Facts About Maasai Mara National Park is renowned as one of the Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves, located on the southern part of Kenya along the Great Rift Valley Area and found in Narok county few kilometers away from the main and largest Masai town Narok. The park is located 224 kilometers away from the capital Nairobi and bordered by the famous Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
The reserve covers an area of about 1,510 square kilometers and raises 1,500- 2,170 meters above sea level. Well, the Mara is home to a breathtaking array of life and this game reserve is sounds all over the world because of being rich in wild animals such as the big five species like Lion, Leopard, African elephant, cape buffalo and black rhinoceros and other most spotted species like Zebra, giraffes, hyenas, cheetah, wildebeest, eland and Thomson’s gazelle.
Despite the fact, Maasai Mara National Reserve is being managed by The County Government of Narok and the local Maasai Community that involve in the conservation effort to fight poaching and other illegal activities.
The Masai Mara National Reserve was first designated as a conservation area in 1961, regarding years passed by it has become a great safari destination that offers abundance of wildlife for excellent game viewing around the calendar of the year. More fact, the Mara is home to the big five and other animals as well as a birding haven with more than 400 bird species recorded in the park and half the total of birds are migrant species and over 60 species are raptors.
Great Wildebeest Migration
The great wildebeest migration event has been considered as one of the seven natural wonders of the world which takes place every year between late July to early October but this timing can vary due to prevailing rainfall patterns. From the month of July to early October the park’s yellow savannah is dotted black by more than 1.5million wildebeest, zebra and antelopes that migrate from the Serengeti northwards into the Masai Mara in search for green pasture and as part of their mating and birth cycles.
The reserve is gifted with many animal species and watching the lions is often the highlight of a safari game drive and to most tourists spotting of lions is their checklist when on visit to the reserve. Currently, Mara estimates between 800 to 900 lions ‘’including Lionesses’’ in the greater Masai Mara area, including the conservancies that surrounds the core reserve.
The Maasai People
The Maasai people are one of the incredible tourists’ attractions who resides in the outskirt of the reserve where visitors to the park usually combine a wildlife safari with culture tours through visiting these Masai people. The Maasai are known as nomadic pastoralists who traditionally make a living out of herding cattle.
Originally a Nilotic ethnic group are said to have migrated in the area years ago from the semi-arid Nile valley north of lake Turkana, the Maasai keep the region around Masai Mara come along the large portions of Great Rift Valley.
The Maasai people offers a unique nomadic culture and way of life not to mention their amazing traditional dress of red ‘’shukas’’ or body drapes.
Scenic Area and Location
Masai Mara Reserve lies in South West Kenya -East Africa. A major part of Kenya is carved vertically by the Great Rift Valley and the reserve is located within the vest valley formations.
In terms of land area, Masai Mara covers an area of about 1,510 square kilometers and it borders the famous Serengeti National Park to its south.
Despite the fact, Masai Mara’s northern section joint Mara -Serengeti ecosystem, which covers a total of about 25,000 square kilometers in Tanzania and Kenya.
Scenery and Landscapes
First of all, the word Mara means spotted and the reserve got its name through that word. The national reserve stuns with scenic landscape of short bushy trees and shrub dotting the huge rolling grassland plains, referred in Africa as the savannah. More so, Maasai Mara National Reserve has got many hilly outcrops and steep cliffs on the Western most part of the park. Which is known as the Oloololo escarpment.