Masai Mara National Reserve – Kenya Wildlife Tour Destination, Location, Activities and Accommodation
The Masai Mara National Reserve is one of most popular reserves in the entire Africa. It is well-known for its strong hold of diverse wildlife composing of over 40 percent of larger mammals in Africa and 25 percent of wildlife Kenya is famous for. This reserve lies in Southwestern Kenya along the rift valley area, Norok County which borders the Serengeti National park.
The 1510sq.kms protected area takes its name from the Maasai ethnic group. The Masai Mara National Reserve was founded in 1974 and today, it stands out as an extra-ordinary wilderness area in Africa with huge profusion of wildlife and a breathtaking landscape. It dominated by acacia trees, savanna grassland, Rivers especially the stunning Talek and Mara Rivers.
Wildlife in Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve is a home to diverse wildlife species, most of which can be spotted freely roaming in the reserve’s savannas including the famous the wildebeest. They include leopards, Cape buffaloes, Thompson’s gazelles, over 1.5 million wildebeests, hippos, cheetahs, crocodiles, lions, rhinos, jackals, hyenas, antelopes, bat eared foxes, zebras, Topis, elephants, the Masai giraffes.
Bird species Masai Mara National Reserve
When it comes to birding tours, Masai Mara National Reserve never goes unmentioned. The reserve hosts an estimate of 500 bird species including among others the southern ground hornbill, little bee-eaters, African pygmy falcons, lack bellied hart laub’s bustards, ostriches, long crested eagles, Pel’s fishing owls, guinea fowls, grey crowned cranes, Jackson’s bustards, red winged Schawlow’s Turacos, Denham’s bustards, Kori bustards, grey kestrel, superb starling, Ross’s Turacos.
Other tourist attractions include the Masai River-this is where you can witness the great wildebeest migration on Kenya safari, Ol Kinyei conservancy, Mara North Conservancy and many more.
Top activities to do in Masai Mara National Reserve
Witnessing the wildebeest migration
Witnessing the great wildebeest migration is one breathtaking wildlife experience you can’t find anywhere else on Kenya safari except only the Masai Mara National Reserve. You will enjoy great sight of thousands of wildebeest, gazelles plus other grazers and as they move in search for water and pasture. This experience is best done starting July, August to October.
Game drives in Masai Mara National Reserve
One of the top activities offered to tourists on Kenya safaris in Masai Mara National Reserve is a game drive. It is possible to take the full day, half day or night game drives but most importantly, you will have amazing view of the Cape buffaloes, Thompson’s gazelles, water bucks, zebras, nocturnal animals in case of night game drive, wildebeests, elephants, leopards, rhinos, warthogs, roan antelopes, jackals, reedbucks, lions, rhinos, hyenas, oribis, duikers, elands, Masai giraffes, cheetahs and bird species.
Birding in Masai Mara National Reserve
Bird watching is one of the top most enjoyable activities worth taking part on Kenya safari tour in Masai Mara National Reserve. It is what lets you sight diversity of bird species including among others little bee-eaters, lack bellied hart laub’s bustards, ostriches, long crested eagles, Pel’s fishing owls, guinea fowls, African pygmy falcons, grey crowned cranes, Jackson’s bustards, red winged Schawlow’s Turacos, Denham’s bustards, Kori bustards.
The other most amazing activities you should expect to engage in while on Kenya safaris in the Masai Mara National Reserve include nature walks, hot air balloon, cultural tours in the Masai community and many more.
Where to stay in Masai Mara National Reserve
Below are some of the best accommodation choices you can spend a night on Kenya safari in Masai Mara National Reserve; Mara Plains Camp, Sarova Mara Game Camp, Maasai Serena Safari Lodge, Mara Bush Camp, Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Elephant Pepper Camp, Olonana Tented Camp, Governors Private Camp, Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, Naibor Main Camp, Mara Ngenche Luxury Tented Camp, Sekenani Camp and many more.
How you can get to Masai Mara National Reserve
By road, the Masai Mara National Reserve can be reached starting from Nairobi capital city through anyone of the following reserve’s gates; Sekenani, Musaira gate, Talek gate, Oloololo gate, Sand River gate and others. You may spend about 6 hours driving up to this reserve in a 4×4 Land Cruiser or Safari Van.
It is also possible for you to fly from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson Airport to Musiara, Olkiombo airstrip, Ngerende, Sian Springs airstrip, Maasai Mara Olare olok airstrip, Kichwa Tembo airstrip, Keekorok airstrip and others.