We offer adventure Africa holidays Kenya Safaris, Kenya Luxury Safaris to Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya Masai Mara Park, Masai Mara Safaris, Maasai Mara Kenya, Masai Mara Migration of wildebeests, Migration Safaris Kenya, Maasai People, Maasai Culture, Masai Mara.

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya Masai Mara Park, Masai Mara Safaris, Maasai Mara Kenya National Parks of Kenya and Kenya National Parks, Kenya Game Parks, Kenya National Reserves, Kenya Game Reserves, Kenya Game Sanctuaries, Map of Kenya, Kenya Safari Parks, Kenya Game Safaris, Kenya National Park Safari Operator

Adventure Africa Holidays

 
 
About us

Kenya Lodge Safaris

Tanzania Lodge Safaris

Uganda gorilla Tracking
Zanzibar Beach Holidays
Mombasa Beach Holidays
Kenya Family Safari
Kenya Tanzania Safaris
Mount Kilimanjaro Trekking
Mount Kenya Hiking
Mount Meru Hiking
Zanzibar Beach Safaris
Mombasa Beach Safaris
Mombasa Beach Excursions
Nairobi Excursions
Zanzibar Beach Excursions
Rwanda Gorilla Tracking
Online Booking Form
Maasai Mara Luxury Safari
Kenya National Parks
Tanzania National Parks

Travel Tips

Terms of service
Related Links
 
East African Safari destinations

Kenya Travel Guide

Mount Kenya Climbing

4 Days Mount Kenya Sirimon Route
4 Days Narumoru Route Climbing
5 Days Climb Sirimon-Chogoria Route
 
Safaris from Mombasa
3 Days Tsavo East & West Safari
4 Days Tsavo & Amboseli Lodge Safari
 
8 Days Kilimanjaro Rongai Route
8 Days Marangu Route on Kilimanjaro
8 Days Mt Kilimanjaro Machame Route
 
Home   Kenya National Parks   Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Adventure Africa Holidays is a specialist tour operator with its office headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya but operating throughout East Africa. We offer Safaris to Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya Masai Mara Park, Masai Mara Safaris, Maasai Mara Kenya.

Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Masai Mara National Reserve Background Information:
The Masai Mara is one of the best known and most popular reserves in the whole of Africa. At times and in certain places it can get a little overrun with tourist minibuses, but there is something so special about it that it tempts you back time and again.

Seasoned safari travellers, travel writers, documentary makers and researchers often admit that the Masai Mara is one of their favourite places. So why is that? Perhaps it is because of the 'big skies', the open savannahs, the romance of films like 'Out of Africa' and certainly because of the annual wildebeest migration, the density of game, the variety of birdlife and the chance of a hot air balloon ride.

Also because of the tall red-robed Masai people whose lifestyle is completely at odds with western practices, and from whom one learns to question certain western values.

A combination of all these things plus something to do with the spirit of the place - which is hard to put into words - is what attracts people to the Mara over and over.

The Masai Mara lies in the Great Rift Valley, which is a fault line some 3,500 miles (5,600km) long, from Ethiopia's Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and into Mozambique. Here the valley is wide and a towering escarpment can be seen in the hazy distance. Most of the game viewing activities occur on the valley floor, but some lodges conduct walking tours outside the park boundaries in the hills of the Oloololo Escarpment. The animals are also at liberty to move outside the park into huge areas known as 'dispersal areas'. There can be as much wildlife roaming outside the park as inside. Many Masai villages are located in the 'dispersal areas' and they have, over centuries, developed a synergetic relationship with the wildlife.

There are four main types of topography in the Mara: Ngama Hills to the east with sandy soil and leafy bushes liked by black rhino; Oloololo Escarpment forming the western boundary and rising to a magnificent plateau; Mara Triangle bordering the Mara River with lush grassland and acacia woodlands supporting masses of game especially migrating wildebeest; Central Plains forming the largest part of the reserve, with scattered bushes and boulders on rolling grasslands favoured by the plains game.

Animals and Birds in Masai Mara:
In a short stay during the wildebeest migration you could see thousands of animals, at other times there are still hundreds. The plains are full of wildebeest, zebra, impala, topi, giraffe, Thomson's gazelle. Also regularly seen are leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetah, jackal and bat-eared foxes. Black rhino are a little shy and hard to spot but are often seen at a distance.

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.

Every July (or sometimes August), the wildebeest travel over 600 miles (960km) from Tanzania's Serengeti plains, northwards to the Masai Mara and the Mara River is the final obstacle. In October or November, once they have feasted and the grass has all but gone, they turn around and go back the other way.

