Wildlife Safari Tours in the Magic Masai Mara National Park Kenya
Known for the beast migration the park lies in the south west of Kenya Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Mara Region, Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Masai people leaving around the park. It has abundance of wildlife from the big cats, to small animals. White rhinos cannot do well in Masai because of the Tse Tse flies while a Black Rhinos are present in the park because of they are resistant to Tse Tse flies. They are few in number and are monitored.
Animals found in this park include
Masai giraffe, Zebras,Bufaloes, Eland, Cheeter, Impala,lions,warthogs,topis, Hynas etc. The park is known for the great wildebeest Migration where animals migrate from Masai Mara to Serengeti national park between the months of July-October.
Wildebeest, topi, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle migrate into and occupy the Mara reserve, from the Serengeti plains to the south and Loita Plains in the pastoral ranches to the north-east, from July to October or later. Herds of all three species are also resident in the reserve.
All members of the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, African elephant, Cape buffalo, and black rhinoceros) are found in Masai Mara Game Reserve. The population of black rhinos was fairly numerous until 1960, but it was severely depleted by poaching in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Hippopotami and crocodiles are found in large groups in the Mara and Talek rivers. Leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, and bat-eared foxes can also be found in the reserve.
As in Serengeti National Park, the wildebeest are the dominant inhabitants of the Maasai Mara, and their numbers are estimated in the millions. Around July of each year, these animals migrate north from the Serengeti plains in search of fresh pasture, and return to the south around October.
The Great Migration is one of the most impressive natural events worldwide, involving some 1,300,000 wildebeest, 500,000 Thomson’s gazelles, 97,000 Topi, 18,000 elands, and 200,000 zebras. These migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by predators, most notably lions and hyena.
Antelopes can be found, including Grant’s gazelles, impalas, duikers and Coke’s hartebeests. The plains are also home to the distinctive Masai giraffe. The large roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders.
More than 470 species of birds have been identified in the park, many of which are migrants, with almost 60 species being raptors. Birds that call this area home for at least part of the year include: vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles, African pygmy-falcons and the lilac-breasted roller, which is the national bird of Kenya.
Beasts cross river Mara River where they experience a lot of obstacles, like crocodiles which eat them while crossing, cats etc. Wild beasts move to Mara for mating and they breed from Serengeti national park. The two parks are Contiguous to each other.
Masai Mara national park consists of two parts, the game reserve for the government and Mara Conservancy for the local people. They get a percentage of revenue generated from the visitors who enters the Conservancy.
Among the lodges around the park include, keekorok lodge, Mara soper lodge, Mara Serena lodge, Manyata Camp, Mara Bush Camp, Elephant pepper Camp, Matira Camp, Governors Camp, Kicheche Bush Camp, Kichwa Tembo Camp, Mara Expedition Camp, Mara Plains Camp, Mara west safari tents, Enkewa Mara Camp etc.
GAME DRIVE AT MARA GAME RESERVE
A game drive at Masai Mara game reserve will never disappoint, after entering the Reserve, you will be welcomed by many different animals in open plains. Most visitors prefer to Visit Masai Mara and Serengeti national park in the months of Migration.
The annual wildebeest migration varies slightly in timing each year. The wildebeest migrate along with a number of zebra, gazelle and other animals to the Masai Mara in Kenya at the end of June/beginning of July, and then return to the Serengeti in October.
Game drives are designed to take you close to the wildlife rich spots in the Maasai Mara. This gives you an opportunity to view wild animals in their natural habitat as they go about their daily activities.
It is recommended that you use local driver/guides to give you lots of information about the animals and their habitat, and know where they can currently be found.
The river crossings can be nature at its most brutal, animals and especially calves can drown in the strong river currents, or violently snatched up by crocodiles and can even be ambushed by big cats just as they arrive on the other side of the river. These are very emotional experiences.
Another best time to see the Wildebeest Migration is during the calving season in the southern Serengeti. Roughly 8 000 calves are born daily starting in late January or early February, and the herds stick around until about March, enjoying the good grazing. You will still see big cat action as they prey heavily on the vulnerable new-borns and visibility is good.
The wildebeest choose short grass plains for calving because the open, flat terrain allows them to spot potential predators from a distance. The scenery is beautiful and lush; there are colorful migratory birds, and lots of other baby species.
April and May are also great months to see the Migration they are now galloping north across the central Serengeti and you can ensure that you follow all the action by staying at a mobile camp they move along with the Migration.
In June they start to gather in preparation of the river crossings. By August most have crossed the rivers, leaving behind the Serengeti and are in the Masai Mara in Kenya.