Masai Mara National Park
Masai Mara National Park is one of the most famous and important Wildlife Conservation and wilderness area in Africa which boosts for its great migration of the wildebeests over the Mara River between the months of July and October is the best time to visit masai mara national park ranking it among the seven wonders of Africa and rated among the ten wonders of the world making it an important wildlife conservation and wilderness area in Africa. where is masai mara national park located? the park is located in southwestern part of Kenya near the Tanzania border contagious with Tanzania’s Serengeti national park as shown in Kenya map masai mara national park, there is no fence separating the two countries hence no fence between the reserve and the surrounding private conservancies allowing free migration of wildlife from one park to another has it has been for centuries.
How big is masai mara national park, Masai Mara is the leading safari destination in Kenya and referred to as the jewel of wildlife viewing.it covers an area of 1510 sq km (580 sq mi) in the Rift Valley Province, it is named in honor of Kenya’s natives and ancestral inhabitants of the area the” Masai people”, it was their way of describing the area when looked at from afar. The word Mara means spotted in the local language. The park is not only one of the greatest wildlife reserves in Kenya, it is also unique in that it is not managed by the country’s wildlife service but rather by the local communities are responsible for the protection of wildlife and implementing the anti-poaching laws as well as promoting tourism in the area. The Mara Triangle is managed by the Trans-Mara county council and it’s a nonprofit raising organization and the most visited part the southeastern section is managed by the Narok county council. The Masai Mara National Park is renowned for its exceptional population of lions, leopards, cheetah, African bush elephant, buffaloes, wildebeest’s other species that can be spotted in the area include Rhinos, bat-eared fox, blackjacked jackal spotted hyenas, elands, impala, Thomas’s gazelles, Zebras, antelopes, bush baby, bushbuck, coke’s Hartebeest, giraffe, hippos, African Hare, Banded Mongoose, warthog, masai mara national park animals, to mention but a few. Primates are also in the park namely vervet monkey, Red tailed monkey. The masai mara national game reserve is a birder’s haven with over 500 bird species like the world’s largest bird the Ostrich, turkey-sized ground Hornbills, Secretary birds, jaunty crowned-plovers, saddle-billed storks, yellow billed torts, grey heron, Black-headed Heron, Goliath Heron, pygmy Kingfisher, colorful Ross’s turaco, Schawlow’s Turaco, Pygmy Falcon, Martial eagle, African wood owl, Ayres’s hawk eagle, Denham’s bustard, Giant kingfisher, red-throated tit, Ross’s turaco, silver bird, Swahili sparrow and many other species.
Though Masai Mara national park is concentrated with big numbers of wildlife and being the main reason visitor come to the park, it also has an amazing ecosystem with a semi-arid climate, acacia trees and related bush, Rivers like Mara, Talek, sand, bushy trees, open grassland with seasonal river lets, Shrubs and trees fringe drainage lines and cover hillslopes and hilltops and the rolling hills seem endless.
Masai Mara national park is part of the Mara ecosystem with the Maasai Mara national reserve, Mara Triangle and the Conservancies of Maasai inclusive of Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, Kimintet protective ranches, Maji Moto, Naikara, Lemek, Mara North, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Siana, Olkinyei.
History of Masai Mara national parks
Masai mara national park reserve was established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1961 with an area coverage of 520 sq km (200 sq mi). the park was later enlarged to the east to cover 1821 sq km in 1961 and also converted into a Game reserve under management of the Narok County Council (NCC) and later park of it was given national reserve status in the year 1974 leaving 159 sq km was left to the community.
In 1984 the park was enlarged to 1510 sq km (580 sq mi), in 2001 the Mara triangle was taken over by anon profit-making organization in the western part of the park
Maasai Mara boost for its big number of wildlife and the unique wildebeest migration from the park to Tanzania in the months of July and October, over 90 mammal species are in the park 1.3 million wildebeests during migration can be spotted, also 97000 topi, 18000 elands, 500000 gazelle, 200000 zebras. amphibians, reptiles, 500 bird species and over 1000 plant species which attracts drives a big number of tourists annually into the park wildlife to be spotted in the park include reedbuck, roan antelopes, warthog, elands, topi, gazelle, zebras, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, Rhinos, lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackal, hyenas to mention but a few. Primates are also in the park like vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkey.
Birdwatching in masai mara national reserve africa is an amazing adventure for both bird researchers and bird lovers, it boosts for over 500 recorded bird species with 47 species of pray namely hornbill, secretary birds, Kori bustards, yellow billed stork, grey heron, Black headed Heron, great white egret, pygmy falcon, martial eagle, African fin foot, giant kingfisher. The best time for bird viewing is in the months of November to April when the north African and European migratory birds arrive in the Park.
Attractions in Masai Mara national park.
This activity is very interesting and unique hence ranked among the seven wonders of the world, it involves the movement of thousands of wildebeest across the Mara river in the months of July to October happening annually is one of the best memorable events in Masai Mara National Park.
