Magical Mara And Great Migration

by pateluday

Alluring African wilderness is known globally. Maasai Mara in Kenya is the most popular among tourists for wildlife safaris. It is home to majestic animals, birds, reptiles, and...

Maasai or Masai Mara often referred to as Mara is a National Park situated in East Africa in Kenya. The land is named after the famous Maasai Tribe, inhabitants who are part of the wilderness, and their esoteric culture and lifestyle add to the wildlife experience for the visitors to the reserve. The community spans neighboring Tanzania, north, south, and central Kenya. It is the magical realm of life forms that thrive well in the African ecosystem.

Home to the big five namely the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and African buffalo the preserve is a habitat of many species of mammals, reptiles, insects, and birds. Well, the buck does not stop here for Mara is home to major tourist attractions the cheetah, giraffe, wild dog, zebra, and hyena to name a few. Though the predators have always been the cynosure of tourists on game safari, the amazing biodiversity and the panoramic landscape attract visitors no less. Along with big game watching, birding is equally attractive.

A large habitat that supports diverse flora and fauna, Greater Mara is contiguous with Serengeti National Reserve, and several conservancies. The contiguous stretch thus supports the well-known annual migration of herbivores in search of greener pastures. Thousands of tourists flock every year to experience the amazing spectacle of migration at the National Reserve in Kenya.

Cheetah at Masai

Cheetah Family At Masai Mara
Cheetah Family At Masai Mara
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Maasai Mara

National Game Reserve Kenya

A wildlife heaven, Maasai Mara is one of the World's most remarkable ecosystems. An area of 25000 sq. km comprising extensive grasslands, sparse vegetation, and scrub, the ecosystem is supported by a number of water bodies. 

The Masai Mara game reserve is only 1510 sq. km in the area. But the contiguous savanna wilderness and its connectivity with Serengeti National Park ecosystems in Tanzania make it one of the most significant wildlife habitats in the World.   The Mara River, Sand Talek River, and seasonal rivulets act as important life support systems.   

On the western border is a swamp area, the Esoit (Siria) Escarpment of the East African Rift that stretches to 5,600 km covering the Red Sea, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique. Access to abundant water leads to a high concentration of wild animals here. Another positive aspect of the Western Region is the presence of fewer tourists. The eastern border is around 244 km from Nairobi hence the tourist arrivals are the highest here.

The game reserve is administered by Narok County Government. The Mara Triangle in the west is managed by the Trans-Mara county council under the aegis of Mara Conservancy. Wild animals roam freely in this magical land comprising the National Park and private lands in the neighboring conservancies. 

For More Information Masai Mara Wikipedia

African Lion

African Lion Mating
African Lion Mating

Wild Animals of Maasai Mara

Kenyan Wildlife & Biodiversity

The list of mammals is endless I am mentioning the most below:

  • African Lion
  • Masai Giraffe 
  • Cheetah
  • Wild Buffalo
  • African Bush Elephant
  • Wild Dogs
  • Hyena
  • Blue wildebeest
  • Topi
  • Zebra
  • Wolf
  • Thomson's Gazelle,
  • Black-backed jackals,
  • Striped weasels
  • Caracals
  • Servals
  • Aardwolves
  • Bat-eared foxes,
  • Honey badgers,
  • Wildcats
  • Civets
  • Side-striped jackals
  • Striped polecats
  • Genets
  • Mongoose
  • Otters

The Great Migrations creates a greater assemblage of wild animals. 

Videos Of Game Reserve Maasai Mara

Great Migration

Masai & Serengeti

Perhaps no other wilderness spectacle attracts as many tourists as the Great Migration does. Like Indian wildlife, African wildlife has been subject to intense tourism, filmmaking, and wildlife photography. Major film or documentary makers like National Geography, BBC, and Discovery have made countless documentaries in this region, especially on one of the greatest wild animal migrations on Earth.

The great migration is a seasonal movement of certain mammals from Tanzania and neighboring regions that eventually enter Maasai Mara. Much of the migration is a natural historical event, its purpose, advantages, perils, adventures, and encounters have been filmed in dramatic documentaries. These wildlife films have made Serengeti and Mara famous all over the world, and the ensuing popularity has benefited the hospitality industry the most. 

Animals that migrate are 

  • Blue Wildebeest 1.7 million
  • Zebra 260000
  • Thomsons Gazelle 470000
  • Grant's Gazelle
  • Other Plains Animals

The animals first move to Grumeti River and stay there till June. The river crossing begins in July. The crossing takes place between Grumeti & Mara and the events here are most watched by tourists and filmed by filmmakers. The movement on such a large scale attracts resident predators and those that follow the migrating herds.  Survival is the main purpose, but the spectacle benefits the local economy by attracting hordes of tourists to the game reserve in Kenya.

Tourism at Masai Mara

Maasai Mara Tourism

Over three hundred thousand tourists visit Maasai Mara every year. The greatest attraction is the Great Migration but tourists, wildlife photographers, and filmmakers along with holidayers visit the destination throughout the year. 

The game drive or safari costs range around USD 70 for adults and USD 40 for children below 12 years. The cost of accommodation ranges from USD 80 overnight to more depending upon the luxuries and amenities provided. The cost structure of luxury lodges varies and all details should be availed before arrival.  

For tourists, the Maasai Mara Package tours are the best option. These are organized by outbound tour operators all over the World. Most of these packages are all-inclusive and guided by tour leaders. Please make sure that safari or game drive permits are booked much in advance for there could be a cap on the vehicle/tourist entry.     

Please study the expected weather, food provided, and all essentials available at the reserve, or else make a purchase at Nairobi on arrival. This will also be useful for domestic tourists.

Places of interest nearby.

  • Lake Nakuru - Birding - 170 Km from Nairobi
  • Lake Naivasha - Fresh Water Lake - 100 km from Nairobi
  • Aberdare National Park 

Reaching Maasai Mara

The game reserve is best approached from Nairobi the Capital City of Kenya. It is 225 km or 140 miles from the Nairobi Airport. The distance to the entry gates may differ please keep this in mind. The drive usually takes six hours or more and is generally smooth and accords a view of the countryside.  

Mara Gates & Time Taken

- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Sekenani Gate ) 5.5 - 6 hrs

- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Talek Gate ) 5.5 - 6 hrs

- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Oloolaimutia Gate ) 6 hrs

- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Musiara Gate ) 6.5 hrs

- Nairobi to Masai Mara ( Oloololo Gate ) 6.5 hrs

Another option is to fly to many airstrips near Mara. The flights are convenient and take one hour time on average. 

Updated: 12/02/2022, pateluday
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pateluday on 11/24/2022

Yes, Maasai Mara is savannah and scrub not fit for ambush hunters. Tigers cannot run for a long distances their lungs are meant for short bursts

frankbeswick on 11/23/2022

The tiger's markings are adapted to a forested environment, where light and and shadow alternate, which is not the environment of the Masai Mara and the Serengeti.

DerdriuMarriner on 11/21/2022

The last paragraph in the third subheading, Great Migration Masai & Serengeti, designates the Grumeti River as the gathering point for all the wild sentients in June and July.

How far away do the wild sentients come from, within and perhaps beyond northern Tanzania?

pateluday on 11/21/2022

No tigers spread from Central Asia to India, South Asia, and some countries in South East Asia up to Siberia. The African habitat of savannah and sparse vegetation does not suit an ambush hunter like the tiger. But it has been assumed to exist besides the Asiatic Lions since the lions do not prefer dense forests. Both are found in India.

blackspanielgallery on 11/21/2022

I find it strange the tiger does not exist there.

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