Masai Mara National Reserve – one of the world’s finest wilderness areas – it is home of the ‘Big Five’ – elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, and in particular, the black mane lion – being an extension of the Serengeti plains it is famous for the spectacle of the annual migration of thousands of wildebeest and zebra in the months of July to October from the Serengeti. It is a must visit for anyone visiting Africa as it is the vast Serengeti compressed into a little area.
Mara offers a diverse range of accommodation standards from basic rustic do-it-yourself campsites to high end exclusive camps and lodges. There are some camps situated outside the main park area but as the game reserve does not have a fence one wouldn’t know the difference as the wildlife also visits these areas.
In a bid to save the Mara from encroachment, conservation investors lease large tracts of land from the locals and brand them conservancies. They invest in nice accommodation for their guests and charge a conservancy fee that goes to the local Masai landlords. These conservancies offer night game drives which are not allowed in the main game reserve. They also offer nature walks in the conservancies allowing tourists to view the numerous grazers on foot.
Why you’ll love this national reserve
- The Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo)
- Famous for its population of large predators including leopards, lions, cheetahs and crocodiles
- View the Great Migration of wildebeest, zebras, topis and Thomson’s gazelles from July to October
- The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem offers an enormous diversity of flora and fauna
- Over 450 species of birds including 57 birds of prey