Masai mare has several important nature and wildlife attractions located inside the park:
Ol Kinyei Conservancy
Ol Kinyei Conservation is one of the most busy, popular ecosystems in Maasai Mara located around Serengeti and Maasai Mara eco-system, it was established in 2005 in partnership between 172 Maasai landowners and Porini Safari camps to set apart some land to be cattle free zones for the purpose of promoting wildlife conservation. Its unspoiled scenery with more diversified terrain along with rolling hills on the other. It’s occupied by swamps and water streams not forgetting the Mara river that runs across between the two parks and also acts as boundary.
It’s a wildlife conservancy that belongs to the local community of the Masaai locals is managed locally and it’s the largest conservancy in Maasai Mara harboring more animals including the big cats like lions and leopards.
It covers and estimated area of around 17,500 acres of the Koyaki Lemek area, it borders Naibosho in the West, Siana to the East. Ol Kinyei conservancy is located in the right point guests can enjoy the clear view of the Wildebeest Migration from Loita Plains to Ol Kinyei conservancy for Calving during February and March when the vegetation of the conservancy is still low as we prepare top receive our first rainfalls when they move to Olare Motorongi through Naboisho.
Mara Triangle is of the conservancies of Maasai Mara national Reserve, its located on the North-Western part of the Reserve. Mara Triangle is managed by nonprofit organization called Mara Conservancy founded by the Maasai locals with the aim of strengthening the anti Poaching programmes on behalf of Trans-Mara county Council. The Mara conservancy was founded by committed hardworking locals that aim at sustainable Tourism through accountable transparent management that accounts for the welfare of both wildlife and guests.
Mara triangle is less crowded, found across the Mara River that forms natural boundary making it isolated from other part of the Maasai Mara national Reserve. The Mara triangle is easily accessible by domestic flights since they have two airfields those are Serena airstrip and Kichwa Tembo airstrip with flights operating on daily basis
The conservancy covers an area of 510 km squared defined by Oloololo Escarpment established in 1994 though faced by a lot of poaching and management challenges till around 200 when more local leaders joined to improve on the management of the Triangle under the headship of Trans-Mara County Council.
The location of the Triangle favored more animals who roam within the Mara Triangle with the the natural fence being the Mara River which prevents animals from crossing to other sides of the reserve. The scenic beauty with diverse landscapes like Rivers, Streams, swamp, volcanic features and others make it much unique from the rest of the parts of Maasai Mara.
The Mara triangle proudly hosts the great wildebeest migration as it acts as an open door for both entrance and exit making it one of the riches destinations in Maasai Mara where the most experiential game drives can be done, the most luxurious accommodations are also located in this area like Mara Serena Lodge, Mara Enkipai Safari Camp, Mara River Camp and many more
Olare Ork Conservancy
The Olare Motorogi Conservancy is located in the Northern side of Maasai Mara national Reserve, formed through immerging two sub conservancies of Olare Orok conservancy and Motorongi Conservancy covering around 33,000 acres of land with ecological importance and great scenic beauty. Olare Motorogi Conservancy borders directly with Maasai Mara national Reserve at its lower valleys of Ntiakitiak and Olare Orok rivers covering the largest area of acacia woodland.
Olare Motorogi Conservancy was created in May 2006 by 277 Maasai landowners at freehold title who accepted to set aside around 3500 acres of land by removing their cattle from the short grass land areas that attracted a lot of herbivores automatically when the food is available the carnivores were to attracted hence balancing the eco system. It’s out of this background that Olare Motorogi conservancy has the highest and largest prides of lions in Maasai Mara national reserve.
This forms every important buffer zone corridor for migrants’ animals between Maasai mara and other conservancies, it has got good record with positive increase of most of the animals with a good eco balancing between predators to prey including the most endangered animal species like African Wild dogs, Rhinos and others.
Six member accommodation has been set in place that includes Mara Expendition camp, Mahali Mzuri, Porini Lion Camp, Mara Plains Camp, Olare Mara Kempinski and Kicheche Bush Camp. The Olare Motorogi Conservancy management has plaid a big role as they work closely with Kenya Wildlife Services to promote the health and welfare of wildlife through research and other foundations like Living with Lions and Colorado State University with research and many more.
Olare Motorogi Conservancy can be easily accessed by road through Narok town with good 4×4 wheel drive cars especially during rainy season since the roads aftr Narok are in bad conditions with a lot of pot holes. One can also dodge all these African massage through a domestic flight that run daily from Nairobi Wilson airport direct to Olare Motorogi Conservancy.
Mara North Conservancy
Mara North Conservancy (MNC) is the largest conservancy in Maasai Mara national reserve covering total area of 69,160 acres of land, its located in the Northern part of the Maasai mara bordering the reserve. It forms the grater Mara ecosystem in the North western zone the home for the Leopards sometimes referred as Leopard Gorge or the maternity center for the big cats since the hills gives them a good cool and safe environment for the young ones who will be hidden in the caves of the hills, trained and later released to the wilderness.
Mara North Conservancy was established in 2009 by collaboration efforts of 12 key strong member accommodation and more than 800 Maasai locals who own the land. The Mara North offers guests with great wilderness experience to explore the most remote Kenya parts of the bush, the conservancy hosts both migratory wild life and permanent residents like big five that includes Rhinos, Elephants, Lions, Buffalos and the Leopards. Other animals are Antelopes, Zebras, Wildebeest, Hyenas, Wild dogs mention but a few. In December to May Mara North Conservancy receives thousands and thousands of the local wildebeest during the Loita Hills migration.
