The Masai Mara National Reserve

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Kenya’s premier wildlife park was established in 1961 to protect wildlife from hunters. Many visitors come to Kenya specifically for its beauty and abundant wildlife.

The Masai Mara is located on the border of Tanzania. It is in the Rift Valley with Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains running along its southern end. The Mara River runs through the reserve making plenty of hippos and crocodiles available to be seen, also making the annual migration of over a million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras a tremendous undertaking.

The areas bordering the Mara River are forested and are home to over several hundred bird species. During the wet months between November and June the hilly grassland is fed by plentiful rain. The months between July and October are the best time to go, the wildebeest and zebra are at their highest number which provides food for the lions, cheetahs, and leopards. Dawn or dusk is the best time to view the animals.

The most popular game park is the Masai Mara reserve; it is relatively small yet hosts an amazing concentration of wildlife. You are almost guaranteed to see lions, leopards, cheetah, hyenas, giraffe, impala, wildebeest, topi, baboons, warthogs, buffalo, zebra and elephants. There are no fences which mean you can actually see as much wildlife within its boundaries as outside in the areas inhabited by the Maasai tribes.

There are a lot of things to do in and around the Reserve;

If you enjoy an adventure try a walking safari with a Maasai guide. The ones outside the reserve boundaries are best.

Hot Air Ballooning is also an option, the balloons usually fly at dawn and last about an hour. Upon landing most balloon companies offer a champagne breakfast.

Seasoned safari travelers, writers, documentary makers admit that the Masai Mara is one of their favorite places. Why is that? Perhaps it is the “big skies” the open savannahs, or the romance of films like ‘Out Of Africa’ which was filmed there. A combination of all these things plus something to do with the spirit of the place-which is hard to put into words is what attracts people to the Mara over and over.

Enid Glasgow is a travel writer who enjoys traveling to remote destinations. She enjoys traveling with Big Five Tours, providers of luxury Tanzania tours.

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