The Maasai Mara National Reserve (also known as Masai Mara and by the locals as The Mara) is a large game reserve in Narok County, Kenya. When it was originally established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary the Mara covered only 520 square kilometres (200 sq mi) of the current area, including the Mara Triangle. The area was extended to the east in 1961 to cover 1,821 km2 (703 sq mi) and converted to a game reserve.
About the place : The Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) covers some 1,510 km2 (583 sq mi) in south-western Kenya. It is the northern-most section of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, which covers some 25,000 km2 (9,700 sq mi) in Tanzania and Kenya. It is bounded by the Serengeti Park to the south, the Siria escarpment to the west, and Maasai pastoral ranches to the north, east and west. Rainfall in the ecosystem increases markedly along a southeast–northwest gradient, varies in space and time, and is markedly bimodal. The Sand, Talek River and Mara River are the major rivers draining the reserve. Shrubs and trees fringe most drainage lines and cover hillslopes and hilltops.
How Many Days Should I Spend? – There are multiple forest resorts which are completely electromagnetically fenced to prevent any animal entering the resort. Therefore, once you are in the resort, you are technically cut off from any movement outside and are restricted to some indoor activities in the resort itself. The Game Drives generally happen twice in a day (early morning and 3pm). Rest of the day could get a little boring as there is no TV or wifi connectivity in the rooms. Thus, an ideal of 2Night3Days should be best.
Resort Recommendation – Mara Serena is where we stayed and no complaints about the place. The resort is run by Agha Khans and therefore the cuisines cater to the taste of Indian very well. The Rooms are situated in a way that you could actually use a durrbin to spot wild animals at a distance from the bed of your room.
Game Drives – This is the Main attraction while being cut off from city life. Rise at dawn and leave without breakfast in your jeep into the densed savannah. You should be lucky to get a good enthusiastic driver to be able to have maximum viewing. Generally, the jeeps are interconnected with a teleconnect and inform one another of the spottings. Ensure that you do watch the The Big 5 – Lions, Rhinos, Elephants, Leopards, Buffalo, besides the others numerous spotting of cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, giraffes, zebras, vultures, wild birds, crocodiles, hippos — the last I took so many animal names only during school days 🙂
Best Season to Visit the Park – The best wildlife viewing months in Kenya are during the Dry season from late June to October. The wildebeest migration reaches the Masai Mara in July and remains until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks.
Maasai Mara is also known as the 8th Natural Wonder of The World! A Must Visit as a Traveller!