits on 1,510 Square Kilometer of Land and is the top visited destination in the entire Kenya and the most stunning of all where tourists are on a sure deal of spotting all the big 5 game and enjoy the stunning views of beautiful vegetation cover of both savanna grassland and woodland drained by River Mara, River Sand and River Talek. Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the parks situated in the southern part of Kenya within Narok County and is famous for the annual wildebeest migration where millions of Wildebeests, Zebras, Elands, Gazelles and other animals team to make a large herd and migrate from the neighboring Serengeti national park in Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and back to Tanzania and the cycle continues. Masai Mara National Reserve thrills within Mara Eco system that includes Mara triangle, and other conservancies like Ol Chorro Oirowua, Ol Derkesi, Lemek, Maji Moto, Siana, Olkinyei, Naikara, Koiyaki, and North Mara. Masai Mara National Reserve is as well is part of the Greater Eco-System that extends to Serengeti National park in the northern part of Tanzania.
Masai Mara National Reserve was named after the local Masai people that inhabited these plains several year ago. Masai Mara receives both short and long rainy season for November to December and April to May respectively. The entrance to access Masai Mara National Reserve costs $80 for Foreign Nonresidents and $70 for Residents per adult. However, children below 18 years of age and older than 3 years are charged 45$ to enter into Masai Mara National Reserve and finally East Africans pay 1,200 Kenyan Shillings. This fee is valid for 24 hours and are charged per person.
About the Masai people
These people occupy the Southern part of Kenya as well as the Northern Tanzania. They are a group of people who still have ancient beliefs and still practice their traditional and cultural norms. The Masai people believed that all the Cattle belonged to them and would go an extra mile to fight and raid al the cattle from their neighbors leading to loss of lives at some point amidst the fight.
Geography and Location of Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve is located in the southern part of Kenya in Narok County covering a land area of 1,510KM2. Masai Mara National Reserve borders Serengeti national park situated in Northern part of Tanzania. Masai Mara is a dream of every traveler to explore while on a Kenya wildlife safari. The vegetation cover of this reserve is so refreshing and beautiful with plenty of fauna and flora species. The reserve is as well intersected by rivers including Mara River, Talek River, and River Sand and the vegetation is filled with acacia plant species.
Top things to do in Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve thrills with abundant of tourist activities enjoyed by several travel lovers on a Kenya safari to Masai Mara. The major activity enjoyed in any savanna destination in Kenya. The best time to explore Masai Mara for game drive safari is during the period of the annual wildebeest migration that starts in Serengeti national park in Tanzania and crosses the crocodile infested river into the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. The wildebeests usually arrive in Masai Mara around July and stay around the reserve throughout August, September and October and finally cross over back into Serengeti national park Tanzania where they give birth from and the cycle proceeds.
What to do in Masai Mara National Reserve/ top things to do
- Game drive in Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara national reserve is such a wildlife gem with plenty of animals to spot while on your game drive safari. A 4×4 safari vehicle is necessary to take on your game drives in the park as it helps you to easily navigate through the plains as you enjoy a breath taking view of all that this reserve has to offer you wthin this beautiful savanna vegetation. Amongst wildlife to look out for in Masai Mara National Reserve include Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Leopards, Cheetahs, Buffaloes, waterbucks, Topis, Oribi, Thomson gazelles, wildebeests, zebras and many more. Masai Mara National Reserve is as well a stunning destination for birding and bird watching as it harbors over 450 species of birds.
- Hot Air Ballooning safari
Masai Mara National Reserve is amongst the top destinations that offer a breath taking hot air balloon safari that enables tourists to enjoy an aerial view of the animals that reside in this stunning savanna. Hot air balloon safari is like a package and it includes pick –up/ drop off at your accommodation/ camp in Masai Mara National Reserve, Approximately 1 hour Balloon ride, a Memorable bush breakfast with a bottle of champagne/wine, n enroute game drive after the hot air balloon ride and a certificate signed by the Pilot.
- Cultural tour
A visit to Masa Mara National Reserve is incomplete not until you meet with the local Masai People for a breath taking cultural adventure. Most of the tourists heading to Masai Mara national reserve usually take a stopover within Narok Town one of the cultural town in Kenya. However, to fully enjoy a life time cultural experience, tourists are advised to take on a culture tour to Loita Hills also known as the Maasai village for an opportunity to meet and interact with the local Maasai people, enjoy a thrilling entertainment of dance and drama by the locals and as well buy some crafts among others.
Where to stay/ Accommodation facilities in Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve thrills with plenty of accommodation facilities ranging from Budget, Midrange and luxury. Some of these accommodations include Mara Toto Camp, Legends Mara Camp, AA Lodge, Aruba /Azure Mara Haven, Crocodile Camp, Explore Mara Nature Lodge, Ashnil Mara, Olkuperia Camp, Mara Bush, Game Trackers Camp, Mara Sopa lodge, Kananga Camp, Olmoran Camp, Concorde Camp, Kichakani, Eagle view /Enkorok Camp, Kicheche Bush, Elewana camp, Enchoro Camp, Encounter Mara, Lenchada Camp, La Maison Camp, Entumoto Camp, Lerai Safari Camp, Enkewa Camp, Mara River Lodge, Entim Camp, Mahali Mzuri, Emboo Camp, Manyatta Camp, Mara Cheetah, Jambo Mara, Mara Eden, Keekorok, Loyk Mara, Mara Ngenche, Mara Plains, Kicheche Naboisho, Mara Sarova Camp, Leopard Hill, Mara Simba Lodge, Malaika camp, Sweet Acacia, Malaika Camp, Mara Bushtops, Mara Eden bush, Miti Mingi, Mara Leisure, Siana Springs Camp, Olengoti Camp, Sentrim Mara Camp, Spirit of Mara Lodge, Talek Bush Camp, Wildebeest Eco Camp, Mara Zebra Plains Camp, Sala’s Camp, Mara Simba, Elephant Pepper Camp, Lechanda Camp, Beyond Bateleur Camp, and many more.
Getting to Masai Mara National Reserve,
You may choose to access Masai Mara National Reserve by road or by air depending on one’s choice. A driving distance from Nairobi city to Masai Mara takes about 5-6 hours. On the other hand, a flight to Masai Mara takes about 45minutes and there are domestic fights organized from Wilson Airport Nairobi including Safari link, and Air Kenya for a Kenya Safari.