The money collected as park entry fees and part of the bed money is used for the protection and enforcement of conservation goals through promotion of the wildlife and the maasai locals. The Mara North has many accommodations that include: Mara Rianta Camp, Offbeat Mara Camp, Karen Blixen Camp, Elephant Pepper Camp, Ngare Serian, Mara Acacia Bush House, Royal Mara Safari Lodge, Saruni wild, Ngare Serian and Serian among others.
Mara North Conservancy can be easily accessible both by air with agood number of domestic flights scheduled on daily basis connecting from Wilson Airport with Safarilink and AirKenya operating. One can also drive direct through Narok town and enter to the conservancy.
Mara Naboisho Conservancy located in the south western part of Maasai Mara National Reserve, Olare Orok in the West and Ol Kinyei to the East occupies around 50,000 acres of land making it the second largest conservancy after Mara north in the region. The Name Naboisho means “Coming together” in local Maasai language, it was esterblished in 2010 by a total of 425 Maasai landowners and seasoned conservationists.
Mara Naboisho Conservancy is famous for its large prides of lions with an estimated number of 100 lions present in the conservancy, big number of heads of Elephants , wildebeest, Giraffes, Serval Cat, Aadwolf, Caracal and others not forgetting good experience for birders who can see more rarely seen bird species like White-headed Buffalo weaver, Bush Pipit, Pigmy Falcon and many more.
Found at the Northern part of Maasai mara national reserve , the Naboisho conservancy is the newest in Maasai mara region, the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is the secondary route of Loita Migration where large group of zebras and wildebeest move from Loita Hills to the Mara North Conservancy and finally to Maasai mara national reserve. The high number of grazers boosts the large number of predators in this conservancy , thanks to the Koiyaki Guiding School for its hard professional works it has done to improve not only the quality of the services but also sensitization of the locals on the value of wildlife.
Mara Naboisho Conservancy can be accessed by both road that takes around 5 hour drive from the capital Nairobi passing through small and big towns and villages with the most famous town being Narok town or by air from Wilson airport to Ol Seki airstrip which handles scheduled flights which operate daily.
Ol Choro Oiroua
Ol Choro Oiroua conservancy is managed by Seiya Limited under the control of Fairmont Kenya, it covers a total area of 17,000 acres of land. Its located in the Northern part of the Maasai Mara national reserve with its greatest uniqueness from other conservancies being that even the youngest members of the benefiting tribes get their benefits from Ol Choro Oiroua conservancy.
Many schools have been established in the conservancy to enhance and uplift the level of education from the local communities for example Enkerende primary school which is fully funded by the Ol Choro Oiroua conservancy funds but run by the church setting. The conservancy also works hard to improve the economic status by supporting very many local projects that help and empower the locals with knowledge and other forms of not only getting money but how to use the available resources well through managing wastes in the area to avoid or reducing the negative impact of tourism in an area.
Ol Choro Oiroua conservancy has worked hard to ensure proper management of waste by providing opportunities to the maasai locals for income generating projects through cultural conservation and self dependant through community income generating projects for example the women project that makes hand crafts like handbags, sculptures, Jewelry and others using local materials from the community.
Accommodation in the conservancy includes the largest Fairmont Mara safari club, Ngerende Island Lodge and Richard’s Forest Camp.
Lemek Conservancy is the best game viewing areas in Maasai Mara, located on the Northen sector of the game reserve with an area of approximately 19,000 acres of land with the aim of maximizing sustainable Mara eco system.
Lemek Conservancy was known as Koyaiki Lemek Conservation Area which was named after the local community name where the conservancy occupies and the partners Koyaiki Group Ranch, the name was changed after some time when more landowners and stake holders in tourism joined in that is Lemek Group Ranch. Some part of the land was merged to Mara North which led to the reduction of the size for the conservation to the current estimated 19,000 acres even if the actual size is not yet been sure and released by their board but it remains at that level.
Lemek is still been affected with some management issues as the land was initially owned by the Maasai local communities before being taken by Koyaiki Group Ranch and later the Lemek Group Ranch. The other big challenge is balancing the needs of the local communities with the protection and conservation of the wildlife habitats which are critically endangered due to serious encroachment by the locals.
The conservancy has a big advantage in that game viewing can be done throughout the year in an open grassland savannahs with few dotted trees that line along the Mara River hence attracting big cats like Leopards who like to be on trees. The wildlife is mostly much during the annual wildebeest great migration. The conservancy offers best night game drives, off-road game viewing, nature walks and cultural or community tours.
Lemek Conservancy offers mostly budget accommodation with over 80 rooms which are constructed by two member accommodations those are Mara River Lodge and Enkerende Tented Camp.
When it comes to accessibility, Lemek Conservancy is the easiest to reach taking just 4 hours drive from Nairobi with 75% of the road being smooth and well tarmacked with good scenic views when driving.
You can also access the conservancy by flights with the nearest airstrip found in Mara North or Ngerende airstrip which has daily scheduled flights from Wilson airport in Nairobi city.