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Think of the ultimate African wildlife experience and Maasai Mara will spring to mind. This vast game reserve - located in the Great Rift Valley - is named after the ancient Maasai tribe and the word ‘mara’ translates to ‘spotted’, which aptly describes the acacia trees and herds of wildebeest and zebras dotting the glasslands. These vast plains are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, and there’s no better (or more exhilarating) way to explore them than with a guided safari. Spot all members of the Big Five and many more wonderful creatures while deepening your understanding of these epic ecosystems and the conservation challenges they face.
Together with the neighbouring Serengeti National Park, Maasai Mara is famous for hosting one of the most breathtaking wildlife events on Earth. Every year from July to September, millions of wildebeests and zebras migrate in their millions across the vast plains and rivers in search for food and water. One of the largest mammal migrations in the world, this unforgettable spectacle has long captured the attention of naturalists, photographers and filmmakers - and now it’s your turn to get in on the action.
Though animals reign supreme, the outskirts of Maasai Mara are dotted with traditional villages, community conservancies and private lodges, offering a fascinating insight into how tourism, indigenous tribes and the wildlife exist in harmony.
Awe-inspiring vistas, endless animal encounters and traditional Kenyan culture make Maasai Mara a highlight on many people’s East African itineraries. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack those not-so-flattering khaki clothes and prepare to plunge into the wilderness.
Let’s face it, the main reason for visiting Maasai Mara is bound to be because of the wildlife. Well, you’ve made a good choice, that’s for sure. A Maasai Mara safari offers the chance to see a abundance of animals year-round. Watch leopards prowling through grasslands in search of their next meal, catch a glimpse of the endangered black rhino foraging in the foliage and spy huge crocodiles lurking in the Mara River. The reserve is famous for its high population of big cats and the great migration of wildebeests and zebras, both of which are major attractions. Other wild residents include elephants, cheetahs, hyena, jackals, buffalo, hippos and warthogs, plus more than 450 species of bird life.
In the northeast of the park are the spectacularly scenic Loita Hills. Due to the long, winding roads, they’re not the easiest to get to, but the pristine jungle and mountainous landscapes make the arduous journey worthwhile. There are numerous Maasai villages located here, plus a surprising variety of wildlife - think playful monkeys, colorful turacos and timid buffalos. This lush oasis is a great example of how age-old cultures can flourish alongside wild animals.
Loita Hills is also known for the northern migration. When the rain starts around March, hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and zebras travel down from the hills to the Maasai Mara plains. This provides a fantastic spectacle outside of the high season.
If you want your experience to be extra special, visitors who stay in the private lodges surrounding the reserve benefit from exclusive safaris, as well as the chance to partake in various activities not available anywhere else in the park, such as walking safaris and night drives. Maasai village visits are also a popular activity here, offering the chance to learn more about this ancient tribe and see some of the traditions and customs they’ve lived by for thousands of years.
Maasai Mara is one of Africa’s - if not the world’s - top wildlife-spotting destinations. And yes, it really does live up to the hype. To find out what others have got up to here, have a read of our blogs.
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