Maasai Mara locally known simply as The Mara, is a large national game reserve in Narok, Kenya, contiguous with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. It is named in honor of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area, who migrated to the area from the Nile Basin.
Nairobi is East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city. It serves as an excellent starting point for African safari trips. Just 20 minutes from the city centre wild lions and buffalo roam in the world’s only urban game reserve. Make sure you pay a visit to the elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the National Museum and the Karen Blixen Museum. There are two options to reach the Masai Mara when you come from Nairobi. You can choose to drive or fly to the Mara. Driving to the Masai Mara will take you about 6 hours whereas if you fly to the Masai Mara, it will takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Out Of Africa
The Maasai Mara is one of the most famous safari destinations in Africa. There are a number of lodges and tented camps catering to tourists inside or bordering the Reserve and within the various separate conservancies which border the main reserve. Aside from horse riding safaris and traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential. All members of the “Big Five” lions, leopards, elephants, cape buffalo, black and white rhinos are found here all year round. It also hosts the Great Migration, which enshrines it as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. Wildebeest, topi, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelle migrate into and occupy the Mara reserve. Large prides of lions, elephants, giraffes, gazelles and impalas are a normal sight in the reserve. The main reserve is unfenced even along the border with Serengeti which means there is free movement of wildlife throughout the ecosystem.
Each bush camp has a unique set-up and design. You can of course experience wonderful game drives at lodges and tented camps, but at a bush camp wildlife congregate right in front of you. Bush camps are stylish and comfortable, but they lack some luxuries like air-conditioning. Most bush camps feature a focal lounge to socialize and dine, which may be a tented structure dismantled each season or a more permanent structure built on a raised platform. Camps are normally set up in a woodland site and will have a number of alfresco dining experiences. Breakfast is simple with fresh coffee or tea, cereals, flame-grilled toast, fruit and eggs. Most bush camps offer guests a guided sunrise or sunset game drive and at night socialize beside a fire-pit comparing the day’s sights over drinks.