Masai Mara National Reserve is considered a “must see” for any new visitor traveling on a safari to Kenya. It is on the “to do” list for many Kenyans and visitors alike because the park is graced by a wide variety of unique and exquisite wildlife and birds
What to see and do in Masai Mara:-
The Masai Mara Game Reserve is one of the best places in Africa for wildlife viewing. Game drives are a great way to experience the park and they take place all year round. If the big cats are what you’re looking for on your Kenyan safari, you are guaranteed to spot them at the Mara. All of the “Big Five” animals (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo) can be spotted here. Herds of plains zebras are found throughout the park, as well as Masai giraffes, common giraffes, jackals, white-bearded gnus, Oribis, warthogs, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, hartebeests, hyenas, bat-eared foxes, rare Topi antelope and beautiful roan antelope, as well as hippos and crocodiles in the Mara River. Hippos are abundant in the Mara River as are very large Nile crocodiles, who lay in wait for a meal as the wildebeest cross on their annual quest to find new pastures. The best time to view animals is either at dawn or dusk.
Over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebras and several species of antelope make an annual circular tour between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures. The trek happens with a fair share of animal drama as the migrating herds attract the attention of hungry predators – the hyenas and lions that prey on the lame and sick animals along the way. The animals trek for four months (July-October) towards the Mara. The months of July and August are the best times to see what is truly the world’s most spectacular wildebeest migration and the dramatic sights that occur during the mass crossing of the swollen Mara River.
For bird lovers, the Mara birds come in every color and size. More than 400 bird species have already been recorded, including birds of prey. You can enjoy a colorful view of birds such as vultures, ostriches, long-crested eagles, pygmy falcons, secretary birds, marabous, red-winged Schalow’s turacos, white-tipped crests, ross turacos, orange buffs, Pel’s fishing owls, wary guinea fowl, Jackson’s bustards, black-bellied hartlaubs bustards and many others.
Maasai Cultural Tours
You could step back in time and visit a Maasai village where you get a chance to interact with the Maasai people in their traditional setting and experience their culture. Often the Maasai morans (young Maasai warriors) will perform their traditional dance. You also get an opportunity to purchase traditional Maasai souvenirs, art and collectibles.
How to get to Maasai Mara National Reserve
By Road: From Nairobi, it takes about five hours to get to Masai Mara.
By Air: You can book one of the scheduled daily flights that depart from Wilson Airport (about 20 minutes away from NBO). Travel time is about 45 minutes.
By Road: From Serengeti. Since the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti are contiguous parks, driving from one to the other is, essentially, seamless. However, you will need to switch guides when going from one park to the other, and the border crossing can take time, especially during peak times.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
For the adventurous tourist who wants a sky-high view of wildlife from the hot air balloon rides and safaris are the best way to travel over the massive Masai Mara park. Hot air balloon rides last approximately an hour and a half and often take place at dawn. You will get a great view of the animals while you glide above them. Breakfast is prepared on the balloon burner upon landing.