Maasai Mara National Reserve, Honored by the World Travel Awards
I would spend my days taking long walks around the reserve hunting and gathering food. We have always managed to survive alongside wildlife since the beginning of time. We knew how to look after them and we hunted them for our survival, and not for entertainment. Start your day with a well-deserved breakfast then depart for Eagle View on a full day walking safari across the savannah. Walking with the Maasai is an unforgettable experience that is only allowed inside private conservancies such as Naboisho. You will move at a relaxed pace observing wildlife behavior and interactions. Spend two to three hours following game paths then have a short rest under the clear blue African skies. Enjoy snack delights before resuming your walk.
As you walk, you will spend time getting to know how different species of wildlife behave. You will also learn clues that help in tracking different animals. Expect to see, a variety of bird species adding to the game viewing enjoyment. In the mid-afternoon, gather under an acacia tree for a picnic lunch. After lunch, retreat for a period of relaxation before resuming on your walk to Eagle View. Arrive at the camp in time for dinner. Eagle View is patched on top of a natural hilltop, allowing guests to have exceptional views of Naboisho Conservancy. After dinner, gather around the fireplace to listen to the meditative rhythm of the Maasai chanting.
From sheltering some of the globe’s most endangered species to showcasing astonishing patterns of migration, Africa’s national parks are among the world’s most spectacular. It’s said that you won’t find a greater abundance of game anywhere in Africa, as you will at the Maasai Mara. Apart from the Big 5, you’re likely to see a bigger variety and sheer numbers of wildlife – like the annual wildebeest migration, involving over 1,5 million animals. As civilization effects start to drip down into the African continent more and more visitors flock each year to the continents’ parks and reserves, bearing witness to nature on a grand scale and playing a vital role in generating tourism income. In such the continent has benefited a lot, not only has it not opened up the interiors but also has triggered the realization that conservation is much of what we need to live longer.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, which has been honored by the World Travel Awards, is named after its ancestral inhabitants, the Maasai people, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in southwest Kenya. Without doubt, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s (if not Africa’s) most famous safari destination. It’s a huge, flattish park with wide open savannah grasslands located in the Great Rift Valley. It’s also home to an unbelievable quantity and variety of wildlife, which is most concentrated on its western escarpment.
The best kept secret of the Mara is the Mara Triangle, the North-Western part of the Maasai Mara which is managed by the Mara Conservancy on behalf of Trans-Mara County Council – the rest of the reserve falls under Narok County Council. Although one third of the Mara, The Mara Triangle has only one lodge within its boundaries (compared to the numerous camps and lodges on the Narok side) and has well maintained, all weather roads. The rangers patrol regularly which means that there is almost no poaching and therefore excellent game viewing. There is also strict control over vehicle numbers around animal sightings which means a better, more authentic, experience when out on a game drive.
Nowhere else in Africa will you find a greater abundance of game – and you’re virtually guaranteed to see the Big 5 here – buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. Other game you’re likely to sight include cheetah, serval, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, oribi, reed-buck, wildebeest and zebra.The world-famous annual wildebeest migration (known as the “Great Migration”) that takes place here every year between July and November is said to involve more than 1.5 million animals – a truly incredible sight if you’re lucky enough to witness it.
The reserve boasts some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles with more than 400 birds species recorded. In addition to an impressive population of big cats, rhinos and elephants, it plays host from July through to October each year to one of the world’s more spectacular movements of wildebeest. Known as the Great Migration, the phenomenon involves more than 1 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of gazelles, zebras and other animals, which migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
The Maasai Mara is characterized by four different kinds of topography: sandy soil and small bushes to the east, the Siria Escarpment forming a spectacular plateau as the western boundary of the reserve, lush grasslands and woodlands around the Mara River and open plains with scattered bushes making up the largest part of the reserve. The landscape is very varied and has a romantic feeling to it, as can be witnessed in the film ‘Out of Africa’, which was filmed on top of the Siria in 1985. For sure Mara you are such an icon in African tourism and you deserved the recognition.