Wildlife Encounters

Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve is among the best wildlife viewing destinations located in the southwestern part of Kenya. Many wildlife species can be encountered around Masai Mara National Reserve which is among the best safari destinations in Kenya and one of the most visited places in the country. In the surrounding areas of the reserve, there are different conservancies where wildlife can also be seen.

Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara Reserve

One of the main attractions in Masai Mara Reserve is the wildebeest migration which takes place every year. During the wildebeest migration in Kenya, tourists can witness over 2 million wildebeests roaming in the savannah plains as they graze.

The wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara Reserve takes place from July to October which is a time when they cross from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania via the Mara River into the plains of the Masai Mara.

Wildebeests and zebras as well as gazelles can be encountered around the Mara plains during the wildebeest migration. Many predators like lions, cheetahs, and leopards among others can also be seen around the areas where the wildebeest herds graze.

The wildebeest herds that can be witnessed around the savannah plains of Masai Mara reserve consist of both adults and calves which are usually targeted by the predators.

Attractions in Masai Mara Reserve

Apart from the wildebeest migration, the Masai Mara reserve has so much more to offer during safaris around the destination and these attractions include the following;

  • Wildlife species

Different wildlife species can be seen during safaris around Masai Mara reserve and they include the big five such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos, and rhinos as well as zebras, impalas, waterbucks, hippos, giraffes, hyenas, warthogs, hartebeests, elands, topi, kudu and many others.

  • Mara river

The Mara River is one of the best locations to see the wildebeests as they cross into Masai Mara reserve during the wildebeest migration since it is a crossing point of the large herds of wildebeests.

  • Bird species

Over 450 bird species are found in the Masai Mara reserve and they include the Common Ostrich, Saddle-Billed Stork, Martial Eagle, African Finfoot, Little Grebe, Long-tailed Cormorant, Rufuos-bellied Heron, Hammerkop, Marabou Stork, Hadeda Ibis, African Spoonbill, Northern Pintail, Secretary bird, African Fish Eagle, African Marsh Harrier, Grey Kestrel, Scaly Francolin, Grey crowned crane, Kori Bustard among others.

  • Maasai people

Maasai people are among the tribes that can be interacted with during safaris around the Masai Mara reserve for an insight into their nomadic lifestyle, experiencing their culture through traditional dance, and visiting the homesteads among other exciting activities.

Masai Mara National Reserve
Maasai people

Activities to do in Masai Mara Reserve

Activities to do during safaris in Masai Mara reserve include the following;

  • Game drives

Game drives in Masai Mara reserve take place in the morning and afternoon and tourists can also enjoy full-day wildlife viewing experiences around the reserve which is vast with numerous wildlife species to look out for during safari.

Around the conservancies neighboring Masai Mara reserve, game drives can also be conducted in search of different wildlife species. Some of the areas where game drives take place include the Mara triangle.

  • Hot air balloon safaris

Hot air balloon safaris in Masai Mara Reserve provide an aerial view of the reserve and its wildlife and surroundings. This activity is the best way to see the attractions from the hot air balloon.

  • Guided nature walks

Bush walks or nature walks are also part of the safari experience around Masai Mara Reserve, and they provide a closer view of the attractions at the destination and exciting wildlife encounters on foot.

  • Bird watching

Tourists can combine their wildlife safari experience in Masai Mara reserve with bird watching when visiting the reserve which is home to numerous bird species that can be seen throughout the year.

  • Community tours

Tourists can interact with the Maasai tribe and learn about their local way of living during the community or village tours around the Masai Mara reserve.

Best time for wildlife viewing in Masai Mara Reserve

The best time to visit Masai Mara Reserve is during the dry season from June to October when many wildlife species can be seen during safari. It is also a time when tourists can see the wildebeest migration in Masai Mara.

Safaris in Masai Mara Reserve can however be conducted throughout the year during wildlife viewing experiences in Kenya.

How to get to Masai Mara Reserve

The Masai Mara Reserve can be accessed by driving from Nairobi which takes about five to six hours or by flying from Wilson Airport to the different airstrips in Masai Mara such as Mara Serena Airstrip, Keekorok Airstrip among others.

  1. Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is another famous safari destination located in the southern part of Kenya.

The national park is home to many elephants and tourists can enjoy views of Mount Kilimanjaro during tours around Amboseli National Park which is also made up of savannah plains where numerous wildlife species can be encountered.

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