Masai Mara National Reserve Safari
Masai Mara National Reserve Safari involves discovering the different attractions at this national reserve and engaging in various activities while enjoying the beautiful scenery in the reserve.
Masai Mara national reserve is a destination which is located in the south western part of Kenya and in the western direction from Nairobi. This reserve is known among tourists from different parts of the world for its excellent all the year-round concentration of wildlife, breath taking scenery and endless plains.
Tourists on safari in Masai Mara national reserve also enjoy views of the beautiful scenery and landscape which consists of lush grasslands, woodlands, scattered trees and bushes, kopjes which is part of the habitat for the wildlife species.
The Masai Mara national reserve is under the management of Mara Conservancy and the Narok county council.
This national reserve is famous for its large concentration of predators and other wildlife species as well as being the safari location where the wildebeest migration takes place. This migration involves movement of thousands of wildebeest from Serengeti national park to Masai Mara national reserve in search of greener pasture and water.
Activities which tourists engage in during their safaris to Masai Mara national reserve include the following;
Game drives: Game drives in Masai Mara national reserve take place at different times of day such as in the morning and in the late afternoon. Morning game drives are very rewarding since wildlife species are very active at this time of day which makes them easy to spot as they graze and roam in the open plains of the reserve.
Evening game drives involve driving through the wilderness of the Masai Mara national reserve in search of the wildlife species while enjoying the beautiful sunset. The wildlife species are a little difficult to spot in the evening hours of the day compared to the morning wildlife viewing experiences.
Wildlife species which can be seen during game drives by tourists on a safari to Masai Mara national reserve include the big five that is lion, leopard, elephants, buffalos, rhinos as well as other wildlife species such as giraffes, cheetahs, hartebeest, wildebeest, reedbucks, warthogs, antelopes, hyenas among others.
Nature walks are also a unique way of experiencing the wildlife species and other attractions in the Masai Mara national reserve during a safari. This experience brings tourists closer to nature within the reserve such as the flora and fauna.
These nature walks during a safari in Masai Mara also provide an opportunity for tourists to explore the reserve on foot. Game rangers and guides are also present during these walks in order to ensure that the tourist enjoy exploring the reserve in a safe environment.
Birding is also carried out in Masai Mara national reserve and it involves searching for various bird species which can be spotted during a safari in this reserve. Bird species which can be seen by tourists in this reserve include ostriches, shrikes, kori bustard, vultures, guinea fowls, turacos, hornbills, barbets, herons, finfoot, cisticola, kingfishers, yellow throated sand grouse among others.
Horseback riding is a unique way of wildlife viewing by tourists on a safari in the Masai Mara national reserve. This activity involves exploring the beautiful scenery of the reserve on foot in search of the variety of wildlife species.
Hot air balloon safaris in Masai Mara national reserve provide an aerial view of the different attractions within this reserve.
Community visits involve interactions between tourists on a safari in Masai Mara national reserve and the local community. During this activity, tourists get to know more about the culture of the Masai people such as their way of life, their way of dressing, traditional arts and crafts such as beaded necklaces, bangles, earrings and many others.
During cultural visits to the Masai villages, tourists can also enjoy traditional dance performances, visit the traditional homesteads of the Masai people which are known as “manyattas” among other cultural activities.
Attractions in Masai Mara national reserve have attracted many tourists to visit this destination of their safaris and these attractions include;
- Wildlife species are among the major attractions which are sought after by tourists during their safaris in Masai Mara national reserve. These wildlife species can be seen during the various wildlife viewing activities which tourists engage in while on safari such as nature walks, game drives, hot air ballooning among others. The wildlife species which can be seen include wildebeest, hartebeest, hyenas, buffalos, elephants, giraffes among others.
- Masai people are also an attraction which tourists on a safari in Masai Mara national reserve come to see. The Masai people have a unique culture which can be seen in their traditional nomadic way of life, traditional homesteads known as “manyattas”, watching traditional dance performances, seeing local arts and crafts among other cultural activities. The Masai people have also greatly contributed to tourism in the Masai Mara reserve by practicing conservation of the environment. This initiative is also encouraged by the management of the reserve which shares benefits from tourism in the reserve with the local community.
- The wildebeest migration is one of the natural wonders of the world which involves thousands of wildebeest moving between Serengeti national park in Tanzania and Masai Mara national reserve in Kenya in search of greener pastures. Tourists on safari in Masai Mara national reserve can witness the wildebeest migration at this destination during the months of July to October which also promises good wildlife viewing opportunity in the open plains of the reserve.
- Mara Triangle is located in the northwestern part of the Masai Mara national reserve which offers amazing scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities for tourists on a safari. This part of the reserve can be accessed by flights from Serena airstrip and Kichwa Tembo airstrip. The Mara Triangle is less crowded and it provides a good location to watch the wildebeest migration across the Mara river which acts as the natural boundary that isolates it from the rest of the Masai Mara national reserve.
- Mara River is another major attraction that can be visited by tourists on a safari in Masai Mara national reserve. This river acts as a water point for a variety of wildlife species in the reserve which makes it a good wildlife viewing spot, especially in the dry season. The Mara river is also a river crossing point as wildebeest migrate from Serengeti national park in Tanzania into the Masai Mara national reserve.
- Other attractions that can be seen by tourists during safaris in Masai Mara national reserve include the different conservancies such as Ol kinyei conservancy, Olare conservancy, Lemek conservancy, Ol choro Oiroua conservancy, Mara Naboisho, Mara North Conservancy, Olare motorogi conservancy.
Rules and regulations in Masai Mara national reserve
Different rules and regulations have been put in place within the Masai Mara reserve to promote the safety of the tourists during their safaris and to also encourage conservation practices within the reserve and they include the following;
- Avoid exceeding the speed limit of 50km/hr in order to protect the wildlife and the ecosystem. This rule helps tourists to avoid accidents while driving around the Masai Mara reserve such as knocking the wildlife species.
- Keep at a distance from the wildlife to avoid interfering with the behavior of the animals in their habitat. The presence of humans in the natural habitat of the wildlife species scares the animals and keeps them from continuing with their usual way of life.
- Avoid making noise, sounding your horn, playing music so as to avoid scaring away the animals. The loud noise startles the wildlife species and this may cause a lot of confusion among the animals and lead to unseen accidents such as stampedes which endanger the tourists.
- Drivers are prohibited from going off the track. This rule protects the tourists from dangers of driving off the usual routes for game drives such as getting lost in the wilderness, getting attacked by wild animals and many other dangers in the Masai Mara reserve.
- Avoid getting too close to the animals. Tourists are encouraged to carry equipment such as binoculars in order to be able to see the wildlife species in the Masai Mara reserve even from a far distance.
- No more than five vehicles are allowed around one wildlife sighting. This rule makes it possible for other tourists who are visiting the Masai Mara reserve to also share in the wildlife viewing experience and to see its attractions.
- Avoid getting out of the vehicles with exception of the viewing points along the river and at the picnic sites. This rule protects the tourists from risks associated with leaving the tourists vehicles during game viewing activities in the Masai Mara reserve such as attacks from the animals.
- Avoid feeding the animals because this makes them abandon their normal hunting and feeding behaviours.
- Avoid littering the reserve. Tourists are also discouraged from littering the Masai Mara reserve in order to protect the environment and to conserve the wildlife species which live in the reserve.
- Respect the animals and avoid trying to get the animals to move by making loud noise, clapping hands, banging the car doors and other forms of signalling to the wildlife species.
- Taking or removal of specimen such as bones, feathers, stones, plants and flowers from the protected areas in the Masai Mara reserve is prohibited.
- Avoid blocking a river crossing during the wildlife viewing activities in the Masai Mara reserve. Tourists are also advised against driving through animal herds and to slow down for the animals.
- Tourists are encouraged to respect the opening and closing times of the Masai Mara reserve. The reserve opens at 06:00 am in the morning and closes at around 7:00 pm in the evening on a daily basis.
How to get there
Tourists can access the Masai Mara national reserve through different means depending on different factors such as time, comfort, budget for the safari among other factors. The means of accessing this reserve include the following;
By road, tourists can drive from Nairobi via Narok and then proceed to the entry gates of the Masai Mara national reserve such as Talek gate, Sekenani gate, Musiara gate, Oloololo gate, and Oloolaimutia gate.
Alternatively, tourists can access the Masai Mara national reserve during their safaris by air or flight from Wilson airport to any of the airstrips within the reserve such as Mara Serena airstrip, kichwa tembo airstrip, Musiara airstrip, Ol kiombo airstrip, Keekorok airstrip among others.
Best time to visit Masai Mara national reserve
The best time to visit the Masai Mara national reserve for a safari depends on the choice of a tourist since this destination can be visited at any time of the year. However, the months from July to October are recommended for good wildlife viewing experiences since this time of year is the dry season and the wildebeest migration also takes place during these months.
The rainy season occurs in the Masai Mara national reserve during the months of March, April, and May.
There is a variety of accommodation facilities within the Masai Mara national reserve for tourists on a safari at this destination and they are classified into luxury accommodations, midrange accommodations and budget accommodations.
Different campsites which include public and private campsites are also available for tourists during their safaris in Masai Mara national reserve.
Plan for an unforgettable experience during a safari to Masai Mara national reserve and explore the different attractions and engage in different activities to create memories with your loved ones.