Activities in Masai Mara National Reserve
Activities in Masai Mara National Reserve are the different ventures that travelers engage in when they reach the park in order to spice up and complete their safari. Masai Mara National Reserve is located in the south western part of Kenya. This destination is visited by many tourists from around the world and there are a wide range of activities that tourists can engage in during their visits to this reserve.
Activities in Masai Mara National Reserve
Some of the activities which tourists visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve can engage in include;
1. Game drives are among the ways of wildlife viewing which take place in the Masai Mara National Reserve. These game drives take place at different times of the day and they include morning game drives, evening game drives, and full-day game drives. This reserve does not have night game drives where tourists can experience nocturnal wildlife species. During morning game drives, tourists can view a variety of wildlife species since the animals are more active during this time of day.
The wildlife species which can be seen during morning game drives in Masai Mara National Reserve include lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos, leopards, giraffes, waterbucks, reedbucks, hartebeest, wildebeests, antelopes, cheetahs, baboons among others.
Evening game drives involve watching the wildlife species and enjoying the beautiful sunset in the savannah plains. These evening game drives are less rewarding since the wildlife species are hidden and they take shelter from the sunshine.
Full day game drives involve exploring the savannah plains the whole day and observing the behavior of wildlife species in the wild at different times of day as they hunt, graze and roam in the wilderness of the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Game drives also take place outside the Masai Mara National Reserve in the different conservancies and these game drives offer unique wildlife viewing experiences such as night game drives which are restricted in some safari destinations.
2. Nature walks in the Masai Mara National Reserve involve exploring the wilderness of the reserve on foot. These walks are carried out in the company of a ranger and a guide for the protection of the tourists as they see different attractions and engage in other activities within the reserve.
This activity also gives the tourists a chance to get a close interaction with nature in the reserve. The local community of the Maasai monitor and take care of the reserve which makes it possible for the tourists to have walked through the Masai Mara National Reserve both inside and outside the reserve in the neighboring Maasai villages.
Nature walks in the Masai Mara National Reserve are also an excellent way of exercising during the safari as tourists enjoy the beautiful scenery and surroundings around the reserve such as plant species, flowers, trees, reptiles, birds and insects which can be done either in the morning hours or in the afternoon hours of the day.
Tourists who are interested in research are also favored during nature walks since they get to pay special attention to the smallest details of the reserve such as plant species, the vegetation in the reserve. Tourists are also able to observe the behavior of the wildlife species closely during nature walks.
3. Cultural visits involve tourists interacting with the local community in the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Masai people are known for their nomadic way of life and dependence on their livestock as well as their unique culture.
The Masai people are the inhabitants of the Masai Mara National Reserve and they have contributed to tourism in this reserve by supporting conservation practices, acting as tour guides during safaris as well as during other activities in the reserve.
Information is also shared with the tourists by the Maasai people about their ways of life, way of dressing, traditional arts and crafts such as beaded jewelry like necklaces, bracelets, earrings among others. Tourists can also watch traditional dance performances as they interact with the local community.
Tourists can also learn about the different roles and duties in the society of the Maasai people such as livestock grazing which is done by the males, taking care of the household, children and making jewelry which is done by the women among others.
Visits to the traditional Maasai houses which are known as the “manyattas” is another highlight of the cultural visits to this local community. Tourists are able to get information about the way the traditional houses are built, materials used and the reasons for the designs of the traditional Maasai houses.
4. Horseback riding is another unique way of exploring the Masai Mara National Reserve during the wildlife viewing experiences in the reserve. Wildlife species that can be seen during these horseback rides include zebras, topi, giraffe, gazelles, elephants, buffalos, lions among others.
The horseback rides follow different routes through the Masai Mara National Reserve and they even go up to the conservancies such as Olare motorogi conservancy, Naboisho Conservancy, and the Mara North conservancy.
Exploring the Masai Mara National Reserve on horseback also provides views of the stunning scenery, wildlife grazing, roaming in the plains of the reserve, river meanders, Loita hills and many other attractions within the reserve.
5. Hot air ballooning gives tourists an aerial view of the wildlife species and other attractions within the Masai Mara National Reserve.
This activity starts early in the morning which gives the tourists a chance to watch the sunrise and to enjoy breakfast in the wilderness of the reserve while watching the wildlife species grazing and roaming in the distant plains.
The duration of the hot air balloon ride is about 1 hour which gives the tourists a chance to explore the beauty of the scenery and the different attractions in the Masai Mara National Reserve. The hot air balloons carry a specific number of people depending on their capacity which ranges from 16 passengers, 12 passengers, 8 passengers, and 4 passengers. This activity is paid independently from the entry fees into the Masai Mara National Reserve.
6. Birding is another activity in which tourists visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve can engage in during their safaris. There are a number of bird species in this reserve and they include both migrant birds and the native bird species.
The best time for birding in the Masai Mara National Reserve is between the months of October and February as well as in the months of June to July. The bird species include Flamingos, swallows, ostriches, long-tailed cormorants, egrets, herons hammerkops, yellow billed storks, Hadeda Ibis, vultures, kori bustards, secretary birds, fish eagles among others.
7. The wildebeest migration is an attraction that takes place within the Masai Mara National Reserve which attracts visitors from different parts of the world to witness as thousands of wildebeest cross from Serengeti national park to Masai Mara National Reserve.
The wildebeest migration takes place during the months of July to October when the pastures are greener in the reserve. These months of the year also favor wildlife viewing and other activities such as nature walks.
Tourists can access the Masai Mara National Reserve by both road and air or flight means.
By road, tourists can drive or be driven via the route from Nairobi to Narok and then proceed to the entry gates within the reserve such as Sekenani gate, Talek gate, Musiara gate, Oloololo gate, Oloolaimutia gate.
There are also different airstrips within the Masai Mara National Reserve which tourists can use to access this reserve and they include Kichwa Tembo airstrip, Olare Orok airstrip, Mara Serena airstrip, Cottars airstrip, Ol kiombo airstrip among others.
Visit the Masai Mara National Reserve and engage in a wide range of activities as you explore the reserve and its different attractions.