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Masai Mara National Reserve

Wildebeest Migration in Masai Mara National Reserve

A huge pride of lions in the Masai Mara National Reserve

Black rhino in Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the best known and most popular game reserves in Kenya and the whole of Africa. Masai Mara is covers about 1530 sq km having been reduced from 1672 sq km in 1984. Original inhabitants, the Masai people live within the dispersal area with their stock and they have, over centuries, developed a synergetic relationship with the wildlife. The Masai Mara National Reserve is named for the Masai people (the traditional inhabitants) and the Mara River, which cuts across it, is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and the wildebeest from the Serengeti every year from July to October, a migration so immense it is called the Great Migration.

Masai Mara National Reserve is the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park game reserve in Tanzania. It lies in the Great Rift Valley,  a fault line measuring about 5,600km long, from Ethiopia’s Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi and into Mozambique and falling in the northern-most section of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, and covers some 25,000 sq km.

Masai Mara National Reserve is bounded by the Siria escarpment to the west, the Serengeti Park to the south, and Masai pastoral ranches to the north and east with The Sand, Talek and Mara being the major rivers draining the reserve. Shrubs and trees fringe most drainage lines and cover hill slopes and hilltops. Most game viewing activities take place on the valley floor, although some lodges carry out walking tours outside the park boundaries in the hills of the Oloololo Escarpment.

The plains are full of wildebeest, zebra, impala, topi, giraffe, Thomson’s gazelle. Also regularly seen are leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetah, jackal and bat-eared foxes. Black rhino are a little shy and hard to spot but are often seen at a distance.

Hippos which usually submerge at the approach of a vehicle only to surface seconds later to snort and grumble their displeasure are abundant in the Mara River as are very large Nile drowsy crocodile sunbathe on the river banks, mouth agape, and waiting with subtle cunning for prey at which to strike with lightning swiftness.
Every July / August the wildebeest travel over 960km from Tanzania’s Serengeti plains, northwards to the Masai Mara and the Mara River is the final obstacle.

All members of the “Big Five” are found in the Masai Mara


Victor Muthui Kiyau.
P.O Box 657
Mombasa, Kenya.
Tel: (254) 733-777132, (254) 721-348376