Maasai Mara National Park is one of the great Mara Eco-system, covering 1,510sqkm and it was gazetted as a national park in 1974. It is located in the southwestern part of Kenya with in the Mara area and it’s an extension with Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. The park holds Ngama hills, Mara river, Central plains where most of the wildlife is concentrated, and the Oloololo escarpment. Maasai Mara game Park`s open tree Savannah vegetation covers the plains and hills that harbor various wildlife including the “big five´´, like the lions, elephants, rhinos, wildebeests, hyenas, giraffes, cheetahs, leopards, birds for example lilac-breasted roller, long-crested eagles among others. Maasai Mara National Park is also known for the amazing and legendary wildebeest migration, which happens in July and August, where millions of animals leave the Serengeti and head into the Masai Mara around September for greener pastures. The crossing of the Mara River makes it the most spectacular part of the migration. Around October, they slowly head back into the Serengeti.
Getting to maasai mara national park
Maasai Mara National Park is about 265km from Nairobi and its either accessed by road or air transport. By Road, various means can be used to reach the park, and it takes 4-5 hours though during rainy seasons the roads to the park are muddy, but it’s advisable to use a 4WD vehicle. By Air, a flight can be scheduled from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson Airport in Nairobi to Olkiombo, Keekorok or Musiara airstrips.
The Maasai Mara National Park is covered by savanna grassland, scattered acacia, short trees, shrubs and grasses. The park is rich in different species with a total of over 96 mammals, 470 birds of which many are migrants with almost 60 species being raptors, making it relatively biodiverse. Some of these unique species of the Maasai Mara, include bat-eared fox, lion, wildebeest, topi, cape buffalo, leopard, black-backed jackal and spotted hyena, cheetah, eland, masai giraffe, large roan antelope, impala, and hippo and crocodile are found in the Mara and Talek rivers. It also inhabits unique and various birds like lilac-breasted roller, long-crested eagles, vultures, woolly-necked stork, yellow-mantled widowbird, yellow-throated sandgrouse, grey-crested helmet-shrike, white-bellied go-away bird among others.
Maasai Mara National Park has a humid climate with an average temperature. It has a dry season (June-October) and a wet season (November-May).
ACTIVITIES TO DO ON MAASAI MARA NATIONAL PARK SAFARI IN KENYA
Maasai Mara National Park is well known for the rarest unique birds in Africa and has various birding spots that bring out the beauty and pleasure of over 470 bird species to bird viewers and researchers. They have various species that are eye-catching and interesting to watch like Schalow’s turaco, Secretary bird, Silverbird, Cinnamon-breasted bunting, Abdim’s stork, African finfoot, Denham’s bustard, Giant kingfisher, Grey-crested helmet-shrike, Hildebrandt’s starling, Jackson’s widowbird, Ostrich, Southern ground hornbill, Swahili sparrow, Tabora cisticola, Temminck’s courser, Trilling cisticola, Purple grenadier, Red-throated tit, Lazy cisticola, Ross’s turaco, Rosy-throated longclaw, among others. This can be done with experienced rangers available at the parks headquarter. Bird watching at Park is good all-round the year but the best time is from November to April since migratory birds arrive from Europe and north Africa.
Maasai Mara National Park offers the opportunity to explorer the wild on foot, these are offered by the open savanna grasslands with dotted bushes and the Oloololo escarpment which rises to a plateau. During the walking various wildlife like animals for example buffalos, antelopes, elephants, giraffes, zebras, butterflies, plants and birds like ostriches, Silverbirds among others are quietly and closely observed.
Maasai Mara National Park is known for game driving due to a variety of wild animals. The drive through the central plains and along the Mara river and waterholes gives a clear and exciting view of different wildlife mostly animals. The game drives are best during the dry season since the park is more crowded by animals and the road are good. The game drives are divided into two shifts, the daytime shift done in the morning and the nighttime shift done during the night. A ranger should lead the drive.
ACCOMMODATION in and around Maasai Mara game park
There are so many accommodation facilities located within and outside the Park ranging from the budget facilities to the midrange facilities to the most luxury facilities.