TRAVEL GUIDE TO MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE KENYA
Travel guide to Masai Mara National Reserve: This article includes the most valuable information about Masai Mara National Reserve, its location, the distance from Nairobi to Masai Mara, what to do, what to see and many other necessary information that will help you to enjoy the best of Masai Mara National Reserve. Masai Mara National Reserve is the most visited destination in the southern part of Kenya receiving the highest number of tourists in Kenya all year round. This is probably attributed to the annual wildebeest migration that sees millions of wildebeest, thousands of Zebras, Elands and many other animals as they join the motion across Serengeti national park in the northern part of Tanzania.
Masai Mara National Reserve was established in the year 1961and it is a home to plenty of wildlife species including the big 5 game plus lots of other animals led by the wildebeests, Elands and many other wildlife that call Masai Mara national reserve their home.
Location and Geography of Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve covers a land area of 1,510 Square Kilometers equivalent to 580 Square Miles. This Masai Mara National Reserve lies in the southern part of Kenya the reason as to why it is easily combined with Serengeti national park. Masai Mara national reserve is known as the best stop for wildlife viewing adventure. Masai Mara National Reserve is intersected by River Mara, River Talek, and Sand thou River Mara is the commonly known river in the Masai Mara National Reserve as it is known for the spectacular annual wildebeest migration that involves a movement of several animals as they cross over from Serengeti national park to Masai Mara National Reserve and the cycles continues. But all in all the magic is seen as these animals cross the Crocodile infested River where several of the animals are grabbed by hungry Crocodiles but at this time, we call it survival for the fittest thus those that manage to escape the crocodiles proceed with the migration process into Masai Mara National Reserve.
Apart from the rivers, Masai Mara National Reserve is generally an open savanna grassland with studded acacia plants making it an adventurous destination while on a Kenya safari. The reserve has a high concentration of wildlife including the big 5 game that is the Lions, Elephants, Rhinos, Buffaloes and Leopards. Other wildlife species in Masai Mara National Reserve include Hippos, Topis, gazelles, wildebeests, Oribi, zebras, waterbucks and many more without forgetting abundant of birdlife since the park has recorded over 450 species of birds.
Theoretically, the best months for tourists who wish to watch the wildebeest migration is during the months of July, August, September, October and through to November where tourists enjoy a magical and breath taking experience as they watch these animals on a move. The migration changes depending on the rain patterns but once you grab a chance of having a glance at the Wildebeest migration, it will be unforgettable experience to remember for the life time.
What to do in Masai Mara National Reserve/ top things to do
- Game drive safaris
Taking on a game drive is the major tourist activity one would enjoy while on a Kenya safari to Masai Mara National Reserve. Game drives are best enjoyed in a 4×4 safari vehicle with a pop-up roof where tourists can stand and enjoy the stunning views of plenty of fauna and flora species in Masai Mara National Reserve. Most of the lodges and camps within Masai Mara national reserve offer game drive safaris only for day drive since night game drives aren’t allowed in this reserve but can be enjoyed in the neighboring conservancies. Apart from using the lodges and camps, there are plenty of tour operators that organize game drives to Masai Mara National Reserve including Kenya Wildlife Tours, Focus East Africa Tours, Achieve Global safaris, Explore Rwanda Tours and many more. During the game drives, tourist are as well in position to enjoy Birding, Photography as well as watching the great wildebeest migration.
- Hot Air Ballooning
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the best destination to visit for a hot air balloon safari. This safari enables you to explore the plains of Masai Mara from above as you take plenty of stunning photographs of the animals as they graze and hunt. This hot air balloon safari includes a flight and upon landing, tourists are rewarded with a bottle of Champagne and bush breakfast making it a rewarding and memorable life time experience.
- Cultural tour
Most of Kenya itineraries usually include either a stopover at any cultural center to experience the culture of the local Masai people who have a rich culture that is worth a visit to enjoy an insight about the culture of the local Masai people that are famous for cattle keeping.
Accommodation facilities in Masai Mara National Reserve/ Where to Stay
You could be wondering where to stay while on your Kenya safari to Masai Mara National Reserve. Well, you have a variety of lodges and camps to choose from ranging from budget, Midrange and luxury amenities depending on the part of the Reserve one intend to explore. Some of these accommodations include Mara Simba, Elephant plains, AA Mara Lodge, Sentrim Lodge, Elephant Pepper Camp, Miti-mingi, Rhino Camp, Lechanda Camp, Sarova, Kiroko, Mara Sopa Lodge, and Beyond Bateleur Camp and many more.
Weather of Masai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve is such a stunning reserve in Kenya with the best vegetation cover and it experienced 2 rainy seasons and 1 dry season. The rain seasons include that of December to January and anther season running across March and May while the dry season is seen across June, July, August, September, October and November with an average temperature of 68 all year round. The dry season is the best time to visit Masai Mara National Reserve as all the lodges be open and in good condition. This is yet the best season to watch the annual wildebeest migration.
Entrance fees for Masai Mara National Reserve
To Access Masai Mara National Reserve, tourist require to pay an entrance fees of $80 per adult and $45 per child. To be considered as a child, one has to be below 12 year above which is considered an adult and pays $80. This entrance fees is valid for 24 hours and it includes game drives but excludes car entrance fees.
Getting to Masai Mara National Reserve,
Masai Mara National Reserve can be accessed both by road and by air.
The road drive from Nairobi to Masai Mara national reserve takes about 5-6 hours thus tourist who wish to access the reserve by road are supposed to obtain 4×4 safari vehicles which can easily navigate through the roads in the reserve. During the rainy season, the road get really bad and difficult to drive through but obviously not impossible.
Those that opt for a flight take about 45minutes in air and the departure is always at Wilson airport to the airstrip.