The Mara birds come in every size and colour including common but beautiful ones like the lilac breasted roller and plenty of large species like eagles, vultures and storks. There are 53 different birds of prey.
 
Masai Mara Season:
Altitude is 4,875-7,052 feet (1,500-2,170 metres) above sea level, which yields a climate somewhat milder and damper than other regions. The daytime rarely exceeds 85F (30C) during the day and hardly ever drops below 60F (15C) at night.

Rainy Season: It rains in April and May and again in November and this can cause some areas of the Mara to be inaccessible due to the sticky 'black cotton' mud.
Dry Season: July to October is dry and the grass is long and lush after the rains. This is a good time to come and see the huge herds of migratory herbivores.
Hottest time: The warmest time of year is December and January.
Coldest Time: June and July are the coldest months.
 
Masai Mara Access:
Road: It takes approximately 5 hrs by road from Nairobi to reach Masai Mara
Air: Serviced by local flights  (AirKenya,  Safarilink & Mombasa Air Services) taking approximately 45 minutes from Nairobi. Charter flights are also available.
 
Masai Mara Activities:
-Wildebeest Migration
-Hot Air Ballooning
-Huge savannahs of golden grasslands
-Big skies
-Rift Valley escarpment
-Lion sightings
-Local Maasai Culture
 
Masai Mara Lodges & Tented Camps:
Masai Mara has a variety of accommodations ranging from luxury lodges and private camps to budget camps. Lodges available include: Mara Serena Lodge, Keekorok Lodge, Mara Simba Lodge, Mara Sopa Lodge, Sarova Mara Tented Camp, Governors Camp/s, Kichwa Tembo Camp, Mara Intrepids, Mara Safari Club, Fig Tree Camp, Ilkeliani Camp, Sekenani Camp, Mpata Safari Club amongst many others.

 

Masai Mara Wildebeest Migration Overview:
May & June

In late May, the herds leave the Western Corridor for the northern Serengeti plains and woodlands. The fresh, tender and mineral-rich pastures on the other side of the humans' border, in Masai Mara, are the irresistible bait for the animals to finally invade the Kenyan reserve, an event which usually starts in late June to early July. The troops coming from the south meet here another migratory contingent: the resident wildebeest herds of the Mara region. These animals reside in the Loita Plains and Hills, northeast of the Mara, until the dry season brings the tougher days and it is time to seek the evergreen Mara basin.

July to October
Throughout the month of July, the herds cross the Sand River, a mostly dry tributary of the Mara which roughly follows the boundary line between Kenya and Tanzania. The parade takes the eastern sector of Masai Mara, surrounding the Keekorok Lodge area. The trek follows westward, leading the herds to face the major challenge along their quest: crossing the Mara river and frequently also its tributary, the Talek. By then, the rains at the Mau Escarpment, where the Mara rises, have fed the stream to its highest levels.

The steep banks are populated with trunk-looking basking crocodiles that seem almost to be expecting their annual banquet. The operation of fording the river is the most delicate along the migration, and as such seems to plunge the gnus in a state of anxiety that only relieves when the whole herd has crossed. The trekkers walk along the left (eastern) bank of the Mara River looking for a suitable point to cross. There are plenty of preferred crossings along the course, which are easily identifiable by the lack of vegetation, the depressed slopes and the deep grooves carved by the animals' hooves. These are the most secure places to ford the river, those that ensure a minimal mortality. Nonetheless, the apparent programming of the whole process sometimes seems to collapse, and the nervous herds occasionally choose places where the banks are too steep and many of the animals break their legs down the cliff or fall flat into the waters. The herds gather at the suitable points and wander around nervously, their grunts sounding loud in the air. Eventually, one animal takes the lead and approaches the rim, scanning the opposite edge to analyze if any danger awaits after the crossing. When it finally dives into the stream, this seems to haul the rest of the herd. More animals follow in a single line across the river, while the lagged ones throw themselves towards the stream until the rearguard pushes the troops to a frantic race that ends up with some animals trampled to death, lying aside the course. Along the boreal summer, the crossings repeat over and over, and the survivors graze peacefully on the Mara Triangle grasslands unless disturbed by the early-morning and late-evening hunts of lion and cheetah, the latter preying on the calves.

By October, the rains are heading south back to the Serengeti. This is when the pace of the march reverses, bringing the herds to face once more the quest for the southern grasslands. The rite of fording the river is again part of nature's call. In the last days of October, the migration heads towards the vast plains of the southern Serengeti, where a new generation of calves will be born to start the cycle of life all over again. Normally the route is down the eastern side and the pace is fast. Quite often a million animals can be seen stretched out:Masai Mara Safari.
 

 

Masai Mara Safari: Maasai Mara Safari Tour