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Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve is located in the South Western region of Kenya along the Great Rift Valley area in Norok County Kenya adjacent to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. Established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary covering an area of 520 sqkm of the current Mara Triangle.  Later it was converted into a Game Reserve and by 1984 the park had a total area of 1510sqkm. The park is dotted with acacia trees, shrubs and bushes and has 2 draining rivers which are Maasai Mara River and Talek River. Maasai Mara is a unique wildlife conservation haven famous for its Natural diversity of wildlife like the Big 5 mammals which are Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes and Rhinos in large numbers as well as other mammals like Cheetahs, zebras, wildebeests, crocodiles, hippos, giraffes, duikers, impala hartebeests, roan antelopes, topi, wildebeest and Thomson’s gazelles.

The park is a marvelous epitome of Serenity and beauty therefore it boosts of over 500 bird species like Bateleur, Secretary bird, Schawlow’s turaco, Abdim’s stork, Hammerkops, Temminck’s courser, Southern ground hornbill, Usambiro barbet, Saddle-billed stork, Giant kingfisher, Woolly-necked stork, Black-headed heron, Giant kingfisher, African jacana, Crowned lapwing, Malachite kingfisher, Grey-headed kingfisher among others.

Maasai Mara National Reserve is also famous for its spectacular happenings, also considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World, “The Annual Wildebeest Migration” where Millions of Wildebeests and Zebras migrate from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park while crossing the Mara River amidst hungry crocodiles and also predators on the other side waiting to grab food.  This occurs between the months of July and October and it is the best time to plan your Maasai Mara Safari with Paradise Adventure Vacations in case you want to witness the Best show in the World.


Activities in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve boosts of various activities that Visitors can engage in during their stay in the Reserve.

Game Drives

This typically means an adventure excursion by Vehicle in a National Park with purposes of exploring the diverse wildlife species up-close. In Maasai Mara National Reserve, Game drives can be done either in the morning usually from 6:30am to 9am and also in the evening from 3:30pm to 6:30 pm, however you can as well opt for a full day game drive which usually starts at 10am to 4pm. This means you will have a picnic lunch in the Mara plains at a designated spot while enjoying the beauty and serenity of the reserve.


Hot Air Balloon Safaris

This is one of the must-not miss activities while in Maasai Mara National Reserve. This experience is life giving as you smoothly and quietly move over the open Plains of the Mara in a Hot Air Balloon as you see the wildlife below. The Balloon usually takes off at 6am and it lasts for about an hour giving you a memorable and luxurious experience. This activity is concluded with a complimentary setting of a bush breakfast.


Maasai Community Encounters

Here, you get to visit the local Maasai Community that co-exist with the wildlife species in the same environment. Having an encounter with these locals will surely give you the true definition of an African Culture since you will enjoy their folk songs, engage in their dances that require enough physical fitness.


Nature walk

This simply means the act of exploring the Reserve or National park with an armed guide in a more natural way without using a vehicle. This activity gives travelers a close encounter with the wildlife since they will move off the beaten path and explore deep into the bush trails.


When to Visit

January – February

These two months are usually hot and dry since water is scarcer this time of year. Don’t forget to look towards the skies as well as it is also bird migration season.


March – April – May

This time of the year is known for the long rains as they are the wettest of Maasai Mara’s two rainy seasons. It’s still hot during these months but still rainy during the month of April. On the up-side, the rains ring in a regeneration of local vegetation turning the Maasai Mara all shades of green.


June – July – August – September – October

These are the best months to do a Safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve and a perfect weather for wildlife as the weather is warm and dry, Pleasant temperatures and mostly clear blue skies above.


November – December

The last two months of the year ring in the ‘short rains’ or less intrusive of the two rainy seasons. Temperatures during these months are still high although the mornings can be rather chilly.


How to Get to Maasai Mara National Reserve

Getting to Maasai Mara National Reserve can be both by road and also by Air.

By Road, it is about 5 hours drive although a few roads can be bumpy.

By Air, Maasai Mara can be accessed by catching a flight from Wilson Airport in Nairobi and it takes between 45 to 60 minutes.


Maasai Mara Entry Gates

Maasai Mara National Reserve has 6 Entry gates to ease accessibility to the reserve since the reserve has an area of 1,510sqkm. These gates are;

Oloololo Gate: This is located in the North Eastern part of the reserve.

Oloolaimutia Gate: This is located on the Eastern side of the reserve.

Musiara Gate: This is located just next to Oloololo gate in the East opposite the Great Mara River.

Talek Gate: This is located on the Northwestern part of Maasai Mara and it is one of the oldest and most developed gates in Maasai Mara.

Sand River Gate: This is located in the Southern Maasai Mara bordering the Serengeti National Park.


Accommodations in Maasai Mara National Reserve

In order to have a great experience during your Maasai Mara Safari, a comfortable accommodation has to play a great role. These accommodations are found both inside and outside the reserve and they range from Luxury to Mid-range to Budget. Some of the accommodations in Maasai Mara National Reserve include;

Luxury Accommodations

Basecamp Maasai Mara

Governors’ Camp

Mara Serena Safari lodge

Eagle view camp

Richard’s River camp

Mara Expedition camp

Little Governors’ camp

Ol Seki Hemingway’s Mara camp

&Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Mahali Mzuri


Mid-Range Accommodations

Entumoto Tented Camp

Matira bush camp

Tipilikwani camp

Mara bush – Private wing

Mara Eden Safari camp

Zebra Plains Mara camp

Speke’s camp

Enkewa camp

Ashnil Mara

Karen Blixen camp