Offering superb plains scenery, unmatched safari activities and diverse wildlife, Masai Mara National Reserve is considered Kenya’s best park and one of Africa’s highest wildlife density region for predators. The reserve covers 583 square miles (1510 square kilometers) of outstanding wilderness in southwest Kenya. The location, wildlife, activities and comfortable moderate climate puts Mara at the top of the list, even for the most discerning World Air Travel and tours traveler to Kenya.
When the public reserve was first established, it covered 645 square miles (1672 square kilometers). Strategically, the size of the reserve was later reduced in 1984 to accommodate Maasai cattle grazing on their ancestral lands. Although the decrease in land area may be considered a letdown for wildlife conservation and protection at its infancy, the animals and habitats of the reserve found new allies to ensure their survival for generations to come. Many private conservancies have been introduced to protect the land that surrounds the reserve, thereby providing more area for wildlife. The lands not only protect habitats for resident species, but also preserve a critical part of the route used by wildebeests and zebras during the Great Migration that traverses the Masai Mara via the Serengeti National Park. Recognized as one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet, the migration is a continuous route that is followed by an over 1.5 million wildebeests and thousands of zebras, gazelles and elands.
In their never-ending pursuit for the finest grazing and watering grounds, the gnu relocate on an almost constant basis. The perseverance of these wildebeests is demonstrated in their ability to mate while on the move, and many cows are pregnant during part of the migration. Additionally, even the youngest wildebeest calves are expected to keep up with the herd. Standing and walking within minutes are critical to its survival.
The migrators of Masai Mara National Reserve are present from approximately late July – early August until end of October – early November. But the Mara offers year-round game viewing. The reserve and surrounding conservancies offer diverse resident species experiences during your safari excursions. You will frequently see impalas, topis, giraffes, elephants, zebras, buffalos, warthogs and other grazing herbivores. With so many prey animals, Masai Mara is a veritable bonanza for large predators, such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles and other stealthy, powerful hunters. The abundance of terrestrial animals is enhanced by the presence of more than 450 winged species, including 57 birds of prey.