Masai Mara wildlife reserve is located in the southwestern part of Kenya with an area coverage of about 1510 kilometers squares and blessed to have one of the wonders of the wild- the great wildebeest migration. The park has a number of wildlife species including 95 mammals and about 570 birds and unique ecosystems that make tourist experiences to area very outstanding that one can never enjoy them in any other tourism destination.
Being the number one safari destination in Africa and the wild at large, many tourists flock the national park with great desires to view the big mammals, reptiles like crocodiles and various large land mammals. The attractions one must not miss while in Maasai Mara
The Wildebeest Migration
This is the major and leading tourist attraction in park that mainly features millions of wildebeest- zebras, Thompson gazelles, elands and buffaloes migrating from Tanzania’s Serengeti national park across the border to Maasai Mara national park mainly in search for fresh pasture and fresh drinking places.
These herbivores move in large groups and go through hard times especially when they encounter dangerous predators like lions (Maasai Mara national park has the highest lion population in the world), hyenas, leopards and the deadly crocodiles in the Mara River.
For best views of this great migration, tourists are recommended to visit Maasai Mara from around July to October.
The Wildebeest Migration
The Big Five
They comprise of lions, buffaloes, elephants, rhinos and leopards. They inhabit the wilderness of Maasai Mara national park and tourists on game drives, horseback safaris, safari walks and hot air balloon safaris are rest assured of viewing any of the five freely moving the Maasai Mara wilderness. The elephants, rhinos and buffaloes usually feed on grass and other edible leaves and can most times be spotted feeding or around water drinking areas while lions and leopards are predators that entirely depend on raw meat and therefore have to hunt the weaker herbivores to get food.
The Mara River Crocodiles
The wildebeest on their long trek have to cross Mara River, which has high crocodile populations that are some of the deadliest predators that eagerly wait for the wildebeest to take them down for food. With a lot of strength and sharp teeth, the crocodiles in the river always position themselves in places where they can easily take down their prey and most cases the young and less energetic wildebeest fail to defend themselves against these deadly crocodiles and end up being eaten.
Other outstanding wildlife species in Maasai Mara national park include hippos, various bird species especially vultures, ostriches, turtles, giraffes, foxes and many others. All the above wildlife attractions make Maasai Mara national park a very interesting wildlife safari destination that most tourists who have ever visited the areas never get enough and wish to go back again.
Where To Stay
Maasai Mara national park has a number of accommodation facilities that range from tented camps to well developed luxurious lodges. The outstanding lodges may include Maasai Mara Sopa lodge, Mara Serena safari lodge, royal Mara safari lodge and the major tented camps include elephant pepper camp, Leleshwa camp, Mara bush camp, Mara explore camp and many others. All these provide a wide range of options where one can choose from for a good night sleep in the wilderness of Africa.
From Nairobi, Maasai Mara national park is about 270 kilometers that can be covered within 5-6 hours using road transport. Alternatively, one can use air transport aboard charter planes from Nairobi reaching Maasai Mara in just 45 minutes.
Much as road transport seems to take a lot of time, it’s very rewarding with great scenic views.
Best Time To Visit
The park can be visited at any time of the year however for wildebeest migration July to October is the suitable time and for all those interested in viewing the big cats December to February is the best time.
For greater and remarkable experiences, a tourist is recommended to book safaris for at least 4-5 days and above to fully exploit the major wildlife attractions in the park.
All tourists interested in visiting Maasai Mara national park no doubt always leave after having their lifetime experiences that they can ever get in any other wildlife safari.