10 Best Interesting Facts about Masai Mara National Reserve
You must be wondering why is Masai Mara National Reserve a popular and most loved destination in Africa. Without a doubt, it’s the best place to be for your next Kenya Safari and Africa Holiday, but we will look into the details of the 10 Best Interesting Facts about Masai Mara National Reserve.
Masai Mara National Reserve is the biggest reserve in Kenya, with a sitting protected area of 1510 KM2. It’s home to the amazing big cats of National Geographic and as well the millions of wildebeests that cross the major Mara river.
Masai Mara is located in the South West of Nairobi the capital city of Nairobi, and it’s approx 7 hrs drive from Nairobi. Passing through the great rift valley, this gem is a haven not to miss on your bucket list.
What does Masai Mara mean?
The Masai Mara National Reserve got its name from the Maasai people who inhabit the region. In their native language of Maa, Mara means spotted. The Mara is not a park but a national reserve that belongs to the Masaai people. Masai means Plains, hence in full Masai Mara means dotted plains.
Facts about Masai Mara National Reserve
1. Region, Size, and Area
Masai Mara National Reserve sits in a protected area of 1510 KM2 in the South West of Nairobi. The Reserve is located in Narok County and managed by the local County Government.
The Great Masai Mara is populated by only savannah grass and acacia trees making it looks dotted from an aerial view. It’s also easy to see the sausage trees in rich areas within the reserve.
Masai Mara is an extension of the larger Serengeti National Park, within its ecosystem majorly due to the migration of wildlife from south of Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya.
2. The Great Wildebeest Migration
One of the great wildebeest migrations that happens every year from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya, is an incredible and iconic sighting that has made Masai Mara an outstanding destination.
Almost 1.5 wildebeests migrate across this ecosystem, making an incredible sighting. Their migration and the crossings of the major Mara River make it a world wonder not to miss.
Wildebeests create a chaotic world wonder in Masai Mara by crossing these crocodile-infested rivers and streams. The best time to see them cross in Masai Mara is during the months of July to October.
3. The Big Cats of Masai Mara and other wildlife species
Are you familiar with Big Cats Diary Documentary? Well, most of it was shot and taken from Masai Mara. The reserve is known for its abundance of big cats sightings such as Lions, Leopards, and Cheetahs.
You will be familiar with the names of big lion pride such as the Topi Prides, Black Rock Pride, Marsh Pride, and many others. It’s easy to see these big pride in Masai Mara while on safari.
The Tano Bora Cheetah Brothers Coalition in Masai Mara always brought a show and made this reserve a remarkable destination. Its easy to spot these cats in their natural habitat here in Masai Mara.
Scientists have identified more than 570 species of wild birds in the reserve, many of which are migrants. More than 50 birds of prey, including eagles, storks, and vultures, comprise the Mara’s abundant birdlife.
4. Accommodation – Camps and Lodges in Masai Mara
Masai Mara has some of the best luxury and mid-luxury safari camps and lodges in East and South Africa. Masai Mara Camps and Lodges are well designed to fit every kind of traveler looking to enjoy its experiences.
From rustic old luxury camps to modern and classic safari tents, most of them overlooking the reserve or tucked in a very dense bush along the river.
Most of these camps and lodges are well located in strategic locations to offer wildlife sightings and views easily, but such comes with a cost. The more private and exclusive a camp is, the more expensive they are. Read more about our Kenya Safaris Costs and Prices.
5. Transport and Accessibility to Masai Mara
Masai Mara can easily be accessed by different means. It’s a 45 minutes flight from Nairobi and a 1 hr 45 minutes flight from Mombasa. It’s 7hrs drive from Nairobi, with a bit of traffic through the great rift valley. Check out our Flying Safaris in Kenya.
Masai Mara has 5 accessible gate entrances namely Oloolaimutia Gate, Sekenani Gate, Musiara Gate, Oloolo Gate, and Talek Gate. All are accessed on different sides of the reserve.
6. People and Culture Around Masai Mara
The Maasai People are the dominant tribe that lives around Masai Mara. They are nomadic people moving from one place to another in search of water, pasture, and food for their cattle.
They are also known as Maa. The Maasai People hold a strong cultural practice that they have had since time immemorial. They are known to be the only ones that practice genuine traditional cultures and live authentically compared to other tribes.
Maasais offer their authentic traditional and cultural experiences and knowledge to guests who visit them. While on safari in Masai Mara, you can visit a Maasai boma and know more about Maasai Cultures and Traditions.
7. Weather and Climate of Masai Mara
Another fact about Masai Mara is that it’s an all-weather destination. It receives a substantial amount of rain throughout the year, but can as well get very hot.
Masai Mara weather is easy to predict and know when it’s hot and when it’s raining. Rainfall arrives in Masai Mara in between April and June, and from October to December.
The hot seasons are between January to March and July to October before the long and short rains start respectively. The terrain is a bit rough and hard to access other regions when it’s raining.
8. Best Time to visit Masai Mara
As we have seen in the weather and climate section, you can now know when it’s the best time to visit Masai Mara. The best time to visit is during the Months of January to March, July to October.
We at Cheetah Safaris prefer the months and season between January to March since it’s a hot and dry season but as well with lush green vegetation after the short rains of November and December.
It’s also the best time to visit since there are few tourists within the reserve hence offering an opportunity to spot numerous wildlife species such as the big cats and others with ease.
August to October is our peak season and safaris are a bit expensive during this time, but a worthy experience if you love to see the wildebeest migration. Although tourists are many during this time and might make sightings of certain species a bit overwhelming.
9. Safaris and Activities in Masai Mara
Most guests who come to Kenya, prefer a visit to Masai Mara or include it in their long safari itinerary. Masai Mara is always on the bucket list of each and every guest who visits Kenya.
The reserve offers incredible safari experiences and wildlife sightings. There is much you can do in Masai Mara and amazing safari experiences that will make your whole trip just incredible.
You can engage in Balloon rides, walking safaris, Maasai Boma Cultural Visits, Bush Dinners, Sundowners, and many more. Our Masai Mara Safaris from Nairobi offers this and much more safari activities to spice up your holiday in Kenya.
10. It’s an award-winning Destination
Masai Mara is a renowned and award-winning safari destination in Africa. Known to offer authentic safaris and magical experiences, the reserve holds a number of awards due to its delivery.
Competing with the Serengeti National Park and Kruger National Park, Masai Mara has topped on several occasions due to its amazing wildlife abundance, people and the reception guests get while there.
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