First things first, the word ‘’Mara’’ means ‘’spotted’’ in the local Masai language ‘maa’ and it was named so due to the many acacia trees which dot the landscape. It is located on the southwestern part of Kenya along the Tanzanian border and adjacent to Serengeti National Park, the siria escarpment to the west and Masai pastoral ranches to the north, east and west. Masai Mara reserve is a place rich with savannah wilderness alongside rolling hills and grassy plains crossed by Talek and Mara rivers which are the major rivers draining the reserve. The climate of the reserve is seen that rainy season is from November through May with peak rainfall in December –January and April- May and the dry season is from June – November hence the best time to visit the reserve is between July and October, during the migration. Early November and February can also offer excellent game viewing.
One of the reasons why many travelers love to do the masai mara safari adventure is because of the beautiful culture on which it sits which is the Masai culture. This is an ancient pastoralist culture known for their warriors, who were once expected to kill a lion to prove its strength and manhood. Recognizable for their red robes and beaded jeweler, the Masai follow their herds of cattle moving their settlements as they search for water resources and new pastureland.
There are various reasons why everyone should visit this beautiful reserve not only for the abundance of its nature, fauna or culture but for the various other venturous activities that they can carry out during their visit or stay around the park.
This is the most common activity in Masai Mara where one travels on an open roof safari van or Land cruiser while viewing the animals at a closer distance meanwhile observing the park regulations. They are normally done in three shifts which is the morning, evening and night. During the morning drive one is able to find all the animals very active and fresh looking in the savannah grassland looking for food then during the hot seasons, all animals go to river banks to quench their thirst. The evening drive starts from 4pm till 6; 30 pm and here one gets the final catch of the game while they are out of their hides getting their dinner especially with the reptiles. The night drive is strictly done under guide of an escort and guide; it’s normally enjoyed by photographers who want to see more of the nocturnal animals in the park
The reserve, gifted by nature, gives visitors the opportunity to have leisure walks both inside and around the park. It’s headed by a game ranger who is well equipped especially with gun using trills that are less used by predators enjoying close view of animals like elephants, giraffes, and antelope.
This is a beautiful experience since the place is seen at an aerial view. It starts in the morning and goes on depending on the weather of the day as one is able to view the Great Rift Valley and the different birds soaring through the sky and also seeing all deep corners of the reserve at tree top heights which gives a good panoramic view. Upon landing, the visitors are still taken to see other various animals on ground.
Here the visitors are given chance to interact with the Masai. These people have been living with the wildlife amicably for 100 years on the reserve land and have gotten stuck to their traditions. They have round 50 traditional hoses that surround large herds of cattle hence making them live a clean environment. Various visitors find their culture quite lively from their dancing stanzas of jumping up and down to the iconic way of milking cows, getting fresh blood from animals and making their houses with mud. They are rewarded with the urge for community development through allowing village and community tours.
Most visitors prefer to use horses to move around the reserve for it gives them an open way of exploring the landscape and also enjoying the fresh breeze of nature. They are escorted by a well-trained game ranger as they move close and close to the animals and even touch their backs.
Viewing the wildebeest migration
Here visitors areable to see millions of wildebeest and zebras verse few crocodiles and lions along the MaraRiver as they try to cross over from Serengeti to the reserve. The migration invites a wide range of predators around the river.