Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya- Africa. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland. The Masai Mara National Reserve (also known as Maasai Mara, Masai Mara and by the locals as The Mara) is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Mara Region, Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people (the ancestral inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from afar: “Mara,” which is Maa (Maasai language) for “spotted,” an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and cloud shadows that mark the area.
It is globally famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards and cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest to and from the Serengeti every year from July to October, known as the Great Migration. The Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the World. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big Five
The Masai Mara National Reserve is only a fraction of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, which includes the following Group Ranches: Koiyaki, Lemek, Ol Chorro Oirowua, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji Moto, Naikara, Ol Derkesi, Kerinkani, Oloirien, and Kimintet.
Wildlife tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western escarpment. The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November. There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species recorded on the reserve. Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).
This is the part of the Mara to the west of the Mara River. It is called the triangle because of its shape on the map. Its border to teh south with Serengeti, Oloololo escarpment along its western border and the Mara river along its eastern border forms a triangular shape, hence its name.
Climatic conditions – Altitude 5,300 feet (1,600 metres). Rainy season from November through May, with peak rainfall in December-January and April-May. Dry season from June-November. Often sunny mornings with cloud build-up in the afternoons – during the rains this develops into thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Max temperatures up to 30°C and min temperatures around 20°C.
Wildlife – The Mara triangle is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the World. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big 5, cheetah, serval, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, oribi, reed-buck, zebra.
During the migration (July to November) huge numbers of wildebeest move in.
Access – The Mara Triangle is serviced by two all-weather airstrips– Mara Serena and Kichwa Tembo. The main road access into the Triangle is through Narok and Sekenani Gate.
Accommodation – Mara Serena (150 beds that have luxury bedding and cozy pillows) and Little Governors’ Camp (36 beds luxury bedding and cozy pillows) are the only two lodges situated in the Triangle. Angama, Kichwa Tembo, Mpata Club, Olonana, Mara Siria and Kilima Camp are situated on the periphery but use the Triangle.
Best time to visit – Peak season is between July and October, during the migration. Early November and February can also offer excellent game viewing.
Activities – Game viewing, camping, night game drives, visits to Masai cultural villages, ballooning, bush dinner, lunch and breakfast. As wedding destination in the country, it makes for a spot for a destination wedding photographer to engage different scenes with clients.