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Wildvoyager

Masai Mara National Reserve

Overview

Location – KenyaArea – 1510 sq Km Nearest Airport – Nairobi (270Kms) is nearest intl airport. Inside Mara, there are 6 airstrips where domestic small planes land.How to reach – It is situated 270 Km from Nairobi and takes 5-6 hours by road and 40 mins by flight, Famous for – It is perhaps the most famous wildlife park in the world with the best of African wildlife ondisplay including Lions, Cheetah and Leopard.Months Open –Open round the year Best Time – All through the year depending on your interest.



Introduction

There is no doubt about the fact, that for wildlife enthusiasts, Africa is a dream come true. The savannas, the topography and the magnificently diverse wildlife make the heart beat faster, much like the Kenyan cheetahs that are often spotted here. Kenya is a land of thriving wildlife and home to some of the world’s most popular national parks. The Masai Mara National Reserve definitely picks the first spot on a list of illustrious wildlife reserves that span across the country. The reserve is located in the Narok County with the Siria escarpment to the west, Masai ranches to the north, east and west.A contiguous reserve with Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Masai Mara reserve is located in the southwestern area of Kenya. Named after the ethnic tribe Masai who have over the years developed a symbiotic relation with the wilderness and wildlife, this national reserve is only a part of the larger Mara Ecosystem which comprises ranches, likes of Lemek, Koiyaki, Siana, Olkinyei and more. The MaraTriangle is more or less the central area of the reserve.




What to see

The Masai Mara Reserve is one of the few parks in the world where the chances of spotting the Big 5 arenot unimaginable. The Big 5, that is, leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant and rhino are the main flag bearerattractions of the reserve. Besides, these the other wildlife that one encounters here are, the zebra, gazelle, wildebeest, hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, Masai Giraffe, baboons, topi, crocodile, roan antelope,bat eared fox and more.Bird species include marabou storks, vultures, hornbills, secretary birds, ostriches, African pygmy falcons, long crested eagles and lilac breasted roller.The reserve is estimated to shelter around 95 mammal species and 570 bird species.




Details

HistoryOriginally established in 1961, the area of the park has undergone changes later. Today the reserve isstretched across 1510 sq km.

TriviaOne of the striking features that alone make this reserve stand out is the absolute spectacular Migration of the wildebeests along with the other animals that takes place between July to October. The animals migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai reserve, across the Mara River in search of water and food. The hordes of animals that dot the landscape are estimated to be more than 1.5 million. The sheer number of the wildlife that moves across the terrain is an experience to witness in a lifetime. Interestingly, the interplay of the ecosystems also opens up fascinating natural encounters. The crocodiles in the riverwait for the animal bait, whereas the animals focus on getting to the other side alive. Similarly, once the migrant animals reach the Masai reserve, they are welcomed by the inhabitant wildlife as potential prey. All of this makes the migration ritual a stunning natural phenomenon, not to be missed.

How to reach The Masai Mara reserve is 270km away from the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. Nairobi is well connected by air to the major cities of the world.However, the Mara Serena Airport, Keekorok Airport, Musiara Airport are located inside the reservearea.

What to seeThe Masai Mara Reserve is one of the few parks in the world where the chances of spotting the Big 5 are not unimaginable. The Big 5, that is, leopard, lion, buffalo, elephant and rhino are the main flag bearer attractions of the reserve. Besides, these the other wildlife that one encounters here are, the zebra, gazelle, wildebeest, hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, Masai Giraffe, baboons, topi, crocodile, roan antelope,bat eared fox and more.Bird species include marabou storks, vultures, hornbills, secretary birds, ostriches, African pygmyfalcons, long crested eagles and lilac breasted roller.The reserve is estimated to shelter around 95 mammal species and 570 bird species.

Things to doThe Masai Mara National Reserve is best explored through the safari rides. However, there are also afew other exciting ways to traverse the reserve. Guided walks, camping and night drives are great ways to further discover and gauge the wildlife within the reserve. The hot air balloon flight is highly recommended for the unique experience and thrill that it arouses. It is a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the savannah below. Besides the wildlife, the Masai Mara reserve, as the name suggests, is also a way to familiarize with the Masai tribes. The Masai villages are scattered around the reserve and tours are organized to visit theseto learn more about their culture and life himself.Things to do nearby The Masai Mara reserve is surrounded by many other wildlife haunts, which can be clubbed and visited along with the trip. Some of these are the Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park, AmboseliNational Park etc. To take a break from wildlife, one can visit the Watamu Beach, Diani Beach and ofcourse, the tourist destinations of Nairobi.

ItineraryDay 1 – Arrive at the reserve and check into the lodge. Enjoy a quiet meal and discuss with the guide course of plans for the next couple of days. We start off with the afternoon safari, our very first encounter with this savannah reserve. Rest well after a hot dinner for we start early the next day.

Day 2 – As planned, we begin the safari early morning today to catch the reserve in its waking rituals.Post lunch the safari continues till evening. Enjoy the night with camping and sharing photos.

Day 3 – Again an early morning safari unfolds the inhabitants of the reserve and post lunch we head off for the hot air balloon safari. Enjoy your time inside the balloon and the click away the wildlife andlandscapes below. Retire for the day after a sumptuous dinner.

Day 4 – Early morning safaris continues and post lunch we visit the adjoining Masai cultural villages to better understand their social and cultural life>spot the animals in the dark.

Day 5 – After the ritual morning safari, which will be the last one for this trip, you may choose to visit the surrounding attractions or proceed with your onward journey.




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