Best time to visit Masai Mara National Reserve

Best time to visit Masai Mara National Reserve is that time of the year when the animals/wildlife species in the park are plenty and easy to find. On having African tours, Kenya safaris are among the best safaris on the African continent. While in Kenya, you will find the Masai Mara National Reserve, a spot on a place that offers exceptional travel destinations because of its rich diverse ecosystem consisting of different wildlife species and splendid landscapes.

Best time to visit Masai Mara National Reserve

The Masai Mara National Reserve is located in the southwestern part of Kenya covering an area of 1510 square kilometers in the Great Rift Valley, a fault line stretching from Ethiopia’s Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and into Mozambique and it features as an extension with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in the Mara area. Masai Mara National Reserve has about for types of terrain such as the Ngama Hills to the east filled with leafy bushes favored by the Black rhinos and also the area has sandy soils, the western boundary is formed by the Siria Escarpment that is raised forming a magnificent plateau. The other type is the Mara Triangle bordering the Mara River with lush grassland and woodlands that support a great variety of wildlife such as the wildebeest. The largest part is known as the central plains consisting of scattered bushes and boulders on rolling grasslands favored by the plain’s wildlife.

Brief history

The Masai Mara National Reserve derives its name in remembrance of the Maasai tribe, an indigenous group of people in this region where the current reserve straddles. Masai Mara National Reserve  was established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary covering an area approximately 250 square kilometers and later expanded to the east and covered an area about 1821 square Kilometers and later was turned into a game reserve. At later years it was reduced to 1510 square Kilometers and this is Masai Mara National Reserve’s current size. The Masai Mara National Reserve is operated by the Narok County government. The protected area is run by two bodies; the eastern part of Masai Mara National Reserve that receives a great number of tourists is run by Narok County Council well as the western part which is the Mara Triangle is run by the Trans Mara County Council that is also the contracting management to Mara constituency.

Wildlife and attractions found in Masai Mara National Reserve

The notable wildlife species include the big five game such as the African lions, African elephants, Africa Cape buffaloes, leopards, cheetahs, black rhinos, roan antelopes, Thomson gazelles, impalas hyenas and waterbucks. Masai Mara National Reserve has over 470 bird species that thrive within the reserve making it a birder’s paradise in Kenya and some of the bird species you will find include vultures, African pygmy falcons, black-bellied hart, Turacos, secretary birds, ostriches, grey crowned cranes, guinea fowls, and pel’s fishing owls among others.  

The Masai Mara safari features many attractions such as the Great migration of over two million wildebeest which migrate from the neighboring national park that is Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. This fascinating migration normally happens every year in the months of July to September and during these months the yellow savannah is flocked by over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebras, and antelopes that migrate in search of food and water.

Additionally, the visitors that come to Masai Mara National Reserve have to experience the night drives that give you the opportunity to know what happens in the night of the wildlife in Masai Mara National Reserve. And also do other activities like game drives, birding, hot air, balloon rides, bush meals breakfast lunch and dinner plus a visit to the Maasai cultural villages and many more.

 Visiting Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve features a humid climate and has an average temperature compared to the rest of the areas in Kenya. Masai Mara National Reserve experiences its rains from March to May and the short rains from November to December. From July to October, Masai Mara National Reserve is dry and the reserve contains dense vegetation making it a favorable time for the visitors to come and visit Masai Mara National Reserve. The hot temperatures are recorded in the months of December to January and it is recorded as the high or peak season of Masai Mara National Reserve and between June to July, the reserve experiences cool temperatures.

During the migration season, a great variety of wildlife is present in the Masai Mara National Reserve such as the big cats, for example, the lions, cheetahs, and leopards that come to feast on their prey. The life cycle of the wildebeest favors the growth pattern of other creatures since they keep wandering around looking for water and food the predators get a chance to feed on them and leading to healthy offsprings. The travelers get a chance to view and get some of the best photographic sessions making the whole safari a magical and adventurous experience that no one should miss in their lifetime.

Getting to Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve is situated about 241 kilometers southeast of Nairobi City and you can either use road or air transport. If you use road transport, it takes about five hours to reach Masai Mara National Reserve from Nairobi city. You can use the bus, taxi, or private means. Visitors are recommended to use 4WD vehicles to help you navigate through the muddy routes to Masai Mara National Reserve. For the visitors that prefer using air transport, you can use the charted planes that operate from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

Best time to visit Masai Mara National Reserve
Best time to visit Masai Mara National Reserve

Where to stay in Masai Mara National Reserve

Masai Mara National Reserve has numerous accommodation facilities that will enable you relax and enjoy your safari in Kenya. They range from up-markets; mid-range and budget facilities and some of these include Maasai Serena Safari Lodge, Cottar’s 1920s camp, Base Camp Masai Mara, Mara Bush Camp, Mpata Safari Club, Matira Camp, Acacia House, Mara West Chalets, Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Elewana Sand River, Tembo Tented Camp Governors Private Camp, and Mara Ngenche Luxury Tented Camp. 

Conclusion: In conclusion, the Masai Mara National Reserve can be visited at any time of the year regardless of the season, whether you visit the Masai Mara National Reserve in time to see the great migration or not. You will still get to have the best experience of a lifetime during your safari in Africa.

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