All You Need To Know About The Maasai Mara : Masai Mara national reserve is one of the most famous safari destinations in Kenya and of the largest game reserve in East Africa, the reserve is locally referred to as the Mara by the indigenous people of Kenya.
Masai Mara national reserve is located in the Rift Valley area of Kenya and shares borders with Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the reserve is approximately 580 square kilometers and is name d in honor of the Masai People who were immigrants from the Nile basin. The world Mara means “spotted” and the reserve was called so because when the Maasai peole had just arrived, they saw the place from a far filled with spotted shrubs hence referring to it as Mara.
Masai Mara national reserve is one of the most blessed adventure safari destinations in Africa, the reserve is filled with a diverse ecological system with various species of flora and fauna to wonder over. The reserve is blessed with a multitude of earthly beasts such as lions, elephants, leopards and breathtaking millions of wildebeests giving you a true taste of the African Safari with magnificent scenic views of a lifetime.
What you need to know about Masai Mara
Masai Mara national reserve is an interesting place including extra reserves like the Mara Triangle, the reserve is bordered by Serengeti national park in the south, the Siria Escarpment to the west and the Masai Pastoral ranches from the north, east and west. The Talek River and the Mara River are the main water sources.
The landscape of Masai Mara national reserve is mainly covered in shrubs and grassland in nature with seasonal river lets, the northern part of the area which is Siria is part of the East Africa Rift Valley and covers up to 3500mi long. There are also experiences of biannual rains and two distinct rains happening between April and May with some short rain pours between the months of November and December.
THE MASAI MARA CULTURAL EXPERIENCE.
THE MAASAI PEOPLE.
There are over 50 tribes scattered along the lands of Kenya and the Maasai people are regarded to be the most interesting of all the tribes, The Maasai are a semi – nomadic pastoral indigenous group of people who are located around most of the north and south parts of Kenya and the northern parts of Tanzania especially the Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Amboseli region which are mainly concentrated game reserve and parks.
The Maasai people are famously known for their brevity, red robes and ever ready spears in hand, they are truly amazing people to encounter. The Maasai have rich knowledge of the terrains, they carry the total humor which is entwined with the most welcome of gestures one can ever get from a stranger, they are sure meant to elevate the spirit of a traveler who is in search for a connection with the outside world of humble culture and indigenous experience.
The Maasai are still considered one of the toughest people in East Africa if not Africa as whole and you will be marveled by their bravery.
Till to date, a boy is considered to be old enough in the Maasai culture is expected to kill a lion with his only bare hands and spear and only then he can be allowed to join the meetings of men when they are carried out and also get a right to marry.
The Maasai Life Style
The Maasai are mainly herdsmen meaning that they rear cattle and goats as the main source of income and home consumption, to them their cattle is their wealth and source of livelihood. This makes them seem to be a hostile tribe and yet they cannot stop at anything to protect their cattle.
The Maasai women mainly look after the children and the home while the men are busy out there grazing the cattle or looking for means of supporting their families. They also indulge themselves in the arts of craft making for example leather sandals, braclents and bangle, necklaces and earrings which are 100%natural and organic making the Maasai some of the most engaged environmentalist of our travel world.
Intelligent Tour Guides
The Maasai are also the main tourists guides of the Maasai Mara national reserve, this is because they have a diverse knowledge of the terrains and surroundings of the area they are in and the types of animals to expect from within due to their long stay in the region.
A friendly indigenous culture
Though they are originally known as hostile, the Masai people are some of the friendliest people with an original welcoming culture which can only be marveled at by an appreciative eye that has come to interact and get to know the different lifestyles of the African people.
Family die hard
The Maasai people are still among the few tribes that prefer to live together as an extended family, such character of living has given them the opportunity to continue thriving as a culture without disintegrating as fast as most famous tribes have gone.
They love themselves a true challenge
The Maasai people also love themselves good challenges which include exhibition of strength power, such challenges usually come through games live javelin throwing, wrestling and dancing. The Masai dance involves jumping which really need one to have strong bones which is also amazing to watch as they are incredible at.
On the spot hunters.
Given either a gun or a spear, an adult Maasai is an exceptional hunter, with time and patience, travelers who have often come to Maasai Mara area for hunting safaris has never left disappointed when put under the charge of a Masai guide. With one, you are assured to return with game.
If you are a person who loves to experience nature out of the norm of the ordinary level, you are encourage to embark on a cultural experience with the Masai people and experience a wonderful time while in the Maasai Mara land.
THE GREAT WILDEBEEST MIGRATION OF EAST AFRICA.
The great migration is one of the most eye catching scenes of an East Africa safari, this annual migration includes millions of wildebeests and ten thousands of zebras and elands in search for water and green pastures. The Great Wildebeest Migration attracts a lot of predators that are also in search for food as well, watching the large herds of wildebeests in search for water and greener pastures is truly one of the things out to do know about Maasai Mara national reserve.
Why does the migration happen?
The great animal trek happens because during the months of April – October, the Serengeti national park has run out of water and pasture for the animals to feed on due to the rising temperature of about 13⁰c. this forces the herds to migrate to the Maasai Mara plains which at that time are blessed with water and food for the herds to feast on.
Where and when does the migration happen?
The Great Migration happens almost all year round in the Maasai Mara national reserve and Serengeti national park respectively, however there are peak seasons of when to catch the most alive and epic show of the migration.
The Migration process
The month of April towards May which is a wet time and is one of the most interest times to watch the migration, this is the start of the movement when the newly born calves are ready to walk the first of their many pilgrims.
In these months as well, the predatory view is one of a kind since they are preparing to move along the herds. All this time the migrating herd is mainly settled in the center of the Serengeti national park towards Ngorongoro Conservation Area and preparing to be on the move.
By the month of June, the rainy season has come to an end and the whole Serengeti is looking spectacular. By this time of the year, the migrating herd has increased in number and it can take up to an half hours to cover the distance between the leading and the last herd. By this time, the migrating herds are almost getting to the Tanzania – Kenya border/ the Masai Mara plains and ready to cross the river.
June also marks the start of the Grumeti River crossing which runs to August. The rivers are also fully packed with the crocodiles which are not afraid of being trampled on by the millions of the crossing herds.
August is the epic climax of the whole migration show, apart from being the hottest month of the migration, it also involves the crossing of the Mara River which is greatly infested with crocodiles. In this month the wildebeests will have joined the others in search of lush vegetation and water to drink, in this month visitors get a chance to witness what most people refer to as the great migration since the animals will be crossing the borders from Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya.