A Masai Mara safari in Kenya is a one of a kind experience. It is one of Africa’s most quintessential safaris. Here, you are guaranteed to spot the Big Five and witness the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, the famous Great Migration. Beyond that, there are four main attractions that make up the thrilling Masai Mara experience:
1. THE MAASAI TRIBES
The Masai tribe inhabit the northern, central, and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are a Nilotic ethnic group. The Maasai speak the Maa language and are among the best known local populations internationally due to their strategic residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes and their distinctive customs and local outfit. They are strongly patriarchal in nature. The elders are sometimes joined by retired elders who decide most major matters for each Maasai group. The Maasai worship a single deity called Engai. A man’s wealth is measured in terms of his cattle and children and their traditional lifestyle centers around cattle which constitute their primary source of food. The more children, the better, and a herd of 50 cattle are respectable.
2. THE WILDLIFE DIVERSITY
Well renowned for hosting one of the greatest wildlife event on the planet, the Masai Mara Game Reserve is home to all members of the Big Five including the lion, leopard, elephant, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros. The dominant inhabitants are the wildebeest and their numbers are estimated in the millions. In search of greener pastures, millions of wildebeests, Thompson’s gazelles, topi, elands, and zebra migrate from the Serengeti to the Mara during the annual Great Migration. Impalas, duikers, coke’s hartebeests, hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, and the bat-eared foxes can also be found in the reserve even during the Masai Mara rainy season, which typically runs from late March to May and November to early January.
3. THE FOUR DIFFERENT TOPOGRAPHIES
The Mara is divided into four different topographies known as the Ngama Hills, Oloololo Escarpment, Mara Triangle, and the Central Plains.
Half of the reserve is made up of the Eastern sector from the Mara and Talek Rivers to the Ngama Hills. The Hills rises above the main Sekenani entrance gate and are a prominent feature of the landscape visible from all areas of the park, and a useful landmark if you are doing a self-drive safari. It is the closest part of the reserve to Nairobi and the most visited. You can spot the big cats and cheetah here along with their prey of gazelle, antelope, elands, and ostrich, along with plenty of elephants. The only crossing between the eastern and western sectors of the park is the southern Mara Bridge, perfect for views of a large pool of hippos.
THE MARA TRIANGLE
The Mara Triangle is managed by the not-for-profit organization known as the Mara conservancy on behalf of the Trans-Mara county council and it is the southernmost part of the Masai Mara National Reserve. With an area of 510 km sq, the Mara Triangle is one-third of the Masai Mara National Reserve. It boasts two natural borders, to the southwest is the Tanzania / Serengeti border, to the east is the Mara River, and to the northwest is the Oldoinyo Escarpment. Mara Serena is the only lodge inside the Mara Triangle and Little Governors is the only camp. The Mara Triangle is reachable by road and is easy to access by plane with Serena and Kuchiwa Tembo airstrips. The grasslands of the Mara heaves with wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, as well as many other predators in July and August.
THE SIRIA ESCARPMENT
Siria Escarpment is an escarpment (class T- Hypsographic) in the Rift Valley province with the region font code of Africa / Middle East and is located at an elevation of 1,828 m above sea level. An Escarpment is a long line of steep slopes separating level surfaces above and below. It is also known as Doinya Escarpment, Istria Escarpment, Ololol Escarpment, or Soitolol.
THE CENTRAL PLAINS
Situated between the Mara and Talek Rivers in the heart of the Masai Mara, the Central Plains boasts an exceptionally reliable game viewing, particularly for big cats, many of which are habituated to vehicles. You can take great photos without fear of driving the cats away. The Mara River and the Talek are the only permanent water sources flowing through the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Mara River supports plenty of birdlife and aquatic life including hippos, crocodiles, and otters. leopards, vervet monkeys, and bushbucks reside in the lush forest that edges the river.
4. THE PLENTIFUL BIRDLIFE
The Mara is home to over 470 species of avian species, many of which are migrants with almost 60 species being raptors. Vultures, secretary birds, marabou storks, crowned cranes, ostriches, and many more dwell here.
If you are looking to experience these four incredible attractions things that make up the Masai Mara experience on your Kenya Safari Tours, get in touch with us today to get started.