Maasai Mara National Reserve is in the heart of the Masai Mara expanse. The 1,510 sq.km game reserve is owned and operated by Narok County. It was so named after the Maasai people that live in the area and the Mara River that cuts across the unfenced, savannah expanse.
Maasai Mara Reserve, also referred to as the Mara, is the best place to see the Big Five (lions, buffalo, leopards, rhinos and elephants) as well as the 8th wonder where millions of wildebeest, gazelles and antelopes migrate to the Mara from Serengeti.
There is a large and diverse concentration of wildlife throughout the year besides July - October when the migration is happening. These include gnus, Oribis, hyenas, giraffes, warthogs, gazelles, hartebeests, and hippos.
More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in Maasai Mara. The most popular are vultures, ostriches, Pel's fishing owls, wary guinea fowl, Jackson's bustards, long-crested eagles, and pygmy falcons.
Adventurous travellers can pitch a tent and sleep in the wild at public campsites located within the reserve.
Masai Mara Reserve experiences two dry spells and two wet seasons in a year therefore affecting vegetation, water sources and wildlife concentration.
The dry season, between July and October, makes it easy to observe animals as vegetation is less dense. This season also corresponds to the great migration of wildebeests and other plain wildlife.
November and December mark the short rainy season so many animals return into the bush and forest or migrate back to Serengeti. Visitors level fall during this season because it's harder to spot animals.
By flight from Nairobi's Wilson to the Masai Mara takes about 45 minutes. Guests and visitors can also fly to other destinations from Masai Mara such as Lewa Dwns and Samburu. There are several airstrips in Maasai Mara Reserve:
If you prefer to drive to Mara, expect a 5 to 6-hour road trip through the Great Rift Valley and into the dusty plains of Narok County. There are several gates depending on where your camp or lodge is located: