A Masai Mara safari is world renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth’, the awe inspiring annual wildebeest migration. The Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s most visited wildlife protected area and the core of a Masai Mara safari. Technically an extension of Tanzania’s renowned Serengeti National Park, the Mara constitutes only 4% of the entire Serengeti ecosystem but its rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world’s most rewarding and evocative Masai Mara safaris.
The Mara is divided into four topographical units: the Ngama Hills to the east of Keekorok and the Sekanani Gate; the Siria Escarpment, which forms the western boundary; the Mara Triangle, which lies between the Mara River and the Siria Escarpment; and the Central Plains, which lie between the Mara River and the Ngama Hills. The permanent Mara and Talek Rivers and their tributaries flow through the Reserve.
Between the end of July and November, over one and a half million wildebeest accompanied by half again as many zebras and gazelles, migrate from the short-grass plains of the Serengeti to fresh pasture in the grasslands of the Mara; thus creating one of nature’s grandest spectacles to be seen on a Masai Mara safari. Moving in groups of up to 20,000 at a time they thunder across the plateau hesitating only briefly to cross the Mara River, where many fall prey to the waiting crocodiles. Towards the end of October they begin crossing back into Tanzania. The actual timing of the migration, however, is dictated by the weather and does not always run to schedule.
Offering an abundance of herbivores, a Masai Mara safari is the ideal hunting ground for Kenya’s famous ‘big cats’ and hosts her largest population of lions. It also offers the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild. Other predators include cheetah and spotted hyena.
Historically teaming with wildlife, a Masai Mara safari is famous for the large herds of elephant and buffalo that meander its plains; also for the fat pods of hippo that wallow in its mud-brown rivers. Other stars include the distinctive Masai giraffe, plum-coloured topi, Coke’s hartebeest, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, zebra, impala, Kirk’s dik-dik, bushbuck, waterbuck and red duiker. The Reserve also boasts plentiful Nile crocodile, monitor lizard, baboon, vervet, blue and red-tailed monkeys, nocturnal bush babies, and tree hyrax.
Boasting over 550 resident and migratory species, a Masai Mara safari shelters an incredible array of both regionally and globally threatened birds. Easily spotted on the plains are the common ostrich, secretary bird, ground hornbill and bustard (Kori, black-bellied and white-bellied). Also plentiful are crowned plover, red-necked spur fowl and helmeted guinea fowl, while along the rivers African fish eagle, Egyptian geese, yellow-billed stork, sacred ibis and blacksmith plover abound. The Reserve also boasts 53 species of raptors, to include augur buzzard, black-shouldered kite, bateleur eagle and 6 species of vulture. The Reserve is the only place in Kenya where you can see the rare Schalow’s turaco on a Masai Mara safari.
Explore below our range of Masai Mara safaris and discover a Masai Mara safari today!
Less crowds and some excellent airfares make it the right time to catch a seat on the Mara river to watch the Great Migration unfold!Read more
Good wildlife safari photography is not only about composition and camera equipment because you first need to find your subjects before you can even lift your camera. This best five African wildlife destinations list helps you do that. Once you have been going on wildlife photography safaris in Africa for a number of years you begin to realise and recognise that certain areas are better than others for generating good animal picture opportunities on a consistent basis. The ranking is […]Read more