Masai Mara National Park

Masai Mara National Park is located on the border of Tanzania and is contiguous wit with the neighboring Serengeti National Park.  The park region is named in honor of the Masai people group.

Masai Mara stretches across an area of 580 square miles (1,510 sq km).  It represents the norther most portion of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.  The Sand River, Talek River, and the Mara River are the primary rivers draining waters of the reserve.

The Masai Mara is a portion of the larger Mara Ecosystem which combines the Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet protective ranches.

Although the plains and wooded areas are beautiful, the wildlife is the reason travelers visit Masai Mara.  Most people target the months between July and October with hopes of experiencing the wildebeest migration through the park.

Highlights:

  • High population of lion, leopard, and cheetah
  • Serengeti migration herd of wildebeest
  • Migration crossing the Mara River
  • Seeing the Big 5
  • Ballooning over the migration herd and other wildlife

The Masai Mara is probably the leading safari destination in Kenya and regarded as the jewel of wildlife viewing.  The park is home to 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles.  It is also a bird lover viewing spot with over 400 species of birds.

Whether in Tanzania or in Kenya, ballooning over the million plus wildebeest herd and the other hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle makes for a spectacular highlight.  Lion, leopard, cheetah, serval, jackal, and hyena are possible predator sightings.

Large herds, 200,000 zebra, 18,000 eland, 500,000 gazelle, 97,000 topi, and the 1.3 million wildebeest can be experienced if the migration herd has crossed the Mara River and grazing throughout the plains and vegetation of the Masai Mara.

Popular wildlife that might be seen in the Masai Mara include hippo, warthog, eland, topi, gazelle, zebra, waterbuck, baboons, crocodile and rhino.  Except for the mountain gorilla, all of Africa’s Big 7 can be part of your wildlife sightings.

 

Sources: 

Masai Mara, https://www.masaimara.com/, retrieved July 2019

Magical Kenya, Masai Mara Game Reserve, http://www.magicalkenya.com/places-to-visit/wilderness-areas/masai-mara-game-reserve/, retrieved July 2019

National Geographic, Mara Plains Camp: About the Destination, https://www.nationalgeographiclodges.com/lodges/africa/mara-plains/about-the-destination/#.XTsihpNKi1s, retrieved July 2019.