Maasai Mara

Maasai Mara

Maasai Mara Properties by Star Rating:  
 
 
Situated in the south west of Kenya, bordering Tanzania, is Africa’s finest park, the Maasai Mara often simply called The Mara (Derived from the word Maasai “Maa” meaning spotted; an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna and cloud shadows that mark the area).  It is famous for the exceptional abundance of Big Cats, the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Maasai people, well known for their distinctive custom and dress.   
 
Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 583 sq. miles (1,510 sq km) and is part of the expansive 9700 sq. miles Mara-Serengeti ecosystem.  The terrain of the reserve is primarily grassland and riverine forest with seasonal riverlets. It is mainly watered by the Talek and Mara rivers. The reserve is managed by the local Maasai people.

The Wildlife:  The Maasai Mara is host to a breathtaking array of life. The ecosystem boasts one of the highest lion densities per sq km in the world amongst other mammals. Maasai Mara is home to over 95 species of mammals and 470 species of birds have been recorded. The vast grassland plains are scattered with herds of Zebra, Giraffe, Gazelle and Topi. The Acacia forests are abound with Birdlife and Monkeys. Elephants and Buffalo wallow in the wide Musiara Swamp. The Mara and Talek rivers are brimming with Hippos and Crocodiles.

Other animals found in Maasai Mara include: Baboon -  Impala - Buffalo - Leopard - Elephant - Lion - Cheetah - Oribi - Crocodile - Rhinoceros (Black) - Dik-dik - Thomson's Gazelle - Duiker - Topi -  Eland -  Warthog - Giraffe - Waterbuck - Grant's Gazelle - Wild dog (African) - Wildebeest - Hippopotamus - Zebra
 
 
The Bird Life: There are over 470 recorded bird species in the Mara ecosystem including: Ostrich - Grebe - Pelican - Cormorant & Darter - Heron - Egret & Bittern - Hamerkop - Shoebill - Stork - Ibis - Spoonbill -   Secretary Bird - Vulture - Kingfisher

 Attractions and Activities: Game drives are designed to take you close to the wildlife rich spots in the Maasai Mara. This gives you an opportunity to view wild animals in their natural habitat as they go about their daily activities.
 
Game drives are often done in the morning and late afternoon. Early morning game drives start just before sunrise, when one is woken up to a cup of steaming hot Kenyan highland coffee. As the sun rises, you are out on the savannah, taking in the fresh smell of the moist grasses and observing the scenic nature and its amazing wildlife. Afternoon game drives start late afternoon ending just before the darkness fall upon Mara.You are accompanied by your driver-guide knowledgeable about the flora, fauna, landscape, and Kenyan culture.

Balloon safaris are a romantic and evocative way of experiencing the wilderness of East Africa, as you gracefully and silently fly over the plains teeming with herds of wildlife in the early morning. Typically, a balloon safari begins at break of dawn, about 6 am, and lasts for about 1 hour, during which you will fly over parts of the vast Maasai Mara plain, seeing the magnificent wildlife below, spread over several square miles of the reserve. Balloon flights are available daily in Maasai Mara and take off from designated sites where the disturbance to animals is kept to a minimum. Your safari vehicle drops you off at the take off site and picks you up from your landing site. Your hot air balloon ride is followed by a champagne breakfast "in the bush", with a well laid out seating arrangement and waiters on hand, to give you a fitting finale to your memorable flight in the wild.

Sundowners: The best way to watch the African sun go down in the horizon is with a cocktail in your hand!

Bush Meals: Drive, walk or ride to a secluded area in the wild. The mouth-watering local dishes, the roaring bonfire for chilly evenings and enchanting Maasai dancers are recipe for a memorable meal.

The People of Maasai Mara & Cultural Visits: The Maasai are a proud semi-nomadic cattle-rearing people with a fascinating culture. They have reputation as fierce warriors and a community with a colorful lifestyle. They have a very special relationship with cattle which are essential to their life-style. The Maasai have survived a troubled history but are under increasing pressure to conform to modern society. During a cultural visit, you get a chance to experience the Maasai way of life. The Maasai eagerly welcome guests into their homes to show their lifestyle and culture. Visit the local school and meet pioneer teachers who struggle to bring education to the bush.

Bird watching: In Maasai Mara, bird watching is done while taking safari walks or game drives accompanied by competent bird guides. You will get to know the birds’ names, their colors and other features. Since so much of the Mara is open grassland or bush the birds are also relatively easy to see.

How to Get There:  The Maasai Mara is located in the Great Rift Valley and can be accessed either by road or by air.
By Road: The driving distance from Nairobi to Maasai Mara is 170 miles (275km) by road. The average drive time is 4-5 hours.
By Air: The flight from Nairobi to Maasai Mara is 45 minutes.