These are the native of Kenya they occupy the southern and Northern part of the country, the Masai are one of most tourist attractions in the Masai Mara National Park because of their cultural activities and unique culture, these nomadic way of life, dressing, local arts, crafts, their Masai homes known as “Manyattas”, traditional dances, their history among others. these people are highly hospitable but on visiting them, one as to be guided with those that know them best.
The river is famous because this is where the great wildebeest migration takes place, this activity is among the seven wonders of the world. Millions of Wildebeests cross the river with other wildlife species like zebras, gazelle, elands in their never-ending pursuit for the finest grazing and watering ground, this activity take place annually between the months of July and October.
The Mara triangle is very famous compared to other sectors of the park it is very preserved and unspoiled, it is characterized wit ever green pastures, dotted acacia trees, beautiful scenery, this ecosystem supports a wide range of wildlife and it is managed by the Mara Conservancy.
They are located adjacent to the park in the north sector of the Serengeti-Mara eco-system, the locals gave up their land to the park not even carrying out cattle raring namely Masai Mara Conservancies, Enonkishu, Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Mara North Conservancy, Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Olare Motorogi Conservancy most conservancies offer bush walks to give you an intimate look at the micro-ecosystems of the area.
Masai mara national reserve activities
Travelers who are wish to be immersed in Kenya’s bush country and see greater and larger Africa’s wildlife, nocturnal are best spotted in the evening game drive in any of the private conservancies, the game drives are done in a 4x 4WD Vehicles take you through the park to stop wildlife like lions, wildebeests, leopards, elephants, zebras, elands, impala, antelopes, Rhinos, hippos, cheetah, African bush elephant, buffaloes, wildebeest’s, bat-eared fox, blackjacked jackal spotted hyenas, elands, impala, Thomas’s gazelles, bush baby, bushbuck, coke’s Hartebeest, giraffe, hippos, African Hare, Banded Mongoose, warthog to mention but a few. Primates are also in the park namely vervet monkey, Red tailed monkey and so many others.
Hot Air balloons
Masai mara national reserve hot air balloon, have an Ariel view of the park from the above, its breath taking when you gaze at the wildlife from above, wildlife will be spotted, water bodies, vegetation, landscape etc.
These are guide natural walks with in Masai Mara National Park that are guided by experience guides who know the trails of the park best, following footsteps of the wild animals in their wilderness as explorers used to do it exploring the best of the safari and wilderness on foot.
For better bird species viewing it is in the Masai Mara National Park and the species to view include the grey crowned crane, eagle, vulture, ostriches, secretary birds, kori bustards, malachite kingfisher, lilac-breasted roller, yellow billed hornbill, saddle bille to mention but a few.
Masai Mara National Park is among the few parks that provide horse back riding, you will explore the Mara reserve and large conservations of wildlife on the back of the horse giving you a chance have a closer range view of the wildlife.
Visit the locals in Masai Mara National Park who neighbor the park and unveil their true African culture, though the world is changing rapidly the Masai are still stuck with their culture not changing even a slit thing.
Best time to visit Masai Mara national park
Maasai Mara National park is a superb African safari destination which is open and welcomes visitors all year round, the best time to visit the park is voted by many to be the dry season in the months of July and September which also when the famous great migration of wildebeests and zebras takes place. The rain seasons are not bad for visitors who prefer noncrowded places because visits are fewer and you should be in position to deal with mud and slippery roads, the advantages are that everything is at a cheap price in the wet season in order to attract tourists in to the park.
Accommodations in Masai Mara national park
Hotel in Masai mara national park, Masai Mara has a number of accommodation facilities that fit your pocket, ranging from luxury, mid-range to budget with hospital people and best services that will stimulate your adventure in Africa safari like Amani Mara lodge, Porini lion club, Siana Springs, Keekorok lodge, Olengoti Eco safari camp and cottage, Mara siria camp, Sekenani camp, Spirit of the Maasai Mara lodge, Sarova Mara game camp, Sentinel Mara camp to mention but a few.
How to get to the Masai Mara National park
A drive from Nairobi to Masai Mara national park is approximately 306 km (190 mi), it’s a long journey but worth to embark on, on the way you will spot Kenya’s country side, plenty of views and scenery, you will also spot the great Rift Valley escarpments, the journey from Narok to the Park tends to be bumpy and northing much to see but still amazing.
Fly from Nairobi to Maasai Mara national park to one of the airstrips in the park, it can only be accessed by domestic flights, fights are perfect for only those tourists interested in only visiting the park not viewing any thing else, honestly flights are comfortable and you will be in position to view an area view of the country. Airstrips in the park include ol Kiombo, Keekorok, Kichwa Tembo, Musiara, Mara Serena airstrip to mention but a few, you will land to the airstrip near the accommodation of your choice.